Day 3 of the Long March: PapaJohn's, New Mexico, Las Vegas Bowl open chats
by Bob Timmermann
A tripleheader of bowl games that you will neither remember or forget!
It kicks off at 10 am PT with the PapaJohn's.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. Why is this game played in Birmingham named after a pizza company headquartered in Louisville? It's best not to think about such things.
Anyway, Southern Mississippi (7-5) and fired its longtime coach, Jeff Bower (he still gets to coach this game), takes on Cincinnati (9-3). Southern Miss has played in 15 bowl games in its history and is 8-7. The Golden Eagles also have played in four other postseason exhibitions including the 1946 Cigar Bowl against Havana University. Southern Miss won that one, 55-0.
Cincinnati has played in eight bowls if you don't count the 1949 Glass Bowl against Toledo, which apparently was just a fancy name for a regular season game. The Bearcats are 4-4 in bowl games. Southern Miss and Cincy used to be in the same conference and have played each other 14 times and split those games. This one should settle the score!
At 1:30 PT comes the New Mexico Bowl. It's played in Albuquerque, which the last time I was there, was in New Mexico! Brilliant idea! And one of the teams playing in it is New Mexico. The Lobos will be playing the Nevada Wolf Pack. Bring your own lycanthrope! New Mexico was 8-4 and Nevada was 6-6 this season.
New Mexico has played in ten bowl games and is 2-7-1 and last won in the 1961 Aviation Bowl (in Dayton, Ohio, at treat for anyone) against Western Michigan. They also won the 1946 Sun Bowl against Denver.
Nevada is 3-4 in bowl games and lost won one in 2005 when they squeeked by Central Florida 49-48 in the Hawai'i Bowl.
Surprisingly, the two schools haven't played each other since 1942 (a scoreless tie). New Mexico beat Nevada in 1941. But for over 60 years, these two teams have seen neither hide nor hair of each other.
And to put the cherry on the sundae, at 5 pm, it's the Las Vegas Bowl, from well, Las Vegas. Brigham Young (10-2) and ranked 19th takes on one of the two teams that beat them this year, UCLA (6-6). Toward the end of this game, you may wonder how UCLA actually beat BYU. (Tulsa handed BYU its other loss.)
BYU will be playing in its 26th bowl game and is 8-16-1. The Cougars lost to UCLA in the 1986 Freedom Bowl in Anaheim.
UCLA will be in its 28th bowl game and is 13-14-1. UCLA has played BYU eight times and won seven of the matchups. And the two teams will play again on September 13, 2008 in Provo.
If you watch all three games in their entirety today, you will receive a special commendation from Congress. Or possibly a subpoena. I know a guy.