Bowl Season '08: Please Excuse Terrelle Pryor, He Has a Bowl Game to Play

FanHouse gathers around the TV to bring you insights from Bowl Season '08.

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The Fiesta Bowl is tonight. You've probably seen some of the hype and discussion. Ohio State and Texas aren't exactly programs that can fly under the radar, particularly in a game worth eight figures for each school and conference. Both coaches own national championships, and the Heisman Trophy runner-up and quarterback of perhaps the best team in the land will be playing. So will many other great athletes you will see on Sundays.

So, too, will a true freshman quarterback with average numbers, and he's the source of this week's tempest in the teapot that is Glendale, Arizona. You see, Ohio State withheld their still-developing, perhaps immature phenom quarterback named Terrelle Pryor from a scheduled media event. Fiesta Bowl officials promptly flipped out.

If I'm a Fiesta Bowl official, I'm hopping mad too. Their unenforceable rules dictate that teams list 30 players available for media on that particular day, which Ohio State did. They just didn't happen to list their starting quarterback who they are clearly hiding from the cameras and recorders either because of his mouth, or their half-hearted defense that he is still being readied for the game.

Thing is, this isn't all that big of a deal. It is if you are a Fiesta Bowl official, but the correct course of action would have been to bite your tongue instead of looking foolish in trying to shame Ohio State and then negotiate some kind of change the next time around. I'm sure there was an honor code to this media stuff as they expected teams to simply comply and bring their best players and build the hype which brings in partnerships and television and dollars. Ohio State flaunted it and will get away with it but in the ends it's really not a big deal.

Certainly if I'm watching SportsCenter I want to see Terrelle Pryor talking and potentially saying something interesting instead of James Laurinaitis, but I'll survive.

What I'm more interested in is seeing Pryor on that playing field tonight (8 PM ET, FOX). This game is his final exam in a freshman season that saw the much-hyped star play well enough in leading his team to a BCS game. He looked poised if unpolished against USC in a similarly hyped game, and has gradually improved since while claiming the starting job over senior Todd Boeckman. At this point he is the non-Tressel face of Ohio State football, potentially another Vince Young type player in the making. Everyone wants to see him and rightly so.

We just didn't get to see him during the rubber chicken and pasta media event.

Bowl Season '08: Please Excuse Terrelle Pryor, He Has a Bowl Game to Play originally appeared on NCAA Football FanHouse on Mon, 05 Jan 2009 14:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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