12.12.14

A POWER FIVE BOWL GAME.

Marshall University's reaction to being paired with Northern Illinois in the initial Boca Raton Bowl is favorable.
[Marshall coach Mike] Hamrick repeatedly pointed out that NIU, like Marshall, received votes in the two major polls, and the teams are a combined 23-3. The first known ranking of bowls by order of intriguing matchups, from Yahoo Sports, ranks the Boca game 10th of 38, and the Dallas game 37th.

“It’s no secret that the three schools considered for the ‘access bowl’ were Boise State, Marshall and Northern Illinois,” Hamrick said. “I know that for a fact. So we have an opportunity that I thought was important for us, to go make a statement that, ‘Hey, we feel like we’re one of those top schools.’

“Now, would we have a better chance at doing that against a champion from another conference, or would we have a better chance of doing that with a 6-6 team, from whatever conference?”
The 6-6 team the coach refers to is also from Illinois, playing another Conference USA representative, Louisiana Tech.  The article provides additional background on the proliferation of bowls (apparently, as long as teams get to six wins, the sentiment in college sports is that they get bowls, resource drains notwithstanding).  But Yardbarker likes the game, and the West Virginia Gazette refers to it as a "G-5 national championship."  And here's a trivia question.
There are three bowl games this year pitting conference champion against conference champion. One is the Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Ohio State, and one is the Rose Bowl between Oregon and Florida State.

What is the other one?
Promises to be a good one.

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