The Alka-Seltzers used to numb my pain from the earlier New Mexico Bowl have now been replaced with heavy drinking.
For the second time on bowl season’s opening day, a game was an utter blowout. On this occasion, it was Northern Illinois defeating Fresno State 40-17 on the Smurf Turf of Boise, Idaho.
And while the game was a nausea-inducing reminder that there are way too many bowls, you have to hand it to Northern Illinois and interim coach Tom Matukewicz, who orchestrated a helluva game plan and kept his team focused after losing both the MAC Championship Game, as well as their head coach, Jerry Kill, to Minnesota.
Honestly, with all the coaching changes made in the past few weeks, Matukewicz and his Huskies were a refreshing storyline. As for the future, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren will take over the NIU program after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
On the flip side, Fresno State has lost 5 of their last 6 bowl games under Pat Hill, and hasn’t had a lot of marquee wins in the past few years. Since coaching 4 consecutive seasons of 9 or more wins from 2001-04, Hill has only one 9-win season, zero WAC titles, one bowl victory and is winless against Boise State.
“Anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere” has been Fresno’s motto under Hill, but the Bulldogs have failed to live up to their self-anointed “giant killer” status.
We’re not saying Hill is on the hot seat, we’re just sayin’ …