San Diego — The Poinsettia Bowl, the little brother of the Holiday Bowl, sure grew up fast.
The No. 9 and undefeated Boise State Broncos and No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs meet tonight in the Poinsettia Bowl, which, despite its lower-tier status, has put together a marquee matchup that’s going to be overshadowed by only a few games this postseason.
“I think it’s one of the best matchups of all the bowl games,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said Monday. “Besides the national championship game, I’d put this one right up with the one that’ll be played up north of here.”
In other words, the Poinsettia Bowl should fall in line right behind the BCS national championship game between No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Oklahoma, and the Rose Bowl between No. 5 USC and No. 6 Penn State.
“If you just want to watch a great football game, that’s hopefully what we’ll give them,” Patterson said. “The intrigue of this ballgame, I think, is what makes this game special. Two teams that come from nowhere, not a lot of people know about.”
The Broncos, the school with the blue turf and the Fiesta Bowl darlings two years ago, are trying for their second unbeaten season in the last three years.
Despite their 12-0 record, the Western Athletic Conference champion Broncos were bypassed by the BCS in favor of Mountain West Conference champion Utah.
The Utes, who also went undefeated, earned a Sugar Bowl bid.
Their closest call this season came when they had to rally to beat TCU 13-10.