Sports Desk: NMSU football has a path to a bowl game

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State football continues to play as an independent and now has a path to postseason play. NMSU and the ESPN Events have entered into a bowl agreement that will go from the 2020 season to 2025. Should the Aggies win enough games to become bowl eligible, they can be selected for the New Mexico Bowl.

“When you’re an independent football team, being aligned with a bowl is a huge deal for recruiting, for the general feeling of the fan base, you know, the motivation of the players,” said NMSU Athletic Director Mario Moccia.

The New Mexico Bowl selects from the Mountain West and Conference USA. When the bowl started in 2006, it was for the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference, which no longer has football.

The Aggies were in the WAC when the New Mexico Bowl started. Should the Mountain West and Conference USA have teams available for the New Mexico Bowl in the same year, the Aggies are eligible.

ESPN Events can shift teams around among the 16 bowl games that it owns to try and fit the Aggies in.

“Conference realignment has changed the landscape for college football and certainly all the bowl games,” said New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Siembieda. “To find a path for New Mexico State, when they’re eligible and we got an opening as a backup agreement makes a lot of sense. It’s the right thing.”

The New Mexico Bowl is December 21 at Dreamstyle Stadium.

The Rio Grande rivalry between the UNM Lobos and New Mexico State is ready for a 110th meeting Saturday. The Lobos will go into the game with a 1-1 record. New Mexico State is still looking for their first win of the season at 0-3. Game time at Dreamstyle Stadium is 2:30 pm.

New Mexico United is back on the pitch Friday night hosting the team that handed them their first loss of the season. New Mexico United and Reno 1868 FC have a 7:30 p.m. start time at Isotopes Park.

The Lobo women’s soccer team and New Mexico State started the Rio Grande Rivalry early with a soccer match in Las Cruces. New Mexico currently leads the match 1-0 in the second half.

The New Mexico Grande Slam charity golf fundraiser was held at Twin Warriors Golf Club Friday. Host and PGA Tour winner Notah Begay III is in the tenth year of the event. It’s the fourth time it has been in New Mexico.

The golf tournament raises money for organizations and non-profits that work on improving the lives of children. Since 2016, the event has raised over $600,000. It raised $100,000 Friday.

“Any cause that tries to improve the welfare of our kids,” said Begay III. “We are all aware of the disparaging numbers and the challenges that are facing our children. We all have to work together to try and improve their opportunities.”

The Highland Invitational Cross Country Meet was held at Bullhead Park Friday. A total of 76 boys competed with Hope Christian’s Eric Scharton coming out on top. Albuquerque High’s Emily Schoellkoph won among the girls.

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