Is BYU working on a deal with a brand new bowl game?
You've probably never heard of the Christmas Bowl. Even most die-hard college football fans haven't heard of it.
But BYU fans likely will soon. Well, maybe.
Here's the deal. According to its website, The Christmas Bowl (registered trademark) is a proposed new bowl game to be held in December in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Its name comes from the fact that the first bowl game ever played in that hallowed venue was during the 1924 Los Angeles Christmas Festival.
The bowl hopes to get NCAA certification for an inaugural game next year. A logo with a nice touch of football holly -- not cool enough to make a run at the Idaho Potato Bowl chives, however -- adorns the bowl's website and Twitter account:
So where does BYU fit into this? Well, the LA Christmas Bowl has an "official" Twitter account (@LAChristmasBowl). At least, near as we can tell it's official. As official as the Bowl itself at this point.
That Twitter account specifically mentioned BYU today.
@CougarTrails @LAChristmasBowl @planetbyu We are working hard to form an alliance with Tom Holmoe now.— LA Christmas Bowl (@LAChristmasBowl) June 19, 2013
Later it raised the war cry (and our skepticism) when it Tweeted:
@CougarTrails @LAChristmasBowl @planetbyu Get the rest of Cougar nation behind the bowl now. Create a ground swell!!!— LA Christmas Bowl (@LAChristmasBowl) June 19, 2013
So take from it what you will. Is Tom Holmoe really in touch with a new bowl to be held in Los Angeles? Or is "working hard" similar to my high school "dating life" and just a euphemism for "We've left him 77 voicemails." Time will tell.
A few weeks ago, Holmoe specifically made mention of a new bowl in the L.A. Coliseum, but stated, "It's not gone far enough down the line to where you can consider scheduling the game."
But for BYU fans thirsty for some solidification of long-term bowl plans, the bowl talk an oasis in the summertime desert.
Thanks to reader @CougarFiles for digging this one out. If anyone knows what's going on in Pac-12 country, it's usually Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News. In April of 2011 -- more than two years ago -- Wilner wrote the following:
BYU is close to announcing plans for 2011 and is locked into the Poinsettia and Kraft Fight Hunger bowls in 2012-13, respectively. But beyond that, the Cougars can do as they please.
The options include starting a “BYU Bowl” (or “Cougar Classic”) with ESPN … or possibly joining up with a bowl waiting for certification.
That would be the Christmas Bowl, which is based in Southern California, aligned with the Children’s Miracle Network and searching for future partners.
(Xmas Bowl CEO Derek Dearwater said he tried to match the Pac-12′s No. 7/8 or the Big Ten’s No. 9 against BYU for the upcoming season — other options were discussed, as well — but could not get the game certified by the NCAA.)
In theory, the Cougars could commit to the Christmas Bowl in the Coliseum for ’14 and beyond … in years they don’t qualify for the BCS, of course.
The Christmas Bowl has been trying to launch for a while, and BYU has been a target for just as long.