SportsProf

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Potato Bowl Watch

My proposition, put simply, is to pair up the two DI football programs who get routinely mashed during the season in the "Potato Bowl." Play it at the home field of Boise State (which, ironically, does a lot of mashing), throw out the appropriate symbolism, and then see who is the best of the worst (you could host it in Chicago, but then you might have to call the game "The Best of the Wurst" instead of the Potato Bowl).

Click here for the list of candidates. (Duke fans don't laugh, your school isn't that far removed from the list). The possibilities for matchups are intriguing. A Temple-Rice game would match the only two DI football schools with the nickname Owls. A Temple-Pitt game would make the game an all-Pennsylvania affair. A Vandy-Rice game would pit some of the smartest gridders in the South against each other. An Army-UNLV game would present a stark contrast between a school that graduated some of the country's top leaders and a school that hosted Jerry Tarkanian. If they keep it up, Arkansas, Kentucky and Washington could make it into the Bottom 10 by the end of the year. Ty Willingham did have his troubles in South Bend, but he certainly doesn't deserve that fate.

Truth be told, few do, but everyone can't win their college football games. You wonder, though, why some schools keep at it. Unfortunately, we don't have the European soccer rules that demote the last three teams into D-IAA and elevate the top D-IAA teams into DI, not that that would make much sense in this context. You also don't have a mercy rule, which, in essence, would cause a school to drop a sport if it had, say 20 straight losing seasons.

Right now, it looks to be a Temple-Florida Atlantic matchup, as opposed to the all-Owl game between Temple and Rice. Come to think of it, the Potato Bowl promoters wouldn't support that matchup anyway, as you don't usually serve Rice when you serve potatoes.

Unless you can mash everything up together and no one can tell the difference. Call it risotto, for crying out loud.

Just don't televise it.

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