Every single year, one of the bowls that always catches my attention is the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. By nature, it’s an exciting game since it pits the 2nd place team in the Pac-10 against the 3rd place team from the Big 12. That means you’re usually seeing two top-20 teams that won anywhere from 8-10 games during the regular season. This year, it’s Arizona State going up against Texas. So if the Holiday Bowl provides an excellent game annually, why is it so bad for the Pac-10? I’ll tell you.
Can you name any other bowl of significance played this far in advance of January 1st? Squaring up on December 27th I’d expect to see a MAC and WAC team, not the 2nd place team from the Pac-10 and 3rd place team from the Big 12. This sort of game deserves to be on New Years Day, or at worst, New Years Eve. Secondly, the match up is an inherent display of inferiority on the part of the Pac-10. Regardless of whether or not the conference has two fewer teams, by agreeing to have their second place team play another conference’s third place team, it’s a sign of inferiority. Seriously, what sort of exposure is it for the conference when the only team the rest of the country gets to see play is on January 1st in the Rose Bowl? The Pac-10 needs to get itself together, move the Holiday Bowl to a later date, and find a conference that will match two equals. Until that point, the Holiday Bowl will always serve as a joke for the Pac-10, marring its collective attempt at gaining national respect.