NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > EagleBank Bowl
December 28, 2009, 11:33 PM
UCLA
(6-6/Pac-10)

vs.
Temple
(9-3/MAC)

OVERVIEW

UCLA almost didn???t even earn its berth to the EagleBank Bowl. Their season-ending rivalry loss to USC left them at 6-6 overall and waiting to see how the Cadets fared in the Army-Navy Game. If the crew from West Point had pulled off the upset of the Midshipmen, the Bruins would have been spending their holidays at home with their families rather than preparing for a bowl game in the nation???s capital. But Army lost to Navy, and Rick Neuheisel???s team was off bowling once again after last year???s 4-8 campaign snapped a six-year streak of eligibility. It was a roller-coaster year for the Bruins, who started 2009 with three straight victories against San Diego State and Kansas State and on the road against Tennessee . Once conference play started, though, UCLA dropped five straight -- at Stanford, against Oregon and Cal , at Arizona and Oregon State -- before righting the ship against Washington . Victories over Washington State and Arizona State followed, putting the Bruins eligible. Then all it took was a little bit of nail-biting and a lot of cheering for the Midshipmen and UCLA headed eastward for a post-holiday rumble on the Potomac .



Temple has long been synonymous with a bad joke in college football. The Owls have not gone bowling in three decades; they have not finished a season above .500 since 1990, two conferences and three coaches ago. But Al Golden has sparked a renaissance at the school which was once powerful enough to get one of the two bids to play in the first ever Sugar Bowl. If not for a season-ending defeat to Ohio , the Owls would have captured their first-ever MAC division title. As it is, the mere fact that a bowl drought -- one that has been going since the Carter administration was in the White House -- is ended is cause for celebration enough in Philadelphia . The possibility that, with a win in DC, they can complete a ten-win season would have been laughed down before the season started. But don???t laugh too hard, because these Owls are for real.


More:
http://www.informativesports.com/NCAA_F/09Bowls/EagleBank _Bowl_preview.htm

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