Well, the Bowl announcement was far from a surprise, considering that it was publicly announced on Friday, and even the opponent wasn't shocking, as it had been largely speculated that the Golden Gophers would be heading to Arizona for weeks, and was even announced during Saturday's telecast of the Kansas-Jackson State basketball game by Dave Armstrong. But anyway, we are going to play Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.
(And that, my friends, is how you open up a story with a run-on sentence giving away all of the necessary information.)
And while I certainly won't complain with a bowl game at all, especially considering we still had never made a bowl two consecutive years before this season, I have to say that the Insight Bowl is, well, depressing. Obviously, we've been substantially decreasing our expectations over the past couple of months, as it became apparent quite early that this wasn't the team we thought it could be heading into the season. Heading into the Armageddon at Arrowhead joyous celebration of fun, the Insight Bowl pretty much was our ceiling, or at least so it seemed.
But after the win, as most know, there were plenty of rumblings that, were Missouri to implode in the Big 12 Championship Game (which they did, by the way, as most expected), the Alamo Bowl committee could elect to select us over them. It made some sense for the folks from San Antonio, as Kansas was coming off an emotional win, making them more likely to spend some dough going to a bowl, as opposed to the downtrodden Missouri faithful, assuredly depressed following two heartbreaking (albeit it in very different ways) losses. Plus, Kansas fans like to think that we have this special connection with the Riverwalk city, after that one three that you may have seen once-or-twice from that one #15 (y'know, the guy that wore it before Tyshawn Taylor), and would probably be more willing to go.
But alas, the Big 12 (allegedly) poked their head into the deliberations and decided that it would be bad for the Big 12 for a team to go to a lesser bowl when they were the ones who won the division, so, whatever. Again, that is all speculation, but odds are it happened. But, again, just to make things clear, there was never a confirmed report or anything.
So, now we are simply heading down to the desert to play a game on December 31st. And while that sounds all fine-and-dandy, the bowls don't go in sequential order of importance any longer and the game is on freaking NFL Network. Now, I love the ol' NFLN, and refuse to watch ESPN's NFL coverage because of it, but it isn't nearly as prevalent in people's (or, more importantly, recruit's) homes as ESPN is, which sucks.
Plenty of insightful, analyticial, bowl-specific content will be interspersed around the basketball content over the next couple of weeks, as we get prepared for a third-tier bowl. However, more importantly, we are getting plenty of practice time that non-bowl-eligible teams don't receive, which should help us out plenty for next year's expected Big 12 North run.
Anyone heading out to the desert?