1997: A bowl game in Boise? Yes, the first Humanitarian Bowl is about to begin. “Glutton” hadn’t yet made it into the college football postseason.
Boise, Idaho — This day in sports…December 29, 1997, 25 years ago today:
The first Humanitarian Bowl was played in front of 16,289 fans at Bronco Stadium as Cincinnati defeated Utah State 35-19. At a time when he only had 17 bowl games (now he has 43), the Boise event was in demand. The Bearcats entered the game virtually from Conference USA with the promise of guaranteed tickets and a future trip to his BSU pavilion for a nationally ranked basketball team. (That would come two years later, when No. 3 Cincinnati drilled down Boise State 78-46 in front of a crowd of 11,518.)
Meanwhile, the Aggies made their first Humanitarian Bowl as Big West Champions. The conference lost a guaranteed bowl for its soccer champions. Las Vegas effectively became a Western Athletic Conference city the year before UNLV transitioned to his WAC, so Bowl followed suit, choosing to switch its affiliation from the Big West to the Rebels’ new league. Boise State Sports Director Gene Braymeier said that Big West Commissioner Dennis He contacted Farrell and offered the Bronco his stadium as a destination for the league winner. H-Bowl’s debut was also the first time a national television broadcast started on green grass.
Utah State had been coached for the last time by former Idaho Vandal headman John L. Smith, who had a head coaching job in Louisville. The Aggies didn’t react well to Smith’s lame-duck status, and Cincinnati’s victory wasn’t as close as the score would suggest.Smith returned to the Cardinals in his 1999, and that game against Boise State was possible. It was as close a battle as possible. This was the Broncos’ first appearance in the FBS Bowl, where he beat Smith and Louisville 34-31. This was Smith’s third straight loss at the Blue, including Thriller when Boise State defeated Idaho State in his 27-24 win over Big Sky in 1994.
USU didn’t make another bowl until 2011, but ironically, as the Humanitarian Bowl became known as the famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Aggies became part of another first bowl. was. The Idaho Potato Commission made a long-term sponsorship commitment to give the bowl a new identity. Hear the name and know exactly what it is and where it is located. Just like that, there are 12 hot (er, cold) potatoes, the most recent being East Michigan’s 41-27 win over San Jose State last week.
Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors 4 sports segments on weekdays 95.3 FM KTIK and 1 sports segment on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column is published every Wednesday.
See all our sports coverage YouTube playlist: