Friday, December 29, 2006

BOWL PREVIEW: MPC Computers Bowl

Another day, another bowl soulessly named after its corporate sponsor, in this case the MPC Computers Bowl. Because nothing says "football" like a game named after computers and played on a blue field.
But at least the new name saves the bowl from the unseemly situation that unfolded a few years ago in the Humanitarian Bowl, which suggested, of course, a game touting the best in college football.
On the same day Clemson accepted a bid to the Humanitarian Bowl, two star Tigers were arrested on drug charges and subsequently kicked off the team. Tailback Travis Zachery and offensive tackle Akil Smith were arrested for sale and distribution of marijuana--the third time in two years a group of Clemson players has had problems with the law.
What is it about Tiggers players, bowl games and marijuana?
Clemson's postseason past-time.
In an entirely different category of utter disappointment is this year's Miami Hurricanes, chosen to contend for the ACC title and perhaps a national crown. This was, of course, back when we thought the ACC was a conference and not a competition to show just how back football could look. Instead, their team is .500, their coach received ye royal ax and a reputation for prestige has been soiled.
But take heart! You get to play a bowl game! In Boise! On blue turf!
Bowl: MPC Computers Bowl
Location: Boise, Idaho
When: Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Purported reason for existence: To match a WAC team with an ACC team.
Real reason for existence: Because there's nothing else to do in Boise on New Year's Eve.
Teams: Nevada vs. Miami
Interest level: The commercials. Yeah, they're not actually what you're watching, but occasionally, they're entertaining.
Key player for Nevada: CB Joe Garcia, who has six interceptions and earned All-WAC honors.
Key player for Miami: DE Calais Campbell, who has an eye-popping 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He's also forced three fumbles.
Winner: Miami. I do think the "win one for the coach" aspect will work in this game, because it has the extra emotional punch of playing for fallen teammate Bryan Pata. Besides, these guys eventually have to have something go their way.

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