SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For critics of the bowl system who believe the proliferation of games has only served to reward undeserving teams, this year’s Fight Hunger Bowl could serve as a prime exhibit.
Illinois and UCLA both head into Saturday’s game behind interim coaches, with the Illini having already fired Ron Zook and the Bruins letting go of Rick Neuheisel after disappointing seasons.
Illinois (6-6) comes into the game on a six-game losing streak and will be 12 weeks removed from their most recent win when the game starts. UCLA (6-7) has fared even worse, with a lopsided loss in a late-season rivalry game against Southern California and then another defeat in the Pac-12 title game to Oregon. They are the first team to go to a bowl with a losing record in a decade.