Liberty Bowl notes: BYU brings baby boom to college football
Baton Rouge LA Advocate 30Dec98
By Glenn Guilbeau: Advocate sportswriter
When BYU's football team rolled in to Memphis the week for the Liberty bowl
with Tulane, they normally bring along some oddities. Everyone knows about
their strict honor code and a locker room that is not filled with coffee,
tea, any caffeine sodas, or alcohol as is usual for many teams. What is
also unique is the number of players that are "married-with-children",
which currently averages about 40% of the team. In the normal entourage of
support staff and media people, you can hear amid the din of beefy macho
men the crying of babies, which came along for the ride with their mothers.
"We're kind of an unusual football team," BYU Athletic Director Rondo
Fehlberg said. "We have a lot of small children traveling with us, but
they're part of the football team, too."
"Oh yeah, there's strollers everywhere," said linebacker Rob Morris, who is
single. "I'm one of the minority. Kids are everywhere, crying and
complaining and everything. One of our defensive linemen got thrown up on
at the luncheon today by one of 'em."
Thursday's Liberty bowl match up could prove interesting nationally.
Although no one seriously considers Tulane a national title contender, it
could happen. If No. 10 Tulane (11-0) finishes the 1998 season as the only
undefeated Division I-A team by beating BYU (9-4) in the Liberty Bowl and
should No. 1 Tennessee (12-0) lose to Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl,
they could be on track. It happened for BYU once. A No. 1-ranked but dark
horse candidate, 12-0 BYU team defeated a 6-5 Michigan team for the
national championship in the 1984 Holiday Bowl, 24-17.
Statistically Tulane is 2-6 in bowl games going back to 1932, but it has
not won since upsetting 14-point favorite Colorado, 17-3, in the 1970
Liberty Bowl. Since then, it has lost four straight by a combined score of
114-40. BYU is 7-12-1 going back to 1974 but has won two straight, 19-15
over Kansas State in 1996 and 31-6 over Oklahoma in 1994.