Bold predictions, signifying nothing. Both local schools have the same question mark. Can they maintain focus and swagger? UK will finish a bowl-less 5-7, losing to Kent State, Louisville, South Carolina, LSU, Florida, Vandy and Georgia. They will beat Tennessee — I know, it’s a trendy “upset” — sealing the fate of “retiring” Phil Fulmer. Buh bye Phil! Louisville will finish a disappointing 10-2. (How’s that for expectations?) The losses: N.C State and West Virginia. As for IU, I have no prediction. The truth: Few care. Very few. Now that the Kelvin Sampson Era is blossoming, Hoosier pigskin is more an afterthought than ever.
The Big LEast. Quality bowl tie-ins that is. Other than its BCS rep, everybody’s new favorite league is only guaranteed one January bowl spot: the International Bowl in Toronto. Ouch! If the runner-up doesn’t sneak into the Gator, the best it can do is El Paso. If that’s the Card’s plight, maybe ’58 Sun Bowl star Ken Porco can suit up one more time.
SchnellSpeak of the week. Unhappy with his Fighting Owls after a recent scrimmage, Coach needed no PA system to address fans. It was broken anyway. “It was a step back for the offense and definitely not a step up for the defense. Things went too good for the offense last week. They came out there and thought they could throw their hat in the ring and they got their nose bloodied.” He remained upbeat: “This is not the team you will see when the season begins.”
As for Miami’s abandonment of the Orange Bowl, Geographer/Statistician Schnell lectured: “The demographics have changed. When I took my census in 1979, 80 percent of the season-ticket holders were south of Flagler Street. I’m sure that’s a lot different since (Hurricane) Andrew.” He then morphed into Architect/Historian Schnell: “It’s only been in recent years that people want football played in Taj Mahals. Now you have to have a bounce house at the game. It’s like you’re an idiot if all you do is watch football.”
In November, FAU plays one last game in the Orange Bowl. Schnell’s final words: “It will put a pretty nice exclamation point on my recollections of the stadium.”