Some news today out of San Diego… The Poinsettia Bowl is looking to alter its format so that it no longer offers an at-large berth. According to the article in the U-T, game executives would like Navy to play there once every three years with the Pac-10 providing its #6 choice in the other two years. While in my heart I love having at-large berths in bowl games, in the current bowl climate this makes sense. After a healthy start in 2005 with Navy bringing 20,000 fans to its game against Colorado State, the Poinsettia Bowl struggled to attract fans for its TCU-Northern Illinois matchup last year. Bringing a Pac-10 team onboard to play someone from the Mountain West would provide two regional opponents whose fans wouldn’t have much difficulty travelling to a pre-Christmas bowl game. In the long run, anything this game can do to stay afloat is good for Navy. Having a spot guaranteed for us every three years is a tremendous help when you’re an independent with no other bowl tie-ins of your own.
The article mentions that the Hawaii Bowl is also interested in hooking up with the Pac-10’s 6th choice. If I’m Chet Gladchuk, I’m placing calls to Honolulu to see if those folks wouldn’t mind Navy once in a while, too.