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The Big Story That Most UC Fans AREN'T Talking About

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UC fans are understandably obsessed with any and all rumors coming out of Notre Dame (no matter how absurd), but there is a potentially huge story that isn't getting nearly enough attention - the Gator Bowl's publically stated desire to select West Virginia as its Big East representative.

 

In a story in the Florida Times-Union on Monday, Gator Bowl selection committee chairman Brian Goin (yes, that's Bob's son) said that the 8-3 Mountaineers are their number one choice to face an ACC team.

 

"There's no question West Virginia is in the driver's seat," Goin told the Jacksonville paper.

 

If Cincinnati beats Pitt on Saturday and earns a BCS bowl bid, the Gator Bowl story doesn't mean much.  But if the Bearcats lose, they could wind up in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on December 26th in Charlotte, despite an 11-1 record and a possible Top 10 national ranking.

 

How do you suppose Brian Kelly would feel about that?

 

The Gator Bowl says it wants West Virginia for two reasons.  First and foremost, the Mountaineers have been to the game six times and have always brought a large contingent of fans.  Secondly, bowl officials have targeted Florida State to be the ACC representative, making it a regional draw for fans who would buy tickets to see Bobby Bowden's final game.

 

"The cool matchup would be to play coach Bowden against his former team," Gator Bowl President Rick Catlett told SI.com on Wednesday.  "One of the interesting things we've found is that [Bowden's] streak of 27 straight bowl games started with Florida State over West Virginia in the 1982 Gator Bowl."

 

This is potentially a huge embarrassment to the Big East.  In fairness to league officials, it's the final year of the Big East's deal with the Gator Bowl, so they don't have much leverage to convince officials from that bowl to pick the most deserving team.  Next year, the Big East's #2 team will go to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

 

But here's my question.  Why haven't Big East officials been screaming at the top of their lungs about Cincinnati deserving a BCS bowl bid win or lose on Saturday?  Right now, most of the credible bowl projections show Iowa getting a BCS bid.  Would the 10-2 Hawkeyes be more deserving than an 11-1 Cincinnati team?  Sure, Iowa fans have a proven track record of traveling to bowl games, but did anyone notice how many Cincinnati fans made it to the Orange Bowl last year?

 

Again, it's a moot point if UC beats Pittsburgh on Saturday.  If the Bearcats win, they'll go to New Orleans, Miami, Glendale, or yes, even the BCS Championship Game in Pasadena.

 

If UC loses, it looks like they'll spend Christmas in Charlotte.

 

At the moment, I'm more bothered by the stories coming out of Jacksonville than South Bend.

 

I'd love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.

 

And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

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2 Comments

that is absurd, UC should go to a bowl game no matter if the win or lose saturday and not some small stupid bowl game but one of the big bowl games. they had a great record this year.

Just another staple for the almight green. Sad really. However, let's beat Pitt and assume the Gator Bowl officials knew we were BCS material from the get go. Gotta love the confidence!