MOSCOW -- The University of Idaho football team has played a lot of huge games this year, and the games keep getting bigger as the season winds down with a bowl berth and conference championship on the line.
Idaho faces Fresno State this weekend at the Kibbie Dome at 7:30pm. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU. The teams are tied for third place in the Western Athletic Conference at 4-1 (the Vandals are 7-2 overall, while the Bulldogs are 5-3), chasing Nevada (4-0) and Boise State (3-0) in the standings. Idaho has not knocked off Fresno State since 1967 (they've played six times since then).
Obviously, there are conference implications, but there are bowl implications this weekend as well. Seven wins does not guarantee Idaho a bowl game (even though it's almost a sure thing). A lot will depend on how the Vandals finish in the conference, attendence at home games, and more.
The WAC has three guaranteed bowl games: the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu, and the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque. A representative of the New Mexico Bowl will be on hand for this weekend's game in Moscow. Of course, there are still at-large bowl births as well (five WAC teams played in bowl games last year). The Vandals have also been contacted by the Humanitarian Bowl, and even had a representative on hand at the Kibbie Dome already this season.
Boise State is making a run at a BCS bowl game (as much as Idaho fans don't care to hear it), so that would open the door for a fourth guaranteed bowl game for the conference (the way I understand it at least...correct me if I'm wrong) if the Broncos win out (which would hurt the Vandals cause because they still have to play).
Just like the headline reads, Idaho's bowl picture is anything but clear right now.
To keep it simple, a win would be huge for the Vandals this weekend. It would stamp a guarantee on a bowl game and would push them one step closer to a possible conference title. It would also set an awesome stage for the battle against Boise State on November 14th.