American Football Database
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
File:Famous Idaho Potato Bowl logo.jpg
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl logo for 2011
Stadium Bronco Stadium
Location Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Operated 1997–present
Conference tie-ins WAC, MAC
Previous conference tie-ins MWC (2009),
ACC (2001-08),
Big West (1997-2000),
C-USA (1997-99)
Payout US$750,000
(As of 2011) [1]
Sponsors (1999–2002)
MPC Computers (Dec. 2004–06)
Roady's Truck Stops (2007–09)
uDrove (2010)
Idaho Potato Commission (2011–present)
Former names
Humanitarian Bowl (1997–98) Humanitarian Bowl (1999–2002)
Humanitarian Bowl (Jan. 2004)
MPC Computers Bowl (Dec. 2004–06)
Roady's Humanitarian Bowl (2007–09)
U Drove Humanitarian Bowl (2010)
2012 matchup
Utah State vs. Toledo (Utah State 41-15)
2013 matchup

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually since 1997 at Bronco Stadium on the campus of Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Beginning in 2013, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will match 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 Potato Bowl champions are the Utah State Aggies; they defeated the Toledo Rockets 41–15 in the 2012 game.[3]


For its first four years, the then-named Humanitarian Bowl offered an automatic bid to the Big West Conference champion, after that conference lost its contract with the Las Vegas Bowl. From 1997 to 1999, the opponent was a team from Conference USA, while in 2000 an at-large was chosen. Beginning in 2000 and continuing until 2012, the automatic bid was given to the Western Athletic Conference, with the bid going to the conference's champion unless that team qualified for the Bowl Championship Series or was chosen by another bowl, or if Hawai'i was the WAC champion (Hawai'i has an automatic tie in to the Hawai'i Bowl, played in their home stadium, if it is bowl eligible). From 2000 until 2008, the Atlantic Coast Conference was to provide an opponent if it had enough bowl-eligible teams; otherwise an at-large would be chosen. 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, and have continued to keep it. After the 2012 season, the WAC stopped sponsoring football and the bowl committee announced that the Mountain West (Boise State's home since 2011) would return to playing in the bowl.

Boise State, the game's host school, holds the record for most bowl wins with three. Fresno State and Idaho also have multiple wins, with two each. Boise State's four appearances are the most of any team.


The game was sponsored by Micron Technology, an Idaho-based manufacturer, from 1999 to 2002 under the name, 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 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]

Beginning in 2008, the Humanitarian Bowl (in conjunction with the Truckload Carriers Association) featured a "Highway Angel", a truck driver who performed a heroic feat to save the life of another motorist. The 2008 Highway Angel, Leonard T. "Lenny" 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] The 2009 Highway Angel, Michael 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] The 2010 Highway Angel, Shawn L. Hubbard was honored on December 18, 2010.[11] 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.[12] The 2011 Highway Angel, Marcus Beam, received his award on December 17, 2011. Beam was driving near Benson, North Carolina when he 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.[13] The 2012 Highway Angel, Kenny Cass, was honored on December 15, 2012. Cass was driving in Portland, Oregon when he 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.[14]

Game results

File:Bronco Stadium November 14 2009.jpg

Blue turf of Bronco 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 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


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

Most appearances

Rank Team Appearances Record
1 Boise State 4 3–1
T2 Fresno State 3 2–1
Utah State 3 1-2
T4 Idaho 2 2–0
Georgia Tech 2 1–1
Nevada 2 0–2
Utah State 2 1–2
T8 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
Bowling Green 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

Wins by conference

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

Game records

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored 52, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Fewest points allowed 10, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Margin of victory 42, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
First downs 29, Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech 2007
Rushing yards 371, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Passing yards 401, Louisiana Tech vs. Clemson 2001
Total yards 582, Utah State vs. Toledo 2012
Individual Player, Team Year
Points scored 18, many times (Last:Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois) 2010
Passing touchdowns 5, Paul Pinegar, Fresno State 2004
Rushing yards 307, P.J. Daniels, Georgia Tech 2004
Passing yards 387, Tyler Sheehan, Bowling Green 2009
Receiving Yards 219, Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green 2009


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

Television coverage

Former logos


External links