Leavitt, Woolard already have a fan in El Paso
As Sun Bowl selection committee president John Folmer researched the Big East teams his bowl was considering this fall, he had a steady bug in his ear, singing the praises of USF coach Jim Leavitt and Bulls athletic director Doug Woolard.
"I'm really excited about South Florida coming to El Paso," UTEP coach Mike Price said Tuesday. "Doug and I are real good friends, and I've known Jim Leavitt since he was a grad assistant when I was coaching at Missouri."
Woolard has known Price since he was an associate athletic director at Washington State, where Price was the football coach. Before Price was living and working in El Paso, he visited for the Sun Bowl while at Washington State in 2001 and said it remains one of his favorite bowl experiences.
"When we came down to play Purdue, we were shocked at how much fun we had," Price said. "So many of our fans said it was the best bowl experience they'd ever had. USF can know they're going to have a blast and get to play against a competitive opponent."
Price, whose Miners went 4-8 this season, losing 36-20 to Central Florida on Saturday, said he planned on attending one of USF's practices next month. He's kept watch of the Bulls from afar, knowing all about quarterback Matt Grothe, running back Mike Ford and USF's dominating defense.
-- Bulls fans can check out a new upgraded "Bowl Central" page at Gousfbulls.com, to be rolled out at 4 p.m., the same time as USF's bowl announcement news conference with Leavitt and Woolard. The new bowl page will have information on tickets -- which run between $40 and $60 -- and travel packages to El Paso.
If you jump on now before fares get too bad, the travel aspect of the bowl doesn't seem too bad. I just booked my own airfare, going out the night of the 27th and coming back on New Year's Day, and my round-trip, even with two different airlines, totaled $446, with a week's car rental running a reasonable $110. USF's team will arrive the night of Dec. 26. ...