NEW MEXICO’S TRUE HEROES: After two highly successful campaigns in 2014 and 2015, the State of New Mexico, along with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, is searching for the next round of New Mexico True Heroes - New Mexicans who make their communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
The New Mexico True Heroes Program is online now at NewMexico.org/TrueHeroes. The nomination form asks two key questions: “What makes this person a New Mexico True Hero?” and “How have the nominee’s efforts made a difference in his or her community?”
Nominations remain open through Friday, September 30. A panel of judges from around the state will determine the top ten finalists, and four New Mexico True Heroes will be named this fall. The honorees will take part in a series of community events in their hometowns and get special recognition during the festivities surrounding the 2016 Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, December 17.
A PREVIEW OF THINGS TO COME: The Mountain West and Conference USA’s only meeting of the season was last Saturday with Colorado State claiming its second straight win (23-14) over the UTSA Roadrunners. The MW is now 33-25 (.569) vs. C-USA. It’s the second consecutive year the leagues have played just once in the regular season and matches the fewest meetings of conferences pitted to play in the Albuquerque-based bowl game. The MW has won both Gildan New Mexico Bowls (2010 and 2014) against Conference USA.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES TO WATCH FOR: Conference USA takes over the ESPN network Friday night with two non-conference games against Power 5 conferences. No. 21/19 Baylor (Big 12) plays at former Southwest Conference rival Rice (6 p.m. MT) and airs on ESPN. The Pac-12’s Arizona State invades the Alamodome for its first meeting with UTSA, kicking off on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. MT. Also playing Friday evening is the Mountain West’s Utah State. The Aggies host Arkansas State at 7 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network.
C-USA has four more Power 5 contests Saturday as FAU plays at Kansas State (Big 12), Old Dominion faces North Carolina State (ACC), Louisiana Tech travels to Texas Tech (Big 12) and North Texas takes on 23rd-ranked Florida (SEC). The MW has three big games on Saturday beginning with New Mexico heading to the Big Ten’s Rutgers (10 a.m. MT, ESPNews) and ending with the Pac-12’s Utah (at San Jose State on CBSSN at 8:30 p.m. MT) and Arizona (vs. Hawai`i at 8:45 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network). For a complete schedule with series notes, see page 1 in the attached PDF.
NEW MEXICO BOWL CONNECTIONS: As of September 14, there are currently 59 former collegiate athletes who played in at least one of the previous New Mexico Bowls and is listed as active, practice squad or injured reserve among 30 of the 32 NFL teams. Four, Jhurell Pressley from New Mexico and Arizona’s Reggie Gilbert, Cayleb Jones, and Scooby Wright, participated in last year’s game. All-time, the Gildan New Mexico Bowl has had 159 alumni listed on an NFL roster. A complete list of the active athletes is available in the attached PDF.
2016 GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL: The 11th-annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl will kick off on the FBS Bowl season opening day, Saturday, Dec. 17 at Noon MT/2 p.m. ET. The game will be played at University Stadium in Albuquerque, and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl has ignited the collegiate bowl postseason before, playing on opening day since 2008.
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is partnered with the Mountain West and Conference USA, provided the league produces enough bowl-eligible teams. The Conference USA representative is scheduled to be the home team this year.
FBA LAUNCHES NEW SITE: The Football Bowl Association (FBA) in partnership with SportsLabs launched a new and fully responsive digital platform to highlight the suite of all 41 post-season college football games. The new experience (http://collegefootballbowlgames.com) will provide the FBA a unique opportunity to elevate the experience of bowl games that is truly “bigger than the game.”