Had a chance to speak with Mark Meadows, the executive director of the PapaJohns.com Bowl this afternoon.
Meadows gave the Huskies plenty of praise but wouldn’t say his bowl is ready to extend them an invitation.
“Certainly we would be extremely happy to have UConn,” Meadows said. “I think there are three teams in play for our bowl game on one side: that’s UConn, South Florida and Rutgers.”
It would seem pretty likely that UConn is headed Birmingham for the PapaJohn’s and its Jan. 2 game if it beats South Florida Saturday. Then again, the size of traveling parties and a team’s history sometimes have more to do with bowl picks than number of wins.
UConn still might be destined for St. Petersburg after all. The Big East’s other bowl destinations (BCS, Gator, Meineke, International) all are just about out of play for the Huskies.
Either way, Meadows knows the Huskies’ 2009 story.
“I think they are compelling story nationally this year,” Meadows said. “They had a big win a couple weeks ago over Notre Dame and just the way they’ve played this year. I think they’ve been extremely competitive. I think they’re a play or two away from having a really great season.”
The SEC slot in Meadows’ game will likely be filled by South Carolina. But that’s still not official.
Meadows says he doesn’t plan on traveling anywhere _ including East Hartford _ this weekend, though that isn’t set in stone.
“At this point I’m not planning on being anywhere,” Meadows said. “When we get down to this point, the final weekend, it’s usually pretty hectic. Right now we’re not planning on traveling, however that could change.”