Will our troops be proud of the game that honors them?
Old rusty and ratchet RFK Stadium gets to shine for its yearly hosting of the Military Bowl sponsored by something called Northrop Grumman. What the fine people at “NG” do is beyond me, but I’m sure they do their job well. (editor’s note- Northrop Grumman makes amazing military technology, some of which could quite possibly be aimed at us. We thank them for their service.)
Bowling Green heads to DC with an 8-4 record in 2012, a season that started with a near upset in Gainesville falling to the Florida Gators 27-14 despite leading late in the third quarter. BG head coach Dave Clawson said “This is a great reward for our players and staff who have put in so much work and effort to build our program back to bowl eligibility. It will be exciting to be able to spend the holiday season with the Falcon family in the Nation’s Capital.” Clawson clearly doesn’t get out much… The Falcons are led on defense by Chris Jones, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Offensively, the Falcons are led by third-year starting quarterback (started 34 games) Matt Schilz, throwing for 7,673 yards and 50 touchdowns.
The Buckeyes don’t lose to MAC teams and a meeting with BG would be no different. The last time the Bucks and Falcons met was in 2006, a 35-7 win for Ohio State.
San Jose State comes across the country to Washington with a 10-2 record on the season. The Spartans nearly clipped Stanford in their season opener, falling 20-17 in Palo Alto. They went on to go 10-1 the remainder of the way, good enough for second in the WAC. They will not be accompanied to DC by their head coach Mike MacIntyre, as he loved San Jose State Spartan football so much that he left for the head coaching slot at Colorado when it was offered. The Spartans are also in their last season as members of the WAC and will join the Mountain West Conference beginning in 2013. So they’ve got a lot going in in northern California at little old SJSU!
The Spartans and Buckeyes have only met one time, a 50-7 thrashing in Ohio Stadium during the 2002 national title run. A meeting ten years later would likely have brought the same results.
The BBC staff picks are as follows: Eric, Gary, Myself and Wva selected BGSU, while Mali and Janelle are going with San Jose State. I chose Bowling Green simply because they are from Ohio. Honest.
The game will be televised by ESPN… what else are you going to watch? It is “Bowl Week”, isn’t it?
I finally get to add my two bits into the bowl preview discussion. I couldn’t pick a better game to start it off with.
Toledo: The Rockets are a strong running team this year, ranking 14th in rushing behind Adonis Thomas’ 963 yards. They’re also a scoring machine, picking up 11 touchdowns from each of their top rushers, and 15 from each of their quarterbacks. This could have been an even better year for the Rockets if their defense had been a little more stiff.
Air Force: While Toledo is a strong running team, Air Force is a spectacular one. The Falcons are ranked 2nd in rushing with a 320 yards per game average. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who has actually watched an Air Force game in the last several years. Adding a dimension to their attack, however, is QB Tim Jefferson Jr. who has picked up 12 touchdowns and 1478 yards on a 60.9% completion rate. While they won’t go call his number often, he’s successful enough to give defenses something to think about.
Fun Fact: While Northrop Grumman is most famous for their aircraft, such as the B-2 and BQ-4, and spacecraft, like the LEM (as Grumman), they are also big ship-builders. In fact, every US Aircraft Carrier, including the Supercarriers, has been constructed at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. There’s a reason why they’re a major military contractor.
Who we got?
History: The Military Bowl, formerly known as the EagleBank Bowl, is played in the nation’s capital at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. The bowl game is now sponosored by defense contractor Northrop Grunman, which brought about the change in name this year as recently as October 26th. Not surprisingly, the game is designed to host one of the military institutions (Navy or Army) depending on a variety of factors, including bowl eligibility. 2010 will be the third year the game is played, with UCLA beating Temple last year and Wake Forest defeating Navy in the inaugural contest.
The Military Bowl gives a percentage of its proceeds to the United Service Organizations (USO), which provides support for our military personnel through a variety of programs and services. The bowl game’s committee hopes that the game will bring over $10 million of economic impact to the Washington, DC area.