Monday, December 8, 2008

It's official: TCU vs. Boise State in Poinsettia Bowl

It's official: No. 11 TCU (10-2) will make its 10th bowl appearance in the last 11 seasons when it faces ninth-ranked Boise State (12-0) in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

The 5 p.m. game will be televised on ESPN. Ticket information is available through the Horned Frogs’ Web site ( or by calling (817) 257-FROG. If you're interested in attending the game, the alumni office is offering packages through Gulliver's Travels.

Only four other bowls (all BCS games) feature two teams with a higher combined current ranking than the Poinsettia Bowl.

It’s the first time the Frogs have played in a bowl game with the two teams having a combined ranking this high since the 1959 Bluebonnet Bowl, when No. 11 Clemson defeated No. 7 TCU 23-7. The Frogs are 4-4-1 when playing a bowl game with both teams ranked.

TCU and Boise State will face each other for just the second time in their history. The first meeting also featured a battle of top-20 teams as the 18th-ranked Broncos defeated the 19th-ranked Frogs, 34-31, in the inaugural Fort Worth Bowl in 2003.

“We are very excited to play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “Boise State is a BCS-caliber team, and I have a high admiration for (Bronco head coach) Chris Petersen and his staff. They do an outstanding job in all phases of their team.

“All of us were extremely impressed with the Poinsettia Bowl on our last visit in 2006. It was a great experience and we were treated unbelievably. We had a great time and were around quality people. It was one of the best bowls we’ve ever been to.

“It should be an outstanding game with a lot of national interest.”

The two head coaches have a connection from their days together at UC Davis. Patterson was the linebacker coach for the Aggies in 1986 when Petersen was the team’s starting quarterback.

TCU has won three straight bowl games for the first time since the opening three bowl games (1936-39) in its history. In its previous Poinsettia Bowl appearance, TCU defeated Northern Illinois 37-7 in 2006. The Frogs are 10-12-1 all-time in bowl games.

TCU is 6-3 in bowl games with Patterson on its coaching staff and 4-3 with him as head coach. Prior to Patterson's arrival on campus in 1998, the Frogs had just four bowl wins in their history.

The Poinsettia Bowl will be Patterson’s 100th game as head coach of the Frogs. The dean of Mountain West Conference coaches is 72-27 (.727) in eight seasons. Patterson’s 72 victories are two shy of tying Abe Martin (74, 1953-66) for second place on TCU’s career win list.

- Rick

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