Bowl Pairings Ignite Bragging Battles All Over

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Bowl game pairings were announced Sunday and the choices will obviously make for some very intriguing matchups.

The big ticket is the Discover BCS National Championship that will pit undefeated Notre Dame (12-0) against 12-1 Alabama. It will be played Jan. 7.

For those of us living in Arizona, the two bowl games we will probably be most interested in involve the Wildcats and Sun Devils.

Arizona, which finished 7-5, will play Nevada, also a 7-5 team, on Dec. 15 in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Arizona State plays Dec. 29 in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco against Navy. The Devils enter 7-5 and the Midshipmen are 7-4.

Wins by either Arizona team would mark excellent debuts for first-year Wildcat coach Rich Rodriquez and Arizona State’s Todd Graham, also a first year coach. To have eight wins in the first year with a new team would be a feather in both coaches’ hats.

The Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 should draw plenty of local interest because it pits PAC-12 team Oregon State against Texas.

Payson Roundup editor Pete Aleshire could be in the Rose Bowl audience on Jan. 1, when his alma mater Stanford takes on Wisconsin in the battle of the PAC-12 vs. Big 10.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to be played Jan. 3 in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, pits Oregon against Kansas State.

Both teams are 11-1 and while they might be a bit disappointed at not playing in the National Championship, bet the family farm both will be primed for a win.

In Payson, retired school administrator Jim Rhoades, a diehard Kansas Sate alum, will undoubtedly be clad in his Wildcat purple gear and shouting encouragement that might be heard in Glendale. He once traveled to San Diego to cheer his beloved Cats on, so he just might be planning to take in the game in person.

One of the most unusual bowl matchups pits Northern Illinois, a school my wife Kay once attended, against Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl

Rendering the selection of Northern Illinois for a BCS bowl is controversial because the school plays in the Mid-American Conference and sports a 12-1 record against less than formidable competition.

The Huskies only loss was 18-17 against an average Iowa team on Sept. 1. For the Orange Bowl, NI will have to buy more admission tickets (17,500) than what the team averaged for home games this season (15,670).

I’m picking Florida State to win, but don’t tell my wife.

WON hosts Jan. 12 tournament

Next on the Western Outdoor News Avid Angler tournament agenda is a Jan. 12 fray slated to begin at safe light the Burnt Corral ramp at Apache Lake.

The last tournament WON hosted, Nov. 17 at Roosevelt Lake, was contested in near perfect weather conditions.

WON Arizona director Tracy Purtee says the ideal weather conditions might have been among the reasons several new entrants, including Tucson resident Joseph Ruiz, entered the tournament

Ruiz’s trip north to Roosevelt proved to be a worthwhile one despite the fact he was forced to fish solo. Nonetheless, he managed to weigh in a five-fish limit that tipped the scales at 9.07 pounds and earned him first place laurels and $376 in prize money.

Purtee has his fingers crossed the upcoming tournament will again be held in good weather and many more new anglers show up to test their angling expertise.

For entry forms and more information, go to: www.wonbass-az.com

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