Saturday, December 26, 2015


FBA Celebrates Post Season Football April 17, 2015

FBA Celebrates Post Season Football

The annual meeting of the Football Bowl Association (FBA) celebrated a record-setting year of payouts, honored an individual for his career-long contribution to post-season football, and brought together representatives of the 39 college football bowl games. Attendees included conference and television partners, sponsors, and vendors.

The meeting was held April 13-15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., and was hosted by the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. The gathering looked back on another successful year of post-season college football.

The NCAA announced that the 2014-15 slate of bowl games paid out a total of $505.9 million, the first time the $500 million mark has been surpassed.

The bowl games also honored Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive with the annual Champions Award.

“The Football Bowl Association was honored to recognize Commissioner Slive,” said Wright Waters, executive director of the FBA. “Not only has he been a huge supporter of the bowl system, he always kept the welfare of the student-athlete his highest priority.”

The Champions Award is bestowed upon an individual who has provided distinguished service to college football with an emphasis on being a contributor to post-season football bowl games. Past Champions Award winners include Roy Kramer, SEC; Tom Hansen, Pac-12; LaVell Edwards, BYU; Bobby Bowden, Florida State; Grant Teaff, Baylor/American Football Coaches Association; Dennis Pope, NCAA; and Lee Corso, Indiana/ESPN.

Along with a trade show, the annual FBA meetings featured guest speakers, seminars, panels, and a sharing of best practices. Subjects included, but were not limited to, ticket sales, sponsorships, social media, public relations, operations, hospitality, and marketing. There were also discussions about improving the student-athlete experience and the economic impact of the host bowl communities.

The FBA also announced its slate of officers for 2015-16:

Chair - Bruce Binkowski (San Diego Bowl Game Association)
Vice-Chair - Bernie Olivas (Hyundai Sun Bowl)
Treasurer - Kevin McDonald (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
Secretary - William B. Flinn (Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual)

The Football Bowl Association is a non-profit organization established to help build upon the traditions of the bowl games and bring to light the many benefits of the games. The FBA embraces the games and honors the bowl experience for present and future generations. For more information about the Football Bowl Association, visit

26 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic Alumni Participating in The Masters April 9, 2015

26 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic Alumni Participating in The Masters

The road to The Masters ran through the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic for 26 of the 97 of this year’s participants of the 81-year old tournament.

The latest All-American alum making his debut at The Masters is Corey Conners, a two-time All-American Classic participant from Kent State (2012, 2013). The list also includes Mark O’Meara who participated in the first edition of the All-America Classic in 1976 for Long Beach State.

Of this year’s alumni participants, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and O’Meara are the only alumni who have worn the green jacket. Woods is the only to have multiple crowns with wins in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005.

Other notable alumni competing at historic Augusta National Golf Club this week includes Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, and Dustin Johnson.

Complete list:
1. Jonas Blixt – FSU 07
2. Paul Casey – ASU 98
3. Erik Compton – Georgia 00
4. Corey Conners – Kent State 12, 13
5. Jason Dufner – Auburn 97
6. Matt Every – Florida 03, 05
7. Rickie Fowler – Oklahoma State 08
8. Jim Furyk – Arizona 90
9. Bill Haas – Wake Forest 01
10. Russell Henley – Georgia 08, 09, 10
11. Morgan Hoffman – Oklahoma State 09
12. J.B. Holmes – Kentucky 02
13. Billy Horschel – Florida 06, 07, 08
14. Dustin Johnson– Coastal Carolina 05, 06

15. Chris Kirk – Georgia 05, 06
16. Matt Kuchar – Georgia Tech 99
17. Graeme McDowell – UAB 01
18. Phil Mickelson – ASU 89
19. Ryan Moore – UNLV 02, 03
20. Mark O’Meara – Long Beach State 76
21. Webb Simpson – Wake Forest 05, 07
22. Brandt Snedeker – Vanderbilt 02
23. Jordan Spieth – Texas – 11
24. Brendon Todd – Georgia 04, 06
25. Cameron Tringale – Georgia Tech 06, 07
26. Tiger Woods – Stanford 95

Arizona State Edges Duke, 36-31, at the 81st Hyundai Sun Bowl December 27, 2014

Arizona State Edges Duke, 36-31, at the 81st Hyundai Sun Bowl

EL PASO – In a game with 792 yards of combined offense, it was an interception by Arizona State’s (10-3) defensive back Kweishi Brown that sealed a 36-31 victory for the Sun Devils over Duke (9-4) in the 81st Hyundai Sun Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 27 in El Paso, Texas.

Duke had the ball with under a minute remaining at the ASU 14-yard line and threw the ball to the corner of the end zone but the pass was intercepted by Brown.

The Sun Devils picked up their 10th win of the year in front of 47,809 for their second-straight Sun Bowl appearance, defeating Purdeu, 27-23, in 2004. Senior quarterback Taylor Kelly highlighted the ASU offense with 240 yards passing and 24 yards rushing for 264 of total offense. After the 81st Hyundai Sun Bowl, Kelly becomes the third player in ASU program history to tally 10,000 yards of total offense with 10,223 yards.

Duke trailed 30-17 heading into the fourth quarter but battled back scoring 14-points in the fourth to take their first lead of the game with 5:03 remaining in the game. The Blue Devils took possession on an ASU turnover, but turned it over on downs with 9:22 left in the fourth after the Sun Devils attempted to gain a first down on 4th-and-1.

The Blue Devil offense was forced to punt at the 50-yard line but pulled off a fake punt using a 30-yard pass from punter Will Monday to wide receiver Johnell Barnes moving the ball down to the 20-yardline to keep the drive alive. That play led to a 12-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Jamison Crowder to wide receiver Issac Blakeney. Crowder received a toss from quarterback Anthony Boone before passing the ball to Blakeney giving Duke its first lead of the game at 31-30 after the PAT.

The Sun Devils immediately responded with a 96-yard kickoff return by true freshman Kalen Ballage, who ended the game as the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams Player. ASU running back freshman Demario Richards, who was named the C.M. Hendricks MVP, scored on the very next play, catching a pass from Kelly. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful making it a 36-31 game with 4:45 remaining on the clock.

ASU’s Richards posted 41 yards on seven carries, with two touchdowns and added 22 yards on five receptions and two receiving touchdowns.

Duke’s Shaquille Powell had a productive day with 117 yards rushing on 29 attempts, while adding 52 yards on three receptions with one touchdown. It was his first career 100-yard game and tallied a career-best 169 total yards in the game.

ASU came out on fire, scoring on its first drive of the game after getting the ball on the Duke 49-yardline. The Sun Devils used just five plays in a minute and 33 seconds as Richard followed the right guard into the endzone from nine yards out.

After the Blue Devils went three-and-out on their second drive of the game, ASU put up another three points on a 28-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez to take a 10-0 lead with 10:50 left in the first quarter. The Blue Devils would get on the board in the first quarter as place kicker Ross Martin hitting a 40-yard field goal with 2:59 left. Duke started the drive at its own 35 heading down to the ASU 22-yardline, while eating up four minutes and 33 seconds off the clock.

ASU extended its lead by 10 with 12:55 on the clock in the second quarter as Gonzalez hit a 38-yard field goal. The Sun Devils had momentum but a sack by Duke on 3-and-4 for a 12-yard loss forced the field goal attempt. Gonzalez finished the game with 12 total points off three field goals and three PATs, tying No. 4 for all-time scoring for a kicker in Hyundai Sun Bowl history.

The Sun Devils decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 at the Duke 12-yard line and Kelly ran the ball up the middle for an 11-yard gain before Richard ran the ball in from 1-yard line. The point after gave ASU a 20-3 lead. Duke responded using an 8-play, 78-yard drive to pull back to within 10. The Blue Devils scored on a 14-yard pass from Anthony Boone to Powell. With 2:06 on the clock, Powell had already posted a career-high 96 total offensive yards.

ASU was held to its first 3-and-out of the game and punted the ball 43-yards down to the Duke 32-yardline. Blue Devil punt returner Crowder returned the ball 68 yards for a touchdown to make it a 20-17 ballgame. The 68-yard punt return was the longest punt return since North Carolina’s Marcus Wall returned a punt for 82 yards against Texas during the 1994 Sun Bowl.

The Sun Devils opened the second half scoring on an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off by an 11-yard TD pass from Kelly to Richard. It was Richard’s third score of the game, giving ASU a 27-17 lead with 11:08 remaining.

Duke was driving down the field and completed a pass to Blakeney on 3rd-and-14 but the ball was stripped by ASU defensive back Kweishi Brown with the fumble recovered by Jordan Simone at the 7-yardline. The ball was returned to the ASU 36-yardline and the Sun Devils eventually scored on a 47-yard field goal by Gonzalez to make it 30-17 game.

The Blue Devils pulled to within six points at 30-24, when Boone threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Barnes with the PAT made by Martin. It was Barnes’ first career-touchdown.

Arizona State freshman Marcus Hardison was named the Jjimmy Rogers, Jr. Most Valuable Lineman.

UTEP Wins WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational December 23, 2014

UTEP Wins WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

The UTEP Miners won their 31st WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational behind tournament MVP Vince Hunter’s 18-point, 16-rebound output defeating Kent State, 78-75 in the 53rd edition of the nation’s oldest holiday tournament.

UTEP’s Matt Willms received the Haskins Award given to the student-athletes that most exemplifies the ideals and integrity of legendary coach Don Haskins. The Miners’ Cedric Lang was named to the all-tournament team. Kent State’s Jimmy Hall, North Dakota State’s Dexter Werner and Alcorn State’s Marquis Vance rounded up the 2014 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational All-Tournament Team.

North Dakota State ran away with a 61-50 victory over Alcorn State in the consolation game.

Lonestar to Perform at Hyundai Sun Bowl Halftime December 10, 2014

Lonestar to Perform at Hyundai Sun Bowl Halftime

The Sun Bowl Association and Hyundai Motor of El Paso are proud to announce award-winning country band Lonestar as the performers for the 81st Hyundai Sun Bowl halftime show on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

“Lonestar is celebrating 20 years of making great country music and we couldn’t be more excited to have them perform at this year’s Hyundai Sun Bowl halftime,” said Oscar Leeser of Hyundai of El Paso. “This award-winning group has dozens of country hits under their belt and we are sure the football fans will enjoy their performance at Sun Bowl Stadium.”

Known for merging their country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals, Lonestar has amassed RIAA-certified sales in excess of ten million album units since their national launch in 1995. They achieved 10 No. 1 country hits including “No News,” “Come Crying To Me,” and their crossover smash “Amazed” (which was also #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the first record since 1983’s “Islands in the Stream” to top both charts). The band’s awards include a 1999 ACM Single of The Year for “Amazed” (the song also won the Song of the Year award) and the 2001 CMA Vocal Group of the Year.

The Hyundai Sun Bowl, sponsored by Hyundai Motor America, will feature the nationally-ranked Arizona State against Duke. This marks the 10th year the Hyundai Sun Bowl has featured a halftime show. Previous performers have included Los Lonely Boys, Diamond Rio, Baby Bash, Rihanna, The Village People, David Archuleta, Lee Greenwood and Lee Brice.

The Hyundai Sun Bowl game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 27 at noon at Sun Bowl Stadium. The game will be broadcast live nationally in high definition on CBS for the 47th consecutive year. Tickets for the Hyundai Sun Bowl range in price from $22 to $62 and can be purchased by calling (915) 533-4416 or (800) 915-BOWL or go on-line at