Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
So much for Rutgers playing an undefeated Ball State squad in the Motor City Bowl. Dec. 26.
Turner Gill’s Buffalo team hammered previously unbeaten Ball State, 42-24, in the MAC championship game Friday night in Detroit. Somewhere David Letterman is not laughing.
Ken Hoffman, Executive Director of the MOtor City and International Bowls, had said Thursday that a matchup between an unbeaten Ball State, No. 12 in the BCS standings, and a Rutgers team on a six-game winning streak would be appealing in Detroit.
Rutgers (7-5) crushed Louisville, 63-14, Thursday night on ESPN behind seven TD passes from QB Mike Teel.
“Speechless, man,” Gill said on ESPN2. “I gotta thank the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave us favor again tonight and I gotta thank him for that, and our kids played hard.
“One of the greatest [moments] because of where this program was at. To come here in three years, and these guys did it. I’m proud of them, I’m proud of them.”
Now it appears that Buffalo will play in the International Bowl, potentially against UConn, while Rutgers could play in the Sun Bowl Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas, the Meineke Car Care Bowl Dec. 27 in Charlotte or the Papajohns.com Bowl Dec. 29 in Birmingham, Ala.
With Big East champion Cincinnati likely headed to the Orange Bowl, the Sun Bowl chooses next from the Big East teams, followed by the Meineke. The Sun Bowl opponent could be Oregon State or California.
Rutgers will finish tied for second in the Big East.
The Scarlet Knights should know where they’re headed after Saturday’s tilts between Pittsburgh at UConn and South Florida at West Virginia.
If Pitt (8-3) wins, the Panthers will likely head to the Sun Bowl, meaning the Meineke would choose from between Rutgers and West Virginia. Since North Carolina is already in that bowl, West Virginia could get the call because the Tar Heels hammered the Knights, 44-12, earlier this year.
That could send Rutgers to Birmingham against either N.C. State or Troy.
Meantime, how about Turner Gill? Think this guy might be a good fit for that Syracuse job?
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.