As postseason bowl games go, this one lacks originality in theme. But it will serve the purpose.
The newly aligned Southern California Conference, which last month had no bowl game to replace the Pierce College-sponsored Brahma Bowl, has solved the problem. It will host--what else?--the Southern California Conference Bowl on Dec. 6.
The Brahma is dead, but the conference will have a postseason future after all.
"A lot of things came together," said Walt Rilliet, athletic director for the California Assn of Community Colleges' Commission on Athletics. "For the first time, conferences, not the COA, are deciding what is best for themselves, and that allowed the bowl process to straighten itself out."
Originally, the SCC Bowl was to have matched the winners of the two divisions within the conference. But when four colleges from the Los Angeles Community College District dropped their football programs, the conference scaled down to one division.
Thus, the bowl will be hosted by the conference champion, and the best available team from Southern California will be invited as an opponent, Rilliet said.
The SCC Bowl is one of seven that have been secured statewide. Last year, there were eight bowl games.
"I'm confident we will have eight again this year," Rilliet said. "We're about $2,000 short of securing one for the northern schools, and there are several ways we can raise that."
Four bowl games are set for Southern California schools: the Potato Bowl at Bakersfield College, the Pony Bowl at Orange Coast College, the National Football Foundation Bowl at San Diego City College and the SCC Bowl.
The three bowls for North California are: the Elks Bowl at Merced College, the Lions Bowl in Santa Cruz and the Mechanics Bank Bowl at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.
Woe the line: Apparently, losing a football game to Southern Utah State can be humbling.
After Northern Arizona lost Aug. 30 to the Thunderbirds in its season opener, Northern Arizona's defensive line apologized to the residents of Flagstaff, Ariz.
"We, the defensive linemen at Northern Arizona University, would like to apologize for our poor, lackluster performance last week against Southern Utah," the team's 13 defensive linemen wrote in a letter that appeared Friday in the Arizona Daily Sun.
Cal State Northridge and Cal Lutheran may experience the same feeling this fall. Southern Utah State, which beat Fort Lewis last week to improve its record to 2-0, joins them this season in the Western Football Conference.
Kirk Kicks Cancer: The CSUN soccer team headed into the season with a veteran squad, and Coach Marwan Ass'ad knew he probably had the most talented team in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn.
What he hadn't counted on was the emotional lift provided by the return of Joey Kirk, who sat out the 1985 season after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his leg. The tumor was benign, and Kirk is back.
"The return of Joey Kirk is making a big impact on us," Ass'ad said Wednesday as his team prepared for Saturday's game against Cal State Los Angeles. "The cancer is totally behind him. He's back to normal and he's hungrier than ever."
With Kirk back in the lineup, CSUN opened the season by tying defending Division I-champion UCLA and beating Santa Clara. But Ass'ad said his only concern is getting his team ready for its CCAA opener Oct. 8 against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
"The most important thing is not for us to win all these games in September, but to learn and improve in every game and get ready for the conference season," he said. "By the time the conference games start, the best soccer ever seen in the Valley will be right here at North Campus Stadium."
Turning the page: The CSUN football team is promoting "A New Beginning" under new Coach Bob Burt, but nothing new is expected of the Matadors from coaches in the WFC.
In a preseason coaches' poll, CSUN is picked to finish fifth in the seven-team conference, with Cal Lutheran picked to finish sixth.
Poll results: 1. Cal State Sacramento; 2. Santa Clara; 3. Portland State; 4. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; 5. CSUN; 6. Cal Lutheran; 7. Southern Utah State.
On the line: Portland State tackle Roland Aumueller earned a lineman's dream when he was named WFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Idaho.
Said Vikings Coach Pokey Allen of the 6-3, 285-pound senior: "He played as good a game at offensive tackle as Portland State has ever had played."
That doesn't speak much for Portland State's offense. Idaho won, 42-10.
Quotebook: "Someone asked me if I'm ready for the first game," said Burt. "I said, 'It doesn't make a difference if I'm ready or not. I have no eligibility left.' What I am is pumped. Not nervous. Pumped. Nervous means you're worried and I'm not. I just want to see if the last nine months of work we've done is going to pay off."
William Cullum, who coached the CSUN men's golf team to NCAA Division II championships in 1969, 1973 and 1974, has been reassigned to full-time teaching.
Athletic Director Bob Hiegert will choose a part-time faculty member to replace Cullum.