By Arnie Leshin
High school hoops in New Mexico gets a break, no more basketball until Thursday. That’s when more tournaments bounce in and some interesting head-to-head contests also grace the New Years schedule.
So Happy New Year, and there’s still college football bowl games to be played, six today and a batch of others to fill the record 42 bowls. So at least there’s live television grid action for sports enthusiast.
So far there has been a number of impressive schools winding up by hoisting bowl game trophies.
In no particular order, Wisconsin, a 1-point underdog, had no problem with the chilly weather for the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and dominated University of Miami, 35-3. It was never close, always big plays by the Big 10 Badgers over the ACC Hurricanes.
Then there was Army playing out its final game of a super season, one of the best in history for the West Point Cadets. They won a record 10 games with their 70-14 whooping of Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl game in Fort Worth, Tex. This, after winning the annual Commanders Cup by defeating Air Force and Navy, holding off the Midshipmen in Philadelphia.
Minnesota, another Big 10 school, had no problem against Georgia Tech of the ACC. What figured as a close contest became a 34-10 rout for the Gophers at the Quick Lane Bowl. Both the offense and defense excelled for Minny in Paul Johnson’s final game as head coach of the Yellow Jackets.
It’s always tough to win in Hawaii, but it was no problem for Louisiana Tech winning the 31-14 game despite the great support of the host Hawaii fans. Tech took an early lead and maintained it before its much smaller crowd.
Auburn was supposed to have a rough go against Purdue, but the Bears turned it into a 63-14 romp. Auburn just kept increasing its advantage in a big win for the SEC over the Big 10 in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.
Duke probably had the greatest comeback after falling behind Temple 20-13 at halftime. But the Blue Devils were a different team in the second half, catching, passing and then stunning the Owls, 56-27, for an impressive ACC win at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
So far, one game was cut short, so short that Boston College and Boise State was called 5:13 into the first quarter with the heavy rain never letting up and the thunder and lightening keeping everyone indoors. The Eagles of the ACC held a 7-0 lead when the game was called and will not be replayed. A nasty day in Dallas for the schools and the spectators.
The bowl games continue all week, and high school basketball bounces in again on Thursday, with the annual Northern New Mexico Rio Grande at Pojoaque Valley hosting eight girls and eight boys.