And now, the bowls get B1G
In one of the more shocking developments since the end of the college football season, Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville decided to leave the school to go north and take the opening left by Butch Jones (who is going to Tennessee) and become the top cat at Cincinnati. The Red Raiders will be led in the Check Your Washer Fluid Level Bowl by offensive line coach Chris Thomsen. They come into the game at 7-5 having lost two in a row to Oklahoma State and Baylor. They were demoralized by Kansas State and Oklahoma while pulling one of the at the time biggest surprise upsets of the season when they ambushed previously unbeaten West Virginia in Lubbock 49-14. The Red Raiders are known for offense and this season was no different. Quarterback Seth Doege threw for 3934 yards and 38 touchdowns to a pair of 900+ yard receivers in Darrin Moore (948, 13 TD’s) and Eric Ward (974, 11 TD’s).
On the home front, the Buckeyes are 2-0 all-time against Texas Tech. It’s hard to forget their last matchup, the 2002 “coming out party” for freshman running Maurice Clarrett en route to a 45-21 victory and eventual national championship season.
Minnesota comes into the matchup at 6-6 and also losers of two straight to Nebraska and Michigan State. I wish I could say differently, but Jerry Kill’s Gophers biggest wins this season came against Syracuse and Purdue. Yep, definitely marquee wins if ever there was such a thing. The Gophers saw a pretty nice season from Donnell Kirkwood who finished with 878 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on the season. Their quarterback situation was a complete mess of injury and ineptness that saw three guys see action, none of them inspiring much confidence.
The BBC staff picks: It’s unanimous, everyone selected Texas Tech. Again, I wish I could tell you that Minnesota is a hidden gem and will bring the noise down in Houston, it just isn’t going to happen. If Ohio State and Penn State were bowl eligible, the Gophers would be at home.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN, but it’s a Friday night. You must be able to find something better to do, right?