Looking for ways to motivate the Miami Hurricanes, and maybe even yourself, with a Sun Bowl appearance upcoming on Dec. 26?
Here are five talking points that might help as the Hurricanes prepare to meet Washington State, and if interim coach Larry Scott manages to turn them into shouting points in the next few weeks, you’re welcome.
- If Miami wins the Sun Bowl, it will be the first team from the state of Florida to do so.
FSU went to El Paso a couple of times in the early years of that program and got thumped, losing 47-20 to Texas Western in 1955 and 28-20 to Wyoming in 1966. Florida finished 6-4-1 in 1977 and apparently didn’t care much about being in the Sun Bowl, losing 37-14 to Texas A&M. South Florida made it to the Sun Bowl in 2007 and got rolled 56-21 by Oregon.
- The Hurricanes don’t get off easy here, either. In an enticing brand-name matchup at the 2010 Sun Bowl, Notre Dame beat Miami 33-17. The score doesn’t reflect how painful this was, especially since the rivals hadn’t met in 20 years. The temperature was 34 degrees. The Irish jumped to a 27-0 lead. Miami was penalized 10 times, including four flags that gave first downs to Notre Dame. Misery all around.
A few lowlight clips from that game ought to get any Miami player’s goat, even though none of these guys were responsible. It was a case of looking lousy individually and as a team with a newly-hired head coach, Al Golden, looking on from the Sun Bowl press box. These Hurricanes won’t want that to happen again with Mark Richt in the position.
- The Sun Bowl has been around long enough to deserve a little respect. In fact, only the Rose Bowl preceded El Paso’s entrance into the college football bowl scene.
The Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl all debuted on Jan. 1, 1935. It was the year that the first Heisman Trophy was awarded, the year that Babe Ruth retired, the year that Gene Sarazen scored a double-eagle on No. 15 to spark a legendary victory at the Masters.
All right, that’s a lot of historic thunder to match against the Sun Bowl’s humble beginning, a game between the El Paso All-Stars and Ranger High School, but you get the picture. This bowl game didn’t just show up five minutes ago when some corporate sponsor thought it might be good to put the name of its product on ESPN’s Bowl Week schedule.
- Playing a game in El Paso gives the Hurricanes a chance to tap into the talent-rich Texas recruiting market. Richt will want to do that. Golden never did. Unless I missed somebody, there’s not a player on the 2015 Hurricanes roster from the state of Texas.
If Charlie Strong is going to hit South Florida hard in his mission to build up the Texas Longhorns, Miami ought to return the favor. Winning the Sun Bowl would be a good advertisement for Hurricanes football in an underserved region.
- Being in the Sun Bowl might get Miami a little special attention from Lee Corso on the ESPN college football set.
Corso played for FSU in the 1955 edition of the game and set up a Seminoles touchdown with a 48-yard run. Did it make the difference? Not so fast, my friend. As mentioned above, Texas Western beat FSU by 27 points that day.