Posted: 12:48 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2013
By Hank Corless
Christmas Bowl CEO Derek Dearwater announced Friday that the Mountain West Conference, the Pac-12, and independent BYU are in talks with LA Christmas Bowl for a conference-bowl alliance, pending the expected bowl approval by the NCAA next spring. The Christmas Bowl would join the current system of 35 bowls within the expanding ranks of Division I FBS football.
The MWC and Pac-12 have both been looking for another bowl arrangement for their individual conferences. The MWC has agreements with six bowls and the Pac-12 has wanted to ensure it has eight in case it has eight teams eligible for bowl games. And independent BYU has also been in ongoing talks with the Christmas Bowl as a future destination for its football program.
What place could be more centrally located within the geographic area for both conferences and BYU than the Los Angeles Coliseum, located in the heart of one of the top recruiting markets of high school and junior college talents and in the second-largest television market in the country?
MWC bowl tie-ins have been the subject of recent articles here as the conference has solidified its post season schedule. The MWC bowl lineup for the 2014-2019 seasons, if the deal goes through:
Las Vegas (Pac-12)
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia (Navy in 2014, BYU and Army from 2015 on)
Gildan New Mexico (C-USA)
Sheraton Hawaii (American/Conference USA)
Famous Idaho Potato (Mid-American)
LA Christmas Bowl (Pac-12)
The Christmas Bowl would give the MWC two bowl games against BCS-conference teams (Pac-12). All seven of those bowls are in home or neutral territory, and all are great travel sites for MWC fans. Two of those bowls are in California, one in Hawaii, one in Idaho, one in New Mexico, one in Las Vegas, and one in talent-rich Texas.
Oh, and Mountain West fans who head down to the Christmas Bowl won’t need to lug all that cold weather gear. LA’s moderate temperature in December averages a daily high of 68°, so bring sun screen instead.
And why not throw in a pair of swimming trunks and a beach towel while you’re it?