Another bowl recap. I mean it’s fun watching all this college football but it is a bit exhausting. Oh and happy New Year to everyone. Hope everyone who wanted to have a fun day yesterday did so. And for those who just consider this “same shit, different year”, well, good for you, I guess. I don’t know. Anyway, more bowl recap time!
Liberty Bowl: Texas A&M 45 West Virginia 37 – High-scoring arena football-like affair in Memphis. Unfortunately, the fireworks were overshadowed by an overzealous student assistant who hit WVU players on two different plays. Let’s be honest, every so often, everyone wants to bring out their inner Tito Santana (for the flying burrito he threw the one player…the other one it was more of a shove to the face) but don’t do it on national TV. He’s been dismissed from the football program. He should feel lucky. Would you prefer that or a possibility of getting your ass kicked by an angry Kevin Sumlin?
Russell Athletic Bowl: Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6 – Wow, the Big XII is taking a bit of a beating now. This wasn’t close from about five minutes in. And to continue the insanity this season has shown, Cole Stoudt, arguably the worst quarterback in the ACC this season, was the game’s MVP and was dominant. So much for Big Game Bob.
Texas Bowl: Arkansas 31 Texas 7 – And thus ended Big XII Beatdown Day. Wow, it just feels like a total letdown after the type of season a few of the conference’s teams had. Also, is this the start of the ascension of the Hogs program? I don’t know if there is another team who has played better overall football since the start of November than the Fighting Bielemas. Yeah, like the SEC West had to get more difficult.
Music City Bowl: Notre Dame 31 LSU 28 – A fantastic bowl game and a bit of a surprise. I didn’t think the Irish would have a chance in this one and they proved me (and many others) wrong. Also, what a revelation with Malik Zaire. The kid can play. I guess the one bright spot for the Tigers is that Leonard Fournette stating his case as a Heisman candidate for next season. I believe next season Fournette and Nick Chubb from Georgia will be like Melvin Gordon and Ameer Abdullah were this year: going run-for-run to find out who will be in New York in December. Speaking of Chubb…
Belk Bowl: Georgia 37 Louisville 14 – Another surprising score and for all the wrong reasons (for Louisville). The Cards looked overmatched here from the get go. As for Chubb: 266 yards on the ground. Todd Gurley who?
Foster Farms Bowl: Stanford 45 Maryland 21 – I almost didn’t watch this bowl. The Foster Farms Bowl (formerly the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl) has always seemed like a bit of an unneeded bowl and this was no exception. I hate to say it but moving it to Levi’s Stadium didn’t help at all. Neither did a Maryland team who looked better than most people thought during their first season in the Big Ten but looked awful here. Either that or David Shaw’s boys showed that the regular season was more of an anomaly and not what the real Stanford team is like. Watch out for the Cardinal next season.
Peach Bowl: TCU 42 Ole Miss 3 – The first incarnation of the New Year’s Six started with a dud. This was painful to watch. It almost felt like Ole Miss shouldn’t have been included in the New Year’s Six. Then again, Bo Wallace had the worst game of his career by far here and what a bad time to have it. Plus, TCU’s defense finally stepped up in this one. The offense had got all the play this season and the defense looked average for a good part of the year. Again, a team to watch for next year depending on what the Big XII does in the offseason.
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State 38 Arizona 30 – This is what they wanted when they created the New Year’s Six. A game like this. Boise State does the Boise State thing and pulls off the (mild) upset here against a Wildcats team who I thought didn’t play very well. The fact they came back from 21 down to almost tie the game is amazing. And the place was packed. Great atmosphere. Which we can’t fully say about the next bowl…
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech 49 Mississippi State 34 – There were many noticeably empty sections at Dolphins Stadium for this one. I guess it comes down to the fact that you have two fanbases that don’t really travel well and one (MSU) not used to going to a big bowl game. This ended a horrible day for the state of Mississippi. It’s amazing that as of early November, Mississippi as a whole was what every college football fan was talking about. Now, they feel like footnotes of a crazy season, although still integral parts. Having Dak back next season is a coup for the Bulldogs. And maybe now with the ascension of Tech (along with Clemson, Louisville, and Duke), we can have some REAL competition in the ACC and not just play for second behind Florida State.
Alright. Today’s the day. The first ever College Football Playoff. This is what we were all looking forward to. And if we are lucky, both games will be fairly competitive. I am pretty sure the Oregon-FSU game will be a barn burner. As for the Bama-tOSU matchup? The tOSU defense better play like they did against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship to have a chance in this one.
There is also the other part of the New Year’s Six, the Cotton Bowl, along with traditional New Year’s Day games in Orlando (Citrus Bowl) and Tampa (Outback Bowl). Should be a great day of college football as we get close to the end of the season.
Now a bit on the NFL playoffs. The four games for Wild Card weekend are set and I am still shaking my head at the fact the Carolina Panthers have a home date for the first round. How completely stupid is that. One reader (nationscapital) has shown a link in the comments (of a previous post) of a possible revised NFL playoff system which could be implemented next season. Either way, something has to change because having a 7-8-1 team host a playoff game is stupid, plain and simple. Here is the schedule:
|4:20||Arizona at Carolina||ESPN/CTV|
|8:15||Baltimore at Pittsburgh||NBC/CTV|
|1:05||Cincinnati at Indianapolis||CBS/CTV|
|4:40||Detroit at Dallas||FOX/CTV|
All four networks who show the NFL get a game on the opening weekend. I guess that’s nice of them to share. CTV will show all four of the wild-card games on Saturday and Sunday. I am definitely looking forward to all the football over the next four days.