2006-01-06

Bowl Recap


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I've got to admit, this was a pretty good bowl season. A lot of exciting games, and a lot of surprising games. In some cases I couldn't have been more wrong, not necessarily on the outcome but on how the game would play out.

There are two problems with trying to predict the bowls. #1 - Most of the time the two teams haven't played each other, and a lot of the time their schedules don't have much in common with which to make a comparison. #2 - You never know what frame of mind the teams will come in with. Will they view their bowl as a slight and not apply themselves? Will this band of 18-20 yr olds suddenly turned loose in a festive town for a week burn themselves out partying? Wait. I thought of a third thing. #3 - The selection committees are about selling tickets and seem to make no effort to pair evenly matched teams in their games. Of course even if they were trying, this task would be made difficult by #1 and #2.

So my thoughts ...

First I have to say that I'm proud to see Navy making bowl games, not to mention kicking butt!

Oklahoma over Oregon in a big "shut your mouth!" game. This Oklahoma team was so weak, the Big XII-ists couldn't even pretend that they belonged in a major bowl. On the other hand, Oregon was this year's undisputed biggest whiner after being shut out of the BCS at large spots. Oregon loses - see #2 above. Problem is, it's hard to contend that a bowl game was beneath you when you went out and laid a turd.

By the way, it is no accident that I'm not mentioning the names of the bowls. In this, Brian B's Poulon Weedeater Bowl Recap Post, I'm not facilitating the prostitution of the College Football postseason!

Missouri over South Carolina by a touchdown. On the one hand, it's great to have Steve Spurrier back in College Football, and great to see him start off with a big year in getting perennial SEC also-ran South Carolina to a bowl. On the other, I hate to see the Old Ball Coach cap off this successful campaign with a loss.

You know, I think LSU just scored on Miami again! Wow. I thought this one was going to be good. The 'Canes didnt' show up that night, and now, a lot of them won't be showing up ever again on the Miami sidelines. The coaching staff bloodletting smacks of "Coker's on the hot seat." I was afraid of this when he took over for Butch Davis. Good guy. But "O Captain, My Captain," he can not be at a program like Miami. Schnellenberger. Jimmy Johnson. Dennis Erickson. Butch Davis. Larry Coker? On the upside I logged in at Chik-fil-A.com (I don't mind pimping them cuz they're awesome, and this "eat more chikin" campaign is a winner), in time to win a cow and some free Chick-fil-A!

Va Tech over Louisville. Moral victory for the Cards. They played well and led much of the game with a backup quarterback in his second start, matched against a fierce defense. And, Louisville didn't play like a bunch of goons. This game was "Get off the Big East!" part 1.

Wisconsin big over Auburn. The Badgers will miss having Barry Alvarez as their coach. Under him they were an awesome bowl team.

Ohio State over Notre Dame by two touchdowns. No, Irish apologists, it wasn't close. Charlies Weiss has led the storied Notre Dame program back to where they will annually be put in bowl games that are over their head, just because they are Notre Dame. This was one mismatch that I had right.

West Virginia over Georgia - Yikes! I was way wrong here. This was the stunning second part of "Get off the Big East!" Gonna be kinda hard to take away the "worst" conference's automatic bid if they keep beating the rep from the "toughest" conference. And, by the way, my comments here are directed at me as much as anyone. I've been a Big East basher, and now I have to be quiet on the matter.

Penn State squeaks by Florida State, in what was perhaps the season's ugliest exciting game. The lesson from this triple overtime field goal shank-fest: You can't miss 'em all. If you keep going to the well, eventually you're going to screw up and make one. I had this also being a blowout, so Florida State even coming close was a miracle.

And the granddaddy of them all ... Texas shuts up ESPN by beating USC. Guess in their weeks long "Greatest Teams of All Time and how USC is Way Better Than Each of Them" feature, they forgot about the '05 Texas Longhorns! Choke on it, Corso! And, we saw glimpses of why I don't think Matt Leinart will be much more than a journeyman clipboard-holder in the NFL. When suddenly facing off against a defense that fights back, his decision-making wasn't great.

And for the first time in a long time, after the last game there was peace. No controversy did inhabit the land. And there was evening and there was morning - January 5th.

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