Give Us Liberty

the Bowl, that is. In the last 46 years -- the life span of Memphis' Liberty Bowl -- there have been relatively few postseason games played anywhere between high-scoring teams ranked in the Top 10. And most of those have been for a share of college football's national championship. In this postseason there are only three games between teams ranked so high, and one of those -- the FedEx Orange Bowl -- will determine the winner of that mythical honor.

But even that game, between the University of Southern California Trojans and the Oklahoma Sooners, could hardly be more exciting as the one that Liberty Bowl director Steve Earhardt and his staff have summoned up for us -- and, we doubt not, an avidly watching nation -- this year. On December 31st, the game features Louisville and Boise State, two teams that customarily run up point totals that read like basketball scores. They'll likely hit the end zone enough times to please the TV sponsors (who'll probably get extra commercials because of the clock stoppages after every score).

And there's even a local angle: Boise State's colors are blue, same as those of the University of Memphis Tigers, and the Broncos' athletic direc tor, Gene Bleymaier, who was in town along with his Louisville Cardinal counterparts this week, says he's expecting to see a sea of supportive blue in the stands. How can we disappoint him? Especially since the opposing Cardinals are the team that not only lucked out a 56-49 victory over the U of M Tigers a month or two back but have been the closest thing to a real rival the Tigers have had. And now the treacherous Cardinals are leaving Conferencce USA to slip into the fast money and fancy lights of the Big East. Let's show up and give them a proper send-off!

And even if Louisville should win, it'll still redound to the credit of C-USA. So the game is a can't-lose situation for Memphis fans.

Meanwhile, the Tigers themselves are going bowling for the second year straight, and congratulations are owed to Coach Tommy West and staff for that happy ending. Here's hoping for another year of postseason succcess, this time against Bowling Green University in the GMAC Bowl at Mobile on December 22nd.

Truly, our cup -- er, our bowls -- runneth over.


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