December 17, 2002

The college football bowl season begins tonight at 7 p.m. as my alma mater, the Sun Belt-sweeping, top-10-defense-having, little-respect-getting North Texas Mean Green face the Cincinnati Bearcats in the New Orleans Bowl. Orlando Sentinel writer Joe Schad asks a question that's likely on the minds of many now that 28 bowls are being held: "Are Tulane (7-5), North Texas (7-5), Minnesota (7-5) Cincinnati (7-6), New Mexico (7-6), Ole Miss (6-6), Iowa State (7-6), Wake Forest (6-6), Wisconsin (7-6), Purdue (6-6) and even Nebraska (7-6) truly deserving of bids?"

posted by rcade to football at 10:57 AM - 7 comments

I already know the answer to this question: two conference champs like North Texas and Cincinnati deserve to be in a bowl game a lot more than a team like Nebraska, which finished in seventh place in the Big 12 with a 3-5 conference record. For Nebraska to be playing while a team like 9-2 South Florida stays home is a travesty. North Texas swept its conference and has one of the top 10 defenses in the nation. I endured enough jibes last season when the team went bowling with a losing record. There ought to be no question this year that it deserves to be in Nawlins. On the off chance that this post will be seen by a fellow UNT alumnus, we're kvetching about this slight in more detail on the Go MeanGreen.Com message board.

posted by rcade at 11:01 AM on December 17, 2002

Speaking of the Mean Green, did you see that Scripps Howard columnist John Lindsay acknowledged the flood of email he got after he referred to the team as North Texas State? "But every game means something to a group of fans. You want proof? Try calling New Orleans Bowl-bound North Texas, North Texas State in print. We made that mistake and got bombed by angry e-mails from UNT alums."

posted by thescoop at 12:13 PM on December 17, 2002

My Minnesota team doesn't deserve to be still playing. They ended the season with 4 straight Big Ten loses to Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa by a combined score of 79-169. And 4 of our wins were nonconference games against the likes of Southwest Texas State and Louisiana-Lafayette. Our only big win of the year was against Michigan State.

posted by emoeby at 12:27 PM on December 17, 2002

Thanks for that link to Lindsey's new column. I helped instigate some of those e-mails -- I'm such a big Mean Green homer that it takes every fiber of my being not to flood Sportsfilter with UNT news. Lindsey was quick (and contrite) in his responses.

posted by rcade at 12:45 PM on December 17, 2002

I guess I'll turn rcade's posting into this week's college football roundup (less work for me!), since the big topic is the bowl lineup. I've gathered some predictions and other commentary from some of the lesser-known sportswriters around the nation. Enjoy!
Bud Withers, Seattle Times Blair Kerkhoff, Knight Ridder Jim Day, Oregon Statesman Journal Anthony Cotton, Denver Post Grant Parker, Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury
More as I find them...

posted by thescoop at 01:35 PM on December 17, 2002

Wake Forest? In a bowl? That just dosen't sound right to me.

posted by jasonbondshow at 08:37 AM on December 18, 2002

Wisconsin was dismal in the Big Ten (at least we got Paul Bunyan's Axe). I can't imagine the drubbing they'll get from Colorado.

posted by shackbar at 10:28 PM on December 22, 2002

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