There really isn't a better December bowl game than the Holiday Bowl. There's Iowa's 2-0-1 record in which the total margin of victory is two points (39-38 over SDSU in '86, 20-19 over Wyoming in '87, 13-13* vs. BYU in 1991). There's the mind-blowing 20-point comeback by BYU in under three minutes. There's never any shitty ACC teams in it; the only teams east of the Mississippi to play in the Holiday Bowl are all from the Big Ten (aOSU, Michigan, Illinois, PSU). There's the 60 points per game you can expect. No complaints.
Thus I'm happy to report that the 30th iteration of the Holiday Bowl, despite being devoid of endgame thrills, continued the tradition of pure insanity. Viewers knew they were in for a treat when Jake Plummer, having gained forty pounds and likely owning an oversized guitar, introduced the Sun Devils while wearing a Christmas hat. Um, two days after Christmas.
Jake Plummer just figured out what he's gonna do with the rest of his days...**
Brent MusbergerBUCKEYES helpfully informed us that Plummer now lives on a farm in a remote location in Idaho. The likelihood that he has since carved a potato into a piece is roughly 75,000%.
As mentioned before, the endgame was never really in doubt--Texas led 21-0 in the first and never let the Sun Devils get closer than 14 points--but holy mother of God was that touched ball snafu fun. The camera time ESPN gave the kid was overkill (did they think he'd commit ritual seppuku with a set of Longhorns?) and Lisa Salters' postgame questioning was pure dee bullshit:
Lisa: "You touched the ball, that must have made you feel pretty bad!"
Chris: "I didn't, but yes, I was pretty worried!"
Lisa: "How worried were you! I bet a lot! You touched the ball!"
Chris: "I was happy when we won, but I didn't touch the ball!"
Lisa: "But if you had, that'd be pretty terrible!"
Mack: (brains her with the Holiday Bowl trophy)
Last, it's good to know that an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, while either 15 yards or half the distance to the goal line, is not, in fact, an automatic first down. At first I thought that stipulation was a glitch in NCAA 2007 that screwed me ou--I'll stop now because nobody cares about my video games--but no, no automatic first down. So if your team gets a crucial stop on 3rd and goal, why not take the ball and wing it at their defensive coordinator's face? So they'll kick the field goal from the 4 instead of the 8. Darn.
Tell you what, get a two-fer, have your teammate deliver a cockpunch to the quarterback, and it's a 19-yard field goal. Two-yard penalties for cockpunches are all right by me.