[Note by Adrian Mac, 12/01/10 9:12 PM CST ] Update: Bret Bloomquist is reporting that UTEP to the New Mexico Bowl is not a done deal- Double B notes that New Mexico Bowl is the "front-runner" and that a potential trade between the C-USA and the WAC that will send UTEP to Albuquerque and Fresno State to the R&L Carriers Bowl in New Orleans may be how it became possible. Remember that just yesterday, Bloomquist reported that the New Mexico bowl was "Out" for UTEP so clearly there are a lot of moving parts right now. For now, I trust the report by Darren Hunt who had a source close to the bowl game to confirm that UTEP is indeed headed to the ABQ.
Longtime UTEP beat writer Darren Hunt, now with KVIA, is reporting that the UTEP Miners will play the Brigham Young Cougars in the New Mexico Bowl. UTEP AD Bob Stull would not confirm the report but Hunt has a source close to the game who confirmed his report. New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Sembieda told Hunt:
"I think everything about UTEP is attractive to us," New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Siembieda said. "The proximity, the passion that Miner fans have for that program, the tradition they're got there, the familiarity with New Mexico football with UTEP. There's so much that's attractive about them."
How awesome is this? Miner fans would be a three and a half hour drive to a bowl game to see UTEP take on our long time old-WAC rival BYU? Hunt reports the official announcement will come tomorrow.
This is absolutely the best case scenario for UTEP football. BYU had a season that is almost the exact opposite of UTEP's. While UTEP started the season 5-1 but finished the season 1-5, the Cougars started their season 2-4 but finished 4-2 in their final six games. BYU ended their season with a close loss, 17-16 to at #20 Utah. The Cougars are playing the best football of their season right now. Hopefully, UTEP can use the next two and a half weeks to get back to full health. Just minutes ago, BYU formally accepted their invite to the New Mexico Bowl.