The Motor City Bowl: What to Watch Tonight kicks off a few weeks of college football galore, as Purdue plays central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl.'s Editor-in-Chief Robert King breaks down what games should be the most interesting.
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The Motor City Bowl: What to Watch

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The Motor City Bowl: What to Watch

The Motor City Bowl: What to Watch

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


This is DAY TO DAY from NPR News. I'm Alex Cohen.


I'm Alex Chadwick.

It's been one of the craziest college football seasons ever. Teams that were supposed to win didn't and they lost, sometimes, to huge underdogs. Now, the college bowl season is underway. Over the next few weeks on TV, you're going to have a lot of college football to watch.

For advice on which games are the best ones to see, we've called's editor in chief Rob King.

Rob, welcome to DAY TO DAY. And you're going to watch every game or try to watch every game, but what games are you most looking forward to?

Mr. ROBERT KING (Vice President and Editor in Chief, There's a game on New Year's Eve. Oklahoma State is playing Indiana. Indiana hasn't been in the ball game, I think, like in 14 years. And these young men are playing in the aftermath of having lost their coach to cancer the year before. So this is a great reclamation story. It's very exciting. And they're facing an Oklahoma State team that, you know, earned its way into the postseason, but they have a little bit of a controversy. And at one point, their coach Mike Gundy became sort of a central figure over a tirade that he directed toward a reporter.

And so this is one of those cases in which, you know, even aside from the players and the excitement on the field, it will be fairly sort of interesting to see how these storylines end up playing out.

CHADWICK: The one undefeated team this year, Hawaii? Now, that's not a traditional football powerhouse. But they're playing in one of the big games, the Sugar Bowl, on New Year's Day. And Hawaii - I think a lot of fans are kind of rooting for Hawaii just because of, well, it seems kind of crazy to have the University of Hawaii as a football power.

Mr. KING: Well, you also remember the last time that a team that was from their conference, the Western Athletic Conference, played in a BCS game - it's one of the great games of all time, and Boise State won last year.

So you expect some sort of razzmatazz. I mean, they have a quarterback who has set touchdown passing records and is a lot of fun to watch. They play a wide-open style. And they're also playing a team in Georgia that really thinks that it deserves a shot at the national championships. So Georgia is going to be out to prove something. And then, here's a little team from the WAC conference with their gun-slinging quarterback. His name actually is Colt Brennan. And, you know, it makes for a sort of a colorful mix of, you know, traditional superpower from the Southeastern Conference and undefeated upstart from out west.

CHADWICK: Well, speaking about west, here in the Los Angeles area, the Rose Bowl is the game that we're going to be watching most closely. It's USC versus Illinois. What are you expecting there?

Mr. KING: I saw that at the beginning of the year that USC is by and large the best team in the country. And, of course, they had their stumbles. But I think that by the end of the season, they could fairly lay acclaim to being the team absolutely nobody wanted to play. So they have a lot to prove.

They're going to be there in Pasadena. Great scene. And, you know, Illinois is the team that beat Ohio State. Illinois is the team that can say, look, there's a team playing in the BCS championship game that we beat, so we've got every right to be here representing the Big 10 Conference. That should be a really interesting matchup. And it's always a great matchup between those two conferences.

CHADWICK: You mentioned Ohio State. They're playing in the national championship at the end of the first week of January against LSU. Who do you pick?

Mr. KING: Well, I think I'm going to have to pick LSU. One of the reasons is that their storyline, particularly, with their coach who is, at one point, reported to be in negotiations with Michigan but actually decided he was going to stay at Louisiana State, he represents a major storyline this year in terms of college football. I think his team has got a lot to prove about its unity and its future. And I think Ohio State, which managed to get into the championship game by virtue of all the crazy wins and losses that happened late in the season, has every right to say, look, we were here just a year ago, we deserve it. But I think this is going to be a case in which LSU is really going to bring the hammer.

CHADWICK: Rob King, vice president and editor in chief of Rob, thank you.

Mr. KING: Thank you.

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