We've all seen the commercial where the kid gets really excited about receiving Gator Bowl tickets. This, after all, is at least the second year it's run in the local market.
Every time I see it, I find myself laughing. In reality, what kid would be excited over any Gator Bowl matchup, especially this year's?
The not-so-hidden secret is that no one gives a healthy damn about the Georgia vs. Nebraska matchup on New Year's Day. But then again, what did they expect, given where the Gator Bowl falls on the pyramid of college bowl games these days?
The days when the Gator Bowl could front like it belonged high atop the second tier are a distant memory, joining toll booths on the Fuller Warren Bridge and two daily papers in Jacksonville.
An indication of where the Gator falls in the pecking order these days:
The Big Ten bowl selections, after Michigan State to the Rose Bowl and Ohio State University to the Orange, are as follows: Wisconsin to the Capital One Bowl; Iowa to the Outback; and Michigan to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. (That's a real thing, by the way.)
After all that, the Gator Bowl ended up with Nebraska — and as great a Springsteen album as "Nebraska" is, it doesn't add up to football that you care to watch.
For one thing, everyone who wanted to see this matchup would've seen it a year ago, when Georgia and Nebraska locked up in the Capital One Bowl. Aaron Murray lit up the scoreboard last New Year's Day, throwing for five touchdowns and nearly 500 yards as Georgia drove to victory. On the other side of the ball, Taylor Martinez threw for two TDs, and Nebraska kept the game competitive for three quarters and some change. As meaningless New Year's bowl games go, this one was at least diverting.
Will this year's Gator Bowl be as good as last year's contest between these two squads? Possibly. Maybe. But I'm not counting on it.
Murray tore his ACL, and it was just one of many injuries to bedevil the Bulldogs this year. The … More