BOWL PREVIEW: The Insight Bowl
Occasionally, when a relative is hidden from the visitors, it's a bad thing. Such is the case when Bill, the really cool uncle, has to be stowed in the attic for a party because he killed a man with his bare hands and is on the lam from the law.
But then there is the time when you put Aunt Sue in the attic, even though she's done nothing wrong, simply because she lost her mind when the little green men came to visit.
Now, look at the Texas Bowl between Rutgers and Kansas State as Uncle Bill. He's really cool, but he's stuck on the NFL Network because it is, after all, the Texas Bowl, even though it had two of the more surprising teams of the year.
The Insight Bowl, on the other hand, is Aunt Sue. It's not the bowl's fault that its choices -- Minnesota and Texas Tech -- have been mediocre and thoroughly uninteresting this year. Even with Mike Leach -- arrgh! But you have to appreciate the fact that it's stowed away all the same.
Meanwhile, the bowl tries to distinguish itself with things that have very little to do with the game itself. Look at the futuristic logo! Look at the trophy, shaped like -- well, look at the trophy!
Hail the loogey from the 22nd Century!
Bowl: Insight Bowl
Location: Tempe, Arizona
When: Dec. 29, 8 p.m., The (Bless the) NFL Network
Purported reason for existence: To pair a Big Ten team with a Big XII team.
Real reason for existence: To show you what football logos and trophies look like in the future.
Teams: Texas Tech vs. Minnesota
Interest level: Your nephew's Christmas play that gets canceled because of a typhoid epidemic at his school. Whew! That was close.
Key player for Texas Tech: QB ... whoever it is, who has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and scads of TDs because he is the quarterback at Texas Tech. Graham Harrell's exact numbers are 4,110 yards and 36 TDs along with 10 interceptions.
Key player for Minnesota: With Minnesota having a good running game, but not Maroney good, I'll go with QB Bryan Cupito, who threw for 2,556 yards and 19 TDs and 8 picks.
Winner: Texas Tech. Minnesota's defense is suspect and should be an easy target for ... whatever you call Leach's offense. The real winners? The college football fans who have an excuse for missing this one.