The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was one of the more neglected bowl games of the season, serving as the opener on the day-after-Christmas; which has traditionally served as an opener to the big Bowl games.
Though neglected, I'm sure those who tuned into the game on ESPN today were satisfied. In a very tight game, Marshall were able to win 21-17 after leading 21-0 at one point. The second half was all Ohio, but too many mistakes and miscues wrote Ohio's demise.
The bowl win is Marshall's first since the 2002 GMAC Bowl, when Byron Leftwich had his breakout game, and the programs first since moving to Conference USA.
The win also opens the door for Marshall, who begin the Doc Holliday as head coach era in 2010, to compete for their first Conference USA title; a conference that is looking to be really tough in 2010.
For those of you wondering if C-USA's wins over the MAC and WAC thus far should open discussion for why C-USA has zero top 25 teams and the MAC and WAC have one each, look no further than the Hawaii and Little Caesar Bowl's for your answer. SMU, the seasons biggest underdog, and Marshall, playing without their head coach, defeated WAC #2 and MAC #2. In other words, Conference USA is a much deeper, more competitive conference (Though Southern Miss' upset at the hands of Middle Tennessee did the conference little for it's argument).
Is Conference USA ready to start competing for BCS automatic qualification? Absolutely not! But let me put it out there that, although the conference doesn't get too much attention, it's second to only the Mountain West in terms of the best Non-Automatic Qualifying conferences.