College Football

Bowl Recap #4 – Sponsored by the dawning of a new year

2016

Yes 2015 is almost done and 2016 is right around the corner. Before we get to 2016 we have the College Football Playoff semi-final games.  Wow, that sounded like a promo you’d hear on ESPN.  Let’s get to the recap before this gets to corporate.

ARMED FORCES BOWL – California 55 Air Force 36

This should have been renamed the Jared Goff Bowl. This was all about Goff’s final game before heading off to the NFL.  Most have Paxton Lynch of Memphis as the #1 quarterback to be selected in the 2016 NFL Draft but Goff made things interesting with an amazing performance here.  Goff throws for 6 touchdowns to lead the Golden Bears to the victory and sets themselves up quite nicely for next season.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL – Baylor 49 North Carolina 38

Offense, thy name is Baylor. Art Briles has recreated the idea of offense.  This team has set so many passing records in the past few years that what they did during this game was unreal.  They shattered the team rushing record in a bowl game.  Almost 650 yards rushing against the Tar Heels.  No matter what UNC did, they could not compete against a team that had so many injuries on the offensive side of the ball, they were essentially running backups and, at the QB position, not even real QBs.  An amazing game.

TEXAS BOWL – LSU 56 Texas Tech 27

Fournette? More like Five-nette.  Five total touchdowns for Leonard Fournette was a nice end for a player who was dominant in the Heisman race for the first two months of the season and then dropped off the map.  To be honest I don’t know of anyone who thought that this game would be close…and it wasn’t.  Saying that, next season should be fun in Lubbock with Patrick Mahomes coming back to run that insane Kliff Kingsbury offense.

ARIZONA BOWL – Nevada 28 Colorado State 23

Almost completely forgotten in the bowl schedule was this bowl game. Many Americans (and some Canadians) would have had trouble finding this game on TV.  Campus Insiders also broadcast this game online.  I can see this becoming more of a normal occurrence in a few years but for now, many fans grumbled about this.  The worst part of all of it is that it ended up being a fantastic game that came down to the wire.  With changes in how college football is broadcast both here and in the States, it will be interesting to see how this shapes the future.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL – Auburn 31 Memphis 10

This was supposed to be the coup de grace for Paxton Lynch. With the year he had (coupled with his amazing year last season), he was getting close to cementing his status as the #1 quarterback to be taken in the next NFL Draft and getting picked probably by the Browns and then being out of football in about five years.  This game was anything but.  Lynch was awful and Auburn actually looked good in this one.  The Tigers (the Memphis ones) looked out of their weight class in this one as the AAC continues its horrible bowl season.

BELK BOWL – Mississippi State 51 NC State 28

Dak Prescott reminded all of us how close he came last year to Heisman contention. A lot of that was tied to how good the Bulldogs were last season of course.  It’s not like they did poorly this season.  They entered at 8-4 which in the SEC West is a damn good record.  I think many forgot about them.  They reminded everyone how good a team they were at the expense of a very good Wolfpack team.  This wasn’t even close for most of this one.

MUSIC CITY BOWL – Louisville 27 Texas A&M 21

With the Aggies having their top TWO quarterbacks transfer before the bowl game, it looked like this would be a cakewalk for the Motorcycling Petrinos. However, this was a sloppy bowl game as both teams looked a whole lot less than sharp.  Other than the Cards’ Lamar Jackson almost everyone involved in this game played poorly.  Which made for an exciting end which I missed because TSN decided to stagger their bowl offerings for some insane reason and my PVR stopped recording at four hours.  I love college football but these games are getting to be way too damn long.

HOLIDAY BOWL – Wisconsin 23 USC 21

I am so glad that Tanner McAvoy’s touchdown run that was whistled down didn’t factor in the final score. The referee whistled it down (with help from the Trojan bench) when he thought McAvoy had stepped out of bounds.  He hadn’t and it would have been a big controversy if USC had ended up winning.  Luckily for the Badgers (and the refs), linebacker Jack Cichy had an insane second half, culminating with three sacks on three successive plays, to hold off USC for the win.  A great game to end the night, leading us into the New Year’s Six.

And that New Year’s Six starts at noon today with the Peach Bowl, followed by the College Football Playoff semi-finals. Then some more football New Year’s Day.  Then more bowl games the following day.  Then the NFL’s final week of the regular season the day after that.  So much football.  I can’t wait.  Enjoy the games everyone and have a happy New Year.

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