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Wonderful week


January 05, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

What a strange yet strangely wonderful week.

Bowl week has always been a great time for sports. The pageantry, the games, the matchups you never thought you'd get to see and of course, the obligatory Texas A&M loss have all become a big part of the way I usher in the new year.

While this holiday was a bit different (I was in Las Vegas this New Year's and I did get married to the most wonderful girl in the world at just about the exact moment the Aggies were costing me a bit of money) the NCAA's bowl games still did not fail to entertain. Nor did they fail to pique my interest.

For instance, does anyone else find Oregon State's newfound ‘attitude' a bit strange? I remember when the Beavers were a peaceful bunch of losers led by the likes of Erik Wilhelm, and what are they now? A group of street thugs who set the NCAA record for being penalized and put a hurting on Notre Dame the likes of which hadn't been felt in South Bend in a long time.


It's apparent Dennis Erickson has turned OSU into a winner, but I wonder at what cost? Will the Beavers soon be reviled like the Miami Hurricanes of old? Maybe they will, and wouldn't that be funny, the dirtiest team in the game coming straight out of Corvalis.

Another thing that bothers me is all this BCS stuff. Why does bowl week now last until Jan. 3? It seemed when I was just a child everything was wrapped up nicely on New Year's Day and that was the way I liked it. Obviously they stretch this out so everyone can make more money, but do we really need this? I say let them play all the games on Jan. 1 except the national title game, which can be played on Jan. 2. How many people can really say they watched this year's Orange Bowl and were excited by it? I know I can't.

As for the national title game, I don't think you could have asked for a better one. Despite the fact both teams' offenses short-circuited, it was still a well-played, edge-of-your-seat thriller, which is exactly the way it should be.

Locally, we split, as Central Union's Marshaun Tucker and the Oregon Ducks knocked off Texas while Imperial's Robert Thomas and UCLA fell by one point to Wisconsin.

What about the names of these games? Are they just getting ridiculous or what? The Bowl and the Bowl are just two of the games with names that hardly cause pride to swell in its participants' hearts. Couple this with the fact that there are now way too many bowl games and I wonder if perhaps going bowling is just not as impressive as it once was.

I can think of quite a few teams who got into bowls yet finished the season with 6-5 records. I hardly think 6-5 is a record worth a trip to the postseason. After all, that's just one game over .500, which hardly means these teams had great years.

Finally to the embarrassment in Shreveport. You could say the snow wreaked havoc on the Aggies. After all, you don't get a lot of the white stuff in College Station. Or perhaps it was the sly fox Jackie Sherrill outcoaching his one-time protege R.C. Slocum. Whatever the case, A&M is now 2-8 in bowl games under R.C. and unless he figures out how to win a game after Dec. 1, it's going to be a long time before I see my longstanding New Year's wish come true.

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