COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Mountain West Conference today announced that it has secured multi-year agreements with four postseason football bowl games, beginning with the 2002 football season. The 2002 campaign will mark the MWC's fourth season of competition.
The MWC had previously extended its relationships with the AXA Liberty Bowl and the Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl, and today announced new agreements with the San Francisco Bowl and the Seattle Bowl. The AXA Liberty Bowl features the only guaranteed champion-vs.-champion match up outside the BCS system, matching the MWC champion against the winner of Conference USA. The Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl pairs teams from the Mountain West and the PAC-10 conferences, while the Mountain West opponents in the San Francisco and Seattle Bowls will be from the Big East and ACC, respectively.
Today's announcement comes in the wake of the NCAA Football Certification Subcommittee's action this week certifying three new bowls and renewing 25 others for the 2002-03 season. The NCAA Division I Board of Directors recently lifted a two-year moratorium on the maximum number of postseason bowls in Division I.
"We are very excited about the overall progress of the Mountain West Conference and particularly our football programs, as evidenced by these long-term commitments with our outstanding bowl partners," said MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson. "These four bowl tie-ins fulfill the goals established by the Conference membership, including quality opponents, geographic proximity to the Mountain West Conference footprint and fiscally responsible financial arrangements. We are optimistic about the future of MWC football and anxious to get the 2002 season underway."
The attached chart outlines the Mountain West Conference bowl game arrangements, as well as the Conference's bowl history. In its previous three seasons, the Mountain West Conference has had four teams bowl eligible on two occasions and, under the current guidelines, would also have had a fourth team eligible with a 6-6 record following the 2000 season.