Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday Night Beer: Extremely Premature Bowl Speculation

This afternoon, Kevin Kugler and Mike'l Severe on KOZN-1620 AM radio discussed bowl possibilities for the Huskers. First of all, any bowl speculation is premature at this point. Nebraska needs to win at least one game to become bowl eligible, though with three winnable games coming up, I think it's more likely the Huskers go bowling than not. And after last season, any bowl game is a good bowl game for Nebraska. But some bowl games are better than others.

Here is the Big XII pecking order after the BCS selects their team(s): Cotton, Holiday, Gator (choice of Big East or Big 12 team), Alamo, Sun (if Gator doesn't choose a Big 12 team), Insight, Independence, and Texas. Now, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Missouri will all be chosen ahead of Nebraska, so the best Nebraska can do is the Alamo Bowl. Most likely, it's one of the lower tier bowls: Sun, Insight, Independence, and Texas. Most of the speculation today revolved around the Insight and Sun Bowls, with Kevin and Mike'l preferring the Insight Bowl in Phoenix over the Sun Bowl in El Paso.

Unless you are definitely planning to travel to the bowl game, you definitely don't want the Huskers to end up in the Insight Bowl. Tempe has some advantages as a destination: weather is pretty good and plenty of activities. Tempe's New Years Eve block party is one of the world's best places to spend New Years Eve, though that is going to be tough for football fans since the game will be going on simultaneously with much of the festivities. (On New Years Eve in 1995, if you weren't in a restaurant by about 5 pm, you weren't eating. And with a 3:30 pm local time kickoff, that's going to be midway through the 2nd quarter...) But the worst part of the Insight Bowl?

It's televised on the NFL Network.

Oh sure, if you have NFL Network on your cable TV, it's not a problem. But with only about 42 million homes having access to the NFL Network, most people can't watch it. On the other hand, the Sun Bowl is broadcast by CBS nationwide; it's available to just about anybody with a television set. That makes it a no-brainer decision: the Sun Bowl is a MUCH preferable bowl game over the Insight. It's not even close.

UNO hockey got a needed split over the weekend on the road at Bowling Green to open the conference schedule. UNO's 5-1 record is the best in the program's history, though one has to admit that the competition hasn't been the strongest to this point. They are getting votes in the USCHO poll, which is a positive sign. Junior Eddie DelGrosso was named CCHA defensive player of the week. Goaltending has been strong this season, which is a marked change from the last few years. But we probably won't know much about the Mavs until later this month when Ferris State and Michigan State come to town.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Husker Mike, good points on the television aspects, especially since bowl games have a large impact on recruiting. However, if you're traveling to the game, the Insight Bowl is the choice without a doubt. El Paso has nothing on Phoenix, though us Husker fans can have a good time together anywhere. I've had some of the best times at Husker games traveling to Ames or Missouri.