WAILUKU, Hawaii -- It's the big names against the no-names Sunday in the Hula Bowl.
The South team features Heisman Trophy winner, running back Ricky Williams of Texas, Kansas State quarterback and Heisman runner-up Michael Bishop and All-America cornerback Chris McAlister of Arizona.The North is led by Missouri quarterback Corby Jones, Ohio State running back Joe Montgomery, who starred in last week's East-West Shrine game, and Notre Dame linebacker Bobby Howard. All are good players, but not in the class of the South's big three.
"I told my team all week we're underdogs, nobody expects us to win," North coach Lloyd Carr of Michigan said. "I think it motivates us. Guys like Williams and Bishop are coming off great seasons, but football is a team game and anything can happen."
While attempting to mold unfamiliar players into a unit in one week, the coaches will try to showcase the players to the approximate 100 NFL scouts in attendance.
"We just want to give each kid a chance to show what he can do," South coach Mike Price of Washington State said. "You want to give each the opportunity to succeed."
Carr is impressed with how the players are focusing on football despite the many distractions of Maui, but realizes the game could get sloppy.
"It's not going to be a thing of art, but one thing I think is that you'll see two teams that play very hard," he said.
Williams wants to make more than a token appearance in the game, even though his agent doesn't want him to play and risk injury. Williams said part of the reason he came back to Texas his senior season was to play in the Hula Bowl.
"I wanted to be a part of something like this my whole career," he said.
Bishop will start at quarterback for the South, Jones for the North. Both must prove they can be quarterbacks at the pro level, and overcome talk they likely will end up as running backs.