Credit the Snow Badgers with taking a chance.
The Badgers had hosted, and won, the Top of the Mountains Bowl at Rio Tinto Stadium for several years.
This season, Snow College decided to go to another bowl, and it's a doozy.
In a matchup of the old against the new, Snow, the oldest two-year college west of the Mississippi River, will be taking on the Avengers from ASA College (Brooklyn, N.Y.) which was founded in 1985 in the Carrier Dome Bowl on Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y. Game time is 1 p.m.
Snow (10-1) has been playing football since 1920; ASA since 2009. Snow will be appearing in a bowl game for the 20th time. ASA (9-0) will be making its first-ever postseason appearance. This will be the farthest east Snow has ever played football.
"This is an exciting time for our program," said coach Tyler Hughes. "To play in the Carrier Dome against another top-ranked team is a great opportunity. We are looking forward to it."
Snow won its first outright Western States Football League title since 2008. Badgers were honored not only as the most valuable offensive and defensive players of the year in the WSFL (running back Breon Allen and defensive tackle Ofa Hautau), but also coach of the year for Hughes.
Nine other Badgers joined Allen and Hautau on the All-WSFL First Team, the most to be so honored in school history. The other first-teamers are: wide receiver Damond Powell; offensive linemen Justin Manu and E.J. Pauni; defensive linemen Jake Miller and Thomas Bryson; linebacker Nik Wolford; defensive back Kapena Clark; placekicker Spencer Groner; and punter Chris Van Orden.
The Badgers lead the nation with 64 sacks, 8 defensive touchdowns and 8 safeties.
The Badgers have scored 541 points, the most in school history, besting the 516 points they scored in 2010 in 12 games. The only time the Badgers were held to under 40 points was in their 47-30 loss at Georgia Military College in the third week of the season.
ASA has averaged even more points per game this season and given up less. ASA, champion of the Northeast Football Conference, has played nine games and has outscored their opponents 451-77. That's an average of 50.1 points scored to only 8.6 points given up.
Top-ranked Iowa Western and second-ranked Butler, both unbeaten, play for the national championship the following day in the Graphic Edge Bowl in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Graphic Edge Bowl has been declared by the NJCAA to be the "National Championship Game," leaving undefeated ASA out of the title picture.