It seems like everyone here at the BBC has been picking up their game with these
bowl previews (other than who we pick to win, which hasn’t gone so well) since I wrote the initial one, so I feel the pressure to perform here.
Still, no one has created quite the controversy that I did with the Fresno State fans and whatnot, and outside of the PAC-10 getting embarrassed thus far, that has probably been the most enjoyable thing of this young bowl season for me. So I can hang my hat on that.
Still, the pizza bowl (I am going to call it that for short) features too local teams that I don’t think I would get much pleasure out of pissing off, so I will try to stay in line this time (even though I think I was proven to be quite correct in my assessment of the WAC thanks to those scrappy Wyoming Cowboys).
December 26th, 2009 1 PM ET
Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Fist, I would like to point out that I used two different shades of green for the title, that’s called professionalism.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl has been played annually since 1997, however, prior to this year, it has been called the Motor City Bowl (which was jointly sponsored by the big three automakers). If you’re like me, this is the point were you say, ohhhhh, this oddly named bowl sort of makes sense now. Apparently pizza is immune to recession.
The bowl features a team from the MAC (usually the conference champ, even though they are not required to accept the invite, which happened this year) against an eligible team from the Big Ten. If no eligible team from the Big Ten is available, the Big East is tagged in, and if no Big East team is available, an at large is the final resort.
It seems like the at large bid is chosen more often than not in this bowl, and they went that route again this year with Marshall.
Ohio comes to the Pizza Bowl after winning the East Division of the MAC, but
losing to Central Michigan in the Championship game. Their other losses have been to UConn, Kent State, and at Tennessee.
This is only the fourth trip OU has ever made to a bowl game, and if the Bobcats win they will post their best record since 1968 when they went 10-1. So yeah, they are having a pretty good year this year as far as OU is concerned.
At the risk of inviting a bunch of pissed off Bobcats into our midst, that is about it for my analysis of Ohio. They are coached by Frank Solich, former coach of Nebraska, who I like and think is a great coach for OU. I will be rooting for them in this game.
The most interesting thing about Marshall this year is that their coach Mark Snyder stepped down prior to their bowl game after five straight years of disappointing seasons (nothing above .500, unless they win this game).
You may remember (or not) Snyder from his four years as a coach at Ohio State, including a stint as the defensive coordinator in 2004, his last year with the Buckeyes.
Marshall was Snyder’s alma mater, and he played football for the Thundering Herd, so you have to imagine he was pretty pumped to be their head coach, which makes it relatively sad that it did not work out for him (always root for former Buckeyes and all of that).
Still, according to my sources (wikipedia), Snyder is being considered for the recently vacated Central Michigan job, so yeah, that wouldn’t be too bad for him.
As far as the actual football team, the Herd suffered a pretty bad loss at the hands of UTEP (52-21) in the last game of the regular season, which apparently prompted Snyder to resign. So you have to think that minus their head coach and coming off a bad loss, Marshall might have some psychological issues going into this game.
Also, it should be noted that this is apparently a rivalry game (The Battle of the Bell!) and the schools are only located about 80 miles from one another, so that adds a mildly interesting dimension to the game.
Jeff at the BBC: Ohio
The staff has unanimously chosen Ohio in this game, which is possibly the kiss of death based on our results thus far, however, Marshall has a lot of off the field issues and Ohio appears to be having one of the strongest seasons in their history, so yeah.
In case you are keeping track, here are the standing for the staff thus far.
Jim: 1-4 (boo!)