Bowl Title or National Championship?

Delaware, Eastern Washington play in the Division I Football Championship in Frisco

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Cotton Bowl has more prestige and more people, but will it have more passion than the Division I Football Championship?

    Both games will be played on Friday, with Delaware and Eastern Washington going head-to-head at Frisco's Pizza Hut Park the way a champion should be determined: through a playoff.

    True NCAA Championship Game in Frisco

    [DFW] True NCAA Championship Game in Frisco
    The Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium is getting a lot of attention, but the NCAA Division I Football Championship --- pits Delaware against Eastern Washington at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. (Published Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011)

    "If you have a chance to be a fan of a team that goes through a playoff system and gets to the final game, you'll understand it's a wonderful experience," Delaware fan Martin Wallaston said.

    He and his wife are just a couple of the 4,100 people to book hotel rooms in Frisco and surrounding communities for the championship game.

    "I drove here 1,500 miles to get here so I could bring all of our tailgating experience with us," fan Ken Manlove said.

    "The winner of this game is going to be a national champion," said Eastern Washington grad Randy Logan. "When you win the Cotton Bowl, you're Cotton Bowl champion."

    But the real champion may be the city of Frisco, which is seeing a huge financial impact on restaurant and retail business in addition to hotel bookings.

    Hosting the game also give Frisco some real experience in what works for sports fans as Super Bowl XLV approaches.

    But Mayor Maher Maso said he is looking for a lasting relationship with the college ranks.

    "We are really excited about the long-term ramifications of this," Maso said. "We have this bid for three years, but my goal -- and our team's goal -- is for 10 to 20 years."

    Tickets are still available for the Division I Football Championship game.

    Also Friday, Texas A&M takes on Louisiana State in the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.