Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Logo.svg
StadiumAlbertsons Stadium
LocationBoise, Idaho, U.S.
Conference tie-insMWC, MAC
Previous conference tie-ins
PayoutUS$800,000 (2019 season)[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)
2020 matchup
Nevada vs. Tulane (Nevada 38–27)
2021 matchup
Kent State vs. Wyoming (Wyoming 52–38)

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, previously the Humanitarian Bowl (1997–2003, 2007–2010) and the MPC Computers Bowl (2004–2006), 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. The game is televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks. Cincinnati defeated Utah State in the inaugural game in 1997.


Conference tie-ins

The Humanitarian Bowl was launched in part to give the Big West Conference a bowl to send its champion to.[2] From 1982 until the end of the 1996 season, the Big West champion faced the winner of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship in a bowl; this was the California Bowl until 1991 and the Las Vegas Bowl afterward. After the 1996 game the Las Vegas Bowl renegotiated its contract, forcing both conferences to look for other options. This led to the creation of the Humanitarian Bowl as well as the creation of the Detroit-based Motor City Bowl, where the MAC was to send its champion.

Season(s) Conferences
Host Opponent
Actual participants
1997–1999 Big West C-USA
2000 WAC
2001 WAC ACC
2002 Big 12
2003–2008 ACC
2009–2012 MAC
2013–2015 Mountain West
2016 Sun Belt
2017 MAC
2018 Independent
2019 Mountain West
2020 The American
2021 MAC

From 1997 to 1999, the Big West champion was matched with a team from Conference USA (C-USA), while in 2000 the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) sent a representative. The Big West stopped sponsoring football after the 2000 season, and bowl 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 (ACC) 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 (BCS).

The WAC and ACC met in the 2001 through 2008 editions of the bowl, except for 2002 when the ACC's slot was filled by Iowa State of the Big 12 Conference. In 2009, the Mountain West Conference was to provide a team, but Mountain West champion TCU was selected for the Fiesta Bowl and the conference did not have enough bowl-eligible teams to send a replacement; as a result, Bowling Green of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) was invited. In 2010, the bowl inherited the MAC's International Bowl tie-in after that Toronto-based bowl folded; the bowl featured a MAC vs. WAC matchup through 2012.

After the WAC stopped sponsoring football in 2012, Mountain West inherited its spot as host, reaching agreement with the bowl to provide a team, starting with the December 2013 edition.[3] The bowl featured MAC vs. Mountain West matchups in the 2013 through 2015 games. In 2016, the bowl invited in-state Idaho of the Sun Belt Conference in place of a MAC team. The 2017 edition returned to MAC vs. Mountain West, while in the 2018 edition, independent BYU was invited in place of a Mountain West team. In late July 2019, it was announced that the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences would maintain their tie-ins to the bowl through the 2025–26 football season.[citation needed] The December 2020 edition included the first invitation to a team from the American Athletic Conference (AAC or "The American").


The game originally named for the Idaho-based World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.[4] It 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 would again be called the Humanitarian Bowl.[5] In May 2007, Boise-based Roady's Truck Stops was announced as the new sponsor, thus renaming the game the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] In December 2017, IPC announced that they would be sponsoring the bowl for an additional five years.[9]

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.[10]

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).[11]
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.[12]
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.[13]
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.[14]
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.[15]

Game results

No. Date Bowl name Winning Team Losing Team Attendance
1 December 29, 1997 Humanitarian Bowl Cincinnati 35 Utah State 19 16,289
2 December 30, 1998 Humanitarian Bowl Idaho 42 Southern Miss 35 19,667
3 December 30, 1999 Humanitarian Bowl Boise State 34 Louisville 31 29,500
4 December 28, 2000 Humanitarian Bowl Boise State 38 UTEP 23 26,203
5 December 31, 2001 Humanitarian Bowl Clemson 49 Louisiana Tech 24 25,364
6 December 31, 2002 Humanitarian Bowl Boise State 34 Iowa State 16 30,446
7 January 3, 2004 Humanitarian Bowl Georgia Tech 52 Tulsa 10 23,114
8 December 27, 2004 MPC Computers Bowl Fresno State 37 Virginia 34 (OT) 28,516
9 December 28, 2005 MPC Computers Bowl Boston College 27 Boise State 21 30,112
10 December 31, 2006 MPC Computers Bowl Miami (FL) 21 Nevada 20 28,654
11 December 31, 2007 Humanitarian Bowl Fresno State 40 Georgia Tech 28 27,062
12 December 30, 2008 Humanitarian Bowl Maryland 42 Nevada 35 26,781
13 December 30, 2009 Humanitarian Bowl Idaho 43 Bowling Green 42 26,726
14 December 18, 2010 Humanitarian Bowl Northern Illinois 40 Fresno State 17 25,449
15 December 17, 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Ohio 24 Utah State 23 28,076
16 December 15, 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Utah State 41 Toledo 15 29,243
17 December 21, 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl San Diego State 49 Buffalo 24 21,951
18 December 20, 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Air Force 38 Western Michigan 24 18,223
19 December 22, 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Akron 23 Utah State 21 18,876
20 December 22, 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Idaho 61 Colorado State 50 24,975
21 December 22, 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Wyoming 37 Central Michigan 14 16,512
22 December 21, 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl BYU 49 Western Michigan 18 18,711
23 January 3, 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Ohio 30 Nevada 21 13,611
24 December 22, 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Nevada 38 Tulane 27 0dagger
25 December 21, 2021 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Wyoming 52 Kent State 38 10,217


dagger The December 2020 game was played behind closed doors without fans, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


From 1997 through 2014, the bowl named an MVP from each team; since 2015, a single MVP has been named.

Year Winning team MVP Losing team MVP
Player Team Pos. Player Team Pos.
1997 Chad Plummer Cincinnati QB Steve Smith Utah State WR
1998 John Welsh Idaho QB Lee Roberts Southern Miss 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 (FL) 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
2017 Josh Allen Wyoming QB
2018 Zach Wilson BYU QB
Jan. 2020 Nathan Rourke Ohio QB
Dec. 2020 Carson Strong Nevada QB
2021 Levi Williams Wyoming QB

Most appearances

Blue turf of Albertsons Stadium
Blue turf of Albertsons Stadium

Boise State, the game's host school, is tied with Idaho for most wins with three. Boise State, Utah State, and Nevada share the most appearances, with four each (Boise State last played in the bowl 16 years ago, in 2005). Idaho was a member of a different conference for each of its three appearances (Big West in 1998, WAC in 2009, and Sun Belt in 2016).

Of the current 12 members of Mountain West, eight have appeared in the bowl—Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, Utah State, and Wyoming—either as members of Mountain West or the WAC. The four that have yet to play are Hawaii, New Mexico, San Jose State, and UNLV.

The below table has been updated through the December 2021 edition (25 games, 50 total appearances).

Teams with multiple appearances
Team Games Wins Losses Win pct.
Boise State 4 3 1 .750
Nevada 4 1 3 .250
Utah State 4 1 3 .250
Idaho 3 3 0 1.000
Fresno State 3 2 1 .667
Ohio 2 2 0 1.000
Wyoming 2 2 0 1.000
Georgia Tech 2 1 1 .500
Western Michigan 2 0 2 .000
Teams with a single appearance

Won (10): Air Force, Akron, Boston College, BYU, Cincinnati, Clemson, Maryland, Miami, Northern Illinois, San Diego State
Lost (14): Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Iowa State, Kent State, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Southern Miss, Toledo, Tulane, Tulsa, UTEP, Virginia

Appearances by conference

Updated through the December 2021 edition (25 games, 50 total appearances).

Conference Record Appearances by season
Games W L Win pct. Won Lost
WAC 13 5 8 0.385 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012 2000, 2001, 2003*, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011
MAC 11 4 7 0.364 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019* 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2021
Mountain West 8 5 3 0.625 2013, 2014, 2017, 2020, 2021 2015, 2016, 2019*
ACC 7 5 2 0.714 2001, 2003*, 2005, 2006, 2008 2004, 2007
Big West 4 3 1 0.750 1998, 1999, 2000 1997
C-USA 3 1 2 0.333 1997 1998, 1999
Independent 1 1 0 1.000 2018  
Sun Belt 1 1 0 1.000 2016  
The American 1 0 1 0.000   2020
Big 12 1 0 1 0.000   2002

Game records

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored (one team) 61, Idaho vs. Colorado State 2016
Most points scored (losing team) 50, Colorado State vs. Idaho 2016
Most points scored (both teams) 111, Idaho (61) vs. Colorado State (50) 2016
Fewest points allowed 10, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Largest margin of victory 42, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Total yards 656, Kent State vs. Wyoming 2021
Rushing yards 371, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Passing yards 445, Colorado State vs. Idaho 2016
First downs 30, Idaho vs. Colorado State 2016
Fewest yards allowed 144, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Fewest rushing yards allowed –56, Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa Jan. 2004
Fewest passing yards allowed 19, Tulsa vs. Georgia Tech Jan. 2004
Individual Player, Team Year
All-purpose yards 307, P. J. Daniels (Georgia Tech) Jan. 2004
Touchdowns (all-purpose) 5, Levi Williams (Wyoming) Jan. 2021
Rushing yards 307, P. J. Daniels (Georgia Tech) Jan. 2004
Rushing touchdowns 4, shared by
P. J. Daniels (Georgia Tech)
Levi Williams (Wyoming)

Jan. 2004
Passing yards 445, Nick Stevens (Colorado State) 2016
Passing touchdowns 5, shared by:
Paul Pinegar (Fresno State)
Nick Stevens (Colorado State)
Carson Strong (Nevada)

Dec. 2020
Receiving yards 265, Bisi Johnson (Colorado State) 2016
Receiving touchdowns 3, most recent:
Corey Davis (Western Michigan)

Tackles 20, Ryan Skinner (Idaho) 1998
Sacks 3.0, most recent:
Jake Coffman (Northern Illinois)
Interceptions 2, most recent:
Ryan Glasper (Boston College)

Long Plays Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown run 80 yds., Levi Williams (Wyoming) 2021
Touchdown pass 80 yds., Dustin Crum to Dante Cephas (Kent State) 2021
Kickoff return 99 yds., Torrey Smith (Maryland) 2008
Punt return 92 yds., Quinton Jones (Boise State) 2005
Interception return 80 yds., Shanaurd Harts (Boise State) 1999
Fumble return 60 yds., Dexter Walker (Air Force) 2014
Punt 69 yds., Aaron Dalton (Utah State) 2015
Field goal 51 yds., shared by:
Michael Cklamovski (Northern Illinois)
Brandon Talton (Nevada)

Jan. 2020


Media coverage

Main article: List of Famous Idaho Potato Bowl broadcasters

The bowl has been televised on ESPN or ESPN2 since its inception.


  1. ^ "2019 Bowl Schedule". collegefootballpoll.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "Boise planning to push bowl game to NCAA". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). April 19, 1997. p. 2B.
  3. ^ "Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be Mountain West partner in 2013 - SB Nation Denver". Denver.sbnation.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "208 Redial: The old Idaho Humanitarian Bowl". ktvb.com. December 22, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  5. ^ "Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell news by Idaho Statesman". Idahostatesman.com. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  6. ^ "Humanitarian bowl teams up with Idaho-based truck stop chain - College Football - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. May 30, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  7. ^ [1] Archived May 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Boise Bowl Game Gets New Name". Reno Gazette-Journal. August 4, 2011. p. 4C. Retrieved December 16, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  9. ^ Vanderhorst, Daniel (December 29, 2017). "IPC to sponsor Potato Bowl five more years". thepacker.com. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "UCLA Addresses Bowl Situation - Statement from UCLA athletic director Peter Dalis". Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  11. ^ "ESPN will Broadcast Heroic Trucking Story to Millions of Non-Trucking Viewers". Truckload.org. December 19, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Selfless Truck Driver to Be Honored as "2009 Highway Angel of the Year"". Truckload.org. December 14, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "Truckload Carriers Association Selects Highway Angel of the Year". Truckload.org. December 3, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  16. ^ "Famous Idaho Potato Bowl" (PDF). Bowl/All Star Game Records. NCAA. 2020. p. 12. Retrieved January 3, 2021 – via NCAA.org.
  17. ^ "Record Book". Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 2018. pp. 95–106. Retrieved January 3, 2020 – via publogix.com.