Sunday, December 6, 2009


So it's the Champs Sports Bowl vs. Miami, eh? Here's my thought process:

-First of all, what in the world are Outback Bowl organizers thinking? A 7-5 Auburn team? A Northwestern team that's going to bring less fans than any other Big Ten team? Good luck with that. If the kids cooperate, I can sleep in on New Year's Day, this will be a forgettable game.

-Second, I don't begrudge the Outback for taking Northwestern over us. They did, after all, beat us. (Although, Northwestern beat two bowl teams and lost to Syracuse; we beat four bowl teams).

-Third, I didn't want to go to the Outback Bowl in the first place, given how many years in a row we've bowled in Florida, including that bowl two years ago, and we've played a lot of SEC teams in the postseason lately. The one I really wanted was the Alamo Bowl. We recruit in Texas, and haven't played a Big 12 team in awhile. Plus, Jana and I had hoped to visit a friend in Texas over the holidays. Michigan State-Texas Tech is another bad matchup, the Red Raiders should win easily.

-Fourth, the Champs Sports Bowl sounds like a bowl Minnesota should be playing in, like Insight Bowl. (There's another terrible game involving a Big Ten team -- Minnesota/Iowa State.) The name just sounds cheesy.

-Fifth, I actually like the draw. It's tough to see a boatload of Badger fans making the trip to Florida for this one, especially on the tails of the Hawaii trip. But Miami, like Florida State last year, is a great opponent. Great history, great name, great players, great coach. Yet very beatable. We can get more into that later, but it's a good, fair test. Plus, we recruit Florida heavily, and showing up there every winter can only help our efforts there.

So while I think the Badgers deserved a January bowl game after a better-than-expected year, this one's okay. It's funny: the last time we played Miami was roughly 20 years ago, when they were at the peak of their power. If you would have told me then that a bowl matchup with the Hurricanes would every qualify as even a slight letdown for UW someday, I would have laughed.