The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 11, 2013

Nebraska fans let down by Gator Bowl

NORMAN — The Gator Bowl appears to be a tough sell to Nebraska fans.

A season that fell short of expectations will end New Year’s Day in Jacksonville, Fla., with a game against No. 23 Georgia, the same team that beat the Cornhuskers a year ago in the Capital One Bowl.

The matchup has elicited little more than a shrug.

“Everybody is looking forward to next year,” said Steve Glenn, a walk-on offensive lineman for the Huskers in the 1970s who now runs a Lincoln travel agency. “I think people are ready to be done with this season.”

Glenn is selling a Gator Bowl package that includes a 137-seat charter flight. As of Tuesday, he said, fewer than a dozen seats had been filled.

Folks in the travel business used to be inundated with calls in the 24 hours after the bowl matchup was announced. The annual Big Red migration has slowed considerably since the Huskers began slipping in the college football hierarchy.

Mike’l Severe, who co-hosts an afternoon sports radio show in Omaha, said the Gator Bowl didn’t generate much discussion Monday, a day after the bowl lineup was rolled out. The listeners he heard from were unhappy the Huskers had to play the same opponent. They also had hoped to go to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., where the Huskers would have played old Big 12 rival Kansas State.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl picked ahead of the Gator Bowl and chose a Michigan team that lost to Nebraska and had one fewer win.

It’s been a rocky year for the Huskers, who went 8-4 against what was supposed to be a favorable schedule. Injuries to quarterback Taylor Martinez and the offensive line took a toll, and coach Bo Pelini was dogged by speculation that his job was in jeopardy.

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