It seems that the beleaguered Nittany Lions (9-3, 5-2 B1G) are headed to the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas to face the Houston Cougars (12-1 8-0 C-USA), who until this past weekend held aspirations of an undefeated season and a BCS invitation, which would have been the first ever for a Conference USA program.
Houston was soundly defeated by Southern Mississippi, home of Penn State’s purported next head coach, maybe, possibly, perhaps, by the score of 49-28. Still, Houston is the nation’s leader in passing yards and total points scored.
Last time in Dallas, Penn State was the victor in the 1972 Cotton Bowl. The stakes are lower now. Penn State also made history in Dallas in 1948 when no hotels would accept the two black players on the Nittany Lions squad. The entire team wound up staying at a Navy facility 14 miles out of town in solidarity with their teammates.
Fortunately, segregation is gone from the South, but unfortunately, many venues were queasy about inviting Penn State to their bowl game. Kudos to the TicketCity Bowl Committee and TicketCity for damning the torpedoes from the ignorant folks who would blame innocent people for molesting children. Jerry Sandusky did the molesting, but I digress passionately.
While the actual Cotton Bowl Classic will be played on January 6 in Jerry Jones’ new $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium, this this this … game … is situated at the ollllld Cotton Bowl stadium on the Texas State Fairgrounds, which opened in 1930. Fortunately, the facility was extensively renovated in 2008, when the seating capacity was increased to 92,100 — I don’t think we’ll be seeing those seats filled. The record attendance of 96,009 was recorded for the 2009 Red River Rivalry (Texas vs. Oklahoma).
The TicketCity Bowl was first played in 2011 on New Year’s Day. It pitted Northwestern and Texas Tech, and was won by the Wildcats 45-38. Originally the game was to be between the Big Ten and year-to-year alternating opponents from the Big 12 and Conference USA. Alas, when Nebraska and Colorado bolted from the Big 12, the Big 12 became the Big 12-2, and the conference dropped its commitment to the TicketCity Bowl. Thus, it is now just the Big 10+2 and Conference USA.
The payout for this minor bowl is $1.2 million. Penn State had previously committed $1.5 million of Big Ten bowl proceeds to two charities to benefit abused children. Big Ten programs share their bowl revenues.
The TicketCity Bowl will be played on January 2, 2012. Kickoff is at noon (sound familiar, Nittany Lions fans?). TV coverage will be on the backwater of ESPN, ESPNU, maybe even in HD.
Hey, it isn’t the Cotton Bowl, but it is a New Year’s Day game, if you can find it. Its time conflicts with three other Big Ten bowls: the Gator, Capital One, and Outback bowls.
When I went to check the TicketCity Bowl Official Site, it was down due to some capacity issues. I guess we PSU fans were overloading the web servers with “WTF?” questions in mind.
Of course, the Nittany Lions are sucking hind tit this year because of you-know-what. I think people are being ridiculous, especially in view of Penn State’s huge alumni association and large collection of yinzers and such from the Keystone State who don’t mind spending megabucks when they travel. Barely bowl eligible Ohio State (6-6) goes to the Gator Bowl to play the barely bowl eligible Gators (6-6), although I don’t know which stigma is worse, playing in a TicketCity bowl or a TaxSlayer bowl. Michigan (10-2) winds up with a BCS bid to the Sugar Bowl. Nebraska (9-3) gets the lucrative Capital One. OK, so now I’m bitching. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Turkey! At least there was one bowl willing to risk what the others wouldn’t. Damn timid people — lemmings — wouldn’t want to ruffle any deep-pocketed feathers, would they?