December 15, 2005

Forget Santa: Bowls fill players' wish lists

Santa Claus, eat your heart out. College football players are racking up on all kinds of gifts this season, and they're not coming from the North Pole.

Bowl games have presented gift packages to players for years. This season, however, the ante has been upped considerably. Bowls are now allowed to dish out $500 in presents per player, up from $350 last year. Shirts, jackets and towels – once the gifting norm – are now a bit blasι.

So, grandparents of Ducks and Sooners: Hold off on picking up that new 30 gigabyte iPod for your favorite grandson, because the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl has crossed that item off his wish list. Moms of Wolverines and Huskers, don't sweat the Xbox 360 shortage – the MasterCard Alamo Bowl has your back.

Portable DVD players, customized mountain bikes, designer sunglasses and watches – many of the bowls have spared no expense in going Oprah on the gift giving. The quick math: Each bowl must provide 125 gift packages per team. For those that reached the $500 limit, that amounts to $125,000 in bowl goodies.

Check out the players' gift packages for every bowl game this season, and you'll see why the big man in red must be green with envy.

Click here to vote on the best bowl gift package.

New Orleans Bowl
Arkansas State vs. Southern Miss
Dec. 20, 8 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• New Orleans Bowl Championship ring
• New Orleans Bowl Championship watch

UTEP vs. Toledo
Dec. 21, 8 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Luggage
• Commemorative football
• Commemorative watch
• Attachι case

Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl
BYU vs. California
Dec. 22, 8 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• iPod Nano
• Oakley watch
• Commemorative shirt and hat
• 1-year subscription to ESPN The Magazine
• Tickets to see Blue Man Group

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Colorado State vs. Navy
Dec. 22, 10:30 p.m., ESPN2

Gift package:
• 4 GB iPod Mini
• $15 music gift certificate
• Fossil watch
• Commemorative sweatshirt, t-shirt and hat

Fort Worth Bowl
Kansas vs. Houston
Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• 7-inch portable DVD player
• Backpack and watch
• Commemorative workout shirt and football

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Nevada vs. UCF
Dec. 24, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Oakley sunglasses
• Sports jacket and backpack
• Disposable camera, sandals, beach towel and lei
• Aloha shirt, plus two more shirts

Motor City Bowl
Memphis vs. Akron
Dec. 26, 4 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Commemorative watch
• Commemorative football
• Luggage

Champs Sports Bowl
Clemson vs. Colorado
Dec. 27, 5 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Sony camcorder
• Sports watch
• Bowl beach towel and hat

Insight Bowl
Arizona State vs. Rutgers
Dec. 27, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Bulova watch
• Commemorative football, fleece blanket, hat

MPC Computers Bowl
Boise State vs. Boston College
Dec. 28, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Digital camcorder
• Various commemorative gear

MasterCard Alamo Bowl
Michigan vs. Nebraska
Dec. 28, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• XBox 360
• Fossil watch
• Commemorative mini-helmet
• Sling bag

Emerald Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Utah
Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• 7-inch portable DVD player
• Fossil watch
• Personalized football
• Commemorative football and hat

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Oregon vs. Oklahoma
Dec. 29, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• 30GB iPod with video
• $15 music gift certificate
• iPod car adaptor
• Commemorative sweatshirt and hat

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Minnesota vs. Virginia
Dec. 30, 12 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• 7-inch portable DVD player
• Swiss army watch
• Personalized football
• Sweatshirt and equipment bag

Vitalis Sun Bowl
Northwestern vs. UCLA
Dec. 30, 2:00 p.m., CBS

Gift package:
• Sony PSP with Madden NFL 2006
• Silvertone watch
• Armor Gear Sports duffel bag
• Suede leather jacket
• Vitalis knit cap and hair dryer

Independence Bowl
South Carolina vs. Missouri
Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Fossil watch
• Large leather duffel bag
• Commemorative hat and football
• Mini football helmet

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Miami vs. LSU
Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• XBox and XBox game pack
• Fossil watch • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl windshirt
• Commemorative football and watch
• The book Wild at Heart by John Etheridge

Meineke Car Care Bowl
South Florida vs. N.C. State
Dec. 31, 11:00 a.m., ESPN2

Gift package:
• Rolling duffel bag
• 8-inch portable DVD player
• Personalized football
• Commemorative Fossil wallet and watch gift set

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Tulsa vs. Fresno State
Dec. 31, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• NIKE wind jacket and sweatpants
• Portable DVD player
• Commemorative football and watch
• Leather travel bag Houston Bowl
TCU vs. Iowa State
Dec. 31, 2:30 a.m., ESPN2

Gift package:
• Digital camera
• Fossil watch
• Commemorative football

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Alabama vs. Texas Tech
Jan. 2, 11:00 p.m., FOX

Gift package:
• Commemorative watch
• Mp3 player
• Portable DVD player
• Luggage

Outback Bowl
Florida vs. Iowa
Jan. 2, 11:00 a.m., ESPN

Gift package:
• Sony mini digital camcorder
• Commemorative backpack

Toyota Gator Bowl
Louisville vs. Virginia Tech
Jan. 2, 12:30 p.m., NBC

Gift package:
• Toyota Gator Bowl ring
• Commemorative watch
• Commemorative baseball cap
• Duffel bag

Capital One Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Auburn
Jan. 2, 1:00 p.m., ABC

Gift package:
• Medallion Quartz watch with bowl logo
• Sony camcorder
• Commemorative beach towel

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
Jan. 2, 4:30 p.m., ABC

Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Bulova men's watch
• Commemorative football
• Fiesta Bowl dart board and snack-filled duffel bag

Nokia Sugar Bowl
West Virginia vs. Georgia
Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m., ABC

Gift package:
• Men's Fossil watch/sunglasses set
• Samsung Mp3 player
• Customized Trek mountain bike
• Commemorative hat

FedEx Orange Bowl
Penn State vs. Florida State
Jan. 3, 8:00 p.m., ABC

Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Madden NFL 2006 and NBA Live 2006
• Ogio duffel bag
• Commemorative hat and team plaque
• Friday Night Lights DVD
• ESPN The Magazine subscription

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi
Texas vs. USC
Jan. 4, 8:00 p.m., ABC

Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Madden NFL 2006
• Rose Bowl watch and backpack
• New Era hat and knapsack
• Commemorative Rose Bowl flip coin
• Rose Bowl souvenir football
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