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FIESTA BOWL GETS TITLE GAME

The Fiesta Bowl organization was awarded the first national college football championship game under an expanded Bowl Championship Series format, and the BCS schools worked to find a new poll to help select the teams that will play for the title.

Beginning in the 2006 season, there will be a new game to determine the BCS national champion, a contest separate from the four existing BCS bowls -- the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Rose. In essence, it means that two more schools will qualify for a BCS contest.

The first title game under the new format will be played Jan. 8, 2007, at the Arizona Cardinals' new stadium set to open in the fall of 2006. The Fiesta Bowl will be played in the same stadium a week earlier, on Jan. 1.

As is the case under the current system, the teams that finish first and second in the BCS rankings will play for the championship. The announcement means the sites for the championship game will continue in their current rotation -- Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose. In all cases, the sites will host the national title game a week after their regular bowl games.

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