The Pac-10's bowl bust 

October, 7, 2010

Before we get started with this week's edition of Going Bowling, let's give a quick happy birthday shout-out to Tony Eason, who turns 51 on Friday.

You likely remember him as the quarterback for the New England Patriots. But here at Going Bowling we fondly remember him as Champaign Tony, the field marshal that guided Illinois to the 1982 Liberty Bowl in the Fighting Illini's first postseason berth since the '64 Rose Bowl. It was Bear Bryant's final game with Alabama and the Tide won 21-15, but Eason holds Liberty Bowl records for passing yardage (423), attempts (55) and completions (35). Unfortunately, he shares the record for interceptions (4), too.

The Pac-10's Barren Bowl Scenario

On Wednesday and Thursday, the athletic directors and university presidents of the soon-to-be Pac-12 met in San Francisco to discuss the future of their quickly-evolving conference. The agenda topics that grabbed the headlines were realignment, revenue sharing, prospective locations for the soon-to-be conference championship game and shifting the game schedule for increased exposure on the east coast.

A potential discussion point that isn't receiving as much public attention is one that has long been a source of irritation for the conference's AD's and football coaches.

The Pac-12 has to improve its bowl tie-ins.

"We love our bowl partners," Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said during the Pac-10's summertime east coast media swing through New York and Bristol, Conn. "But when you back up and take a look at our tie-ins versus other conferences, you realize that we may be a little behind."

Kelly's point becomes clear when you run a side-by-side comparison: