Teams announced for Pointsettia and Holiday bowls in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Teams announced for Pointsettia and Holiday bowls in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) -- Organizers announced Sunday that Arizona and Nebraska will square off in the 32nd annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 at Qualcomm Stadium, a rematch of an exciting contest 11 years ago.

The matchup pits the 8-4 Wildcats, who finished tied for second in the Pacific-10 with a 6-3 mark, and the 9-4 Cornhuskers, who won the Big 12 North division before falling just short to Texas in the conference championship game.

California will play in San Diego's other post-season college football contest, the Poinsettia Bowl, on Dec. 23. The Mountain West Conference representative will be announced later today, and news reports indicate Utah will be invited.

Arizona downed USC 21-17 Saturday to finish the season tied in the Pac-10 standings with Stanford and Oregon State, but the Wildcats defeated both of those teams in high-scoring games earlier this season.

"We're thrilled to earn the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl bid the way we did in the last couple weeks, and excited to be in San Diego," said Arizona head coach Mike Stoops. "Our players have worked hard all season for a reward like this, and will work hard to show what Arizona and the Pac-10 Conference are all about in the game itself."

Holiday Bowl officials reportedly favored the easy accessibility of San Diego to Arizona's fans over Stanford's attraction of Heisman Trophy candidate Toby Gerhart, as well as locally popular head coach Jim Harbaugh. Oregon State also was would have been an interesting choice, as the Beavers are quarterbacked by Carlsbad High School alumnus Sean Canfield and coached by popular former Chargers boss Mike Riley.

Arizona fielded perhaps its best team ever in 1998, and the Wildcats came back from a third quarter deficit to defeat the 'huskers 23-20.

This year's Wildcats have played a number of shootouts. With the exception of routs over weak Washington State and UCLA, their margin of success or failure in conference games a just a little over four points per game.

Nebraska is a traditional powerhouse with several national titles under its belt, but the program has been recovering from recent tough times.

"We have a lot of players in our program from California and I know they will enjoy playing in their home state," said Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini. "I'm sure our Nebraska fans will also travel in full force to San Diego."

The Cornhuskers led undefeated Texas late in the Big 12 championship game until the Longhorns kicked a 49-yard field goal at the final gun.

"We're very pleased with this matchup," said bowl President Barbara Warden. "Arizona and Nebraska met here eleven years ago and to date it's still one of the most successful games in our bowl's history. We look forward to welcoming the thousands of fans from these two premier institutions back to our great city."

The Poinsettia Bowl, which is in its fifth year, matches the sixth place team from the Pacific-10 and and second choice from the MWC.

Cal is 8-4 and tied for fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference with USC. They will be the first Pacific-10 Conference team to play in the game.

With Mountain West champion Texas Christian expected to be selected for a Bowl Championship Series game, the Las Vegas Bowl was reportedly expected to take Brigham Young for the fifth consecutive season.

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