With just one day left until the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the media barrage and ceremonies leading up to the game are winding to a close. On Wednesday, Holiday Bowl Grand Marshal Bill Walton took to the podium in front of the media, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Washington Huskies to extol the virtues of the game, perhaps going to far in his praise for the bowl.
Walton said the Holiday Bowl was “not a ponzi-scheme bowl,” whatever that may mean. In a moment of great hyperbole, the NBA legend broke down what the game means to both the Huskers and Huskies, saying "to the victors go the ultimate spoils and to the vanquished go life’s hardest lessons. They will be with you forever.’’
Is the Holiday Bowl actually make or break for the teams and players? After all, this is yet another meaningless exhibition, as many college bowls are. For the Huskies, sure, you could make the argument Thursday’s matchup with Nebraska is huge for the program. A win validates the rebuilding process the Washington program has endured over the last decade and gives head coach Steve Sarkisian recruiting ammo.
But Nebraska? After being shafted due to bowl politics, the Huskers were rewarded with a rematch against a Washington squad they thoroughly whipped in September. Nebraska came within inches of a BCS bowl, and instead fell all the way to the Holiday Bowl in the end. Make or break? Not so much.
We’ll see if the game itself lives up to the hype on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.