Georgia trying to get past Outback, Cotton snub
Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2001
This was supposed to be Alabama’s bowl game.
Georgia and head coach Mark Richt were all set to spend the first day of 2002 at either the Outback or Cotton Bowls, while Tide fans, following a 28-15 bowl-eligible win over Southern Miss, were making plans for the Music City Bowl.
Then LSU threw one heck of a kink into everyone’s postseason prospects by upsetting Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.
Alabama headed to Shreveport, while Georgia (8-3 overall, 5-3 SEC) got bumped to Nashville.
"It was a shock to us at first," said senior tailback Vernon Haynes. "I don’t think we thought, at 8-3, we were even in the thought process for that bowl."
Richt just hopes his team is able to get over the perceived snub by the selection committee in time to play what he calls an "outstanding football team" in the Boston College Eagles.
"As soon as you look at the tape (of Boston College), I think everyone realizes that we are going to have a heck of a ball game," he said. "Offensively, they have William Green, who is one of the best running backs in the nation. Brian St. Pierre, their quarterback, is outstanding and they have receivers that can make plays. It is going to be a great challenge."
The Eagles (7-4 overall, 4-3 Big East) haven’t beaten any quality football teams this year, but did come within a hair of upsetting top-ranked Miami at home. St. Pierre and Green are Boston College’s offense, with the former throwing for 25 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions, while his tailback led the Big East in rushing with 1,559 yards.
SEC Freshman of the Year David Greene can match St. Pierre’s numbers, (2,789 yards and 17 TDs), and Hayes, a converted fullback, gained 521 yards in the Bulldogs’ final three games of the year, all wins. He has 691 total this season.
Texas Christian will look to break a 23 game losing streak to Texas A&M in the galleryfurniture.com Bowl at the Astrodome in Houston.
The Horned Frogs (6-5 overall, 4-3 Conference USA) will also be looking for a little revenge over one of the teams that jumped ship to the Big 12 six years ago when the Southwest Conference dissolved, leaving TCU and other teams out of the loop.
The Aggies (7-4 overall, 4-4 Big 12) and Texas Christian last met in 1995.
"I spent a big part of my coaching career in the Southwest Conference and I have fond memories of those games," said A&M head coach R.C. Slocum.
What Slocum doesn’t have fond memories of is the Aggies late season collapse in 2001. Texas A&M finished out the year with a three-game losing streak.
TCU dual-threat quarterback Casey Printers (1,824 yards and 13 TDs) will get a lot of work in this game. The Horned Frogs’ rushing game is on again, off again, and other then wide out Adrian Madise (819 yards), TCU doesn’t have any other dependable receivers.
For Texas, 2001 was supposed to be the year Chris Sims finally came into his own as the Longhorns’ starting quarterback.
But Sims, the son of former New York Giants’ quarterback Phil Sims, went color blind at some point in the season and began throwing interceptions quicker then head coach Mack Brown could say "Major Applewhite".
Applewhite, Texas’ career passing leader, will play his final game this season against Washington (8-3 overall, 6-2 Pac-10) in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, Ca.
In what action he’s seen this season, the senior has completed 63 percent of his passes, and was almost able to engineer a late comeback over Colorado in the Big 12 Championship game.
Washington and Rich Neuheisel may be still be suffering from a case of bruised-ego following a 58-point loss to No. 1 Miami in the regular season finale. If the game comes down to the fourth quarter, though, the Huskies could be able to pull it out. Although they were blown out three times this season, in the past two years Washington is 19-0 when trailing by 20 or fewer points in the fourth quarter.