MAC to face WAC in Humanitarian Bowl
The Mid-American Conference and the Western Athletic Conference have signed an agreement to participate in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl starting next season.
Both conferences have shown improvements during the last few seasons and will compete in a bowl game that has also gained some recognition as of late. Last year's game – played between the University of Idaho and Bowling Green State University on the day before New Year's Eve – received the best television rating in the history of the bowl.
Some three million viewers tuned into ESPN to watch Idaho edge out the Falcons, 43-42. The two teams combined for 85 points, 21 more than the game's average and the most in the bowl's 13-year tenure. The game is usually a high-scoring affair and is entertaining for fans that love visiting the blue turf of Boise State's Bronco Stadium.
"The TV rating further demonstrates that the Bowl appeals to fans throughout the country," said Kevin McDonald, executive director of the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl in a press release. "Viewers tune in each year with the expectation that they'll see a wild, entertaining game on the blue turf in Boise."
The MAC and the WAC have signed a four-year contract that will pit top teams from each conference against one another in the bowl game that is sponsored by Roady's Truck Stops.
Staff members from the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl and both conferences are excited about the newly inked contract.
"We are so excited to have this agreement with the MAC and the WAC. These two conferences are known for playing a brand of explosive offensive football and [have] a great tradition of winning teams that are really a lot of fun to watch," McDonald said. "Last year's match-up delivered one of the most exciting bowl games of the year. We believe the game will always have that kind of drama and excitement for our fans."
WAC commissioner Karl Benson recognized the successes that each conference has had as of late and anticipates that the bowl game will continue to be competitive.
"Over the past several years the WAC and MAC have demonstrated a very high level of national success on the football field, " Benson said. "Last season the two conferences were awarded nine bowl berths. We look forward to carrying that success over into Roady's Humanitarian Bowl."
The MAC is also pleased about its new opportunity to compete in a high-caliber bowl game.
"We are very happy to have in place this tremendous relationship with a long-established and very successful bowl game," said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. "Based on last year's match-up between the two conferences, I believe fans of the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl game can look forward to exhilarating and competitive contests in the future."
Buffalo won the International Bowl two seasons ago, but the game has ceased operations, leaving the MAC without one of their three bowl tie-ins. The MAC will send it's third bowl eligible selection to the Humanitarian Bowl with the first two teams competing in the Little Caesars Bowl and the GMAC Bowl.