January 6, 2008. A day that will live in BG infamy.
The 2008 GMAC Bowl pitted the high-scoring Tulsa Golden Hurricane against the not-as-high-scoring Bowling Green Falcons. What we did know is we'd see some points. What we didn't know is most of them would be on one side of the scoreboad, and that the bowl would be directed by Stanley Kubrick — arguably his most deft posthumous work.
Tulsa did everything right: touchdowns, defense, big stops, proper tackles. BG did everything wrong: turnovers, goal-line fumbles, being out of position, and ushering the opponent through the secondary like a gentle theatre employee. Quarterback Tyler Sheehan even left the game in the first half with a bum ankle for an added bonus.
The final score, once the casualties were counted: Tulsa 63, Bowling Green 7. To date it stands as the highest margin-of-victory in a bowl game. As I wrote the following morning on Deadspin, I'm down with the concept of running up the score — and they clearly were — but hoo boy that wasn't a fun game to watch.
Maybe back then I said running up the score is okay because I hoped that someday BG could return the favor. In hindsight, it's a great escape clause. But this won't be that year that any redemption happens.
The Falcons are in a highly transitional period in their history — just seven players who were in that game three years ago are still active today. Matt Schilz showed skillz in his first start under center, and cornerback Keith Morgan oughta watch out for the ball thrown his way. But most critically, someone other than Willie Geter might, might want to show up and run the ball when he needs a breather.
And while Tulsa has the defense to give up 63, they have the offense to score 64. Texas transfer G.J. Kinne may have an odd set of first initials, but he had five conventional touchdown tosses and really shared the ball around last week. So, guard everybody.
You may have also previously seen Tulsa fall to East Carolina 51-49 last week on a last-second Hail Mary play. Maybe that loss was punishment enough. Perhaps no more hard feelings.
Although I cannot guarantee how much elation I'll experience should BG take the lead early in this game, and then be up 14 ... 21 ... 28 ... 35. No promises will be made as to deciding against an all-caps, pottymouth-laced Twitter tirade against anyone affiliated with TU athletics. Pertinent questions may arise inquiring about "them apples" and their preference thereof. New swear words may be invented. Time travel could be discovered. Tulsans may simply shrug and see how Oklahoma did. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Hopefully the past can be corrected. While a win would be snazzy, let's settle for a sensible, narrow loss they were supposed to suffer three years ago. Guess: Tulsa 31, Bowling Green 23