Friday, December 30, 2005

Carnival of College Football - Bowl Addition

Watching the whipping LSU put on the "little u" 40-3, I realize that I did not post a Carnival of College Football - Bowl Addition. Well better late than never right?

Lets start by recapping the games already played:

Peach Bowl: LSU 40 over the little "u" 3. A complete "ass whipping as bad as I have seen in years.........Then Miami got their ass beat in the tunnel after the game after talking some "loser smack". Per ESPN: Trash-talking between players grew into a postgame brawl in the LSU tunnel, and Larry Coker, coach of No. 9 Miami, said two of his players were knocked unconscious. There was shoving and punching before Georgia State Patrol officers intervened. Minutes later, Miami's Andrew Bain, apparently dazed, was escorted by officers back out of the tunnel. Coker said Bain and Miami's Khalil Jones were knocked unconscious, and the coach said no players were detained by police. No players were hospitalized.

Man how totally far Miami has fallen when they get beat like this and then are saying their players got beat-up in the smack-down but no one got so smacked down they went to the hospital. On top of that Miami players being rescued by the police??????

Not to overstate one game but this one "could" be a program changing loss and not for the better. Unconscious indeed........

Music City Bowl: Virginia 34 over Minnesota 31. Two 7-5 teams where both went over 450 yards in total offense which means there was "no" defense played. Now you know why both are 7-5 teams. If you like high scoring bad defense then it was an entertaining game. It was an ACC vs. Big 10 match-up. Virginia was the better of the 7-5 teams with a 13 play at the end of the game to drive for a winning field goal. Not a bad game for one of the lower end bowl games.............................

Sun Bowl: UCLA 50 over Northwestern 38. This game made the Virginia vs Minnesota game look like a defensive standoff. UCLA had 453 yards and NW had 584 yards of total offense. UCLA had 4 turn overs and NW had 3. NW ran off 22 consecutive points before UCLA then ran off 36 unanswered points. This game looked like a Canadian Grey Cup game. Two really bad defensive teams that both have pretty good offenses and both offenses put on a show. Entertaining in a "bad quality" way.......

Independence Bowl: Missouri 38 over USC South 31. Spurrier and the Cocks got off fast with 21 straight before the Tigers took over and took the lead 31-28 in the fourth. USC South answered and tied things up 31-31 with 4:16 left. Brad Smith then answered with a drive to win in his best game ever as a Tiger. The USC game plan was to stop Brad Smith from rushing. They did not stop Smith as he rolled up 150 yards on the ground. Bigger than that, he threw for 282 yards going 21 for 37 and 1 TD. The 99 yard int run for a TD that Marcus King put in the bank changed the entire game as the Cocks were driving for a TD to go up 28-0 at the time. Aside from the Nebraska vs Michigan game and the Oklahoma vs Oregon game I think this one was third best so far. Same lack of defense but at least you had some "huge" game changing outstanding plays from the defense.

Alamo Bowl: Nebraska 32 over Michigan 28. This game was "one more lateral" from being Cal vs. Stanford II and a stunning ending. If Tyler Ecker would have tossed the ball back as he was being pushed out at the Nebraska 13, he had the teammates there to finish off the miracle. It did not happen and Nebraska I think had it's we are back game. They had a balanced attack ( 167 passing & 151 rushing ) that put 32 points on the board against a top 20 team. If Big 12 teams in the north division did not get Nebraska these past couple years, I think the time to do so might of passed. An average Nebraska team should be able to handle the rest of the North Big 12 completion they face. Problem has been that Nebraska has had a "bad" team the past few years. I think this game in the Alamo bowl foretells of Nebraska returning to the status of above average.

Holiday Bowl: Oklahoma 17 over Oregon 14. I think this was the best game so far. Neither team scored over 17 points so that tells you the defense for both teams played well. Oklahoma had 361 yards and Oregon had 327 yards, a very even statistical match-up and it reflected the close score of the game. The game ended with an interception by Oklahoma LB Clint Ingram on the 10 yard line with 33 seconds remaining while Oregon was driving for the winning TD. Makes it an even bigger play when you consider Oregon was already in FG position to tie it up. It also shows that Oregon was not even close to being a BSC team and that the PAC 10 is a very weak conference if you throw-out USC. Like Nebraska I think this might be a statement game by Oklahoma and they looked like they might be back to some degree as well.

Car Care Bowl - Liberty Bowl - Houston Bowl - who cares.........................

Now for the Bigger Bowl Games:

Outback Bowl: Florida over Iowa big..............The dirty Gators embarrassed my Noles the last time they played and they will be way too athletic for the Hawkeye's. Gators go to another non-BCS bowl and win and they know non-BCS bowl games well.................Gators 28 -Hawkeye's 13.

Cotton Bowl: Texas Tech over Bama. It's the tortoise and the hare..........A team like Bama that wins by 3 or 6 points in every win just are not a good bet this time of year. I like good defense but I also like a team that can put 21 on the board when they are playing well. TCU is like an artillery unit with 100,000 shells, Bama is like a fort with really strong walls but when your getting hit with 100,000 bombs sooner or later they will find their mark. Texas Tech has a weak defense as well but a much stronger offense than Bama. I think it actually could be a blow out with TCU winning by a 31-10 margin..............................

Gator Bowl: Va Tech over Louisville. Jacksonville has become the Va Tech home city for bowl games and they are playing in their 5th Gator Bowl. They are 1-3 in their past Gator Bowls but I think they might break that streak this year. Va Tech has a great defense and great special teams, and they also have Vick. Hit or miss Vick can be great or terrible, there is no middle ground with his game. It all depends on the kind of game Vick brings and I think it will be good enough to beat Louisville. I think this will be a close game and one you want to watch........................Va Tech 24 - Louisville 21

Capital One Bowl: Auburn over Wisconsin. What do you have in your wallet? Auburn top to bottom has a much superior athletic team than the Badgers, and this one should not be close. Wisconsin might be playing its last game for Alvarez but that only goes so far. Well at least the Wisconsin faithful who traveled will enjoy the 70 degree weather before returning to cheese land. Tigers 34 - Badgers 17. However if your looking for a choke candidate Auburn has a history. It would not be a bad bet to lay against the Tigers in a game they should win easy...........

Fiesta "Chip" Bowl: Irish over Buck-Nuts. I love the game of two players in this match-up, AJ Hawk the LB for Ohio State and Irish receiver Jeff Samardzija. Hawk plays LB like the throw-backs did ( Singletary, Lamb, Lambert, and Dickie B). Samardzija does not look like a great receiver but man is he (72 receptions - 1215 yards - 16.9 average - 15 TD's). Not only that, he is a money player who makes the big plays for the Irish when they need a "big play". This will be my kind of game, a great game that will be relatively low scoring and very close. A big play will make the difference and I think it might come from the third player in this game that I think has that "special karma" Tom Zbikowski. The DB Punt Returner is that classic winner that over achieves and that guy you always pick to be on your team because you know he is going to lay it "all" out. Best of the games previewed thus far and I think it could be a classic. Zbikowski returns a punt or INT late in the game for field position that leads to either the winning TD catch by Samardzija or a catch by Samardzija to set-up the winning FG...............Irish 17 - Buck Nuts 14

Sugar Bowl - Played @ Peach Bowl Site due to Katrina: Georgia over W.V. big. I'm tired of hearing about the lack of respect that Big East winner W.V. gets. They have a good team but they play in a conference that is "the weakest" with a BSC tie in. Here was the W.V. schedule: Syracuse, Wofford, Maryland, E. Carolina, Va Tech (only loss), Rutgers, Louisville, S. Florida, Uconn, Cinn, & Pittsburgh. A hell of a schedule if your playing basketball but were talking football here. W.V. beat the #19 team and lost to Va Tech the only other top 20 team they played against. Here is Georgia's schedule: Boise St, USC South, La Monroe ( that looks bad), Miss St, Tenn, Vandy, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, Ga Tech, and LSU. They played six top 20 teams and beat 4 of them. SEC champion vs. Big East champion is like matching up Ethiopia against Australia in a surfing match-up. Dogs run wild 27 - 6

Orange Bowl - Ageless Wonders: Well my heart says FSU being an alumni but my head says Penn State is the favorite to win. Penn State and Joe Pa have come back from the dead and are #3 and a second from being in the championship game mix. FSU is young and lost three straight before righting the ship and winning the ACC championship against Va Tech. I always take speed against strength when it comes to college football because speed kills in college games. FSU has the speed but they have "very" young speed. Penn State has strength and experienced players. I think it will be a low scoring game because both defenses are very good ( FSU usually is very good this year on defense but has had breakdowns). That is what it comes down to, can the FSU defense play lights out and keep the offense in the game. If they do FSU can win because they have better athletes and faster athletes. If not then Penn States wears FSU down. If I had to bet ( and I would not bet on a FSU game - it's sac-religion to bet on such an event ) I'd have to go with Penn State 13 - 10 over the Noles. Looks like one of those classic FSU vs. Miami or FSU vs Florida smash mouth defense games. A big special team play by FSU is needed to make this prediction a gratefully wrong one.

The Big Daddy - As Good As It Gets

Rose Bowl: USC vs. Texas. My God I'm looking forward to this game. It is what college football is all about. The last game to decide who is the champion between two very good teams that have had a great year. The match-up looks special and should be a classic. Reggie Bush is the very best player to come along on the college level since Barry Sims. He is a special game changing talent that although it is clique to say it, but he "can-go-all-the-way" every time he touches the ball. Vince Young is that unique combination of speed, size and arm that I don't know if I have ever seen before in a player. He is like a "Big" more powerful Charlie Ward. The Texas Defense is better than the USC West defense and I usually go with the best defense in a game like this. However, USC with Bush & Leinart playing together USC West has something that has never been done, "two player in the same game who have won the Heisman". Think about that for a moment, that is sort of an overwhelming fact to me. Also USC West has been in the "Big Game" the past two years and have won. They are playing at home, and have a much better coach. Pete Carroll is head and shoulders above Mack Brown, and I think Brown might prove to be the biggest factor in this game. There is a reason why they say Brown can not and has not won the big game. People don't just say things like that, there is a history that promotes such analysis. If it comes down to coaching, USC West has a huge advantage I think.

The other big advantage that USC West has is that if Texas somehow shuts down Bush ( I don't think that will happen for long - maybe early ), USC West still has White and I think he is better than about 95% of the other RB in the country. USC can afford for Bush to not have a great game because of Leinart & White. If Young has a bad game Texas can not win. I don't think Young will have a bad game but the burden is totally on his shoulders for Texas. USC West has much better RB's and a much better coach, and a better passing QB. Texas has a better defense, and a better all around QB who has freak like abilities.

Bush will set the table as a decoy early and then put the nail in the coffin late to lead USC West to a historic third straight NCAA Championship. USC 24 - Texas 21, in one for the ages..........................................