Dear Friends of the Fight Hunger Bowl,
There are a number of key elements in building a successful bowl game. Among them are team matchup, venue, sponsorship, game date and time, TV exposure, and community support. Another critical component is the people involved in putting on the game. In our case, one of the things that really distinguishes the Fight Hunger Bowl is the quality and commitment of our volunteer host committee.
I bring this up because tomorrow we have our first committee meeting to go over detailed plans for this year's game. It's a meeting that always inspires and humbles me. We are so fortunate to have this group of people who give so much to the game. They play host to our teams, staff 20 events during bowl week, solve problems, anticipate needs, answer questions, and generally make everyone in the traveling parties feel welcome and well taken care of. Their energy, enthusiasm, willingness to work long hours--during holiday season--and patience in dealing with often demanding team officials is quite remarkable.
We have had a core group of stellar individuals with us for many years (some since the game's inception 12 years ago), led by the irrepressible Steve Steinhart. I'd like to take a moment this week to recognize the entire host committee group. (I guess this qualifies as "title in lieu of salary.")
Team Managers--Chris Johnson, Evan Combs, Jim Caylor
Team Hosts--Dewayne Barnes, Drew Glover, Mike McLaughlin
Band Host--Shaun Morrison
Event Hosts--Desiree Hemmelgarn, Donna Labriola, Heather Jones, Kendra Thomas, Teresa Wong-Jones, Kim Hansen, Erica Pfeiffer, Cara Allan, Laurel Barsotti, Cyd Antang, Michelle Gong, Jessica Swain, Kiera Jackson, Lisa Weinstein, Adam Weinstein, Andrea Long
Kickoff Luncheon Co-coordinator--Stacey Warner
Transportation Coordinator--Mike McElligott
Officials' Hosts--Mike Pereira, Joe Lozano
Committee Emeriti--Sam and Adele Goldman, Chuck Hayes, Robby Snelling
Board Liaison--Tyrone Willingham
My thanks to this amazing "bowl family" for your incredible devotion to the game. The real beneficiaries here are the players, coaches and school officials who come to San Francisco as our guests. Largely because of you, they have a wonderful bowl experience.
Pac-12: The Stanford-Washington game was everything you could want in a football game--a back and forth contest, big plays on both sides of the ball, lots of scoring, amazing individual performances (particularly by Washington QB Keith Price and Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery), a nail-biting finish, and of course, a little controversy. Stanford escaped with a 31-28 win, despite being out-gained by over 200 yards, largely because of two long kickoff returns by Montgomery. Elsewhere, No. 2 Oregon thrashed Colorado 57-16, No. 11 UCLA edged Utah 34-27, and Washington State climbed to 4-2 with a win over Cal. In a high-profile inter-conference matchup, Arizona State was outlasted by Notre Dame, 37-34.
BYU: The Cougars registered a very important win by upsetting Utah State on the road, 31-14. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy returned an interception for a touchdown on the first play of the game, and quarterback Taysom Hill teamed with wide receiver Mitch Mathews for three touchdowns. The win boosted BYU's record to 3-2 on the season.
This week: BYU returns home to face a tough Georgia Tech team (also 3-2). The Cougars have been very consistent on defense so far this year, and will need another strong effort from QB Hill to prevail. In the Pac-12, No. 16 Washington hosts No. 2 Oregon in the week's marquee matchup. The unbeaten Ducks hope to continue their string of scoring 50+ points in every game. The Huskies, so close last week, hope to establish themselves among the conference's (and the nation's) elite teams. No. 5 Stanford travels to Salt Lake City to take on Utah, always tough at home, while Oregon State (4-1) visits Washington State, another hostile environment. Unbeaten UCLA goes for its fifth straight at home against Cal, and USC returns to action against Arizona in its first game under interim coach Ed Orgeron.