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Fenway Park gets a bowl game, and baseball wants even more

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Fenway Park is a baseball cathedral, but plans are to host a college football bowl game at the Red Sox' home after the 2020 seasonn. (AP Photo)
Fenway Park is a baseball cathedral, but plans are to host a college football bowl game at the Red Sox' home after the 2020 seasonn. (AP Photo)


Fenway Park is getting a bowl game. Can Wrigley Field be far behind?

The website stadium.com reported that Boston is getting a college football bowl game for the 2020 season, joining Los Angeles and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as sites for new bowl games. Alas, the LA game will not be played at Dodger Stadium but at the new Rams’ stadium, which is being called Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park.

The Fenway Park game will align with the Atlantic Coast and American Athletic conferences. Fenway joins Yankee Stadium (Pinstripe Bowl) and the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field (Cheez-It Bowl) as major league baseball parks hosting bowl games.

And the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported this week that the Texas Rangers would like to get a bowl game for their new stadium, Globe Life Field, which is scheduled to open in 2020. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex already has three bowl games – the Cotton at JerryWorld in Arlington, the Armed Forces at TCU’s Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth and the First Responder at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

So what’s one more? In 2020, major college football will have 42 bowl games, which means 84 teams will participate; 84 out of 130.

Last year, the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee approved the addition of a maximum of three new bowl games. Starting in 2020, a record 43 bowls – including the College Football Playoff title game – will be played, meaning a record 65 percent of the 130 FBS schools (84 teams) will play in a bowl.

The Big 12 bowl contracts remain unchanged and go beyond 2019. The Big 12 champion (or another Big 12 team, if the champ makes the College Football Playoff) goes to the Sugar Bowl, followed in order by the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, the Texas Bowl in Houston, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the Cheez-It Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

But there are changes looming with bowl tie-ins, according to stadium.com.

Starting in 2020, the Las Vegas Bowl will pit the Pac-12 vs. a team from the SEC or the Big Ten, and the new bowl in Los Angeles takes the current Las Vegas matchup of Pac 12 vs. Mountain West.

Stadium.com reported that other changes include:

* The ACC replacing the Big Ten in the Holiday Bowl;

* The SEC and the Big Ten rotating in the Belk Bowl against the ACC’

* The Outback Bowl featuring an ACC team if a Big Ten team is in the Orange Bowl;

* The Gator Bowl pitting ACC vs. SEC every season;

* The Music City Bowl pairing the SEC and Big Ten every year;

* The Arizona Bowl will match the Mountain West against the Mid-American Conference;

The new Myrtle Beach Bowl will rotate between Conference USA, the Sun Belt and the Mid-American, with each league having a representative four times in a six-year span.

Can college football sustain 42 bowls? Well, television viewers clearly want them, else they would not be such a thirst to add to the schedule. The problem is available teams. The NCAA requires at least a .500 record to be bowl eligible, but on occasion, 5-7 teams have been granted a waiver to play, when not enough teams reached six wins.

But most years, a team or two gets omitted. Last season, 82 teams reached bowl eligibility for 39 bowls (78 slots). Left out were 6-5 Southern Miss, 6-6 Wyoming, 6-6 Louisiana-Monroe and 6-6 Miami-Ohio. Come 2020, fewer teams will face such shunning.

Related Photos
Oakland Athletics left fielder Robbie Grossman adjusts his cap as he waits for the next batter after a home run by Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Oakland Athletics left fielder Robbie Grossman adjusts his cap as he waits for the next batter after a home run by Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0f3045fc2704dac3c66070d30addc761.jpg" alt="Photo - Oakland Athletics left fielder Robbie Grossman adjusts his cap as he waits for the next batter after a home run by Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)" title="Oakland Athletics left fielder Robbie Grossman adjusts his cap as he waits for the next batter after a home run by Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)"><figcaption>Oakland Athletics left fielder Robbie Grossman adjusts his cap as he waits for the next batter after a home run by Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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