I have a lot to say and a lot of bowl games to go through so let’s just get right to it.
St. Petersburg Bowl – Mississippi State 17 Miami-OH 16
This one was not the prettiest game to watch. Both teams struggled a lot. The field looked like shit since it was in the Trop which is a terrible stadium to begin with. Luckily for them it went down to the wire and was won on a Mississippi State blocked field goal. Let’s give the Redhawks some credit since they shouldn’t have been even close with MSU and they did just that.
Quick Lane Bowl – Boston College 36 Maryland 30
Boston College scored 36 points in a single game. I was very surprised as were most people. They were way in front for most of the game but allowed the Terps a chance late to try and tie the game but to no avail. Not a bad game amazingly enough.
Independence Bowl – NC State 41 Vanderbilt 17
I would have figured Vandy would have put up more of a fight. The Wolfpack were an interesting team this season. They almost beat Clemson and Florida State, the only team to come close to beating both other than Louisville, then gakked away games against East Carolina and Boston College. They could have easily been 9-3 or even 10-2 going into bowl season. It will be interesting to see if they build off this momentum next season.
Military Bowl – Wake Forest 34 Temple 26
Wake Forest got out to a shocking early lead and held on for dear life to beat a very good Temple Owls team. A nice end to a season that was marred by Wakeyleaks. Temple will have to navigate life without Matt Rhule next season so their stay atop the AAC may not continue.
Heart of Dallas Bowl – Army 38 North Texas 31 (OT)
One of the better bowl games so far. I was surprised it was this good. Army has had their best season in years and hopefully they can play off of this one and continue to be fairly successful.
Holiday Bowl – Minnesota 17 Washington State 12
The Holiday Bowl is usually known for being high-scoring. Not this time around. Not the most visually appealing game but at least it was close. I am glad the Minnesota players came to their senses and ended their boycott once they found out what happened with the sexual assault case from earlier in the season.
Cactus Bowl – Baylor 31 Boise State 12
To the chagrin of many, the Bears stomped all over the Broncos in this one. I figured it would have been the other way around. Hopefully now that Matt Rhule is taking over with a brand-new coaching staff we can put what happened at Baylor over the past year or so behind us. Programs have to start becoming more diligent with reporting and dealing with player crime. Coaches’ first instinct is to protect their players and I understand that but once something comes up that is serious they need to forget that and think of the victim(s) of whatever happens and the program as a whole. Art Briles and many of his supporters still don’t seem to understand that and maybe they never will. Still a sad state when it comes to how college football is perceived in the United States.
Pinstripe Bowl – Northwestern 31 Pittsburgh 24
The last game for James Conner didn’t go as planned as the Wildcats scratched and clawed their way to a bowl victory, something that is a rarity at Northwestern. Good game to start the day.
Russell Athletic Bowl – Miami 31 West Virginia 14
Great performance by The U here. After the first quarter, Brad Kaaya and the Miami offense woke up and had a great performance. I still believe Kaaya would be best suited to come back for one more year to work on his skills some more and probably become one of the top 5 picks of the 2018 draft.
Foster Farms Bowl – Utah 26 Indiana 24
Indiana is like that fly that just won’t leave you alone. Many Big Ten teams have figured that out over the past two seasons and now Utah got the pleasure of dealing with the rash that won’t go away of college football. By all rights, the Utes should have mopped the floor with Indy but the Hoosiers are a tough out now and one of these years they will turn a lot of those close losses into wins and move up the Big Ten ladder.
Texas Bowl – Kansas State 33 Texas A&M 28
How the fuck would I know if this game was any good? I find out the day before that TSN had taken this game off their bowl schedule. It couldn’t have happened before Christmas Eve because I had checked the games again to see if any changes needed to be made to my blog post. So then comes the night of the game and it’s nowhere. The specialty pack doesn’t have it. Then all of a sudden I find it in SD. I think “OK this is better than nothing.” Then after a half an hour the game goes off the air. What the fuck? Why does this happen? In 2016 no less. It’s absurd. It tells me that college football is, and always will be, a lower-than-second-class citizen when it comes to broadcast sports in this country. I mean the fucking Spengler Cup gets more play than a lot of things in this country and hardly anyone gives two shits about that tournament. What bugs me about this the most is that the blame is not just with one company. TSN knew their schedule at least two weeks out and should have left that game off the schedule. My guess is the inclusion there meant the specialty pack wouldn’t pick the game up. I have this feeling that Bell/Rogers have to wait on TSN when it comes to this so TSN changing their mind would screw things up on their end. However, that theory was blown up a bit when I found the game on SD. So if was there, why was it removed in the MIDDLE OF THE GAME? Just completely ridiculous. I pay for the specialty pack for a reason. If you want to know why many Canadians go through illegal means to get sports that no one will broadcast properly in this country, there’s your answer: because what you pay for you may not get and if you don’t then tough shit. At least that’s what Bell, Rogers, and all the other cable providers would say (not to your face though). Alright, rant over.
Birmingham Bowl – USF 46 South Carolina 39 (OT)
Now this was an exciting game. I thought USF was going to run away with it and the Gamecocks kept chipping away and somehow tied it up at the end of regulation. They may have lost but I think this USC team will be one to watch in the SEC East next season. Also, USF may be just fine without Willie Taggart considering the talent they have and the fact Charlie Strong is now the new head man. Football in Florida will be fun to watch next year for sure.
Belk Bowl – Virginia Tech 35 Arkansas 24
Arkansas played the epitome of 2016 Arkansas Razorback football in this one. They had been a first half team all season and it showed here. A 24-0 lead at halftime and they blew it, not scoring a point the rest of the way. Biggest comeback in VaTech history. Bret Bielema is now on quite the hot seat in Fayetteville and it would not surprise me to see a coaching change during the 2017 season if it doesn’t improve.
Alamo Bowl – Oklahoma State 38 Colorado 8
OK now it looks like there was a very good reason Colorado wasn’t selected by the Rose Bowl. Wow, the Pokes destroyed the Buffs here. And they did something very uncharacteristic in this one: they played lights-out defense. It actually got to the point it was painful to watch but I stuck it out to the end. Lost a few z’s but oh well. Isn’t that what bowl season is partially about?
Liberty Bowl – Georgia 31 TCU 23
A game that was not that fun to watch for about three quarters became exciting at the end. It seems to be a trend this year. It was a bit of a sloppy affair but both teams woke up near the end. Georgia is another team to watch next season in the SEC East, a division that SHOULD be better than it was this year.
Sun Bowl – Stanford 25 North Carolina 23
No McCaffrey? No problem. It wasn’t easy but the Cardinal held off Mitch Trubisky and the Tar Heels at the end for the Sun Bowl victory in fairly unpleasant El Paso. Sounds like they do an amazing job before the bowl game starts so at least there’s that since I haven’t seen one Sun Bowl game in a long time where there was nice weather, sunshine and not cool temperatures. Oh and I have a feeling the Browns are honestly thinking about picking Trubisky, him being a Cleveland native and all. I think Myles Garrett of Texas A&M should be the #1 choice but it would be tough to ignore Mitch in this case.
Music City Bowl – Tennessee 38 Nebraska 24
A bowl game that made sense. Too bad it was overlapped by another bowl for quite a bit. I didn’t watch much of this bowl because the Sun Bowl was pretty good. Plus the game was never close. I am sure I have already heard one person state that Tennessee is the team to beat in the SEC East. Some things never change.
Arizona Bowl – Air Force 45 South Alabama 21
To be honest, I didn’t watch this game. Just some of the highlights. I re-jigged my cable package to save like $15 a month and got rid of a LOT of channels I don’t watch. Might as well. I know it’s only $15 a month but it’s still something. And to miss the ASN games that appear on MyTV or the ACC Network game of the week is something I can be fine with. It’s not like I am missing the ABC games every week.
Orange Bowl – Florida State 33 Michigan 32
We are only one game into the New Year’s Six and it is already LIGHT YEARS better than last year’s version. This was an absolutely awesome game. And the thing is, for a while, both offenses sputtered…badly. But when it came to the fourth quarter it was one of the most entertaining quarters of football anyone has seen in the past few years. This game alone is the argument for bowl games. When you can pair a game of this quality with all the charity work done, the amount of money pumped into the communities that hold the games, and the players having a great experience they may never be able to top (well, at least the ones that play the games), it is college football at its best. Oh, and Dalvin Cook and Taco Charlton have probably rocketed up many draft boards. Expect teams to be very happy with picking them in the spring.
Alright, let’s hope the rest of the New Year’s Six even closely resembles last night’s game. After last year’s shitshow, anything is better by comparison. Four games today including two that start at 11 in the morning! MORNING FOOTBAW!!!!! And then the College Football Playoff semi-finals later today. I sincerely hope Bama doesn’t destroy Washington too badly. Want the ratings for these games to continue to drop? Have that happen on New Year’s Eve. Thankfully it’s a Saturday this time around so at least more people will be able to watch it live. Enjoy the games everyone and have a happy New Year!