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Filed under: Bowl Preview: Miami-Middle Tennessee Is About To Expire

You can read the timestamps all over the place, but it bears repeating here: this game is on January 7, 2011. The Rose Bowl was six days ago. That crazypants Sugar Bowl was two days ago. The bowl schedule is supposed to go like such: average teams, better teams, disappointing AQ favorites, a game in Hawaii, compelling matchups, and finally the BCS games.

At least I'm pretty sure the bowl system would love to have it this way. But inversely like political primaries, some schmucky bowl committees felt it necessary to move their dates BACK in the schedule.

Née GMAC Bowl, the Go Daddy Bowl used to be so early in the bowl season it often conflicted with final exams. But in 2006 they got the bright idea to play it on the first week of January. By virtue, it would be a great bowl game. Problem is ... that's when the game began to sour. Luckily they had the CMU-Troy double-overtime game last year, because before that it was three straight clunkers.

We just saw TCU finish perfect and Ohio State beat an SEC team. Rare birds. So the pressure's on Miami University and Middle Tennessee State University to do something remarkable in Mobile.

I don't know what that will be; but any of the following possibilities are cool:

  1. On the first play from scrimmage, Miami comes out in the Polecat formation, and runs the play THEY SHOULD HAVE RUN against Central Michigan, using the correct kicker this time.
  2. A 20-plus-point comeback is too cliché. Have both teams trade touchdowns all the way to 50 points.
  3. A wild finish. Either multiple overtimes or a game-ending safety.
  4. Incumbent MU head coach Don Treadwell parachutes onto the sideline during the third quarter and assumes playcalling duties.
  5. Game MVP gets a free domain name. One that a famous athlete already owns!

They can probably think of better game-enhancers. Just no 31-13 snoozefests, please. For what it's worth, Miami and MTSU have played in some rather close finishes. You remember 4th and 20, the near-loss to Akron, the foggy field goal in Bowling Green, the Mount Pleasant Cruse Bomb, and there were also one-touchdown victories against Kent State and Eastern Michigan. They're 6-0 in close games. Meanwhile, the Blue Colored Raiders are 2-3 in such narrow contests, but those last two wins were crucial to becoming bowl eligible: a comeback victory against Western Kentucky and a one-point squeaker against Toledo thorn Florida International.

Some Crib Notes On MTSU

The quarterback is Dwight Dasher. The featured running back is Phillip Tanner. If you throw in little-used tailback William Pratcher, you could recite all their names like they are reindeer. So basically the goal for the MU defense is to stop the sleigh. They'll throw it but not often. Dasher, logically, runs 15.6 times a game and throws it about 27 times per competition. But more often than not they're going to keep it on the ground.

On defense, the discussion begins with defensive end Jamari Lattimore, crowned the SBC's Defensive POY. On the year he has 14 TFL, 11½ sacks, 10 QB hits, and two forced fumbles. NFL scouts say that he projects as more of an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system. So watch out for him, because if he so much as contributes to bringing Austin Boucher to the ground, he'll break the school sack record.

As the knuckleball factor in this game, kicker Alan Gendreau can boot it. He has a 55-yarder this year, and his career long is 57.

Their campus is located in Murfreesboro, a city that nobody's ever been able to pronounce correctly. The Blue Raiders won a bowl game last year. But it wasn't against a MAC team, so this doesn't concern us in the slightest.

Therefore, to get our fair conference away from this losing streak against the Fun Belt, it's time to keep the magic flowing in Oxford. Hopefully it's of the last-second variety, and hopefully we can renew this bowl game to occur next year in December where it belongs. Because this is far too late in the season for me to be still doing bowl previews. It's basketball season, man. Miami 37, Middle Tennesee 34 (OT)