My almost 22 year old son left home yesterday to head back to college. No classes do not start this early in January. He is heading to the University at Buffalo to meet up with approximately 23 busloads full of students who are now almost at the Canadian border. They are following their football team to the International Bowl.
Having gone to a big football school for part of my college, I fully encouraged Andy to follow the team for as long as we could afford for him to do so. It is one of those college experiences that you may only get once.
Andy attends the University at Buffalo.� They have only been a Division 1 football team – in the Football Bowl Series division which, of course, use to be something else, Divsion IA – for nine years or so. Even in the history of the Buffalo Bulls, the team was only ever invited to one bowl game prior to this. The International Bowl is big news on campus.
The International Bowl, while still in its infancy, features a match up of a MAC team and a Big East team. Luckily for Buffalo, this is almost a home game – think all that talk about the Buffalo Bills of the NFL playing home games in Toronto – as the game is up the road and over the border in TO at the Rogers Centre.
There are some strange parts to having the game in Canada. I am not sure if it is all Canadian arenas, or just the Rogers Centre – which use to be called the SkyDome, but there is no tailgaiting allowed. To make up for this, both schools are holding pre-game pep rallies at the Rogers Centre. From all I can tell looking at the schedule, those people in TO sure know how to throw a bowl game. There has been activities for the players prior to the game. There was a parade yesterday. There is a Facebook group.
So far, no weather and no bus breakdowns and the busses were just about at the border crossing at 7:40 am. Kickoff is 12 noon ET on ESPN2. Look for updates throughout the day.
UPDATE: 8:04 am – Border crossing was non-issue. Sometimes they check everyone on a bus; somtimes, the driver; sometimes, a few random people. Hopefully, getting back into the States is as easy as getting out was.
UPDATE: 10:53 am – Not all buses have arrived at the Rogers Centre yet but my son’s bus is there. He is a “bus captain” for this trip.
UPDATE: For those of you not joining me screaming at the TV today watching UB play UConn, Buffalo Bulls have drawn first blood. They are up 3-0 after a very nice recovery of a punt that bounced off a UConn player.
UPDATE: The tailgating seems to be taking place in my living room. We have pumpernickel bread with a spinach dip in it. We have Buffalo chicken dip and tortilla chips. Now, if we could get Buffalo to show up for the game. It seems their marketing department has played the big bucks play and ads for UB are on every major break. UConn took the kickoff after UB’s field goal, back for 45 yards and then a one play trip for Brown into the end zone. UConn also just kicked a field goal. UB has had their “get use to it” time. Game on!
UPDATE: The Sam Adams’ Cranberry Lambic is not cranberry-ie at all. UB is scoring this game the same way they have won games all season – capitalizing on turnovers! Ball recovered in the end zone by UB after punt returner for UConn touches ball, then kicks it into the end zone but does not control the ball.
UPDATE: UB has again capitalized on messy UConn play. Evidently, UConn cannot field kickoffs or punts. Score 20-10, UB Bulls.
UPDATE: UB decided to not play in second half. Game is about over and we are heading out.