The Frogs collect their eighth postseason berth in nine years as they are set to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies in the second annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.”It’s a reward for the kids and how they played all year,” head coach Gary Patterson said during a press conference Monday afternoon.
Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations, said the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 19 will be the first bowl in the 2006 NCAA Bowl season and will come 17 days after the Frogs’ regular season ends.
“Last year we played 11 straight weeks with no breaks, and then we had 49 days before the Houston Bowl,” Cohen said. “This year we only have 17 days to wait.”
This will be the first bowl game that the Frogs have not played in Texas since the 2002 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., according to espn.com. During that game, TCU beat the Colorado State Rams 17-3.
Patterson said the early announcement of the bowl bid will help with travel plans for fans and families of the Frogs.
Patterson said bowl-travel rules differ from those during the regular season, so TCU can bring all of the eligible athletes to San Diego for the game.
“Everyone who is both eligible with grades and transfer rules can go to the bowl game,” Patterson said. “It is a reward for all the guys who have worked hard.”
The Frogs are teetering on the edge of a top 25 ranking, according to the AP and USA Today polls.
“I am a believer that the bowl game is a big thing for us, for the outlook of next season’s rank,” Patterson said.
Even with losses to the BYU Cougars and the Utah Utes, the Frogs have managed to take second place in the Mountain West Conference and earn a bowl bid.
“It is hard to be undefeated this day and age, and if we win out the season and are 10-2, we would still be going to San Diego,” Patterson said.
The Huskies are currently 7-5, but Patterson said they are still a threat.
“Anytime you play someone who wins more than they lose you have to be ready to play,” Patterson said.
The city of San Diego gives the players and fans a chance to enjoy some of the tourist attractions, Patterson said.
“People can watch LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) play on Sunday before we play on Tuesday, and they could go to Sea World or the (San Diego) zoo,” Patterson said.
The game will be Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN 2, according to gofrogs.com.