Orange Coast College was officially eliminated from consideration for the two-game PONY Bowl Classic, Keith Calkins, game manager, said Thursday.
OCC (8-1), which had turned down two bids earlier this week, had asked officials to wait until the outcome of Saturday night's games to determine the matchups among El Camino, Taft, Saddleback and OCC. With all the teams but OCC accepting invitations this week, bowl officials decided not to wait.
Calkins said El Camino (9-0) will play Taft (9-0), the state and nation's top-ranked team, in a 7 p.m. game Dec. 5, regardless of Saturday's results. Saddleback (7-2) will play a 1 p.m. game against an undetermined team that will be selected Sunday. The PONY Bowl will be held at Orange Coast.
OCC turned down the bid because the Pirates were scheduled to play Saddleback, a team they had already defeated, 42-38. OCC Coach Bill Workman said he didn't see any incentive for his team to play Saddleback again.
Golden West--if it defeats El Camino--is the favorite to face Saddleback. Cerritos (5-3-1), Fullerton (4-3-2) and College of the Desert (8-2) also are in contention.