Monday, December 7, 2009

Insight on the Insight Bowl (a pun you will likely hear 9,286 times over the next 24 days)

There's been plenty of sarcasm and negativity around these parts lately, as I'm sure you have noticed.  Jeff and I tend to respond to it a bit differently.  He writes about it, which is healthy.  I, on the other hand, curl up in the fetal position on the floor with my thumb in my mouth, rocking back and forth while faintly humming the Minnesota rouser. It's not quite as healthy.

Last night our Golden Gophers were awarded for their efforts this season with a return trip to the Bowl in sunny Tempe, Arizona on New Year's Eve to play the Cyclones of Iowa State.  While you no doubt know exactly how we feel about this bowl if you are regular of this blog (and thank you again to all seven of you), I am here to talk silver lining. 

Bowl eligibility is an important thing for a football program.  It gives you an opportunity to play a program that you don't often get a chance to play, which gives the team a test outside of its conference.  It gives you an opportunity to represent the Big Ten Conference on a national level.  And perhaps most importantly for this Gopher team, it gives you another month of practices as a program that you desperately need if you are going to improve before next season. 

The very good news for the Gophers is that Iowa State is a much better match-up for us than a team like Missouri or Texas Tech would have been.  Iowa State is very similar to the Gophers in the sense that their strength is defense.  Their offense (21.5 ppg) actually ranked worse than ours (21.6 ppg) this year in points scored/game. 

Here are some links to get you started on prepping for the game:

*Official Insight Bowl website.
*ISU fans like the match-up too.(Make sure to check out the comments.  Hawkeye fans are already spewing hatred for the Gophers and jumping on the Cyclones bandwagon.)
*Rittenberg gives his first take on the game.
*ESPN has a brief preview with some statistical side-by-sides.
*If you plan to head to Tempe for the game, Creative Charters already has packages available.
*Nick Tow-Arnett thinks his third trip to the Insight Bowl might be a charm.
*ISU hasn't been to a bowl game since 2005, and their fans appear to be more excited about this game than we are.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Jermo, I could not agree with you more. While the Alamo Bowl would have been a little more prestigious bowl, this is the best matchup we could possibly have hoped for. Another no offense, all defense opponent might not make for a sexy matchup, but it does give us an excellent chance to win. It also could give us bragging rights over a BCS conference team from Iowa.

A HUGE thank you to the Insight Bowl folks for taking the Cyclones instead of Missouri. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!