“Poinsettia Bowl-Who to Blame”
It was terrible, the game, the crowd turnout, and the whole reason this ever happened.
This being the Poinsettia Bowl, the game that matched Boise State-vs-Northern Illinois. A very good Mountain West Conference team against a Mid American Conference team that had an up and down year.
First things, first. The (55-7) game was a mismatch like we have seldom seen before. Boise bombed them from the first series on, and Northern Illinois never ever responded. Pick any number you want, and this matchup should never have been put in place.
The Broncos outgained the Huskies (654-to-33) in yardage. That’s no misprint. The guys wearing Orange-Blue pounded NIU-black and blue, with five quarterback sacks, 3-takeaways, and a 43-18 minute edge in time of possession.
Let’s clarify the victims here, the leadership of the Poinsettia Bowl. Mark Neville and Bruce Binkowski, the “Bowl Boys”, who have carried on the tradition of doing great things with these post season games, have to be alarmed at what the process has turned into. They didn’t pick the game, nor the 1-30pm starting time. They were told who and when to play.
This falls directly on the shoulders of Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson, whose faulty leadership of this conference, has to be held up to the light. You remember the last time he was making headlines, it was with some type of ill fated Mountain West-Big East football-basketball alignment.
The conference also pushed for possible agreements with BYU and downtrodden Army, guaranteeing them spots. BYU opted out, again shame on the conference, and Army does not belong any longer as a bowl consideration team, despite out country’s loyalty to West Point.
When last heard from this season, he was whining too about what happened when Nevada and Colorado State wound up in the about-to-be played Arizona Bowl.
He needs to fight harder, be louder, before the decisions are to be handed down. By agreeing to these type of matchups without pounding on the table, hurt this bowl, and put its leadership in a bad light.
Blame-credit ESPN for this debacle at the same time. They are dictating these second tier bowl matchups, maybe on hopes for television ratings, though, outside of Boise’s following, I doubt anyone from DeKalb, Illinois made the trip out here. An early afternoon start, 1:30pm, on a weekday, guaranteed you what you got in the seats, just 21,000 and change.
The bowls need the ESPN-TV money, maybe 1.6M for this bowl, but they need guarantees of better matchups, and the chance to sell tickets.
The Poinsettia history has been dotted with good teams, TCU, Boise, Navy, but also some bad games, Northern Illinois is now (0-3) here and should not be invited back. The Mid-American Conference has given the NFL some really good quarterbacks, highlited by Ben Roethlisberger of Miami of Ohio. This year,k Bowling Green and Toledo lit it up throwing the ball. Anything would have been better than what we saw Wednesday afternoon.
Just think of what the possibilities could have been. Boise State-vs-BYU? A little Rocky Mountain hate? Boise State-vs-San Diego State? Some big time fuel on the fire from SDSU coach Rocky Long who remains miffed Boise thinks they are invincible.
Yes, it would have been two conference foes facing each other, but could you imagine the Aztecs defense, (31-turnvoers-33-sacks) against Brett Rypien and the Boise big play offense?
And think of the kind of ticket sales you would have had, to see if the Aztecs were truly ready to surpass the Broncos as the flagship team in the conference.
I feel bad for a bunch of good people, the Holiday Bowl people and those who donate time to the Poinsettia Bowl I feel mad that outsiders, like ESPN make these deicisions. I feel sad that a state of the art conference believes that the commissioner is doing a good job.
Football fans deserved better. The Poinsettia people deserved better. San Diego deserved better.