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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
3-point stance: Only in a bowl game

By Ivan Maisel

1. The respect and admiration that TCU and Wisconsin have for each other came through loud and clear in the Rose Bowl press conferences Tuesday. You only get that when you match two very good teams that never play each other and won’t anytime soon. There’s no residual bad feelings from an annual rivalry. They don’t recruit against each other. There’s just two very good teams that appreciate what it took to get to where they are. In other words, you only see that kind of respect in a bowl game.

2. So now North Carolina State waits. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns in its 23-7 victory over a lackluster West Virginia team in the Champs Sports Bowl. Wilson is a leader, a playmaker and a lot of fun to watch. He’s also an outfielder in the employ of the Colorado Rockies, who will pay him to play fulltime. Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien can offer O’Brien the joy of playing football, the intangibles of the locker room and more classwork. That doesn’t sound like a fair fight.

3. Ralph Friedgen coaches his last game at Maryland on Wednesday in the Military Bowl. If the Terps beat East Carolina, Friedgen will finish with a record of 75-50 over 10 seasons. He pulled his alma mater out of the ditch he found it in when he took over. He won two out of every three games. Yet Friedgen is the old, established guy faced with a new athletic director, Kevin Anderson, who wanted to put his stamp on the program. Here’s hoping Maryland doesn’t become the school that didn’t know how good it had it.