Another round of bowls over. Another round of sleep lost. I’m not complaining. I can make it up sometime during the summer I’m sure.
Most of the bowl games have been great affairs. It confirms the fact that bowl season can be exciting. Now let’s just hope that the College Football Playoff games don’t shit the bed for all of us.
It’s recappin’ time!
Boca Raton Bowl: Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 – This game felt pretty much over by halftime. NIU just was never really into this game. It’s amazing how the Herd basically laid waste to the most dominant MAC team of the last few years. And here I was saying that Conference USA was the worst FBS conference this season. I mean they totally were but Marshall could have easily competed in a better conference. And what the hell was up with Doc Holliday? He was sweating more than Mike Tyson at a spelling bee.
Poinsettia Bowl: Navy 17 San Diego State 16 – The last time these two teams met in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Middies got thumped by the Aztecs. This game was…well, it wasn’t exactly exciting for three quarters. Then the fact it was close made it exciting at the end. So many college football games end up that way. Anyway, great finish here made up for an otherwise mediocre bowl.
Bahamas Bowl: Western Kentucky 49 Central Michigan 48 – I am so glad I put this game on the PVR. We were so close to having the biggest comeback in college football history. And for those that watched, it was one of the craziest final quarters in history. The Chippewas were down by 35 at one point but came all the way back, highlighted by the Heave on Christmas Eve (along with a few laterals) to get within one. Then Dan “Balls the Size of Grapefruits” Enos decides to go for two to end the insanity. The attempt falls short but it didn’t take away from a spectacular bowl game finish.
Hawaii Bowl: Rice 30 Fresno State 6 – I guess all the excitement for one day was gone by the time the Bahamas Bowl was over. This was thoroughly unwatchable. Here is your best candidate for bowl that can be dropped completely off the schedule. Very few people in the stands. A boring game where Rice dominated. A team (Fresno State) that was sub-.500 but got in because of the stupid conference championship rule that allows these teams to go bowling. In my opinion, this is where Georgia Southern should have gone (or UAB for that matter). Even the play-by-play guy was brutal (I felt sorry for Rod Gilmore here). And the timing was shitty. Christmas Eve night. I don’t know what it is about this bowl but it continues to churn out some pretty good dumpster fires year after year.
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Louisiana Tech 35 Illinois 18 – This truly did feel like Tim Beckman & Co. were just glad to be in a bowl. LaTech, while not dominant, was clearly the better team. I don’t know if this shows the state of the Big Ten or not but you have to wonder. Hold on, C-USA is 4-1 in bowls. Conference. Friggin’. USA. A crazy season continues.
Quick Lane Bowl: Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 – They kept mentioning that this would be a game with a lot of offensive fireworks. I guess but did they not watch UNC all season? One of the most inept teams defensively in the land. They made screwing up an art form. And they did not disappoint here. The score is much closer than the game actually was. I have a feeling the Big Ten isn’t too upset that Rutgers is one of them now.
Bitcoin Bowl: NC State 34 UCF 27 – I’m going to be honest. I figured UCF would mop the floor with the Wolfpack. I was never very convinced of how good NC State was (and the ACC as a whole). They proved me wrong. With Jacoby Brissett coming back next season, this could be a team to watch now that Florida State will be without Jameis Winston next year. The ACC could become very interesting for sure. A little disappointed in UCF but they still had a great season punctuated with the Hail Mary win over East Carolina to grab a share of the American crown. Oh, and can they please move the Bitcoin Bowl somewhere else? The Trop is a shithole. That turf was horrendous. It looked bush league. Move it to another pro stadium somewhere (Oakland or Indy come to mind) and just blow up this building. No wonder the Tampa Bay Rays want out of there. What a dump. It makes the SkyDome (yes the SKYDOME not the Rogers Centre) look like a palace.
Military Bowl: Virginia Tech 33 Cincinnati 17 – So the worst Power Five conference and the worst Group of Five conference are looking damn good so far during bowl season. Yeah I don’t get it either. This is one of those bowls they need to keep around at all costs. First, it was packed. Secondly, it helps that it’s in Annapolis and not at RFK Stadium where it used to be. Makes more sense to have it at Navy’s home stadium. Funny how Navy doesn’t get an automatic bid here. I guess it would miss the point of “sending” a team to a bowl game wouldn’t it?
Sun Bowl: Arizona State 36 Duke 31 – And back to the fantastic bowls. I wondered how the Fighting Cutcliffes would hold up in this one and early on that point made sense. Then the Devils of the Blue variety turned it on. I thought they had this one in the bag and then ASU pulls it out late. Amazing game. Jamison Crowder is the real deal and will be missed at Duke. Also, watch for Demario Richard next season in the desert. Possible early dark horse Heisman candidate making a statement with a four touchdown game.
Independence Bowl: South Carolina 24 Miami 21 – A good bowl marred by terrible weather. Wow, it was awful there in Shreveport. For once I am glad for those Duck Dynasty idiots since they have saved the Independence Bowl (for now). Being in Shreveport doesn’t help since it could arguably be the worst destination of all the bowl games, and that includes Detroit. A frustrating season comes to a decent end for the Head Ball Coach with a win here. And he’s basically stated he will probably die while coaching so we will see a lot of him for years to come I’m sure.
Pinstripe Bowl: Penn State 31 Boston College 30 (OT) – The Nittany Lions’ return to bowl season was a successful one. What is ironic is that a missed extra point in overtime by the Eagles allowed PSU to claim victory with their touchdown immediately afterward. Sam Ficken kicked the winning extra point. Arguably one of the worst kickers in FBS three seasons ago as a freshman, Ficken has turned into one of the most reliable college kickers recently (which is a premium these days). That he watched another kicker miss a relatively easy extra point in overtime is ironic since he missed quite a few important kicks earlier in his career. That is irony right? I’m right on this am I? Hell, I’m not a writer so hopefully I am. And if not, doesn’t matter anyway. On to the next bowl!
Holiday Bowl: USC 45 Nebraska 42 – Win it for Bo! Well they almost did. It was almost heartbreaking to see them lose considering all the players seemed to love Bo Pelini’s coaching and weren’t happy when he was fired. The Huskers gave it all they had and stayed toe-to-toe with a Trojan team that looks like a CFP contender for next season. USC has so many weapons I thought they’d drop a 60-burger on Nebraska. A great game to end the second set of bowls.
Today is Big XII Bowl Day. Three bowls, three Big XII teams. All of them underdogs I’m sure. Should be an interesting day for the conference as their offseason should be full of upheaval. In all, twenty bowl games over the next six days. Should be fun. Yeah I can sleep later.