WAC needed Rocky Mountain Bowl

At the same time he was attending BCS meetings in Florida earlier in the week, Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson had a keen interest in what was transpiring in Utah.
The WAC attached its name to the Rocky Mountain Bowl, endorsed it and sent a letter of support to the NCAA Subcommittee in hopes the new bowl would receive certification.
Wednesday, the subcommittee denied the third request for the Rocky Mountain Bowl, which, if allowed, would have pitted teams from the Mountain West Conference and the WAC at Rice-Eccles Stadium in December.
‘I expected that it would get licensed,’ Benson said. ‘I was surprised it didn’t.’
If the Rocky Mountain Bowl was added, the WAC would have had four automatic bowl bids ‘ Hawaii Bowl (Pac 10), Humanitarian Bowl (ACC) and the New Mexico Bowl (MWC).
For the last five years, the WAC has been walking on thin ice as it pertains to bowls and bowl bids. The league has averaged four bowl-eligible teams (a team with record of at least 6-6) and every year but one, every eligible team in the league played in a bowl game.
For the last two years Hawaii and Boise State went to BCS games, opening up a spot for a fourth team, and on three other occasions, the WAC has scooped up an at-large bid to another bowl because one league or another wasn’t able to fill its bowl allotment with bowl-eligible teams.
The WAC has consistently produced bowl-eligible teams, and Benson wants to have a place for them to play.
Had Hawaii not got to the Sugar Bowl last year, Nevada would have been left out at 6-6. And the year before if Boise State hadn’t gone to the Fiesta Bowl, either San Jose State or Nevada would have gone bowl-less
David Viveiros, the president of the Rocky Mountain Bowl, will petition again next season, so Benson again will keep an eye on that, while at the same time he has been fielding calls from a group in Anaheim which hopes to start a bowl in 2010.
Most definitely, the WAC would take that bowl if offered.
Last year there were 32 bowls and there were 72 bowl-eligible teams. All 32 bowls which were played last year were licensed again for this year, and two more were added: Congressional Bowl (Washington D.C) and St. Petersburg Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.).
‘The subcommittee continues to be challenged to provide quality experiences for our student-athletes while balancing that with the number of bowl-eligible teams. The subcommittee spent a great deal of time reviewing the historical data of bowl eligible teams and feels there is adequate opportunity to fill all bowl positions.’ said Richard Giannini, director of athletics at the University of Southern Mississippi and chair of the NCAA Postseason Football Licensing Subcommittee.
For now, the WAC has been able to place its teams because of recent BCS successes, but if that dries up, someone ‘ like Louisiana Tech (7-4) did in 2005 ‘ will be home for the holidays.

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