Monday, December 09, 2002

OK, so now that was a surprise. Who had the brilliant idea of moving the Rose Bowl to Miami, Florida? The Fiesta Bowl gets the first-ever BCS battle of the unbeatens, the actual Rose Bowl loses its raison d'etre, but still gets a pretty good match-up of teams that were in title contention all year, and the Sugar Bowl was the huge loser, getting stuck with four-loss Florida State (although the 'Noles did manage to beat Florida, something their opponent failed to do). Notre Dame drops down to the Gator Bowl, pissing off West Virginia, the runner-up in the Big East, which falls instead to something called the Continental Tire Bowl.

Other bowls of dubious interest: UCLA plays on X-mas against New Mexico in the Las Vegas Bowl, one of four bowls that matches schools with a combined eleven (!!) losses; the Bruins' poor finish to the season finally cost Bob Toledo his job, only four years after they had a 20-game winning streak and were within three minutes of a national title game. The other three bowls that fall into that "must-see" category are the Seattle Bowl, matching Wake Forest and Oregon, the Sun Bowl, where Washington vies with Purdue in a rematch of the last true Rose Bowl two years ago, and, in only eight short days, the New Orleans Bowl, where North Texas and Cincinnati meet. And, finally, a game that you can definitely miss, the Independence Bowl features a pair of 6-loss teams, Nebraska and Ole Miss; unless a school one day can win its conference with a losing over-all record (like North Texas did last year), that will be the record for bowls not to aspire to.


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