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Report: Mountain West to play Pac-12 in new Los Angeles Bowl in 2020

Los Angeles Stadium
Los Angeles Stadium is expected to open in 2020. (Handout)

The Mountain West is losing its marque bowl game after the 2019 season when the Las Vegas Bowl boots the conference to give the spot opposite the Pac-12 to the SEC.

But the MW won't be left hanging high and dry.

The conference will play in the new Los Angeles Bowl at Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park starting in 2020 in an annual contest against the Pac-12, according to Stadium's Brett Murphy.

The MW did not confirm the bowl addition in a statement to Boise State reporter Jay Tust.

“The Mountain West has been working the last several months on bowl agreements for the new cycle," the MW told Tust. "We have a couple promising opportunities but nothing that can be confirmed at this time.”

The Pac-12-MW matchup would basically be the old Las Vegas Bowl in a different city. The top team from the conference would slot into this spot, assuming it didn't make a New Year's Six Bowl. This was an important move for the MW, which would have been left without a bowl game against a Power 5 conference if it didn't seal this move. The MW has been tied with the Las Vegas Bowl for 19 seasons, with its top team heading there to take on a Pac-12 foe. Los Angeles Stadium is expected to open in 2020.

McMurphy also reported the Arizona Bowl will replace the Sun Belt with a MAC team starting in 2020. The MW started the Arizona Bowl in 2015 and Nevada has played in its twice, including last season, both of which were wins. The move should help the bowl, as the MAC is typically a stronger conference than the Sun Belt. The MW also has direct tie-ins with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; the Gildan New Mexico Bowl; and the Hawaii Bowl, giving it five bowls overall. The MW had seven bowl-eligible teams in 2018, but was unable to find a spot from Wyoming, which was bowl eligible but didn't play in the postseason.

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