Monday, December 11th, 2017

New Mexico Bowl

Published on December 16, 2011 by   ·   3 Comments

The New Mexico Bowl is the first bowl game to be played in the 2011 bowl season. It is held annually at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This game is played between a team in the Mountain West Conference and a team in the Western Athletic Conference. This year’s matchup is going to be between the Wyoming Cowboys and the Temple Owls, although Temple is from the MAC in place of a WAC team. The game will start on Saturday, December 17 at 2:00PM ET and can be watched on ESPN and heard on ESPN Radio.

The first New Mexico Bowl was held in 2006 and the Mountain West Conference. The winner of the New Mexico Bowl gets New Mexico Bowl Trophy, which is a 20-inch bowl-shaped piece of Zia Pueblo pottery.

2011 New Mexico Bowl

This is the second year in a row in which there was not enough bowl-eligible teams from the Western Athletic Conference. This is a rare opportunity for the Mid-American Conference, who has teams in 5 bowl games for the first time.

The Mountain West is still dominating their competition in the New Mexico Bowl as they are 4-1 as a conference in the bowl game. Last year, BYU won handily over UTEP when the teams had the same record.

This year, we see the same beginning of the story as the Temple Owls (8-4) will play against Wyoming (8-4) to kick off the 2011 bowl season.


It’s going to be interesting to see how many of my original bowl picks that I’m going to talk myself into changing. I really just went through the “eye test” when it comes to bowl matchups. Within a minute of comparing the two teams, I can usually get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams. That leads me to my original predictions.

As each bowl game comes up, I’m going to scrutinize the two teams further. A lot of times there are indicators to which team is going to win besides their record. This includes one teams strength going against the other teams weakness, or it can be as mundane as how far is the team traveling to get to the bowl game.

With that in mind, I’m going to give you my first prediction.

2011 New Mexico Bowl Breakdown

RecordsWyoming: 8-4; Temple: 8-4
Key WinsWyoming: SDSU 30-27, Air Force 25-17; Temple: Maryland 38-7, Ball State 42-0
Key LossesWyoming: Nebraska 38-14, Utah State 63-19, TCU 31-20, Boise St 36-14; Temple: Penn State 14-10, Toledo 36-13

I didn’t put all four of Wyoming’s losses up there to be mean. It’s something that is important to why I’m going to change my mind on this pick from what I originally thought. The Cowboys are a certain talent level; they don’t seem to play up or down to their competition. What I mean is all the bad teams they played were blow outs, they beat the average/good teams by a small margin and they got beat up by the great teams.

I have to really stretch for this one. Both teams have a common opponent: they both went on the road to play Bowling Green. Temple lost a close game and Wyoming won a close game. I originally was giving Temple credit for the Maryland win until I saw just how badly the team finished the year and Penn State’s offense couldn’t score on anyone.

Other than that, neither of these teams have done anything to stand out. Wyoming has a decent offense and defense. Temple really struggles throwing the ball, but are one of the best in the nation at rushing the ball. The Owls strength is their defense that ranks 3rd in the nation in points against. However, a lot of this is padded by shutouts/low scores in games against the bottom teams in the nation. The travel might also hurt Temple a little bit more than Wyoming, but I don’t think that it will be a factor.


I am changing my mind on this one. Originally I had Temple as a 28-24 winner. I am going to change my pick in favor of Wyoming 24-17. My reasoning is pretty simple. I was fooled by Temple’s padded stats against bad teams like Villanova, Akron, Buffalo, Army and Kent State with less than 15 wins combined. While Wyoming’s resume doesn’t wow me, they didn’t lose except to tough competition.

2010 New Mexico Bowl

The Mountain West team has won the last three New Mexico Bowl games and the MWC is 3-1 overall in the New Mexico Bowl.

Last year, the BYU Cougars won the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl 44-20 over the Oregon State Beavers. The last time that UTEP made a bowl game was in 2005 when they lost to the Toledo Rockets 45-13.

New Mexico Bowl Breakdown

RecordsBYU: 6-6; UTEP: 6-6
All Time Bowl RecordBYU: 10-17-1; UTEP: 6-6
Key WinsBYU: San Diego State 24-21, Washington 23-17; UTEP: SMU 28-14
Key LossesBYU: Utah 17-16, TCU 31-3; UTEP: Arkansas 58-21, Houston 54-24

As you can see, both teams have 6-6 records. However, the BYU Cougars are favored by 11 1/2 points. While the two conferences are comparable, I would give the edge to the BYU over UTEP as far as strength of schedule is concerned.

Also, UTEP has lost 5 of their last 6 games whereas BYU has won 4 of their last 5 games and almost upset Utah on the road in their last game.

Points For/GameBYU: 24; UTEP: 26.2
Points Against/GameBYU: 21.4; UTEP: 25.4
Offensive Yards/GameBYU: 354.1; UTEP: 371

Except for the strength of the schedule, all of the statistical category look pretty even. The one thing to note with UTEP is that 5 of their 6 wins have come against bad teams or from division 1aa.


With all that being said, I’m going to select the BYU Cougars to win the New Mexico Bowl and to do so rather convincingly. I predict that the score of this game will be 37-21.

Don’t forget to check out the Bowl Game Contests. Register, make your picks and win!

Bowl Game Review

BYU won the New Mexico Bowl 52-24 over UTEP. This result was rather predictable as are a lot of the early bowl game matchups just about every year. BYU clearly had more quality opponents and victories before this game and it showed.

2010 Bowl Record – 1-0

Highlights from Previous New Mexico Bowl

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. […] Florida Bulls 27-3. Both teams were 7-5 heading into this game. Fresno State lost last year in the New Mexico Bowl to the Wyoming Cowboys in 2 overtimes 35-28. Fresno was 8-4 and the Cowboys were 7-5 coming into […]

  2. […] the New Mexico Bowl, not only is BYU favored by 11 points but this is a story of two seasons for these 6-6 teams. BYU […]

  3. […] Florida Bulls 27-3. Both teams were 7-5 heading into this game. Fresno State lost last year in the New Mexico Bowl to the Wyoming Cowboys in 2 overtimes 35-28. Fresno was 8-4 and the Cowboys were 7-5 coming into […]

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