Readers respond: The HCN College Bowl Season Preview

Around the country, in regions where college football has taken on championship dimensions and bowl game invitations, HCN reached out to home improvement and building material industry boosters for color commentary on their local teams. Here's what we heard:

The bowl team: Auburn Tigers

The booster: Leeds, Ala.-based Marvin's Building Materials and Home Centers

The color commentary: "Auburn players and fans alike are proud to have the Tigers clinch the SEC conference title with a solid win over South Carolina this past Saturday, thus continuing their undefeated season. Fans all over Alabama are still coming to grips with the fact Auburn has earned a chance to contend for the BCS title. There is more than a little state pride that this is the second year running for an Alabama state college to contend for the title, as last year the Alabama Crimson Tide won the championship. And now their biggest rival, the Auburn Tigers, have the same chance. It will be tough for Bama fans to yell "War Eagle" this January, especially after the come-from-behind win by Auburn and Cam Newton in this year's Iron Bowl. But just as many Auburn fans yelled "Roll Tide" last year in the title game against Florida, we hope the entire state will pull together and cheer for a Tiger victory against Oregon. War Eagle!"

-- Craig Cowart, president

The bowl team: Oregon Ducks

The booster: Hillsboro, Ore.-based Parr Lumber

The color commentary: "As an '81 graduate of University of Oregon, an avid Duck fan and season ticket holder, I say it's about time we made it to the top! The U of O football program deserves to be in this BCS championship game. Our Duck athletic program has improved tremendously over the years and is finally receiving the respect and recognition it deserves. Our current team is so talented and so well coached by Chip Kelly, who has so much faith in his players that he doesn't blink an eye when it comes to taking risks that other teams wouldn't dream of taking. The Oregon Ducks have been so focused, disciplined, and diligent in working toward this goal and are finally going to the BCS bowl they truly deserve. Go Ducks!"

-- Nancy Cranston, marketing manager

The bowl team: Texas Christian Horned Frogs

The booster: Fort Worth, Texas-based Quarles Lumber

The color commentary: "Fort Worth and all of North Texas are very proud of the TCU Horned Frogs. The town has turned purple in order to show their appreciation of such a great season. For the second year in a row, TCU sits on the outside as the big conference boys and the BCS decide who should play in the big game. Not to take anything away from the fine teams of Auburn & Oregon, but they did their part and deserve a chance. As far as the Frogs, Gary Patterson and his team continue to have one of the top defenses in the country. And every year, when given the chance to play a team from a BCS conference, (Oregon State this year) they have stepped up to show they belong. TCU and Fort Worth look forward to once again showing they are one of the premiere football programs in the country as they get the chance to go play Wisconsin in the “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl. Go Frogs!"

-- Bart Graves, VP, general manger

The bowl team: Wisconsin Badgers

The booster: Viroqua, Wis.-based Nelson Agri-Center True Value

The color commentary: "All of us around the Badger State are excited to be “smelling the roses” again, as our Wisconsin Badgers are returning to Pasadena to take on the TCU Horned Frogs in the Rose Bowl. Coach Brett Bielema did an outstanding job this year of coaching his team to a share of the Big Ten Conference Title. The defining moment for the Badgers in their 11 – 1 season was their win over previously unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Ohio State on October 16th. The next week the Badgers played well and defeated No. 15 Iowa. From there Wisconsin "won out” the regular season against their last four opponents outscoring them 235 to 84. I think what makes this Rose Bowl so exciting, is the opportunity for the Badgers to play an unbeaten and highly ranked team on this national stage. As the great college football announcer Keith Jackson might say, 'The Wisconsin Badgers and the TCU Horned Frogs in the Granddaddy of ‘em all. Hang on tight…this is going to be a good one!'"

-- Dan Kanis, president

The bowl team: The Ohio State Buckeyes

The booster: Kent, Ohio-based Carter Lumber
The color commentary: "The Ohio State university football team is deserving of a BCS championship title game based on a 11-1 overall record with the one loss coming to a top ten team. With an explosive scoring offense and a top-five defense, this team would compete with anyone in the country. Having no players in questionable standing with the NCAA and dominating an Oregon team in last year's Rose Bowl are also compelling reasons for everyone to say, 'O-H-I-O!'"

-- Paul Barnaby, VP of purchasing

The bowl team: Boise State Broncos

The booster: Boise, Idaho-based BMC

The color commentary: "Boise State University’s football team is made up of the players who the so-called 'larger schools' who play in the 'traditional conferences' did not consider big enough or fast enough. The Boise State players are blue collar players who out-work their opponents; out-think their opponents, and play the game with a chip on their shoulder as the perennial underdog. The team has 24 consecutive wins in Boise on the blue turf (not traditional enough for some). Although Ohio State’s president thinks the program is not mature, Ohio State will not commit to play the Broncos. Boise State is not going to a BCS Bowl Game, but the team it beat in the opening game of the season, Virginia Tech, is BCS Bowl bound. The Broncos are un-phased by the inequities in the system. It is what it is. The Broncos, just like BMC, keep on winning; focus on each game like we focus on each customer; enjoy the sport like we enjoy the business, and know in their hearts that they are No. 1."

-- BMC field support staff in Boise

(Editors note: At least one of the colleges attended by editors of Home Channel News performed well in the 2010 football season. San Diego State is heading to the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. However, Indiana and Northwestern collectively failed to hold Wisconsin under 150 points. And William Paterson University won four games.)


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