Turning on your TV over the last few weeks and flipping through the channels, you no doubt spotted a college football bowl game being played. Unlike most other sports, there is no playoff system to determine a champion in college football. Instead it has a series of bowl games. The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was created in 1998 and is a selection system that creates five bowl match-ups involving ten of the top ranked teams. The system also selects match-ups for the other prestigious BCS bowl gameswhich are typically played post-season from mid-December to early January. Teams are invited to a bowl game based on their conference ranking and the tie-ins that the conference has to each bowl.
The first bowl game played was the 1902 Rose Bowl but many may not know the term “bowl” originated because of the shape of the stadium. The Rose Bowl Stadium located in Pasadena, California actually looked like a bowl. Other games ended up using the term “bowl”, whether the stadium where the game was being played was shaped like a bowl or not.
For the 2011 season the number of bowl games is 35, requiring 70 teams. Also, almost every one now is sponsored by a corporation for advertising purposes. Because the sponsor’s name becomes part of the bowl’s name this often results in long, complicated names. In some cases the bowl’s previous name has been eliminated such as the Peach, Tangerine and Hall of Fame Bowls. For example, the less notable, BBVA Compass Bowl was formerly known as the Birmingham Bowl and the PapaJohns.com Bowl. The game is now being sponsored by BBVA Compass, a subsidiary of Bilbao, Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina which is based in Birmingham, Alabama. The new sponsorship was announced in 2010 but for many University of Pittsburgh fans, that bowl is a familiar one. The team got an invitation to the bowl for a second straight season. The game will be played January 7th, 1 p.m. EST, ESPN and hosts SMU vs. Pittsburgh.
Whether you are lucky enough to be going to see the game in person, have a child traveling to the game as a member of the University of Pittsburgh athletic team or band or will just be watching from your comfortable living room, below is a snack to fill your own “bowl” and enjoy while you watch the game. It is a mix with a real “winning” combination. Go Pitt!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Snack Mix
5 c. GF corn chex type cereal
1 c. peanut butter morsels
4 TBS butter, divided
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 c. GF powdered sugar
5 c. GF corn puff cereal or GF rice chex type cereal
2 TBS light corn syrup
1-1/2 TBS sweetened grape drink mix (ex. Kool-Aid)
Place 2 TBS butter, peanut butter and peanut butter morsels in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 10-15 seconds and stir until mixture is smooth. Pour in corn chex cereal and stir to coat thoroughly. Place powdered sugar in a large plastic bag (gallon size with a closure). Pour peanut butter coated cereal into bag, close and shake until cereal is coated with powdered sugar. Pour out onto a large baking tray; set aside. Place remaining 2 TBS butter in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in corn syrup until combined. Pour in corn puffs or rice chex cereal and coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with grape drink mix; stir to coat. Microwave for 1 minute on MEDIUM (50% power); stir. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Pour out mixture onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Once cool, mix both coated cereal mixtures together to form a combination snack mix. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 9 cups