One thing left to prove in Mobile
Published 9:25 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2009
College football’s version of Selection Sunday has come and gone, and its result may have surprised some people, particularly in Mount Pleasant, Mich. and Troy.
The BCS games played out exactly how everyone hoped and thought they would, including an excellent match up between Boise State and TCU.
But both the Chippewas and the Trojans find themselves in unfamiliar territory – playing in January.
In fact, as everyone knows, the two will meet in the GMAC Bowl, which takes places one day ahead of the main course of all bowl games – the BCS National Championship game.
While some people may not like the idea of Troy not playing in New Orleans, one cannot deny that this is a major opportunity for the Trojans.
Besides all the obvious reasons [national televised audience, more money involved and a potential recruiting boost] this gives the 2009 Trojans one final shot at achieving one of the few goals it did not scratch off this season – beating a nationally ranked team.
Lucky for Troy, CMU is currently ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press poll.
Because of this, many of the Chippewa faithful are up in arms about the bowl selection as well its opponent.
Many CMU fans citing the MAC champion is more deserving of something better.
However, I like many other Troy fans, would be the first to point out that CMU lost to Sun Belt opponent Florida Atlantic last bowl season and in their own backyard no less – at the Motor City Bowl.
Coming into this year’s bowl, as Troy has done so in the past, the team will take on the role as the underdog.
Yet, statistically, this game is a lot closer than the rankings – or the CMU fans would like to believe.
The Trojans have averaged more total yards, 478.5, and passing yards, 340.5, this season than the Chippewas.
Both of those Troy statistics ranks in the Top 5 in the NCAA, by the way.
Defensively, CMU has held its opponents to 121 few points than Troy this season – however when a team plays Florida and Arkansas, it is going to give up a good amount of points [when you take out the 112 points both teams combined to score against the Trojans, the team only gave up 231 points this season and that is not that bad].
One aspect that this particular bowl game is famous for is its rich history of quarterbacks.
Two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger, Bryon Leftwich, Bruce Gradkowski and David Garrard have all played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Levi Brown and Dan LeFevour will look to add their names to that list and if their stats this season indicate anything – they will.
Oh and yeah, this is the only non-BCS game to feature two conference champions.
Yes, there is a little under a month away until the game takes place, but the anticipation for what could be one of the best bowl games is already building.
This is the last chapter of this season’s team and it should be a good one.
Greg Rossino is the sports editor for The Messenger, and he can be reached at greg.rossino@Troymessenger.com or on Twitter at Messenger_Greg