You won’t find many instances when Bobby Bowden (388 career victories) and Gene Chizik (12 wins) belong in the same sentence. This is an exception.
On Jan. 1, Bowden and Chizik will be eager participants in the latest — and most blatant — examples of how college football killed New Year’s Day.
Auburn, which went 3-5 in the SEC, will be the first team in 62 years to play a New Year’s Day bowl with a losing conference record. On Jan. 1, 1948, Arkansas was 1-4-1 in the Southwest Conference when it played in the Dixie Bowl, and Texas Christian was 2-3-1 in the Southwest Conference while playing in the Delta Bowl.
Bowden’s final game carries a dubious distinction. Florida State (6-6) will become the first team in 58 years to play on New Year’s Day without a winning overall record. Houston was 5-5 when it played in the Salad Bowl on Jan. 1, 1952.