The Pac-10 Conference reached an agreement Monday that will add a seventh bowl game to its crowded list of postseason partners.
Beginning in 2008, the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego will pit the conference's seventh-place team against a representative from the Mountain West Conference.
The addition of the Poinsettia Bowl means the Pac-10's 2008 postseason schedule will include ties to the Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Hawaii and Poinsettia bowls. Qualifying teams could also play in Bowl Championship Series games.
The Poinsettia and Hawaii bowls will swap spots in 2009, with the sixth-place team heading to San Diego and the seventh-place squad playing a Western Athletic Conference team in Hawaii. The two bowls will alternate selections every year thereafter.
"The announcement of this agreement will be well-received by our members and their fans," Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said in a statement.
Coaches, at least the UA's Mike Stoops, should be likewise thrilled.
Arizona's 2006 team qualified for a bowl game with a 6-6 record but was left out because the Pac-10 produced more bowl-eligible teams (seven) than bowl tie-ins (six).
Stoops broke into a wide grin when told of Monday's news.
"Why," he wondered, "couldn't it have happened last year?"
Also on Monday, Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason and defensive end Louis Holmes were named to the Bednarik Award's preseason watch list.
The two seniors were among 11 Pac-10 players included on the 65-person list. The award is given annually to the nation's top defensive player.