From bad to bowl
Rainbows not alone searching for long lost pot of gold
Posted: Monday November 15, 1999 03:43 AM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SIRight now, June Jones looks like the smartest man in college football.
Really, who wouldn't want to take a job in Hawaii? The catch: Taking over an 0-12 team.
But Jones, who couldn't lead the San Diego Chargers or Atlanta Falcons to much NFL success, has led Rainbow Warriors to unforseen heights in his first season.
If Hawaii, which already has seven victories and a share of the WAC championship, can win its final two games, Jones will lead the 'Bows to the greatest single-season turnaround in NCAA Division I-A history.
But for winless teams, the most any team has won the next season is eight. In 1965, UTEP went 8-3 following an 0-8-2. Florida also did it in 1980, going 8-4 after a dismal 0-10-1 year in 1979.
At 7-3, Hawaii has more than likely secured a bowl berth, something it hasn't had since 1992.
But this year, there are a number of teams making bids to make rare bowl appearances.
Oregon State, in its first season under Dennis Erickson, likely will go to a bowl game for the first time since the 1964 season. With one more win, Vanderbilt will be bowl eligible for the first time in 17 years.
And Minnesota became bowl eligible in style, upsetting No. 2 Penn State for its sixth win. The Gophers haven't been to a bowl game since 1986.