|It's not going to be this dark in El Paso on Dec. 31 at 2 p.m.|
It's the only conference where you can look reasonably horrible before a small crowd in Ohio in the last regular-season game and get what amounts to a reward.
Win the conference or division and go to Detroit, Boise or Mobile.
Finish somewhat farther back in the conference and go to El Paso or Las Vegas.
It was that way last year for the Temple Owls, when they spit the bit at Ohio and lost, 35-17, in the defacto MAC East championship game and got the marquee opponent of the MAC postseason in UCLA before 20,000 Temple fans in D.C.
It appears to be that way again this season, the marquee opponent part, not the D.C. part.
I must admit that I thought the season was, for all intents and purposes, over with a 23-3 loss at Miami.
The Owls would not have been a hot team coming into the postseason.
Their one marquee player has been an injury question mark and they would not bring 20,000 fans on the road with them like they did last year.
Reading the reports, though, I'm thinking that the Owls will find their way to a bowl game, more likely than not in a sunny and warm (err, warmer) climate.
If I had to handicap it today, I would go with these numbers:
- 30 percent chance of Sun Bowl vs. Miami of Florida;
- 20 percent chance of Vegas Bowl vs. Utah;
- 15 percent chance of Humanitarian Bowl vs. Nevada or Fresno State;
- 5 percent chance of "some other bowl";
- 30 percent chance of no bowl;
Orlando Sentinel says the Owls will go to the Sun Bowl to face Miami (Fla.) and I will take that.
The first thing you have to do when you read a bowl projection is skip over the ones that have "bleacher report" written next to the writer's byline.
It's a bunch of Joe Schmoes, like you and me, reports worth money Bleacher Report paid for them _ which is nothing.
|The MAAC Vegas Bowl in, well, you know.|
That's why I'm giving credence to sites like CBSSportsline.com and people like Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated.
Those sites have the Owls going to either the Sun Bowl to play the U (the real Miami) or the Vegas Bowl to play Utah.
I'll take either one.
I will pass on playing Boise or Nevada in Idaho, which is where many of the Joe Schmoes on Bleacher Report have us going. Pass, because it's too much of a hardship for our fans.
The only reason I want to play a bowl is to get this bad taste out of my mouth that I've had the last couple of weeks and I want to be there when it happens. Since I haven't been eating garlic, it must be the losing that's eating at me.
I like what Michael Vick said after the game last night.
"I hate losing. It makes me sick. It makes me ill."
I hear ya, Michael. Losing makes me sick, too, and the only remedy is to win again.
I don't want to wait until next year for the cure.
It's only a reward, though, if you go there (wherever) and win. I want to see these Owls and especially the seniors go out with a swagger. I want to avenge the loss to UCLA and close the season the way it started _ bringing home a trophy. The season started with a Mayor's Cup Trophy.
I want it to end with a Sun Bowl or a Vegas Bowl Trophy.
You can only get that by playing the game.
Beating Utah or the real Miami is the best mouthwash I can think of right now.