HOUSTON (Dec. 13, 2002) -- College football enthusiasts watched the debut this week of a televised…
Hancock Sun Bowl is signature game
Race Bannon – Juarez Jail
(Note to editors: Send lawyers, guns, and money, I'm in a little jam)
The nations second oldest post-season classic matches up a couple of old foes that recently played in the nation's oldest post-season classic. The Purdue Boilermakers fill the bill of the next victim for the hot Huskies, who have rolled over their last three opponents.
The Boilers have had a season of "what if" that includes taking national champion Ohio State to the last play of the game. Purdue has a running game to go with Joe Tiller's innovative passing attack. On defense Purdue plays defense.
Bob Greise and Gary Danielson will share time at quarterback, and Leroy Keyes will handle the running duties. Who are we trying to kid here, and why? We don't know anything about Purdue and frankly don't want to. They are a Big 10 team that the Huskies should be able to handle. How's that? And I'm pretty sure Drew Brees is gone.
Washington will be playing to send a message for 2003 when they will open up at the Big Horseshoe in Columbus Ohio. The Boilers provide an excellent test for the defense, and the Huskies highflying attack will continue to work on the running game.
In 1979 the Huskies were thrilled to go to the Sun Bowl and beat a one loss Texas team in what was a major win for the program at the time. In 1986 the Huskies were swamped by Alabama, back when the Tide were good and could hire top-notch coaches. In 1995 the Huskies were embarrassed by the Iowa Hawkeyes, and need to make sure there is no repeat of that disaster.
The Huskies need to extend their northwest hegemony to the southwest and lock up that top 10 pre season ranking for 2003. David "Dawgman" Samek has already guaranteed an unbeaten season next year, earning the love of Rick Neuheisel who was concerned that there wasn't enough pressure on him already.
UW – 29, Purdue – 17
Roll Tide! Bama returns to the Grand Daddy!
John Joe Bob "Bubba" Bubba – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
All eyes will be on the legendary Mike "Bear" Price as he leads the Alabama Cougars into the Rose Bowl to face the Oklahoma Sooners. This is the Tide's first appearance in Pasadena since the 30's. This is Washington State's second appearance in Pasadena since the 30's.
Some of the luster for the team has been overshadowed by the – I'm Mike Price Dammit – tour across America. But it isn't about the kids anyway; it's about Mike Price Dammit! Mike wants to coach in the Rose Bowl so Mike is going to coach in the Rose Bowl even if he has to hold the entire school hostage to do it!
Cougar, er, Tide fans are up in arms over the whole seamy development, but Alabama AD Mal Moore, no relation to the legendary Mallard N. Moore, has given his blessing to the whole sham, and why would Bama care about a bunch of hicks out west somewhere wherever Washington State is?
The bottom line is that WSU lost their best chance to win this game when Price received permission to coach this game. Look for plenty of backward passes, bad official calls, and excuses when WSU loses this game.
The Oklahoma Sooners, a legendary team and longtime favorite of this magazine are thrilled to be on the main stage of the Rose Bowl. OU will be coached by their own coach in a contrast to the TideCougs. Bob Stoops is perhaps the hottest coach in America, and should find it relatively easy to out coach the Bear, who may be a Cub by the time this one is over.
Rest easy Bama fans, the Rose Bowl doesn't invite SEC teams, and so is a minor bowl. We can wait to hang Price in effigy until after the Spring Game.
Oklahoma – 45, WSU Tuscaloosa Campus – 22
Ducks emphasize Teamwork as bowl approaches
Mallard N. Moore
The Oregon Ducks hope to prove that football in Eugene is more than sex, sex, sex, as reported on HBO. It will take total Teamwork to avoid blowing this big one. The normal intercourse between player and coach is critical to the erection of a winning attitude. Unlike the Beavers, the Ducks hope to lick their habit of losing acquired late in the season, as the rains of autumn fell on the just and the unjust.
Head Coach Mike Bellotti, fresh off his third losing conference campaign in eight years needs to win this game to stave off the mounting criticism of his methods. In order to penetrate the defense, the Ducks will need to run and pass with equal alacrity. Otherwise they will just be taking the gas pipe all night long.
The Seattle Bowl opponent is the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Steely Dan immortalized the Deacs as the poster boys for losers across this land. Call them Deacon Blue, and a fitting opponent for the Bellotti method of keeping his job.
Wake is not without their legends, they just don't play football. Arnold Palmer, Curtis Strange, Tim Duncan, and Billy Packer will not be able to help them here. But the Deacons will be helped by the home field advantage. There appears to be an amazing number of Wake Forest alumni among the Husky fan base. So much for the Bellevue CC myth.
Duck fans are happy to return to Seattle without having to play the Huskies, a daunting task that waits in the fall. The good news is that Wake doesn't throw the ball, which avoids the major weakness of the Duck defense. This is a key game for UO. A must win. With Teamwork, they can spurt to the finish after all the play that goes on before, or foreplay, if you will.
UO – 73, Arnie – 72 even par
Mouthy Beavs back at it
Unpaid stringer intern
The Oregon State Beavers haven't learned their lesson. After awakening the sleeping giant in Seattle with some ill-timed trash talk, the Beavers have turned their tongues to their Insight-dot-bomb opponent, the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Pitt took Miami to the wire, and whipped Virginia Tech like a redheaded stepchild. The unimpressed Beavers claim an easy victory awaits Erickson's Kids. We think one of the Pac 10's two bowl losses will happen, instead.
OSU will have to settle for being the league favorite heading into the 2003 season. And then they can talk their way out of that too.
Pitt – 23, OSU – 21
Trojans head to Rose Bowl East
Troy "Cubby" Wadsworth III
Heritage Hall finally has another Heisman trophy to replace the one that was auctioned off to cover a civil lawsuit. 15th year senior quarterback/tailback Carson Palmer fulfilled the greatness of his high school press clippings with a surprisingly easy win in the Heisman voting.
Palmer and his mates will perform before the nation in the Orange Bowl against Iowa. The Hawkeyes are the best team that no one has seen, but no match for the revitalized Men of Troy.
The Trojans may just scoop all the high school talent in Florida while they are there. USC is planning on bringing in around 150 recruits this spring. The Pac 10 small timers are cringing with fear at the rebuilt Trojan empire. Iowa will be the next to fall to the humble lads from Southern Cal.
USC – 42, Iowa – 31
Vaunted Canes face nemesis Fiesta Bowl
Miami has never won in the Fiesta Bowl, site of one of the most shocking upsets in college football. The 1987 bowl saw the heavily favored Canes; led by Vinny Testeverde, fall to the plodding, not-so-Nittany Lions of Penn State.
We see an eerie parallel in this match up. The Buckeyes of Ohio State will stop the run and make Ken Dorsey try to beat them. The Canes have been suspect against the run all year, and OSU has one of the best runners in the land in true freshman Maurice Clarett.
Look for turnovers galore by the rattled Dorsey and an inspired Buckeye team that no one believes in to spring the huge upset.
OSU – 27, Miami – 21
Elsewhere around the bowls:
UCLA has a new coach, Karl Dorrell, but won't unveil him until next season. That doesn't mean they are throwing in the towel, just waving it as they blitz New Mexico in the Las Vegas Bowl………ASU looks to be in over their head against Kansas State in the Holiday Bowl……Florida State will gamble on a new quarterback against Georgia. The old master Bobby Bowden will upset the student, Mark Richt……As for the rest, call 1-800-who-cares for our gold star five star lock of the millennium picks, for amusement only, of course.
Tune into this same station for our Bowl Wrap and all the other issues we promised and might deliver. Happy Holidays to all and to all, thanks for reading! – Race
Race Bannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, when he's released from Juarez jail.