Trying to make sense of 35 bowl games in 24 days is a task too big for mere mortals, so we asked Mike Hlas, the award-winning Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist and force behind The Hlog, to review each of the games. Here is his second installment of Bowl Game Confidential.
Beef O'Brady's Bowl: Louisville 31, Southern Mississippi 28. Announced attendance: 20,017. ... USM used only 3,000 of its allotted 10,000 tickets. Louisville sold all 10,000. ... Louisville wanted to avoid any bowl that would have conflicted with the Dec. 31 men's basketball game against Kentucky, which would have cut deeply into the football travel base.
Fun Stat: The much-maligned Big East is 3-0 in this bowl, all at the expense of Conference USA teams.
Tweet: @MattBellner I've seen a lot of great Beef O' Brady Bowls in my lifetime but tonight's was the best ever!
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State 26, Utah 3. Announced attendance: 41,923. ... It was the second-largest crowd in bowl history ... The two teams didn't get along at the welcome reception at the Hard Rock. "Some pushing and shoving, some dishes broken," said Mark Wallington, the media director for the bowl. ... Utah's nine-game bowl winning streak was snapped. ... Boise State had more tackles for loss (nine) than Utah had first downs (eight). ... "It's not the way you want to leave the program," Utes senior center Zane Taylor said. "It's hard and it hurts. It hurts bad."... Boise State's Kyle Brotzman, of missed-kicks-in-Reno fame, set the Division I-A record for points by a kicker with 439.
Fun stat: Boise State receiver Austin Pettis caught 12 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, and completed a pass for two yards. The player who caught that pass? Pettis.
Tweet: @curtfletcher: ESPN keeps showing the Stardust in its footage of the Strip during the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas. It was imploded 3.5 years ago.
Poinsettia Bowl: San Diego State 35, Navy 14. Announced attendance: 48.049. ... Workers pumped out 1.5 million gallons of rainwater that had flooded Qualcomm Stadium. ... SDSU's Ronnie Hillman rushed for 228 yards and four touchdowns. One of his cleats came off late in the third quarter and he hopped off the field to try to keep that foot dry. "My socks got wet," he said. "That's not a good feeling when you've got cleats on."
Fun Stat: It was San Diego State's first bowl win since it beat Boston University in the 1969 Pasadena Bowl.
Hawaii Bowl: Tulsa 62, Hawaii 35. Announced attendance: 41,089. ... Tulsa reportedly sold only 800 of its 10,000 allotted tickets priced at $40. But the Golden Hurricane got roughly $580,000 from Conference USA for air travel and five nights of food and lodging. Tulsa did not send its band or spirit squad. ... "This will sit in our stomach for a while," said Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz, who passed for 411 yards and three touchdowns, but threw four interceptions and was sacked six times. ... Hawaii had six first-half turnovers. ... "Hurricane Season in Hawaii" was a sign in the crowd.
Fun stat: Hawaii has been outscored in its last four season-finales by a combined 203-76.
Tweet: @christomasson: I'm staying at a Sheraton while watching the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. And, yes, it's on in the lobby. No doubt company orders.