Day 8 of the Long March: Meineke, Liberty, and Alamo Bowl chats
by Bob Timmermann
Patriots-Giants on two networks! Bah, no time! There's more minor bowl action to watch!
It starts at 10 am PT with the Meineke Car Care Bowl (formerly the Continental Tire Bowl) from Charlotte. This year's edition matches a pair of teams better known for basketball: Connecticut (9-3) and Wake Forest (8-4). The Huskies were co-champs of the Big East with West Virginia.
UConn has appeared in just one other bowl game, the 2004 Motor City Bowl, a 39-10 win over Toledo. Wake Forest has appeared in seven bowls and is 4-3, losing last year to Louisville in the Orange Bowl. Their last bowl win was over Oregon in the 2002 Seattle Bowl.
UConn and Wake have played each other twice and they have split the two games with the road team winning each time, once in 2003 and again in 2006.
The Big East is 1-0 in bowl games so far with Cincinnati picking up a win over Southern Miss in the Papajohns.com Bowl. The ACC is 1-1 in bowl games with BC winning and Maryland losing.
At 1:30 pm PT is the Liberty Bowl from Memphis (the first five were played in Philadelphia and another was played in Atlantic City until people realized that it was cold there in December). This game matches up Conference USA champion Central Florida against the SEC's Mississippi State.
UCF features running back Kevin Smith who has rushed for 2,448 yards this season and needs 181 yards to surpass Barry Sanders single season record in the NCAA. Mississippi State features some guys who are likely very nice to their parents.
Central Florida has lost its only other bowl appearance, a 49-48 loss to Nevada in the 2005 Hawai'i Bowl. Mississippi State has split its previous 12 bowl games and won its last bowl game, a memorable 43-41 win over Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl, played in a driving snowstorm in Shreveport, Louisiana back on New Year's Eve 2000.
Mississippi State won the only other meeting between the two teams back in 1997.
And to cap off your day, what would be better than the Alamo Bowl from San Antonio. 8-4 Penn State takes on 7-5 Texas A&M?
The Nittany Lions are appearing in their 40th bowl game. They've done pretty well in them, a record of 25-12-2, including 8 wins in their last 10.
The Aggies are playing in their 30th bowl game and are 13-16 in previous bowls. Their last win in a bowl was in the 2001 Galleyfurniture.com Bowl over TCU. Texas A&M lost the 2005 Cotton Bowl to Tennessee and the 2006 Holiday Bowl to Cal. The Aggies have lost in 9 of their last 11 bowl appearances.
These two teams met in the 1999 Alamo Bowl and Penn State won 24-0. They've met twice in the regular season with each team winning on the other school's home field.
The Big Ten is 1-1 in bowl games so far, Purdue winning and Michigan State losing. The Big XII is 1-0 in bowls thanks to Texas's win over Arizona State.