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Let’s Go Bowling…

December 3, 2012

red wolves

Hey Ya’ll,

 

It is a great day to be a Red Wolf, a Golden Flash or any of the other seventy teams that will be playing in a college bowl game this year. There are those who say there are too many bowls using their main argument that teams without a winning record make a bowl game. They believe that we are rewarding mediocre teams and fans with an extra game. Moreover they claim that we have watered down the college football experience by having thirty-five bowl games. I reject this line of thought and I am happy that the leadership of the NCAA allows us to enjoy the Bowl season.

 

howl

 

Before I get to my point I have a short history lesson.  In 1973 and 1974, the Arkansas State Indians played in NCAA Division II, before being promoted to Division I.[3] Arkansas State University (ASU) recorded an undefeated season (going 11-0) in Division I in 1975 and was one of only two undefeated Division I football teams that year. Arkansas State was one of only four institutions to have gone undefeated and not win a National Championship at the Division I-A (now Division I FBS) level. Since Arkansas State was a member of the Southland Conference, and the league did not have a bowl game tie-in, Arkansas State was not selected for post-season play. As a result of this inequity, the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana was created (though ASU has never played in the game).

 

running joe

 

Source Wikipedia, I researched it and found that this is not true. The following list are the teams to be undefeated and not be National Champions. Two were on probation and probably should not be included but they were. Several had a tied game and should be removed as well. I would assume that the article was written before 2004, if that is the case then it is true.

 

Final Ranking,     Year Team Stats
#2 in 1975 Arizona State 12-0-0, Fiesta     Bowl, WAC
#2 in 1979 Southern     California 11-0-1, Rose     Bowl, Pac-10
#2 in 1982 Southern     Methodist 11-0-1, Cotton     Bowl, SWC
#2 in 1994 Penn State 12-0-0, Rose     Bowl, Big Ten
#2 in 2004 Auburn 13-0-0, Sugar     Bowl, SEC
#2 in 2008 Utah 13-0-0, Sugar     Bowl, MWC
#2 in 2010 Texas Christian 13-0-0, Rose     Bowl, MWC
#4 in 1987 Syracuse 11-0-1, Sugar     Bowl, Independent
#4 in 1993 * Auburn 11-0-0, No Bowl,     SEC
#4 in 2004 Utah 12-0-0, Fiesta     Bowl, MWC
#4 in 2009 Boise State 14-0-0, Fiesta     Bowl, WAC
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

Final Ranking, Year Team Stats
#5 in 1992 Michigan 9-0-3, Rose Bowl,   Big Ten
#5 in 2006 Boise State 13-0-0, Fiesta   Bowl, WAC
#7 in 1998 Tulane 12-0-0, Liberty   Bowl, C-USA
#8 in 1994 * Texas A&M 10-0-1, No Bowl,   SWC
#10 in 1974 Miami, Ohio 10-0-1, Tangerine   Bowl, MAC
#10 in 1999 Marshall 13-0-0, Motor City   Bowl, MAC
#16 in 1985 Fresno State 11-0-1, California   Bowl, Big West
#17 in 1976 Rutgers 12-0-0, No Bowl,   Independent
#24 in 1995 Toledo 11-0-1, Las Vegas   Bowl, MAC
Unranked in 1975 Arkansas State 11-0-0, No Bowl,   Southland

 

 

Since then additional bowls have been added until we have the modern day bowl season. This year there are three teams ineligible because of NCAA sanctions: Ohio State, Penn State and Miami leaving seventy-two teams eligible (minimum 6-6 record, except Georgia Tech who was granted a waiver and allowed to participate in a bowl game with a 6-7 record). Reminds me of one of my favorite truisms:  “For every Air Force regulation, there is an equal and opposite Guard waiver.”

 

Next a short detour before I make my point. Two teams are semi-noticeably absent from the bowl games this year, Louisiana Tech (La Tech) and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).  La Tech was 9-3, MTSU was 8-4 and both have message boards blowing up because they believe to have a legitimate charge that they were left out of the system. The reasoning is that since #16 Northern Illinois University (NIU 12-1) won the MAC Championship over Kent State and qualified for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) by being ranked higher than the Champions of other BCS Conferences.  Created by a lawyer with an engineering background, I don’t understand the math but the system knocked #12 Oklahoma (10-2) down to the regular bowl system and created a cascade effect that sent ripples down to the lower bowls thus forcing La Tech and MTSU to not have a landing pad.

 

(Full disclosure before I continue. La Tech is a former rival of ASU and MTSU is a current rival and former conference member of the Sun Belt conference. I have a deep and personal dislike of both schools for several personal reasons.  I would never wish anything evil or harmful towards the school, players or fans. But I do enjoy the fact they were left out of the bowl season).

 

I feel bad for the players of both schools. They earned the right to participate in a bowl. I have no such sympathy for the fans of those schools. The fans of both schools are throwing tantrums claiming injustice and improper treatment from the Western Athletic Conference WAC and the Sun Belt Conference. Within the past few weeks both schools left their respective conference to join Conference USA. They mistakenly believe that their former conferences did not support them in the selection process. Several independent sources report that both schools were offered lower tiered bowls and both schools turned down the offer in hopes of a higher ranked bowl. The Liberty Bowl, Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Music City Bowl were mentioned as the ones they hoped to get.

 

I learned long ago that it is better to be with the one who loves you than to be alone and to wish you had someone to love.  Both schools held out in hope of something better and they have the distinct privilege of getting to watch seventy football teams play in a Bowl game. Yes that group includes the humble Arkansas State.  The Red Wolves are re-peat Sun Belt Champions and have lost only one conference game in two years, which was to Western Kentucky who is going to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Saturday, the Red Wolves played a close game with MTSU squeaking out a 45-0 win in front of 31,000 ASU fans, seven MTSU fans and at least one person (me), 600 miles away making chow-chow and listening to the game on my phone.

 

state

 

Arkansas State was also in the mix for a game In the Liberty Bowl which is played in Memphis. I would have loved to have been selected there because there would have been a strong chance I would have been able to attend. I am disappointed that the Liberty Bowl took 6-6 Iowa State but I am so proud to have the Go Daddy Bowl to watch on Big Boy ESPN, Sunday January 6th at 9:00 PM EST. For you die hard college fans, this game will be televised following the NFL Wildcard games and the night before the BCS Championship between Notre Dame and Alabama. It will be a great game, trust me. Most people think the reason a bowl game is important is because of the recruiting benefits or the money the schools get for appearing. That is great but the most important benefit is the additional practice time. The teams get fifteen additional practices because of a bowl. The coaches will use the majority as early Spring Practice with the younger players. This gives the Freshmen/Sophomores the time to learn the system.  It helps the coaching staff focus on the returning players and gives everybody a head start going into the off season.

 

go daddy 1

 

Both teams had the same color uniforms. Looking forward to the gold/blue of the Golden Flashes.

 

Last year ASU went to the Go Daddy Bowl and played NIU.  This was the team’s first ever bowl game and at 10-2 they had a real chance to win the game. However, the Head Coach, Hugh Freeze took the Head Coach position at Ole Miss following the team’s final regular season game. He is from the Oxford area and I never would be critical someone who has the opportunity to go to back home. However, Coach Freeze was so indebted to ASU for the opportunity to be a head coach for the first time and the players for giving him a winning season that he parlayed his team into a better job that he took all his friends with him. The players were left with only three coaches and two graduate assistants. Not using this as an excuse but NIU won the game and no I am not bitter. ASU hired a better man to lead the team, Gus Malzahn and he seems to be someone who is a man of honor.

 

There is a point to this post: It is good to be a Red Wolf. I am proud of my school and of the administration. Life will always be difficult for a small school and unless your team is one of the real big boys of college football, you are a small school regardless of conference affiliation.

 

I love to watch the games, but it helps to have a team to root for. I already know I am rooting for Arkansas State, the rest of the Sun Belt teams (University of Louisiana-Monroe, University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Western Kentucky), West Virginia (lots of WVU friends), Oregon State (For Icabu) and Northern Illinois.  I am so happy that I will consider rooting for Ole Miss and their ungrateful coach.

 

The rest of the games I don’t have a rooting interest yet. Who do you support? Give me a reason, any reason and I am there for you. I will wear the team colors, celebrate when they win and cry of they lose.  Except Kent State of course. Hope ya’ll understand.

 

kent st

 

Enjoy the bowl season!

 

espn

 

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From → life

11 Comments
  1. Rob

    I will add my lukewarm, woefully ignorant perspective. My alma mater is Arizona State University, the maroon and gold Sun Devils. Yes, the initials are ASU. Does that make me a bad person, by coincidence?

    I always heard that your neck of the woods is fervid for college football. You just proved that rumor. Out here in the river basin of Phoenix, AZ, we are more inclined to the NFL, though the AZ Cardinals are making our enthusiasm melt like a Creamsicle on the summer pavement. ASU is bowl bound, so I’m pretty stoked. Cardinals are bound for the draft. I’m bound for another ho-hum season of sports. Hey, at least it won’t distract me from writing.

    By the way, who’s the superior team – Ohio State or Notre Dame?

    • Big Joe,

      I have always liked your ASU (probably the true ASU). I have spent time in Tempe and what a great area. So yes, I will pull for both ASUs this year. Go Sun Devils!

      To be honest, I am a average to slightly below average fan of college football. There are some people who devote their lives to college football. Not sure if I admire that or not, but it is their life and who am I to tell someone how to live.

      Quick story: It is August 1999. I am doing the Bosnia thing, living in Germany and flying down range every other day. To me that is the way to spend a war, anyway. My buddy is a huge Tennessee fan. He is one of those guys who is devoted to Tennessee more than he is devoted to his kids. My crew is heading to Bosina and we hear his crew talking to the air traffic controller, so I call him on another radio frequency. When he comes up, I tell him that Tee Martin (The Tn QB who replaced Peyton Manning) blew out his knee in practice and is out for the year. After a long moment of silence, he thanks me for the info and off he goes.

      Two days later, I see him back in Germany and he is laughing. When he got back to our base, he started calling everybody. Waking them up at 3 AM to get the info on Tee Martin. Finally he gets the number of someone in the athletic department and cold calls this guy. Finally he believes them and that Tee Martin is healthy. He still laughs about that joke, I saw him a couple months ago and he said that was the best joke anyone ever pulled on him. FYI: Tn went on the win the National Championship that year.

      Ohio St or Notre Dame? I like the Irish so that is who I would pull for but neither team is that good. Ohio State is like watching paint dry. The Big 10 is not very good football, they just have a long history. I don’t think it would be a good game and I would take the Irish 24-20.

  2. Icabu permalink

    Thanks for the shout-out for the Beavers, Rob. Son was awarded 2 scholarships from OSU last week – 1/3 of his very out-of-state tuition.

    Since I was stationed in MI (Wurtsmith, now closed, in Oscoda), I learned to root for the Wolverines. Back then, they had far more fans than the Lions. I’m sure they’re in some bowl or the other. Also stationed at Davis-Monthan in Tucson, so U of A was BIG – they’re headed for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Lots of friends have kids at UVA.

    Gotta admit an soft spot for Kent State – Jack Lambert for one reason. Also, while visiting Canton, OH in ’09 with the family, enjoying the NFL HoF and the Rock & Roll HoF, I consistently got lost leaving the motel … and ended up turning around at Kent State. Kids always remind me that we’ve been to Kent State lots of times…

    Enjoy the season (Bowl season).

    • My pleasure and again congratulations to your son. Michigan is ok with me. Go Wolverines! I always liked going to DM. I spent a little time walking around the AZ campus. Yes I agree, Go Wildcats! I don’t know much about UVA other than you have to be really smart to go to school there. Go Cavilers!

      I hope the Kent State team can’t find Mobile. That is the best chance my ASU has to win.

      I love the NFL HOF. Great fun. I have never been to the R&R HOF. I am waiting on them to induct Iron Maiden. They got Metallica so they are changing but they need Eddie to be complete.

  3. Here is what I got so far:
    6 Jan ASU over Kent State
    1 Jan NIU over FSU
    1 Jan Michigan over South Carolina
    29 Dec Oregon St over Texas
    29 Dec ASU over Navy
    29 Dec WVU over Syracuse
    15 Dec AZ over Nevada

  4. Oh…I thought this was about bowling…I have a 200+ average! LOL!

    I only really follow my Alma Mater, Va Tech, cheering them on whenever I can. I live outside a college town now, but can’t stand the team. Too many illegal personal antics – EVERY year. Above-the-law attitudes. That doesn’t jive with me.

    Just coming by to say hey…

    • I can root for Va Tech. I will add them to the list. Dont know what college town you like near but sounds like most college towns. Thanks for saying hi.

  5. Egg permalink

    Howdy Rob,

    I know zilcho about American football. I’m from Down Under, after all, and the footy players there don’t wear helmets and padding. Hey, I’m not suggesting anything, just stating a fact, buddy.

    Before I get a web-slap (or cyber-shoulder charge), would you be interested in doing the Next Best Thing quiz if I drop-kicked the ball your way?

  6. The only difference between your football and Aussie Rules football is that the Aussies actually play for the love of the game. In America, most play because they can live in a sleepy college town and live above the law. See Mikes post above.

    Kick the Next Best Thing quiz. I dont know what it is but if you are doing it then it must be good!

    • Egg permalink

      Yeah, we call it Aussie No Rules: manic but good fun and fine entertainment. Is it true that some college coaches get paid more than the President?

      Oops. It’s ‘The Next BIG Thing’ not ‘The Next Best Thing’ (I must have been thinking of my own story). The quiz is to see how much you really know about your WIP. Others might say it’s for telling the world you’re working on something super cool. I’ll kick it over in my post next week. You can find the questions on Mike’s post with ‘The Next BIG Thing’ title if the suspense gets to you.

      • The pay stucture is the problem with college athletics. All college coaches make more than the President of the Universities and the President of the USA. We live in a country that values entertainment more than morals, intelligence and family.

        I will be looking for the quiz. Thanks for the chance to be a part of something.

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