Poor Bo. Expectations are so high in Lincoln. So naturally after a 9-win season (where they STILL would have a chance to lose their fourth game), Bo Pelini was fired. I would never say he was a bad coach (to his face at least) but you have to wonder if there was something about him that made it difficult for the Huskers to get over the top. They always seemed to play 2nd fiddle (or third or fourth) to other Big Ten teams. Remember, when Nebraska joined the Big Ten, they looked like a team that could dominate, at least one out of every three years or so. Instead, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. It will be interesting to see where Bo is hired next (and he will be hired for next year for sure). Does someone give him another head coaching opportunity or is he going back to being a coordinator for a while?
Now was that another great college football weekend or what? I hate to say it but it seems like the College Football Playoff has actually enhanced the regular season. It’s not like there is a ton more to play for than under the BCS system (two more spots open for a championship and a couple more coveted bowl games) but this season has been crazy-good. And this past weekend was no exception.
Big Game Brent was back…even if it was for one game. Brent Musburger returned to call big-time college football as he called the Iron Bowl. It felt right to hear “You are looking live” on an important game (you know…not LSU hosting Sam Houston State). Made the Iron Bowl feel that much more important (not that it needed it). Oh and for those who have the specialty pack and also got the Finebaum Film Room broadcast, it was pretty interesting too. Some of the live phone-ins were hilarious and definitely added to the telecast.
As for the actual game… Alabama showed why they are #1 again. Their offense kept pushing and pushing and pushing. Blake Sims is the real deal. And Amari Cooper has booked his ticket for New York with that performance. And it wasn’t that Auburn played bad. They were just overwhelmed. Can you imagine a team like Baylor’s D going up against the Tide O? It would be a massacre.
Did TCU really prove they are big-time? Or did that game just prove that the Horns are still a long way from being a contender? Don’t get me wrong…Gary Patterson has his Horned Frogs rolling. They may be one win away from going to the College Football Playoff. That doesn’t happen by accident. But Texas is just mediocre this season. Give Charlie Strong another season and we will see where Hook Em is.
So 2014 Marshall is 2013 Fresno State. Which means 2014 Western Kentucky is 2013 San Jose State. Finally….FINALLY….we saw the Herd that we all thought was there. No one figured Marshall was as good as their record stated. True they had a ridiculously easy schedule but they were winning pretty convincingly most of the time. Then they had a close call against UAB and now this. So this means…
The New Year’s Six Boise State spot will probably go to…Boise State! You don’t need to feign applause. I think we all thought this was a possibility. Boise State, now under Bryan Harsin, is still Boise State, the best team outside the Power Five. And now they are a trap game win over Fresno State away from going to one of the New Year’s Six and a pretty big payday. Call it step 8 in the 12-step plan for Boise to join the Big XII. It’s inevitable so why fight it.
SMU Shit Watch 2014. They are now 1 loss away from arguably one of the worst FBS/Division 1-A seasons since Division 1 was split back in 1978. But hey, they now have Chad Morris coming aboard so next year at least should be interesting.
Missouri looking average. But in the SEC East that’s good enough to get your invite to Atlanta. They better play a hell of a lot better to have a chance against Bama.
Holy RichRod, Todd Graham! Arizona is now going to the Pac-12 title game after winning the Territorial Cup over their brothers at Arizona State. Can we now say this team is for real? If they pull off the double against Oregon do they warrant inclusion in the CFP? Intriguing to say the least.
And the reason Arizona is going to NinersLand, your 2014 UCLA Bruins. Wow, that was painful to watch. So I changed the channel. Is this what Stanford was supposed to be this year or was UCLA a mirage? I have a feeling it was a bit of both.
And the reason Boise is this close to the New Year’s Six, your 2014 Colorado State Rams. They were given one job. Beat an Air Force team that is WAY better than anyone thought but still not in the category of Colorado State. But maybe they are. Again, is Air Force right back in being a Mountain West contender or was Colorado State a bit of a smokescreen. “What is both, Alex?” “Correct, select again.”
I’ll take Clean Old-Fashioned Hate for 200, Alex. So Paul Johnson has proven his Ramblin’ Wreck are for real. Talk about a clutch field goal from 54 yards out to tie it as time expired. Then the defense came up big in the overtime period. This costs Georgia a spot in the New Year’s Six and basically clinches Tech’s spot in the Orange Bowl…this is unless they pull the upset on Florida State which is entirely possible.
Speaking of Team Jimbo…Can this team be the worst undefeated major conference team in recent history? Yes, they pull through when it counts but man they struggle to get to that point. I truly believe the bubble bursts in the CFP but who’s to say they even make it there. They have to get by Georgia Tech and their crazy option offense. Not an easy task for the Noles.
Poor J.T. Barrett. Praying for that guy. An awful injury in a game the Buckeyes probably would have won anyway. Now does The Committee punish them now or take a wait-and-see approach to see if skool stoodent Cardale Jones can help OSU beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. I hope they are given a chance.
Illinois is bowl eligible. ILLINOIS! Again, this has been a stupidly crazy season. And now Tim Beckman will be back next season. Pat Fitzgerald on the other hand is showing he may have been the most overrated coach in the Big Ten a few years back. Changes may be on the way in Evanston.
Congratulations on nine wins Georgia Southern. Now piss off and go home. I think this whole idea of transitional teams not being able to go to a bowl game is outdated and dumb, kind of like the NCAA. They won nine games and basically laid waste to the Sun Belt. Their reward? I don’t even think they got a hearty pat on the back for it. That rule needs to be changed. Speaking of rules needing to be changed…
Fresno State won six games but doesn’t automatically become bowl-eligible but the Mountain West “protected” them I guess. What is this horseshit? Fresno State is 6-6 but is now going to the Mountain West championship to probably lose to Boise State. This rule has to be made clear because it feels like soon enough, every conference will have a conference championship. If somehow a division champ is 6-6 they either automatically get to go or have to win the conference championship to get in. No waiver. No BS. Make the rule clear NCAA. So basically do something you don’t ever do.
The Egg Bowl was, for the most part, a runny, sunnyside up egg, not a firm boiled egg. Or maybe it was scrambled eggs. Enough with the egg analogies but the Egg Bowl was over early. Mississippi State wasn’t close and it’s the game many were waiting for…the one that exposed the Bulldogs as a really good team but not one deserving of a spot in the CFP. And now the amount of teams that can probably come out of the SEC has been reduced to one.
They’re called Style Points Art. Style points. Baylor may have botched its chance of being put in the top four with that terrible performance against Texas Tech. Yes, they won, but barely and against a team that was way worse than advertised this year. I get it. Baylor beat TCU. Head-to-head is important. I fully agree. But it’s not the only criterion. To put Baylor in over TCU (if either of them have that shot) would ignore the rest of the season which shouldn’t be done.
Hey, UAB is bowl eligible. Their reward might be a bowl but it also could end up being bittersweet. UAB impressed many by getting to six wins this year. And they may be invited to a bowl. But it may end up being their last game ever. There’s a good chance by next week, the program will be shut down. It would be the first football program shut down in nearly two decades. Maybe this underlines a bigger problem. It could be the first domino if some of the other Sisters of the Poor Group of Five teams really look at their finances.
I have a feeling that clinched it. If it didn’t it put him very close. I’m talking about Marcus Mariota and his chances at the Heisman. He was huge against Oregon State in the Civil War. He has one more statement game against Arizona and it would probably take a minor catastrophe for him not to go to New York and claim his prize.
Tomorrow, I will post my predictions for bowl games. I don’t exactly know how it will work this year other than the fact the College Football Playoff (and presumably the New Year’s Six) will be selected early Sunday afternoon. Beyond that who knows. We may see bowl bids trickle in throughout the week but we shall see. Much shorter college football schedule to follow on Wednesday.