The Mid-American Conference's history in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl


The Central Michigan football team will participate in the Famous Idaho Bowl on Dec. 22 for the first time in program history. 

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl has been around since June 12, 1997. It became a NCAA Certified Bowl when Boise State University Athletic Director Gene Blaymaier and Big West Conference Commissioner Dennis Farrel collaborated in 2011.

It was originally named the Humanitarian Bowl and was to be played traditionally on the BSU blue turf. When prepping for the 2011 game, the Idaho Potato commission took over and became the long-term sponsor. It gave the game its current title. 

The Mid-American Conference has a 3-4 record in the bowl game. There has been a MAC team in the bowl game every year from 2009-2015.

The Chippewas will have as chance to bring that record back to .500 with a win over the Wyoming Cowboys. Here's a look at the MAC Famous Idaho Potato Bowl history. 

Dec. 30, 2009: Idaho 43, Bowling Green 42

The Falcons were the debut team for the MAC in the bowl game as they took on Vandals in their home state. BGSU kept it close late, but couldn't get the win.

BGSU scored a touchdown with 32 seconds remaining in the game to hold a 42-35 lead. The Vandals would strike back with a three-play, 66-yard drive and score a touchdown with just four seconds left on the clock. 

IU decided to go for the win and converted the two-point attempt when quarterback Nate Enderle passed to Preston Davis to stun the Falcons with a 43-42 win.

Dec. 18, 2010: Northern Illinois 40, Fresno State 17

Roady’s uDrove sponsored the game for one season before going back to the Idaho Potato commission, and with it came the MAC’s first win in the bowl game.

NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish had three touchdowns, two on the ground and one in the air, to lead the Huskies in a blowout win over the Bulldogs. 

FSU held the ball for just under 22 minutes compared to the Huskies 14:47, but NIU totaled 503 yards while the Bulldogs only managed 362.

Dec. 17, 2011: Ohio 24, Utah State 23

This win marked the first-ever bowl game victory for the Bobcats in program history.

Ohio made it a game to remember by scoring 14 unanswered points to complete a comeback victory in the final second of the game when quarterback Tyler Tettleton’s one-yard touchdown rush capped off a nine-play, 61-yard scoring drive.

Dec. 15, 2012: Utah State 41, Toledo 15

This game was the final conference champion ever in the final season for Western Athletic Conference football. It marked the end of an era for the Idaho Potato bowl as well, snapping a 13-year mark of a WAC team playing in the game.

For the MAC and the Rockets, it wasn't one to forget.

The Aggies’ Kerwynn Williams rushed for 235, 191 of them coming in the fourth quarter to help USU score four touchdowns in the final 7:30 of the game. It was the Aggies first bowl win in program history in 19 years of postseason play.

Dec. 21, 2013: San Diego State 49, Buffalo 24

It was the first appearance for the Mountain West Conference in the bowl game as they handed the MAC it’s first ever set of back-to-back losses in the bowl.

Aztec running back Adam Muema went for 229 yards and three scores on the ground to lead SDSU to the victory. It was the Aztecs first bowl win outside of their own home turf since 1969.

Dec. 20, 2014: Air Force 38, Western Michigan 24

The Falcons continued the MWC’s success in the bowl game with it’s second straight victory as a conference, while the Broncos loss gave the MAC three consecutive.

It was WMU’s first bowl game under former head coach P.J. Fleck, but they were denied their first-ever bowl win thanks to a 200-plus yard effort from the Falcons’ ground attack.

Dec. 22, 2015: Akron 23, USU 21

The Zips got the MAC back on the winning track with the victory and head coach Terry Bowden in his fourth season with Akron led the program to it’s first bowl win as an Football Bowl Subdivision school.

Akron field goal kicker Robert Stein made three field goals during the game, with his last made attempt from 46 yards out eventually becoming the game winner. Stein’s efforts helped the Zips to an eight-win season, their most ever in Division I-A.