Originally Posted by Chip R
Boy, I dunno, paint. The Gator Bowl is about the only one out there that's worth a darn. Let's face it, if it isn't being played on or after New Years day, nobody really gives a hoot. I may be way off but I don't see a lot of UC folk heading to either Jacksonville or El Paso to watch a 7-4 or 8-3 team.
The bowl affiliation with the conferences is a problem too. Let me give you an example. Back in the 70s, Iowa had a horrible football program. They hired Hayden Fry and petty soon they started going to bowls, the first of which was the Rose Bowl. Now there weren't so many bowls back then so most of them had some panache to them. I believe they played in the Gator Bowl one year, Holiday Bowl another, Peach Bowl another year. They were going to different bowls every year with a trip to Pasadena thrown in there every few years. But in the 90s they started doing these conference tie ins with the bowls. Some of the other doormats of the Big 10 improves as well like Wisconsin and MSU and Purdue and even Northwestern. Plus they added Penn St. Iowa started getting mediocre. They would finish about 4th or 5th about every year and were obligated to go to the Sun Bowl or the Alamo Bowl. The first couple of years was OK but after that people lost interest because they were going to the same bowls every year. Nothing against San Antonio but my friends and I took to calling the Alamo bowl the Al-Lame-o Bowl. People like going to different places. If they don't make the BCS game, UC is going to be in the same situation. After a few years it will be, "Ho hum, we made the Sun Bowl again." or "Another Gator Bowl. Big deal." I can just see Daugherty writing a column on how there are too many bowl games and UC is going to a boring game. And I can hear the Angry Guys snarking about El Paso or Birmingham. And it won't be a lot different than the Minter years. I really think they are going to have to go to a BCS bowl or two to charge that fanbase.
Personally, I find that scenario quite appealing compared to the current situation. Face it, half the city doesn't know there's even major college football being played here. UC hasn't been to anything higher than a third-tier bowl game since I was born. A Sun Bowl birth would at least make people notice. Iowa doesn't have a problem getting fans to home games, do they? Of course not.
I do agree that UC fans aren't going to travel to see this team in anything less than a New Year's Bowl. But right now, the objective is to get people to travel to Nippert first so there are more than 15,000 there for nationally televised games.