The Boise State football team has accepted an invitation to play in the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl on Dec. 24 in Honolulu, Hawai’i, the Idaho Press-Tribune first reported.
Boise State confirmed the news in a release a short time later.
It’s the Broncos first trip to the Hawai’i Bowl since a 41-38 loss to East Carolina in 2007. The Hawai’i Bowl kicks off at 6 p.m. MT on Christmas Eve from Aloha Stadium and is televised on ESPN.
The opponent has yet to be finalized but it’s believed to be Pac-12 foe Oregon State.
“I would like to thank the officials at the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl, ESPN and the Mountain West Conference for this opportunity to play in one of the top postseason settings in college football,” Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle said in the release. “We are excited for their year’s Bronco team, and especially for our senior class.”
The Boise State men's basketball team is also scheduled to play in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu during the same time frame.
It will be the first time since the 2010 Fiesta Bowl that the Broncos will play in a bowl other than the Las Vegas Bowl. Boise State has played in the Las Vegas Bowl in each of the past three seasons.
Boise State (8-4, 6-2 MWC) is still searching for a head coach after the departure of Chris Petersen to Washington. Assistant head coach and linebackers coach Bob Gregory was named the interim coach and will lead them through the bowl game.
The Broncos lost both conference games by a combined four points, narrowly missing out on a chance to play Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship last night. The four losses are the most since 2005.
The New Mexico Bowl was also in play for Boise State before a series of deals, including a trade that allowed UNLV to go to the Heart of Dallas of Bowl, put them in position to head to Hawai’i.
Boise State, which has won four consecutive bowl games, will make Gregory and selected players available at 4 p.m. today to discuss the announcement.
The rest of the Mountain West bowl assignments are as follows:
Potato Bowl: San Diego State (vs. Buffalo)
New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State
Heart of Dallas Bowl: UNLV
Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State (vs. Northern Illinois)
Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State
San Jose State, which beat Fresno State and potentially cost the Mountain West Conference millions of dollars by knocking them out of the BCS, was not selected for a bowl despite going 6-6.