What’s In the Bowl Game? Having Sun Fun with ASU, FSU & Tony
(SUNLAND PARK, NM) –– The Sun Bowl Association's announcement party was a little late getting started but it wasn’t an “El Paso-Time” thing.
Actually, it was an “ACC-Time” thing, as the conference negotiated bowl placement for 10 of its 14 teams.
Of course, those incurable gossips on social media had already poured milk over the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl's big reveal well before Florida State and Arizona State were announced, so the...crispness...of the timing was not that important.
It was all about what's in the bowl game, anyway; and the 86th edition of El Paso's picture postcard to the world looks like it might be fun.
First, please pardon Florida State if it didn't answer that phone call from El Paso right away. The ‘Noles have had a few balls in the air this weekend.
Bowl eligibility is great and all, but negotiating a likely eight-figure contract for a new head coach has been a bit of a distraction from the re-found joy of post-season football.
I don’t envy the junior senior associate assistant athletic director who’s job it is to sort through the logistical insanity of arranging almost-cross-country travel for a few hundred Seminoles and their Seminole things.
And does a flaming spear qualify as a carry-on?
Might have to check that at the counter.
Regardless, these will be the square peg-round hole questions FSU will be happy to ask and answer again after a year of doing the UTEP Two-Step in 2018, hopscotching past football to basketball before Halloween.
As for the ‘Noles’ opponent, Arizona State, not only do the Sun Devils get to chuck Sparky’s stuff in the back of the Corolla, they already know their directions, returning for their second Sun Bowl in three seasons.
But this is hardly a Georgia Tech (2011 and 2012) or, worse, a Purdue situation.
Call those years the “Staring at the Sun” Bowl –– we saw so much of Purdue’s giant block “P” it was etched on the backs of everyone’s eyelids.
Wonder if Kyle Orton ever thinks of El Paso? The Sun Bowl was his first, second and last bowl game as the Boilermakers’ quarterback, with a taste of Citrus in his junior season.
Come to think of it, after losing his first and last Sun Bowl we might be a recurring nightmare.
(Semi-serious question: how is Orton not a Legend of the Sun Bowl already? )
But for the Sun Devils, not only do they appreciate having a mere six-hour drive east on I-10, El Paso will enjoy the spark of head coach Herm Edwards who is one of the most charismatic, quotable coaches in the game that you play to win.
Sparky will also arrive with some momentum after ASU’s big upset of then-No. 6 Oregon a couple of weeks ago.
The hope is Florida State will come to El Paso ready to impress new head coach Mike Norvell, who was officially announced Saturday after his Memphis Tigers capped an AAC Championship and earned a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
Florida State’s name alone will draw eyeballs and, certainly, there is still some talent on its roster. It was only five seasons ago that the Seminoles were in the College Football Playoff semifinals and played in the Rose Bowl.
Let’s be honest about the ‘Noles, though. They're a bit banged up, and word is a couple of talented offensive players might sit out to rest up for the NFL draft.
That’s the way of the college football world these days.
Regardless, come December 31st, “El Paso-Time” will be High Noon.