Boise State, Ball State officials can't agree on terms of matchup

Updated: December 4, 2008, 2:17 PM ET
By Graham Watson | ESPN.com

The proposed battle of unbeatens between Boise State and Ball State that has captured national attention is not going to happen.

Both Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson and Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst tried to find middle ground to make the game happen, but an agreement could not be reached.

"I think we exhausted all of our efforts," Chryst said. "We tried to make the game happen, it just didn't work out. The MAC's priority is to its bowl partners and we felt like we needed to take care of them first."

Chryst said after talking with Ball State and the MAC's bowl partners, the conference and the school said it was in their best interest to keep Ball State in one of the MAC's guaranteed tie-ins. Whether that's the Motor City Bowl or the GMAC Bowl is still up in the air.

Early reports had the game possibly being played in the Humanitarian Bowl on the Boise State campus, but the Broncos have the second-highest winning percentage at home since 1999, and Chryst said the idea of playing a "neutral" game on Boise State's field wasn't appealing.

According to a source close to the bowl situation, it is "highly unlikely" that Boise State will play in a BCS bowl this season, leaving the door open for either Ohio State or USC, depending on the outcomes of this weekend's games. A matchup between Boise State and TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl is currently in the works and could be decided as early as Thursday.

Graham Watson covers college football for ESPN.com.

Graham Watson | email

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Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.