Am I nervous? Um… most certainly. I think the worst part of bowl games is the huge long break you have from the end of the season until the game. It just gives you more and more time to think about all the permutations on what could happen. During the regular season, all you usually have is a week to think about a big upcoming opponent. Bowl games, however, give you over a month to stew in your own juices.
My only saving grace is that I’ve managed to distract myself more this year. That was intentional, and probably good for me in the long run. Worrying about this game wouldn’t get me anywhere.
Unfortunately, I was unable to make the pilgrimage this time around. Of course, as the game got closer and closer the regret grew, but what can ya do? Last time, I was single and really had no bills at all. Now, I’m married with different priorities. Yeah, I could have probably scrounged up the thousand dollars or more it would have cost me to go down (by myself) but in all actuality that money could be better spent elsewhere. That doesn’t make game day any easier, however. I guess it would be different if the only way to see the game was to be there. But it’s not. I get to watch it on my giant flat screen in glorious HD. That isn’t too bad of consolation prize, if you ask me.
I did have a thought about this whole thing. Now, stick with me because this could be a little blasphemous… Winning or losing a bowl game, specifically this bowl game, really doesn’t matter a lot in the grand scheme of things. Now, I know what you’re thinking… but hear me out. This line of reasoning only works for a non-AQ (automatic qualifier for the BCS). Obviously, the ultimate goal for any non-AQ school, hell for any school, is to make it to a BCS game. That is what everyone is shooting for. That is the cherry on top. For a non-AQ school to get there, more than likely they have to go undefeated. There is no other option. So, that makes EVERY game of the regular season incredibly important. Week after week. Even those snoozers against 1-AA opponents. You can’t relax. You can’t have an off day. You lose, you’re done. Back to the Preparation-H bowl that nobody watches. It’s 3 full months of on the edge of your seat football.
So, after surviving the season long meat grinder to get to the big game, ultimately the outcome of that game means far less than the games leading up to it. Will a win or loss in the Fiesta Bowl affect next season? Perhaps emotionally, but unless we get absolutely blown out, our pre-season ranking will have more to do with our overall record and number of returning starters, not the outcome of one game.
Now don’t get me wrong. I dearly want to win this game. But to lose to TCU (whom I’ve repeatedly said is the best team in the country this year) in this game wouldn’t be as bad as, say, losing to Nevada at home and knocking ourselves completely out of the BCS picture. We made the big dance. We get the big stage. We get the big payout. Lose in the regular season and all that is gone. Does that make any sense?
Today, I’m wearing my lucky football gear. Orange ’06 Nike coaches polo with a white mock turtleneck with the Boise State logo on the collar and orange Nike hat. This is the most powerful gameday getup I have. It’s undefeated. I only break it out for the really big games. I’m afraid it will lose it’s power over time and I don’t want to waste it on games that don’t matter as much. It worked at the first Fiesta Bowl in ’07, and against Oregon State that same year. It worked at Oregon last year. It worked against Oregon again this year. When I went to Washington in ’07, I forgot the hat, and we lost. That one was on me, I take full responsibility. Yes, I have considered the fact that I may well be completely insane.
So, that’s all I got. Game day is here. Let’s get on with this already.