UL-Lafayette: Mark Hudspeth
By the numbers: 101-37 career, 35-16 with Cajuns, 3-0 in bowl games
The skinny: Hudspeth is a motivational master who maybe doesn’t get enough credit (and he gets a lot) for the way he’s engineered a dramatic turnaround for the Cajuns football program. He’s looking for his fourth bowl win in four seasons as the Cajuns’ leading man, and you can bet he knows all the right buttons to push to get his guys in peak position to claim their fourth straight New Orleans Bowl title.
Nevada: Brian Polian
By the numbers: 11-13 career, 11-13 with Wolf Pack, first bowl
The skinny: The son of heralded former NFL executive Bill Polian has an impressive résumé, with stops at Texas A&M, Stanford and Notre Dame. After a rough first season behind the wheel, Polian guided the Wolf Pack to an impressive 7-5 season that included several close call losses to the Mountain West’s top teams.
While Polian has orchestrated a nice turnaround of his own in two years at Nevada, what Hudspeth has done with his time with the Cajuns is remarkable. This game features two up and coming young coaches, but the edge goes to the one who is rapidly running out of room for bowl championship rings.