With news today that BYU has accepted a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl, assuming the Cougars are bowl eligible or in the BCS, it looks like the Mountain West has one fewer bowl option. The Salt Lake Tribune said the opponent will be from Conference USA. The Mountain West was scheduled to play in the game, but it appears the conference will be shut out, likely because with only eight teams for the 2011 season, it had to cut back from the five bowl slots it had last year. The Mountain West has an agreement with the Armed Forces Bowl through 2013, and once the conference is back to 10 teams next year that relationship should resume.
Air Force has a strong tie with the bowl, having appeared in it three times, which is tied for the most in that bowl’s history. This year, the Falcons can likely cross off the Armed Forces Bowl as a possible destination.
EDIT: MWC spokesman Javan Hedlund confirmed that the reduction this year is based on the Mountain West’s adjusted historical average of bowl teams, so the Mountain West vacated its spot in the Armed Forces Bowl. The conference will be back to five slots in 2012.