Friday, December 29, 2006

BOWL PREVIEW: Meineke Car Care Bowl

Sometimes, a bowl game simply has "it" -- a matchup of different styles, of intriguing teams, of unusual foes.
Welcome to the Meineke Car Care Bowl, which would have nothing if it didn't have the interesting lineup of the Navy Midshipmen on one side and the Boston College Eagles on another.

And there will be coaching intrigue as well. Paul Johnson continues to be in the Alabama rumor mill, right up there with Nick Saban, Bob Stoops and Cyrano de Bergerac.
Calls all the plays for Saban.
Tom O'Brien, in the meantime, has left BC for the ... maybe as green pastures of N.C. State. And they are getting a coach, known as Jags, whose name I shall not attempt to spell.
Bowl: Meineke Car Care Bowl
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
When: Dec. 30, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Purported reason for existence: To pair a Big East team with an ACC team. Except when it pairs an ACC team with Navy.
Real reason for existence: Because there was a mid-size American city without a bowl.
Teams: Navy vs. BC
Interest level: The newest reality show. It's just interesting enough to merit a look-see.
Key player for Navy: Kaipo Kaheaku-Enhada, whose name will dizzy the Eagle defenders while he makes sure the trains run on time -- essentially the QB's only responsibility in Navy's option-based offense.
Key player for BC: Matt Ryan, who has spread his 2,700 passing yards among so may receivers that no one has more than 508. His 14 TDs to 8 INTs isn't overly impressive, but good enough to steer the Eagles to a 9-win season.
Winner: Navy. I think the offense can confound BC enough to dispirit a team without a coach. Besides, Navy wants to prove they're up there with the big boys, and this is the way to do it.

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