Tag Archives: rose bowl

Bowling In The New Year

New Year’s Day isn’t quite what it used be, but at least a few Bowls have remained committed to the tradition. There are still six games on the January 1 schedule, but the fact that there are seven more games after today really says something. Nonetheless, I’ve been glued to the TV today and plan to be for the remainder of the holiday. It’s always fun to see what games you end up watching versus what you were anticipating the most. I figured I may as well chime in with my observations periodically throughout the day….

TicketCity Bowl – Northwestern vs. Texas Tech – I don’t even know if I get ESPNU, because there’s never been a game on the channel that I’ve wanted to watch. This game was a pretty good matchup on paper, but I wasn’t going to go out of my way to watch it if there were better games on. Looks like there’s plenty of offense though. Taylor Potts seems to be making a case to be included in the “Year of the Quarterback” group. I’ve got it on in the background now, if nothing else just because it’s the latest into the game. Northwestern has the ball down 14 with 6:21 left right now.

Capitol One Bowl – Alabama vs. Michigan State – I might have been most excited for this one. Michigan State looked pretty good this year and Mark Ingram and Julio Jones would surely go out in style. The game’s turned out to be a lopsided affair, but it’s still been entertaining, despite the score. 35-0 Tide in the 3rd quarter.

Gator Bowl – Michigan vs. Mississippi State – I’ve ended up here a lot as a result of the aforementioned game being a disappointment. Denard Robinson is always entertaining, and the atmosphere’s been a electric. Mississippi State has taken a huge step forward this year, and win over Michigan would cement a Top 20 finish for the year. The Bulldogs lead 31-14 early in the 3rd.

Outback Bowl – Florida vs. Penn State – This one’s had the most hype. It’s Urban Meyer’s last game after six whole seasons. It’s also Joe Paterno’s 114th last game as head coach of Penn State. I don’t care too much for the coaching storylines, but I do hope Paterno coaches Penn State until he dies. I know the administration is pretty ready for some new blood, and I know they were pretty bad for a few years there, but despite a 7-5 down year, they’re still coming off three 11 win seasons in the last 5. They went 9-4 the other two years. Most schools can only dream of that kind of success. Who’s going to take them higher than they already are? Having said all that, this game’s turned out to be the closest of the bunch. Therefore, it will likely remain in sole possession of the TV screen for the duration of the final 22+ minutes. Tied at 17 now.

Rose Bowl – TCU vs. Wisconsin – I’m still pretty bitter this wasn’t a Pac-10 / Big Ten matchup. Sure Oregon got the BCS nod, so they weren’t obligated to have a Pac-10 team, but Stanford was right there for the choosing. TCU could’ve played in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. All complaints aside though, this was still a pretty good matchup, and certainly the main event. I can’t imagine Oklahoma and UConn is going to blow people away. The Rose Bowl lived up to the hype though. After a fast start, the scoring become fewer and farther in between, and it ended up coming down to the last drive for Wisconsin.

Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma vs. Connecticut – Yep, just like I thought. This game is teetering right on the border of too boring to watch, but too close to turn off. Now that the NHL Winter Classic is over, it’s not like there’s anything else to watch instead. Part of me wants Oklahoma to destroy UConn so it’s that much more obvious to the BCS the Huskies have no business being in this game. The other part of me wants them to at least make it respectable. I guess I’m pretty much getting both right now. Whether or not UConn pulls off a miracle is yet to be seen, but should they lose, as expected, they can find a consolation in the fact that they’ve put up a better fight than major conference schools like Florida State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Colorado, and Iowa State.


NCAA Bowl Schedule Isn’t THAT Bad…

Since I don’t work in professional sports anymore, I find it harder to keep espn.com open on my browser at work. Therefore, I’ve had to find alternate means of keeping up with my sports news. Recently, I’ve channeled my inner-old guy and have started tuning into sports talk radio on my way to and from work. This morning it was Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio griping about the bowl schedule. In the afternoon it was local sports clown Grant Napear ranting (what else is new?) about the horrible matchups. Now I’m not usually a glass-half-full guy, but I don’t see what the problem is. Yes, there are plenty of boring games and terrible matchups, but I wouldn’t call this one of the worst lineups in recent memory. Nevermind that none of my BCS predictions panned out, there’s still plenty of intrigue as far as I’m concerned. Here’s my Top Three and my Bottom Three for the upcoming bowl season….

#1 – BCS National Championship – Oregon vs. Auburn: It’s the national championship game, what else needs to be said? It’s tough to argue the only two major unbeaten teams – with apologies to TCU – being in the big game. It features two of the four Heisman finalists in Cam Newton and LaMichael James and two historically great programs. The only downside is we have to wait until January 10 to see it.

#2 – Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. TCU: Sure, a Pac-10-Big Ten matchup of Stanford-Wisconsin would have been the logical choice here, but Wisconsin is widely considered to be the next best team outside of the two unbeatens. Either they’ll solidify that spot, or TCU will make a good case for a share of the national championship – though they won’t get it.

#3 – Las Vegas Bowl – Utah vs. Boise State: I know, the Las Vegas Bowl isn’t exactly the pinnacle of postseason college football, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this will be a great game. I picked both of these teams to earn BCS berths, but a couple of late season losses killed those hopes. Nonetheless, it will feature two teams that have both put together undefeated seasons recently.

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Doin BCS Bowl Projections

Without bashing the BCS, or fully knowing the rules these days (are the ACC and Big East still guaranteed a BCS berth? I hope not), here goes my predictions for this year’s BCS Bowl matchups. It’s tough because there’s so many teams from the West up high in the rankings, but we all know the BCS likes SEC schools, and even Big Ten and ACC teams. By factoring that in with projecting the rest of the season, here’s what I’ve come up with.

ROSE BOWL – STANFORD VS. OKLAHOMA

Stanford wins out and finishes 11-1, enough to let the Rose Bowl have a coveted Pac-10 team, and one who hasn’t been there very often, but has a huge following. Expect a sea of red on hand to cheer on the Cardinal against Oklahoma…. or maybe some other team. I’ve got Oklahoma finishing 10-3, but there’s going to be a logjam atop the Big-12, so this could easily be Missouri, Oklahoma State, or Baylor, or even a team from another conference altogether.
FIESTA BOWL – NEBRASKA VS. TCU

Nebraska will get the obligatory Big-12 berth in this game, thanks to a 11-2 finish with a conference championship over Oklahoma. TCU will be unhappy, but I see them losing to Utah. Having that one loss relieves some of the pressure on the BCS to include smaller schools that go undefeated.
ORANGE BOWL – ALABAMA VS. BOISE STATE

Also taking the heat off the BCS will be Boise State’s regular season loss to either Fresno State or Nevada on the horizon. Alabama will end up in Florida despite beating Auburn, because they’ll come up short in the conference.

SUGAR BOWL – AUBURN VS. UTAH

Utah will go undefeated, but once again get snubbed out of fear of a Utah-Oregon television ratings disaster. Like clockwork, they’ll opt for a one-loss goliath and Utah will be left to face another SEC team.

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP – OREGON VS. OHIO STATE

Ah, a BCS dream matchup. Despite being a West Coast team, the Ducks have a huge following, so ratings shouldn’t be a problem for the committee here. And Ohio State is always a slam dunk on a national stage. This should be one of the best National Championship games in a long time.