The Bowl season is over. Already excited about next season, can’t wait for it to begin. Glad my team changed coaches. I hope the best for Rich Rodriquez and wish him luck on his next coaching job. I’m sure he’ll do great. It was time for Michigan to make a change. Brady Hoke is a good choice and has my full support. Maybe in a year or two we can start competing with Ohio State and Michigan State again. Adding Nebraska to the Big Ten will also make the conference stronger. They have a great fan base and following for all their sport’s teams. Looking forward to the Nebraska-Michigan match-up every year. Nebraska-Iowa should turn into a rivalry to match all others in college football. The dislike is already there, they just need a yearly match-up to turn it into a hatred for one another on game day.
Anyhow, to get to what I came here to talk about. I was 21-14 with my college bowl picks for the year. Not too bad considering the parody in college football nowadays. It was a pretty good year. Some great games and some real duds. One thing is certain, the SEC is still the best conference from top to bottom. They finished the bowl season 5-5. Only a .500 winning percentage, but line them up against any other conference, match them to play where the teams finished in the respective standings (ex. 1st place vs 1st place, etc), and the SEC would easily come out on top against any other conference.
Best bowl games of the year: TCU-Wisconsin, Auburn-Oregon, and Iowa-Missouri, in that order.
Worst bowl day for a conference ever: Big Ten on New Year’s Day. The conference went 0-5 on Jan.1 giving up 41 points a game. To be fair, at least Penn State, Northwestern, and Wisconsin were competitive, but Michigan and Michigan State were horrendous, which leads us to my next category.
Worst Bowl performances of the year: Michigan, Michigan State, and Nebraska. Michigan gives up a school record 52 points for a bowl game. With their porous defense you knew Miss State was going to put up some points, but 52? And only scoring 14 of your own? C’mon!! … Michigan State losing 49-7 to Alabama. I know Alabama is as good as anybody in the country, but State was ranked 9th in the polls and they lose by 42 points? C’mon!! … Nebraska losing 19-7 to a team they destroyed 56-21 earlier in the year. I don’t care if they were disappointed in having to play in the Holiday Bowl. They did get screwed in that deal and I said so in my Friday picks for that week, but c’mon, show up and take care of business!!
Overrated: The Big Ten, Michigan State, and Nebraska. (see above) Enough said.
Best play that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat: Iowa’s Micah Hyde’s interception return for a touchdown to beat Missouri. Missouri all but had the game won and was driving to add a clinching score late in the game when Hyde’s interception and great return for a touchdown put Iowa on top.
Kudos: The Big East Conference. Going 4-2 in their bowl games after having a bad year as a conference and having to hear about it everyday towards the end of the season. Their four bowl wins were more than either the Big 12 or Big 10 had.
Kudos: TCU. A great win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and for finishing the year undefeated. Too bad you didn’t get a chance to play for a national title. You deserve one.
Kudos: To the service academies. Air Force, Army, and Navy all played in bowl games and finished the year with winning records.
Kudos: To Boise State for rebounding and looking as great as ever against Utah. (On the other hand your loss to Nevada late in the year gives ammunition to those who say if teams like Boise State and TCU were to play in a tougher conference, they wouldn’t go undefeated.) But you guys are fun to watch!!
Kudos: To the Pittsburg players for sticking together and winning their bowl game in spite of their team’s coaching distractions. Their coach during the regular season, Dave Wanstedt, who was loved by his players, gets fired after the regular season and is not allowed to coach his team in the bowl game. Their new coach to be, Mike Haywood is hired and then fired for getting in trouble with the law. Their interim coach for the game, Phil Bennett is going to Baylor. Yet they stick together and destroy Kentucky 27-10. Great job Pitt!
Worst call of the bowl season: The excessive celebration call against Kansas State’s Adrian Hilburn which possibly cost them the game. True, we don’t need players showboating, but penalizing the kid for a quick salute to the crowd, at that point in the game. C’mon, let’s use some common sense here in how we interpret the rules on the field. I saw much worse than that in almost every bowl game that didn’t get called.
And to close, I will have to agree with rivals.com when they call TCU the undisputed champions of smack for the year. Seems that earlier in the year Ohio State’s president Gordon Gee said that teams like Boise State and TCU run up their resume’ by playing and beating up on “the little sisters of the poor”. After TCU beat Wisconsin, some one posted several of these billboards in the Columbus area. The only thing that could have made it better was if Ohio State could have gone to the Rose Bowl and lost to TCU. But hey, any dig at Ohio State is a good dig. (full story here)
I love it!! GO BLUE!!!