Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
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
Wyoming vs Central Michigan (Wyoming 37–14)

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 University of Wyoming Cowboys, who defeated the Central Michigan Chippewas in the 2017 edition of the bowl.


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, uDrove, a maker of applications for the transportation industry, 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 (IPC) signed a six-year naming rights deal to sponsor the bowl, renaming it the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.[7] In December 2017, IPC announced that they would be sponsoring the bowl for an additional five years.[8]

The game 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.[9]

Highway Angel

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).[10]
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.[11]
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.[12]
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.[13]
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.[14]

Game results

No. Date Winning Team Losing Team Attnd. notes
1December 29, 1997Cincinnati35Utah State1916,289notes
2December 30, 1998Idaho42Southern Miss3519,667notes
3December 30, 1999Boise State34Louisville3129,500notes
4December 28, 2000Boise State38UTEP2326,203notes
5December 31, 2001Clemson49Louisiana Tech2425,364notes
6December 31, 2002Boise State34Iowa State1630,446notes
7January 3, 2004Georgia Tech52Tulsa1023,114notes
8December 27, 2004Fresno State37Virginia34 (OT)23,114notes
9December 28, 2005Boston College27Boise State2130,112notes
10December 31, 2006Miami (FL)21Nevada2028,654notes
11December 31, 2007Fresno State40Georgia Tech2827,062notes
12December 30, 2008Maryland42Nevada3526,781notes
13December 30, 2009Idaho43Bowling Green4226,726notes
14December 18, 2010Northern Illinois40Fresno State1725,449notes
15December 17, 2011Ohio24Utah State2328,076notes
16December 15, 2012Utah State41Toledo1529,243notes
17December 21, 2013San Diego State49Buffalo2421,951notes
18December 20, 2014Air Force38Western Michigan2418,223notes
19December 22, 2015Akron23Utah State2118,876notes
20December 22, 2016Idaho61Colorado State5024,975notes
21December 22, 2017Wyoming37Central Michigan1416,512notes


Most appearances

Boise State, the game's host school, is tied with Idaho for most wins with three, and Fresno State has won twice. Boise State and Utah State have made the most appearances, four each; the Broncos last played thirteen years ago in 2005. Idaho was a member of a different conference for each of its three appearances.

Teams with multiple appearances
Team Games Wins Losses Pct.
Boise State431.750
Utah State413.250
Fresno State321.667
Georgia Tech211.500
Teams with a single appearance

Won: Air Force, Akron, Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Maryland, Miami, Northern Illinois, Ohio, San Diego State, Wyoming
Lost: Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Southern Miss, Toledo, Tulsa, UTEP, Virginia, Western Michigan

Appearances by conference

Through the December 2017 playing, there have been 21 games (42 total appearances).

Rank Conference Appearances Wins Losses Pct.
4Mountain West532.600
T5Big West431.750
T7Sun Belt1101.000
T7Big 12101.000

Game records

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

Television and radio coverage

See also


  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. Archived May 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Archived November 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Vanderhorst, Daniel (December 29, 2017). "IPC to sponsor Potato Bowl five more years". thepacker.com. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  9. UCLA Addresses Bowl Situation - Statement from UCLA athletic director Peter Dalis
  10. "ESPN will Broadcast Heroic Trucking Story to Millions of Non-Trucking Viewers". Truckload.org. December 19, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  11. "Selfless Truck Driver to Be Honored as "2009 Highway Angel of the Year"". Truckload.org. December 14, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  12. "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.
  13. "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.
  14. "Truckload Carriers Association Selects Highway Angel of the Year". Truckload.org. December 3, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
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