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Bowl Overflow

There are so many postseason games now, they're spilling across the U.S. border, and more than half the 119 Division I-A schools will play in one. But how many is too many?

September 01, 2006|Chris Dufresne | Times Staff Writer

Congratulations on your school's qualifying for the Chick fil-a-in-the-blank bowl.

Nice going, job well done.

Realizing there is what amounts to a full season left to play, we're just assuming your team is in based on the odds, which are better than 50%.

With 119 schools playing major college football and 32 bowls certified by the NCAA, 64 schools will now get a ticket punched to paradise ... or Shreveport.

There are so many bowls our borders can't hold them all, so we shipped one to Toronto. It's called the International and it seems the perfect venue to play host to Toledo versus Rutgers. The International will be the first bowl game on foreign soil since Auburn and Villanova played to a 7-7 tie in 1937 at the last Bacardi Bowl in Havana (Batista had Auburn and the points).

Also new to the fold: the Birmingham and New Mexico bowls. But we'll hold off on handshakes until the checks clear.

What if there aren't enough schools with winning records to fill these bowl slots?

Not a problem.

With approval of the new 12-game schedule, a 6-6 record gets you a gift bag.

How it works: Arizona State has a lousy year, fires its yell leader but scrapes out as many wins as losses to finish sixth in a 10-team conference.

Hawaii Bowl!

Bowl games are meant to be a reward, but getting to one last year got Gary Barnett canned at Colorado.

It's not easy keeping up with the changes. The Houston Bowl is now the Texas Bowl, and what used to be the Fort Worth Bowl has been renamed the Armed Forces Bowl and is sponsored by Bell Helicopter.

Bowl "tie-ins" can get tricky, too.

In the new Bowl Championship Series format, a school from one of the five conferences without an automatic bid to a major bowl gets one this year if it finishes ranked No. 12 or higher in the final BCS standings. A non-BCS school used to have to finish in the top six.

There are even tie-ins within the tie-ins.

In the Pacific 10, the Las Vegas and Emerald bowls have worked out a deal in which they will alternate the "No. 4 and No. 5" picks through 2009. Las Vegas will get first choice of the No. 4 team in '06 and '08 while the Emerald will get first crack in '07 and '09.

But even that isn't set in cement.

"The executive directors for each game work closely for the best possible matchup," Emerald Bowl spokesman Doug Kelly explained.

Hypothetical: Las Vegas might want to punt the No. 4 pick to the Emerald if, for interest or economic reasons, it doesn't want the same school in its game in consecutive years.

There's also this: Bowl officials get so upset their sponsors' names aren't used by reporters that some have opted to have the official name changed to the sponsor's name.

You thought the Citrus Bowl folded? No, it just became the Capital One Bowl.

This year, the Peach Bowl dropped the peach and is now the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Try saying that three times fast.

Postseason play starts Dec. 19 in San Diego with the Poinsettia Bowl -- or, what we'd call it if not for the high cost of newsprint: The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

2006-07 bowl schedule

The 32 bowls for the 2006 season:

*--* Bowl Location Date, Time TV Poinsettia San Diego Dec. 19, 5 p.m. ESPN2 Las Vegas Las Vegas Dec. 21, 5 p.m. ESPN New Orleans New Orleans Dec. 22, 5 p.m. ESPN2 Birmingham Birmingham, Ala. Dec. 23, 10 a.m. ESPN2 New Mexico Albuquerque Dec. 23, 1:30 p.m. ESPN Armed Forces Fort Worth Dec. 23, 5 p.m. ESPN Hawaii Honolulu Dec. 24, 5 p.m. ESPN Motor City Detroit Dec. 26, 4:30 p.m. ESPN Emerald San Francisco Dec. 27, 5 p.m. ESPN Independence Shreveport, La. Dec. 28, 1:30 p.m. ESPN Holiday San Diego Dec. 28, 5 p.m. ESPN Texas Houston Dec. 28, 5 p.m. NFL Network Music City Nashville Dec. 29, 10 a.m. ESPN Sun El Paso Dec. 29, 11 a.m. Ch. 2 Liberty Memphis, Tenn. Dec. 29, 1:30 p.m. ESPN Insight Tempe, Ariz. Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m. NFL Network Champs Sports Orlando, Fla. Dec. 29, 5 p.m. ESPN Meineke Car Care Charlotte, N.C. Dec. 30, 10 a.m. ESPN Alamo San Antonio Dec. 30, 1:30 p.m. ESPN Chick-fil-A Atlanta Dec. 30, 5 p.m. ESPN MPC Computers Boise, Idaho Dec. 31, 4:30 p.m. ESPN Outback Tampa, Fla. Jan. 1, 8 a.m. ESPN Cotton Dallas Jan. 1, 8:30 a.m. Ch. 11 Gator Jacksonville, Fla. Jan. 1, 10 a.m. Ch. 2 Capital One Orlando, Fla. Jan. 1, 10 a.m. Ch. 7 Rose Pasadena Jan. 1, 2 p.m. Ch. 7 Fiesta Glendale, Ariz. Jan. 1, 5 p.m. Ch. 11 Orange Miami Jan. 2, 5 p.m. Ch. 11 Sugar Orlando, Fla. Jan. 3, 5 p.m. Ch. 11 International Toronto Jan. 6, 9 a.m. ESPN2 GMAC Mobile, Ala. Jan. 7, 5 p.m. ESPN BCS championship Glendale, Ariz. Jan. 8, 5 p.m. Ch. 11 game

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Associated Press

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