As we all know the New Mexico Bowl isn't exactly the fruit in your jello. (What? I like fruit in my jello.) But does that mean it won't be a good game? That seems to be the consensus of the national media. ESPN ranks us as the 32nd best bowl. That's out of 35. And Sports Illustrated has us at 33 and Rankings.com rates us as the lowest ranked bowl game. At least ESPN had something nice to say.
To me, these rankings seem somewhat unfair. Yes, these teams are both 6-6 and neither is in a BCS conference; but because of this shouldn't it be a better match up than, say the Holiday Bowl featuring the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Washington Huskies? These teams already played each other! And Nebraska completely destroyed Washington. At least BYU and UTEP have a semblance of being on equal footing.
Does anyone remember last years New Mexico Bowl between the Fresno State Bulldogs and the Wyoming Cowboys? I do. Wyoming won that game 35-28 in overtime in a game most people were picking as a Bulldog rout. (For the record I did pick Wyoming.) This was a much more exciting game than anyone expected, one of the most exciting of the last bowl season. So who says this years match up won't be a good one? It could be better than many people expect.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't judge a book by it's cover. And especially don't make assumptions. I remember a valuable life lesson that one of my high school teachers taught me. In a play of the spelling of the word "assume" she said, and pardon my French,
"Don't assume, it makes an @$$ out of you and me."
And I know bowl rankings mean very little, especially before any game has been played. In this regard they're kind of like preseason rankings. But I think making uneducated assumptions like this is unfair to teams, players, and fans.