In one of the marquee match-ups of the 2006 Bowl season, UCLA will oppose Florida State in this year's Emerald Bowl game.
Emerald Bowl Executive Director Gary Cavalli, UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero and Florida State Director of Athletics Dave Hart, Jr. made the joint announcement today.
Emerald Bowl V will be played Wednesday, December 27 at AT&T Park in downtown San Francisco. ESPN will televise the game nationally with kickoff at 5 p.m. [PST], 8 p.m. [EST].
UCLA fans interested in tickets should call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, November 30th. Fans interested in land travel packages should call the UCLA Fan Travel Office at 310-206-2873.
UCLA becomes the first Pacific-10 Conference team to play in the Emerald Bowl.
Florida State has never before played a game in Northern California. The Seminoles' last West Coast appearance was a 14-7 victory over USC in 1997. This season marks the 25th consecutive year Florida State has been invited to a bowl game.
The two teams have never met.
"It's an honor to invite two of the most storied names in college football to this year's Emerald Bowl," said Cavalli. "We're thrilled to bring Bobby Bowden, the winningest coach in college football history, and his Seminoles to San Francisco to meet UCLA, another of the premier programs in the country.
"The Bruins bring great tradition and the nation's second-largest media market. To be able to match UCLA against Florida State in the first year of our ACC vs. Pac-10 match-up is a dream come true for our game."
"The Emerald Bowl has matched two programs that have a winning tradition, especially in bowl games," Guerrero said. "UCLA was the first school to win a bowl game in seven consecutive seasons and Florida State broke that record. We think this is a game that our fans in Los Angeles, as well as our alumni in the Bay Area, will be anxious to see.
"We know that the Emerald Bowl staff does a great job of hosting teams and we are looking forward to experiencing that hospitality first-hand."
"On behalf of Florida State University, and especially our many loyal fans on the West Coast, we accept the Emerald Bowl's kind invitation," Hart said. "This is a great opportunity for us to play in Northern California, and we eagerly anticipate a great week in San Francisco."
The Seminoles ended the season 6-6. Five of their defeats were by a total of 26 points.
The Emerald Bowl brings together two of the nation's best bowl teams. Since 1982, Florida State leads the country with a 17-6-1 record. UCLA meanwhile is the Pac-10 leader at 11-6 and tied for eighth place nationally.
The Seminoles will be making their 36th bowl appearance overall. They have won 20, lost 13 and tied two. Florida State met Penn State in last season's Orange Bowl.
Their bowl legacy includes the 1993 and 1999 National Championships, four Orange Bowl victories, three Sugar Bowl wins and 16 appearances in the Top 10 national rankings at season's end since 1979.
The Emerald marks UCLA's fifth consecutive bowl appearance and eighth since 1998. Last year, UCLA defeated Northwestern 50-38 in the Vitalis Sun Bowl. The Bruins rebounded from an early 22-point deficit to record the biggest comeback victory in school history.
Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden has won more games than any college coach in history. Bowden in 47 seasons is 365-113-4 overall. In 31 years at Florida State, Bowden's teams are 292-81-4 overall, 104-16 in ACC play.
Prior to 1997, the Seminoles' last appearance in California was a 44-28 win over BYU in the 1991 Pigskin Classic at Anaheim Stadium.
"We are happy to be going to San Francisco to play in the Emerald Bowl," Bowden said. "Bowl games are extremely important in college football and making one is always one of our goals to start the season. It will be a great experience for all of us, and I know our players are looking forward to visiting a different part of the country.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to play UCLA," Bowden continued. "We knew we would get a program with great tradition since it would be from the Pac-10 and the fact that it is UCLA makes it very special to our program and our players. It should be a very attractive football game from a fans' point of view and we are looking forward to a week with them."
Entering Saturday's game with crosstown rival USC, the Bruins own a 6-5 record that includes impressive November victories over Sun Bowl-bound Oregon State and bowl-eligible Arizona State. UCLA also took Notre Dame to the wire in South Bend before losing 20-17 in the game's final minute. The Bruins became bowl-eligible themselves with a 24-12 win at ASU November 18.
A wide receiver at UCLA in the 1980s, Dorrell knows bowl success firsthand.
In five seasons at UCLA [including a medical redshirt year], Dorrell was a member of five bowl-winning teams, including three Rose Bowl [1982, 1983, 1985] squads. Dorrell was the Bruins' leading receiver in '85, his senior season. His head coaching record currently stands at 28-20.
Dorrell has directed the Bruins to a bowl appearance in each of his four seasons. Among Pac-10 teams, only USC and California can make the same claim.
"This matchup will be a great opportunity for our football program. Bobby Bowden has won more football games than anyone in Division I-A history and he has been especially successful in bowl games," Dorrell said.
"Florida State has had great success over the last three decades. It has a tradition of dominating defenses and explosive offenses. I know that the young men in our program will be very excited to play the Seminoles in a great setting in San Francisco."
The Emerald Bowl reached agreements with both the ACC and Pacific-10 to match teams for each of the next four years, through 2009. The Emerald is the only bowl game [of 32 total] to feature a tie-in between the two Conferences.