THIS WEEK’S GAMES TO WATCH FOR: There is just one game on Friday night for our partner conferences as the Mountain West’s Wyoming Cowboys invade Eastern Michigan for a 5:30 p.m. battle that will broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Wyoming is looking for revenge from last year’s meeting in Laramie where the Eagles garnered a 19-point victory.
Conference play begins for the MW and resumes for Conference USA on Saturday. The MW’s first league game of the season features the Air Force Falcons at the Utah State Aggies and will be televised on ESPNU at 8:15 p.m. Conference USA’s league games start with UTSA at Old Dominionfor the first time in series history. Also, Louisiana Tech is at Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss visits UTEP.
In non-conference action, there are nine games against power-5 conference members. Notably, Marshall is hosting No. 3/4 Louisville (ACC) at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Earlier in the day, the same network is airing C-USA’s WKU, which is hosting the SEC’s Vanderbilt. The MW has two games against the Big Ten as Nevada visits Purdue and Colorado State heads to Minnesota. Boise State looks to remain unbeaten as it takes on the Pac-12’s Oregon State. For a complete schedule with series notes, see page 1 of the PDF above.
NEW MEXICO’S TRUE HEROES: After two highly successful campaigns in 2014 and 2015, the State of New Mexico, along with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, is searching for the next round of New Mexico True Heroes - New Mexicans who make their communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
The New Mexico True Heroes Program is online now at NewMexico.org/TrueHeroes. The nomination form asks two key questions: “What makes this person a New Mexico True Hero?” and “How have the nominee’s efforts made a difference in his or her community?”
Nominations remain open through Friday, September 30. A panel of judges from around the state will determine the top ten finalists, and four New Mexico True Heroes will be named this fall. The honorees will take part in a series of community events in their hometowns and get special recognition during the festivities surrounding the 2016 Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, December 17.
NEW MEXICO BOWL CONNECTIONS: As of September 14, there are currently 59 former collegiate athletes who played in at least one of the previous New Mexico Bowls and is listed as active, practice squad or injured reserve among 30 of the 32 NFL teams. Four, Jhurell Pressley from New Mexico and Arizona’s Reggie Gilbert, Cayleb Jones, and Scooby Wright, participated in last year’s game. All-time, the Gildan New Mexico Bowl has had 159 alumni listed on an NFL roster. A complete list of the active athletes is available in the PDF above.
2016 GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL: The 11th-annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl will kick off on the FBS Bowl season opening day, Saturday, Dec. 17 at Noon MT/2 p.m. ET. The game will be played at University Stadium in Albuquerque, and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl has ignited the collegiate bowl postseason before, playing on opening day since 2008.
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is partnered with the Mountain West and Conference USA, provided the league produces enough bowl-eligible teams. The Conference USA representative is scheduled to be the home team this year.
FBA LAUNCHES NEW SITE: The Football Bowl Association (FBA) in partnership with SportsLabs launched a new and fully responsive digital platform to highlight the suite of all 41 post-season college football games. The new experience (http://collegefootballbowlgames.com) will provide the FBA a unique opportunity to elevate the experience of bowl games that is truly “bigger than the game.”