Air Force accepts invitation to San Francisco Bowl
By John Van Winkle, Air Force Academy Public Affairs
/ Published December 04, 2002
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFPN) -- The Air Force Academy accepted on Dec. 2 a bid to play in the inaugural Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl.
"I'm thrilled to announce that the first team to ever be selected to play in a bowl game in San Francisco is the Air Force Academy," said Gary Cavalli, San Francisco Bowl executive director. "We're delighted to have Air Force. It's a great honor for a first-year bowl to get a program like Air Force. They represent what is right in college football."
The bowl game is planned for Dec. 31, and the 8-4 Falcons will face an as-yet undetermined team.
"We don't know right yet who our opponent's going to be, but we know they're going to come out of the Big East Conference," said Falcons head coach Fisher DeBerry. "It's a very, very historic and talented football conference with some great teams."
The exact matchup is dependent upon how the Bowl Championship Series invites shake out, added DeBerry. Five teams in the Big East Conference are bowl eligible. In order of conference standing, these are: No. 1 Miami (11-0), No. 15 West Virginia (9-3), No. 25 Pittsburgh (8-4), No. 18 Virginia Tech (9-3) and Boston College (8-4).
The final BCS standings hit the streets Dec. 8, and the teams headed for the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls will be announced then. After that, the remaining bowl invitations will be finalized.
While the Falcons await the announcement, they are already back at practice.
"Right now we're practicing fundamental football," said DeBerry. We're going to block and tackle today and practice executing our kicking game. We're going to improve every area of our game that we can."
The team practices this week, and Dec. 9 and 10, before taking a break for cadet finals. Practices resume Dec. 14, 15, and 17 to 19, before the cadets' Christmas break begins. Kickoff for the bowl game is 7:30 p.m. PST, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.