After losing its previous corporate sponsor and the naming rights that go with it, the bowl game previously known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is now simply known as The Cactus Bowl. The Tempe, Arizona bowl game announced the new name today.
“Our new name represents an iconic symbol for the state of Arizona,” said Mike Nealy, Cactus Bowl Executive Director. “The name will also resonate with the thousands of fans traveling to the Southwest to experience our great bowl game and unmatched hospitality.”
It’s true that the cactus theme fits in nicely with the Arizona-based home of the bowl game, but why not just go back to the bowl game’s original name, the Copper Bowl? This offseason has seen the Chick-fil-A Bowl revert to the Peach Bowl name, and this game was originally known as the Copper Bowl for the first eight years of existence, with various corporate sponsors attached to it from 1990 through 1995 (Domino’s Pizza and Weiser Lock).
Hey, the Cactus Bowl isn’t a bad name, but it is not exactly original either. The Cactus Bowl had been an all-star game for college football players from Division 2 from 1994 through 2011. We should at least get a trophy resembling a cactus to award the winning team, right?
This season’s Cactus Bowl will be played Friday, January 2, 2015. The game is set for a primetime kickoff and will feature a pairing of teams from the Pac-12 and Big 12.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah