Last season, UConn quarterback Zach Frazer had his big chance to win at Notre Dame—the team that couldn’t guarantee him a starting spot before he transferred to Connecticut.
This season, he has a chance to show Notre Dame what they missed, as a win at South Florida will propel the Huskies to something Notre Dame has become unaccustomed to lately: a BCS bowl game.
After defeating West Virginia a few weeks ago, UConn owns the tie breaker with the Mountaineers and will win the Big East if they can knock off B.J. Daniels and the South Florida Bulls.
Winning the Big East will land the Huskies in a big time BCS bowl, likely the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona or the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Either one would be a huge step up from what would happen if they lost this game, considering a 7-5 Notre Dame can occupy the bowl spot of the second place team in the Big East.
Just as well, a Pitt victory along with a West Virginia victory could push UConn way down if they lose this game.
Junior running back Jordan Todman is among the best in the country and the top runner on the East Coast: His 5.5 yards per carry is second among all running backs with at least 250 carries.
For Todman, a win at South Florida would give him big time exposure in a big time bowl for the NFL scouts to take an extra look at him next season.
Frazer has been inconsistent at times and his stats are mediocre, but he and Todman have led the Huskies to four straight wins after getting shut out against Louisville. Frazer, who was benched at one time this season, has a chance to show his coach and his team the senior leadership he provided last season in the Huskies’ huge overtime win at Notre Dame.
Despite the fact that UConn needs this win to clinch a BCS bowl, South Florida has opened up as a favorite to win the game.
USF comes in with the same record as UConn, but two of their last three wins have come in overtime after escaping with a one point win against Rutgers. They were also out-gained against Western Kentucky and stopped Miami on four straight plays from their own one yard line to close out the first half last week.
A late Jake Harris interception, while the Hurricanes were in field goal range, took the game to overtime where the Bulls prevailed.
On paper, this is a game that looks to go either way, but the sense of urgency and leadership lies with Connecticut.
Winters in New England are long and cold, but a party in Arizona or Miami will be the perfect way for the UConn faithful to kick off 2011. Additionally, the payout for a BCS bowl game, although it's split up more than many realize, is greater than a non-BCS bowl game.
UConn coach Randy Edsall has coached his team through 12 years of Division 1-AA, Division 1 independents and now the Big East. This is his big chance for a decade of commitment and hard work to pay off.
With Notre Dame likely heading to the Champs Sports bowl on December 28th, Zach Frazer will surely take some secret comfort in the team that let him go, now watching him on television in a BCS bowl, in the warm weather from cold Indiana, after his Huskies win this game.