December 6, 2007

Football NIT - First Round

Selection Saturday is now behind us and it is time to delve into the matchups. We were fortunate enough to secure defunct bowl games and sites to host our tournament. Also, I encourage you to frequent our corporate sponsors as it wouldn't be possible with out them.

The Enron Oil Bowl
#8 Nebraska
#1 Mississippi
Location: Houston, TX
Corporate Sponsor: Enron Corp
Last Oil Bowl Game: Georgia Tech-41 vs St. Mary's-19, 1947

I know that everyone still has the 2002 Independence Bowl still fresh in their memories. Cornhusker fans haven't forgotten the 23-27 loss at the hands of Mississippi that year. These two teams combine for 8 national championships but those trophies would need to be moved if either were lucky enough to win the first Wal-Mart NIT trophy.

This turned out to be a great game but Nebraska proved to be the charmed team. This 2007 version of the Huskers is a very special team. It takes a special team to average 54.3 points per game to end their season yet lose two of them giving up an average of 57.3 ppg. In the end the fact that the Cornhuskers have a player with the last name Lucky is what got it done. Marlon Lucky couldn't be stopped and Nebraska beat the solid but unspectacular Ole Miss squad.

Nebraska - 51
Ole Miss - 45

The Fridge Refrigerator Bowl
#7 Washington
#2 Notre Dame
Location: Evansville, IN
Corporate Sponsor: William Perry and The Fridge
Last Refrigerator Bowl Game: Sam Houston State-27 vs. Middle Tenn State-13, 1956

OH the drama surrounding this game as we have the sister of the Irish starting QB is actually dating...wait, nevermind, not that drama. OK so obviously the story here is Charlie Weis vs. Tryone Willingham Part II. Revenge for Willingham? Kirk Herbstreit is reporting that Weis's job is on the line and the Irish come through to save it for their lovable offensive genius.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Washing is a certainty to win, but I've heard that Charlie Weis is an offensive genius. His Irish offense scored 16.4 points per game this year (that's almost 2 TDs AND a FG per game). How can a genius lose this game? He doesn't. The Irish win on 2 Tom Zbikowski TDs (did you know he is a boxer?) and a couple FGs set up by Zbikowski returns. Washington scores 2 safeties to go with their offensive firepower but it wasn't enough.

Notre Dame - 20
Washington - 18

The Hooters Air Aviation Bowl
#6 Syracuse
#3 Miami
Location: Dayton, OH
Corporate Sponsor: Hooters Airlines (resuming service in March 2008)
Last Aviation Bowl Game: New Mexico State-28 vs. Western Michigan-12, 1961

This game was decided on the flights to Dayton. Miami is used to bikinis and tan bodies while Syracuse is used to sweaters and turtlenecks (yeah BABY). The Hooters in flight staff distraction was too great for the Orangemen and they didn't recover in time for the game.

This one isn't close as the U rolls on to the 2nd round.

Miami - 69
Syracuse - 00

The Pink Taco Salad Bowl
#5 Minnesota
#4 Idaho
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Corporate Sponsor: Pink Taco Restaurants
Last Salad Bowl Game: Houston-26 vs. Dayton-21, 1956

This is the matchup of the first round as both teams come in blazing hot on 10 game losing streaks. While many were anticipating high scoring and plenty of offense they were fortunate to see the latter but not the former. The vandals and gophers combined for 1453 total yards, but they also combined for 11 interceptions. Both team's fans have been used to seeing interceptions thrown so this game was not surprising to them.

Minnesota moves on to the second round on a last second touchdown. Adam Weber threw a 20 yard pass to Wheelright that was intercepted. But the refs called interference on Idaho DB Herbert Cash. The gophers got the ball inside the 5 and scored on a Duane Bennett TD run as time expired.

Minnesota - 14
Idaho - 7

Check back soon for the NIT Semi-Finals.

1 comment:

T-Mill said...

In the words of my wife, a University of Miami alum, "At least we won something.

Winner of round two between Miami and MInnesota gets the rights to the moniker UM.