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Football: Vaqueros Left Out of Bowl Party

Inaugural Tremblay Financial Services Bowl at SBCC will feature Pasadena and Southwestern.

SBCC won its last six games and tied for the inaugural American Pacific Conference football championship but the Vaqueros were only ranked No. 20 in the final Southern Cal poll and didn’t receive a bowl invitation Sunday.

“I’m upset because I don’t know what they looked at,” said Vaqueros coach Craig Moropoulos, whose team went 6-4 overall and tied Antelope Valley for first with a 6-1 conference record. “The fact that I’m upset doesn’t change the fact that we’re not in a bowl game.

“I told my team they can’t take away that we won six in a row or that we came back from an 0-4 start when others could have crumbled.”

SBCC went 3-0 in October and 3-0 in November, capped by a 45-14 victory at East Los Angeles on Saturday. Despite beating Los Angeles Valley, 55-52, two weeks ago, Valley was ranked 18th in the final poll. The 14 bowl teams were all ranked No. 14 or higher.

“Now I know how some BCS teams feel,” said Vaqueros athletic director Mike Warren, referring to the controversial Bowl Championship Series in Division I college football.

The Vaqueros can look back to the season opener when they trailed Hancock 14-10 and had a first-and-goal on the 7-yard line with 17 seconds left but failed to convert.

Southwestern, ranked No. 11 with a 7-3 record, will take on No. 12 Pasadena (6-4) in the first-ever Tremblay Financial Services Bowl on Saturday at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium. Southwestern, of Chula Vista, was co-champion of the American Mountain Conference while Pasadena finished third in the National Northern Division.

Kickoff for the Tremblay Financial Services Bowl is set for 6 p.m. Tickets are available by calling Tremblay Financial Services at 805.569.1982. Prices are $8 for pregame tickets and $10 on the day of the game. Seniors and student tickets are $5.

Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College’s sports information specialist.

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