Wave Staff and Wire Reports
LOS ANGELES — Southern California will play host to three of the 42 college football bowl games that will wind up the 2021 season.
Pasadena annually hosts the game they call the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl Jan. 1, with Pac 12 Conference champion Utah facing Ohio State at 2 p.m.
The new kid on the block this year is the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl, named for the late-night talk show host, which makes its inaugural appearance at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
Oregon State faces Utah State in a matchup of teams from the Big West and Pac 12 conferences.
You have to travel to San Diego for the third game on the list, the Holiday Bowl, which will feature UCLA against North Carolina State at 5 p.m. Dec. 28 at Petco Park.
It will be the Bruins’ first bowl game since 2017 and their second visit to the Holiday Bowl. UCLA lost to Baylor, 49-26, in the 2012 game.
The Holiday Bowl gets the third selection among Pac-12 Conference teams, with the Rose Bowl getting the conference champion and the Alamo Bowl getting the second choice.
The Holiday Bowl is in a group with the Cheez-It Bowl and Gator Bowl that have the first picks among Atlantic Coast Conference teams following the New Year’s Six bowls.
The Bruins (8-4) will enter the game on a three-game winning streak, while North Carolina State (9-3) has won four of its last five games. The Wolfpack were 18th in the final Associated Press poll released Dec. 5, three spots higher than the previous week. UCLA is unranked.
This will be the first time an ACC team has played in the Holiday Bowl. Under an agreement announced in 2019, the ACC will supply a team for the game at least through 2025. The agreement was supposed to begin with the 2020 game, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Holiday Bowl will be the first football game at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. The sale of SDCCU Stadium — where the Holiday Bowl had been played since its inaugural edition in 1978 through 2019 — to San Diego State University in 2020, and its demolition to make way for a west campus and Aztec Stadium, had left the bowl game without a home.
The Jimmy Kimmel Bowl is the product of an unprecedented multi-year partnership between Kimmel and SoFi Stadium.
“Ever since I was 52 — which was last year — I’ve dreamed of having a college football bowl game named after me,” Kimmel said when the partnership was announced in June. “I’m thrilled to announce that dream is coming true.”
Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
“Stan Kroenke designed Hollywood Park to be a sports and entertainment destination for Angelenos and visitors from across the world to enjoy,” said Jason Gannon, the bowl game’s executive director. “We cannot think of a better way to bring sports and entertainment together than by collaborating with celebrated late-night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel on our collegiate bowl game.
“We are thrilled to welcome Oregon State and Utah State.”
Oregon State was 7-5 this season, finishing third in the Pac 12 North and fifth overall in the conference. Utah State won the Mountain West Conference with a 10-3 record.
The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented By Stifel also will benefit community partners One For All, Boys and Girls Club LA Harbor and Boys and Girls Club LA Metro, officials said.
Tickets begin at $32 and can be purchased at www.SoFiStadium.com/LABowl.
The Rose Bowl pits two teams ranked in the top 10 of the final Associated Press poll of the 2021 season.
With Big Ten champion Michigan qualifying for the College Football Playoff, the Tournament of Roses Association selected the Buckeyes as the replacement from the conference Sunday to face first-time Pac-12 champion Utah.
Utah earned its first Rose Bowl berth in its 11 seasons in the Pac-12 Conference with a 38-10 victory over Oregon Dec. 3 in the conference’s championship game.
The Buckeyes’ hopes for a third consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff ended with a 42-27 loss to Michigan on Nov. 27, dropping their record to 10-2. Ohio State was seventh in the final AP poll. Utah was 10th.
The teams have one common opponent — Oregon. The Buckeyes lost to the Ducks, 35-28, Sept. 11, at Columbus, Ohio. Utah defeated Oregon, 38-7, on Nov. 20 at Salt Lake City, in addition to its Dec. 3 victory in Las Vegas.
Ohio State will be making its 16th Rose Bowl appearance, third all-time behind USC’s 34 and Michigan’s 20, and first since Jan. 1, 2019, when it defeated Washington, 28-23. The Buckeyes’ eight Rose Bowl victories are tied for second with Michigan behind USC’s 25.
The Utes (10-3) will enter the Rose Bowl on a six-game winning streak. Utah began the season 1-2, with losses to Brigham Young and San Diego State, then won their next three games before a 42-34 loss to Oregon State on Oct. 23.