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2005 bowl bids announced

The Tom  Bowl has formally announced its bowl bids for 2005.

Facing off in the game to determine the true #1 team in the nation will be USC, Penn State and Texas in a three-way game that uses the same format as last year's USC, Auburn and Oklahoma clash.

To determine the teams that received bids for Tom Bowl XVII, the Tom Bowl Formula was used. For details on the Tom Bowl formula click here.

"The formula is something we thought about from time to time," said Tom Bowl President Tom Cantrell. "We'd just be sitting there thinking about a formula."

Prior to this season the formula has never been used.

"We probably should have when you consider that Northwestern somehow got invited to Tom Bowl VIII," Cantrell said. He then sat pondering whether you use Roman Numerals in a quote or the actual number like 'eight.'

USC and Texas were both undefeated this year. Penn State somehow lost a game with one second left to a team they should have beaten.

In the Dan Bowl, which annually pits the two teams that were ranked the highest to start the season yet didn't finish the season ranked the committee awarded bids to Tennessee and Oklahoma. The Volunteers started the season ranked #3 and the Sooners were #7.

Tennessee actually started the year with more than a dozen first place votes meaning someone out there thought they were the best team in the nation and should be playing in the Tom Bowl. Instead the Volunteers finished the season with a 5-6 overall record and did not qualify for a bowl game.

"This is probably one of the easiest Dan Bowl picks we've ever made," Cantrell said.

Oklahoma becomes the first team to go from a Tom Bowl invite to a Dan Bowl invite the following season.

The Boot Bowl, which features two teams that deserve a swift kick in the rear for not winning games at the end of the season that would have qualified them for a bowl game, will match up Michigan State and Texas A&M.

Michigan State stood at 5-3 but lost the last three games of the season to finish 5-6 including a 28-21 loss to a previously winless Purdue team. Texas A&M matched the 5-6 record but exceeded the Spartans haplessness at the end of the season losing four straight after starting the season 5-2. The Aggies have a bit of an excuse since one of the losses was to Tom Bowl invitee Texas. The other losses were to Texas Tech and Iowa St., who weren't bad this season and Dan Bowl invitee Oklahoma. Some other teams were considered but Cantrell couldn't remember who they were.

This is the second season in a row the Boot Bowl has featured a team from the Big 10.

"I don't see why that is significant," Cantrell said.

The Burst Bubble Bowl, which is hard to fill because of all the crazy bowls that are out there, pits two teams that qualified for bowls but didn't get invited.

"There is actually a Poinsettia Bowl," Cantrell said. "Not that there is anything wrong with that."

The BBB invitees this year are Louisiana-Lafayette and Northern Illinois. Louisiana-Lafayette tied for first place in the Sun Belt Conference with Arkansas St. with a 6-5 record but lost the head-to-head which kept them bowless. Northern Illinois finished 7-5 and was the best of the MAC schools not to get a bid.

"I think the MAC will almost always have someone who qualifies for the Burst  Bubble  Bowl," Cantrell said. "It seems to be their lot in  life."

And finally bring up the rear of this year's bowl slate is the Toilet Bowl which annually selects the two worst teams in the nation giving one of them a chance to end the season on a high note. This year's teams are Temple which finished 0-11 and New Mexico St. which went 0-12. A narrow loss to Utah St. at the end of the year allowed the Toilet  Bowl its perfect match up.

"There were a number of one-loss teams like Duke, Syracuse and Rice but we were able to go with a straight winless bowl game for the Toilet Bowl," Cantrell said. "Man, were we ever nervous about that."