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Three-week Bowl Season is Here

College football's 34-game bowl bonanza begins Saturday in two of the postseason's newest venues. It will end almost three weeks later at the site of the "granddaddy of them all," where a new national champion will be crowned.

The fourth New Mexico Bowl, Saturday in Albuquerque (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), kicks off the postseason as Wyoming (6-6) plays Fresno State (8-4). At 8 p.m. Saturday, also on ESPN, Rutgers (8-4) meets Central Florida (8-4) in the second St. Petersburg Bowl.

On Jan. 7, the Bowl Championship Series will decide its champion at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., when No. 1 Alabama (13-0) takes on No. 2 Texas (13-0). That will be six days after the site hosts the 96th Rose Bowl game, matching Oregon (10-2) and Ohio State (10-2). Pasadena played host to its first postseason game in 1902.

Wyoming will be in its first bowl in five years and is in the postseason in the first year of coach Dave Christensen's tenure.

"It's the first bowl appearance for anybody on our team, and we're excited to send our seniors out with an opportunity to play in the postseason," Christensen said. "The players have done a nice job of buying into our system and our plan."

Rutgers' appearance in the St. Petersburg Bowl will mark the fifth consecutive postseason game for the formerly downtrodden program.

There will be one other bowl game this weekend, Sunday when Southern Mississippi (7-5) plays Middle Tennessee (9-3) at the New Orleans Bowl (8:30 ET, ESPN).

If 34 bowls aren't enough to keep fans busy, they can look for more next season as the Yankee Bowl at New York's Yankee Stadium and a new game at Dallas' Cotton Bowl are on the drawing board.

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