Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl logo.jpg
Stadium Albertsons Stadium
Location Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Operated 1997–present
Conference tie-ins MWC, MAC
Previous conference tie-ins Big West (1997–2000)
C-USA (1997–1999)
WAC (2000–2012)
ACC (2001–2008)
Payout US$325,000 (as of 2015)[1]
Humanitarian Bowl Association (1997–1998)
Crucial Technology (1999–2003)
MPC Computers (2004–2006)
Roady's Truck Stops (2007–2009)
uDrove (2010)
Idaho Potato Commission (2011–present)
Former names
Sports Humanitarian Bowl (1997)
Humanitarian Bowl (1998)
Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl (1999–2003)
MPC Computers Bowl (2004–2006)
Roady's Humanitarian Bowl (2007–2009)
uDrove Humanitarian Bowl (2010)
2016 matchup
Idaho vs. Colorado State (Idaho 61–50)
2017 matchup
TBD (December 22, 2017)

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (previously the Humanitarian Bowl and the MPC Computers Bowl) is an NCAA-sanctioned post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually since 1997 at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. As of 2013, the bowl pits a team from the Mountain West Conference against a team from the Mid-American Conference.[2]

The game is televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks. Cincinnati defeated Utah State, 35–19, in the inaugural game in 1997. The current Famous Idaho Potato Bowl champions are the home state University of Idaho, who defeated Colorado State in the 2016 edition of the bowl. During this game, the Vandals set bowl records for total offense, first downs, and points scored; the losing Rams set a bowl record for passing yardage, with individual Rams players equaling or setting bowl records for touchdown passes and receiving yardage.


The Humanitarian Bowl was launched in part to give the Big West Conference a bowl to send its champion to;[3] after the 1996 season, the Big West lost its automatic tie in with the Las Vegas Bowl, where its champion met the Mid-American Conference champion. From 1997 to 1999, the opponent was a team from Conference USA, while in 2000 the Western Athletic Conference sent a representative. The Big West stopped sponsoring football after the 2000 season.

After the 2000 Humanitarian Bowl, the organizers extended a permanent invite to the WAC to replace the Big West as host of the game and struck an agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference to provide a bowl-eligible team if it had yet to fill its bowl allotment. The WAC champion would receive the automatic bid to the game unless that team received a better offer from another bowl game or qualified for the Bowl Championship Series. The bowl also had to contend with the "hometown guarantee" tie-in with the Hawai'i Bowl, which guaranteed a spot to The University of Hawai'i-Manoa if it was bowl eligible and did not make the BCS.

In 2009, the Mountain West Conference replaced the ACC as the WAC's opponent, but ended its agreement after one season. For the 2010 playing, the Humanitarian Bowl inherited the MAC's International Bowl tie-in after the Toronto-based bowl folded. The WAC stopped sponsoring football in 2012 and the Mountain West inherited its spot as host.


The game was sponsored by Micron Technology, an Idaho-based manufacturer, from 1999 to 2002 under the name Crucial.com, which sold computer memory upgrades from Micron. The bowl game then briefly had no sponsor for the January 2004 game. In December 2004, the name was changed to the MPC Computers Bowl. MPC Computers, which is also based in Idaho, was formerly MicronPC, the computer manufacturing division of Micron, but was later split off as a separate company. In April 2007, it was announced that the bowl will again be called the Humanitarian Bowl.[4] In May 2007, Boise-based Roady's Truck Stops was announced as the new sponsor, thus renaming the game the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl.[5] On May 25, 2010, mobile business application, uDrove became the sponsor of the Humanitarian Bowl, signing a four-year agreement to replace Roady's.[6] On August 3, 2011 The Idaho Potato Commission signed a six-year naming rights deal to sponsor the bowl, renaming it the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.[7]

With fifteen games played through 2011, it is the longest running cold weather bowl game currently in operation. The payout is $750,000, but teams are required to provide a corporate sponsor, purchase a minimum number of tickets, and stay at a selected hotel for a minimum stay. Because of this, 7–4 UCLA declined an invitation to the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl.[8]

Highway Angel[edit]

From 2008 through 2012, bowl organizers, in conjunction with the Truckload Carriers Association, featured a "Highway Angel of the Year" to game attendees. Highway Angels are truck drivers who performed a heroic feat to save the life of another motorist.

Year Honoree Description
2008 Leonard T. Roach Roach pulled a driver from a water-filled ditch near South Bend, Indiana, even though the wind chill factor was −20 °F (−29 °C).[9]
2009 Michael Hunt Hunt used his truck to push away a vehicle (and its driver) from a fiery collision near Spring Lake, North Carolina, which had already claimed the life of the other driver.[10]
2010 Shawn L. Hubbard While driving his truck near Diamond Bar, California, Hubbard came upon a fiery car crash in which the driver was deceased, but the passenger was still alive and trapped in the burning car. Hubbard freed the passenger and pulled him from the vehicle just moments before it was completely engulfed in flames.[11]
2011 Marcus Beam While driving near Benson, North Carolina, Beam observed a speeding car strike another vehicle, causing the second car to overturn and roll down an embankment. While other motorists watched without offering help, Beam freed the female driver from the wreckage, and pulled two small children from the mangled vehicle as well.[12]
2012 Kenny Cass While driving in Portland, Oregon, Cass witnessed a pick-up truck rear-end a 53' tractor trailer and become wedged up to its windshield under the trailer. Cass made the scene safe by placing emergency triangles on the road, freed the pick-up truck driver from his vehicle while smoke billowed from beneath the truck and tended to the drivers wounds until emergency personnel arrived 20 minutes later.[13]

Game results[edit]

Blue turf of Albertsons Stadium
No. Date Winning Team Losing Team notes
1 December 29, 1997 Cincinnati 35 Utah State 19 notes
2 December 30, 1998 Idaho 42 Southern Miss 35 notes
3 December 30, 1999 Boise State 34 Louisville 31 notes
4 December 28, 2000 Boise State 38 UTEP 23 notes
5 December 31, 2001 Clemson 49 Louisiana Tech 24 notes
6 December 31, 2002 Boise State 34 Iowa State 16 notes
7 January 3, 2004 Georgia Tech 52 Tulsa 10 notes
8 December 27, 2004 Fresno State 37 Virginia 34 (OT) notes
9 December 28, 2005 Boston College 27 Boise State 21 notes
10 December 31, 2006 Miami (FL) 21 Nevada 20 notes
11 December 31, 2007 Fresno State 40 Georgia Tech 28 notes
12 December 30, 2008 Maryland 42 Nevada 35 notes
13 December 30, 2009 Idaho 43 Bowling Green 42 notes
14 December 18, 2010 Northern Illinois 40 Fresno State 17 notes
15 December 17, 2011 Ohio 24 Utah State 23 notes
16 December 15, 2012 Utah State 41 Toledo 15 notes
17 December 21, 2013 San Diego State 49 Buffalo 24 notes
18 December 20, 2014 Air Force 38 Western Michigan 24 notes
19 December 22, 2015 Akron 23 Utah State 21 notes
20 December 22, 2016 Idaho 61 Colorado State 50 notes


Year MVPs Team Pos.
1997 Steve Smith Utah State WR
Chad Plummer Cincinnati QB
1998 Lee Roberts Southern Miss QB
John Welsh Idaho QB
1999 Brock Forsey Boise State RB
Chris Redman Louisville QB
2000 Bart Hendricks Boise State QB
Chris Porter UTEP RB
2001 Woodrow Dantzler Clemson QB
Delwyn Daigre Louisiana Tech WR
2002 Bobby Hammer Boise State DT
Anthony Forrest Iowa State DB
Jan. 2004 P. J. Daniels Georgia Tech RB
Cort Moffitt Tulsa P
Dec. 2004 Paul Pinegar Fresno State QB
Marques Hagans Virginia QB
2005 Matt Ryan Boston College QB
Jared Zabransky Boise State QB
2006 Kirby Freeman Miami QB
Jeff Rowe Nevada QB
2007 Tom Brandstater Fresno State QB
Jonathan Dwyer Georgia Tech RB
2008 Da'Rel Scott Maryland RB
Colin Kaepernick Nevada QB
2009 DeMaundray Woolridge Idaho RB
Freddie Barnes Bowling Green WR
2010 Chandler Harnish Northern Illinois QB
Ryan Colburn Fresno State QB
2011 LaVon Brazill Ohio WR
Michael Smith Utah State RB
2012 Kerwynn Williams Utah State RB
Bernard Reedy Toledo WR
2013 Adam Muema San Diego State RB
Branden Oliver Buffalo RB
2014 Shayne Davern Air Force RB
Corey Davis Western Michigan WR
2015 Robert Stein Akron K
2016 Matt Linehan Idaho QB

Most appearances[edit]

Boise State, the game's host school, is tied with University of Idaho for the record for most bowl wins with three. Fresno State also has multiple wins, with two. Boise State and Utah State have made the most appearances, four each.

Rank Team Appearances Record
T1 Boise State 4 3–1
Utah State 4 1–3
T3 Idaho 3 3–0
Fresno State 3 2–1
T5 Georgia Tech 2 1–1
Nevada 2 0–2
T7 Air Force 1 1–0
Akron 1 1–0
Boston College 1 1–0
Cincinnati 1 1–0
Clemson 1 1–0
Maryland 1 1–0
Miami 1 1–0
Northern Illinois 1 1–0
Ohio 1 1–0
San Diego State 1 1–0
Bowling Green 1 0–1
Buffalo 1 0–1
Colorado State 1 0–1
Iowa State 1 0–1
Louisiana Tech 1 0–1
Louisville 1 0–1
Southern Miss 1 0–1
Toledo 1 0–1
Tulsa 1 0–1
UTEP 1 0–1
Virginia 1 0–1
Western Michigan 1 0–1

Wins by conference[edit]

Conference Wins Losses Pct.
ACC 5 2 .714
Western Athletic 5 7 .416
Big West 3 1 .750
MW 2 2 .500
Sun Belt 1 0 1.000
MAC 3 4 .429
Conference USA 1 3 .250
Big 12 0 1 .000

Game records[edit]

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored, one team 61, Idaho vs. Colorado State 2016
Most points scored, both teams 111, Idaho (61) vs. Colorado State (50) 2016
Fewest points allowed 10, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Margin of victory 42, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
First downs 30, Idaho vs. Colorado State 2016
Rushing yards 371, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Passing yards 445, Colorado State vs. Idaho 2016
Total yards 606, Idaho vs. Colorado State 2016
Individual Player, Team Year
Points scored 18, many times (Last: Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois) 2010
Passing touchdowns 5, twice (Last: Nick Stevens, Colorado State) 2016
Rushing yards 307, P.J. Daniels, Georgia Tech 2004
Passing yards 445, Nick Stevens, Colorado State 2016
Receiving Yards 265, Olabisi Johnson, Colorado State 2016


Year Attendance Teams
1997 16,289 Cincinnati vs. Utah State
1998 19,667 Southern Miss vs. Idaho
1999 29,500 Boise State vs. Louisville
2000 26,203 Boise State vs. UTEP
2001 25,364 Clemson vs. Louisiana Tech
2002 30,446 Boise State vs. Iowa State
Jan. 2004 23,114 Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa
Dec. 2004 28,516 Fresno State vs. Virginia
2005 30,112 Boise State vs. Boston College
2006 28,654 Miami vs. Nevada
2007 27,062 Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech
2008 26,781 Maryland vs. Nevada
2009 26,726 Bowling Green vs. Idaho
2010 25,449 Fresno State vs. Northern Illinois
2011 28,076 Ohio vs. Utah State
2012 29,243 Utah State vs. Toledo
2013 21,951 Buffalo vs. San Diego State
2014 18,223 Air Force vs. Western Michigan
2015 18,876 Akron vs. Utah State
2016 24,975 Idaho vs. Colorado State

Television and radio coverage[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.statisticbrain.com/college-bowl-game-payouts/
  2. ^ "Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be Mountain West partner in 2013 - SB Nation Denver". Denver.sbnation.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Boise planning to push bowl game to NCAA". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). April 19, 1997. p. 2B. 
  4. ^ "Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell news by Idaho Statesman". Idahostatesman.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Humanitarian bowl teams up with Idaho-based truck stop chain - College Football - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. May 30, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived May 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ [2] Archived November 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ UCLA Addresses Bowl Situation - Statement from UCLA athletic director Peter Dalis
  9. ^ "ESPN will Broadcast Heroic Trucking Story to Millions of Non-Trucking Viewers". Truckload.org. December 19, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Selfless Truck Driver to Be Honored as "2009 Highway Angel of the Year"". Truckload.org. December 14, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  11. ^ "TCA's Highway Angel of the Year to Share Moment in Spotlight with Motorist He Saved". Truckload.org. November 16, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Marcus Beam to Receive 2011 Highway Angel of the Year Trophy at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho". Truckload.org. December 14, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Truckload Carriers Association Selects Highway Angel of the Year". Truckload.org. December 3, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]