In the Pac-10 this year, there was Oregon and Stanford and everybody else. Accordingly, when it comes to stocking football bowl games -- there's nobody else.
Case in point: San Francisco's own Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (really, that's what it's called). Ostensibly a showdown between the Western Athletic Conference and the Pac-10, it'll instead feature Nevada and Boston College. Boston is decidedly not a Pac-10 squad; a mere 3,110 miles separate the ocean from Harvard Yard (and, per Google Maps, "this route has tolls").
Think of this as the tangible proof of the rottenness of the Pac-10 this year.
Doug Kelly, the communications director for the Kraft Bowl, points out that his organization would have liked to take a Pac-10 team -- and, what's more, they were contractually bound to do so. But with Oregon and Stanford being plucked for elite BCS bowls, only Arizona and Washington remained both available and bowl-eligible.
"It's not just us. The Las Vegas and Sun Bowls didn't get a Pac-10 team either," notes Kelly. His bowl was sixth in the pecking order for a Pac-10 team -- but only two teams were on the market.
As a result, the Kraft Bowl fell back upon its "secondary arrangement" made in case just such an eligibility situation occurred. With no Pac-10 teams available, the San Francisco-based bowl has the right to take an Atlantic Coast Conference team, provided one is available. The ACC has eight bowl tie-ins -- but, luckily for the local organizers, the conference qualified nine teams. Ninth-place Boston College is San Francisco bound.
"We were very fortunate they were available to us," said Kelly of the 7-5 Eagles. Boston College personnel and fans likely know all the spots in San Francisco by now; the team played here last year and were beaten by USC, and beat Colorado State in 2003.
The Kraft Bowl recently signed a four-year extension with AT&T Park, which it will be sharing with California football next season. Regarding rumors the field is scaled down in order to fit within the stadium's friendly confines, Kelly called that "one of the great wives' tales of all-time. We've measured it ourselves."
So there you have it.
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