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» SDA: From Death Valley to Happy Valley

While Saturday won't give us an answer to which is the best one-loss team, it is still a big week for conference races across the country.

31 Dec 2010

SDA: 2010-2011 Bowl Spectacular Part III

by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and Robert Weintraub

Twenty-five years ago, the following games took place on January 1:

  • No. 1 Penn State vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
  • No. 2 Miami vs. No. 8 Tennessee
  • No. 4 Iowa vs. No. 13 UCLA
  • No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 7 Nebraska
  • No. 11 Texas A&M vs. No. 16 Auburn

Five games, 10 ranked teams, seven in the Top 10. And of the season's 18 bowls, 28 percent were played on New Year's Day. This January 1, there are six games (out of 35) ... and six ranked teams, four in the Top 10. It just doesn't have the same cachet, does it?

It is easy, of course, to see why bowl sprawl has happened. Since ESPN owns the rights for almost every bowl, they are spreading them out for constant prime-time content, and that makes sense. To be sure, it has been enjoyable to have a college football game on almost every night for the last two weeks. But it dilutes the January 1 slate, which is a bit unfortunate from a historical perspective. (Then again, what does history matter? A good portion of college football fans want a playoff, which is as non-historical as you can get in college football.)

This year, the December 31 slate is almost as appealing. Let's take a look.

Previews

Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida +5.5 vs. Clemson (Friday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When S. Florida
Has the Ball ...
When Clemson
Has the Ball ...
Category USF
(7-5)
Clemson
(6-6)
USF
Off
Clemson
Def
USF
Def
Clemson
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 44 25 82 5 23 78
2010 FEI Rk 36 26 76 2 14 59
2010 S&P+ Rk 56 27 74 9 45 66
2010 FPA Rk 50 60
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 62 4 36 49
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 78 25 47 75
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 61 8 17 77
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
68.6% Run
(19th)
62.2% Run
(46th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 75 21 106 65
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
36.4% Run
(42nd)
31.9% Run
(73rd)

Before the 2010 season, Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker seemed a lock to leave school for a pro baseball career. Instead, he returned to South Carolina for what turned out to be a rocky season, one that culminated in a benching in the final regular season game, and a sizable argument with head coach Dabo Swinney on the sideline. Parker is back under center for the bowl game, although heir apparent Tajh Boyd is standing by. For the Tigers to cap a disappointing campaign with a bowl win, Parker will have find some consistency. The defense, on the other hand, is a strength, led by potential Top 5 draft pick in DeQuan Bowers. The defensive end led the nation with 15.5 sacks and was second with 25 tackles for loss. The question is whether Bowers will be chasing B.J. Daniels, USF's injured starting quarterback, or his far less capable backup, Bobby Evald. Either way, the Bulls figure to struggle to score, meaning the tough Bulls defense (19.5 points allowed per game) will have to keep it close.

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Notre Dame +3 vs. Miami (Friday, 2 p.m. ET, CBS)

OVERALL When Notre Dame
Has the Ball ...
When Miami
Has the Ball ...
Category N.D.
(7-5)
Miami
(7-5
)
N.D.
Off
Miami
Def
N.D.
Def
Miami
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 22 14 49 7 12 36
2010 FEI Rk 29 18 51 3 27 28
2010 S&P+ Rk 11 12 35 8 4 28
2010 FPA Rk 65 72
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 41 15 12 27
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 43 7 4 36
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 42 5 4 7
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
48.8% Run
(112th)
62.3% Run
(45th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 72 24 11 79
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
29.4% Run
(84th)
32.8% Run
(66th)

No, Tony Rice and Rocket Ismail and Steve Walsh and Cleveland Gary aren't running out of that Sun Bowl tunnel. The last three Miami and Notre Dame teams that met on a football field entered the 1988-1990 games with a combined two losses. For fans of both programs, the revival of a heated late-80s rivalry stirs up emotions that have been dormant for two decades. Both programs are also wondering if a return to elite status is in their future. For the Irish, a surprising three-game November run over Utah, Army, and USC lifted spirits and confidence in first-year coach Brian Kelly. Notre Dame's once-maligned defense led the way down the stretch, and the offense performed capably with freshman quarterback Tommy Rees thrust into the starting role. The Hurricanes were very good according to our play-by-play and drive metrics, but turnovers cost them at least two games. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris steps back in as a starter for the bowl game, and if he can avoid the interceptions that plagued his junior season, the Hurricanes have enough playmakers to win. Interim coaches have had mixed success in bowl games, however, and Notre Dame should have the motivational edge.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: No. 25 Central Florida +6.5 vs. Georgia (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When C. Florida
Has the Ball ...
When Georgia
Has the Ball ...
Category UCF
(10-3)
Georgia
(6-6)
UCF
Off
Georgia
Def
UCF
Def
Georgia
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 42 27 52 45 40 20
2010 FEI Rk 40 32 66 66 39 27
2010 S&P+ Rk 42 28 45 33 47 25
2010 FPA Rk 1 9
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 42 35 45 38
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 41 40 43 15
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 41 30 49 33
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
74.2% Run
(seventh)
58.2% Run
(73rd)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 94 36 40 17
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
44.7% Run
(11th)
43.7% Run
(13th)

Someone believes in the strength of the SEC, because here you have conference also-ran Georgia matched with Conference USA champs Central Florida. A 10-3 team vs. a 6-6 team on paper would seem to be a mismatch, but the Dawgs do have some talent that will challenge the Knights, especially rifle-armed quarterback Aaron Murray and wideout A.J. Green. Central Florida has its own top flight, first-year starter, freshman Jeff Godfrey. He was an outstanding dual threat, accounting for 22 touchdowns as the Knights put up almost 34 points per game. Georgia hasn't had a defense capable of stopping any decent attack in years, and this season was no exception. Justin Houston had 11 sacks off the edge, and Central Florida will have to account for him. Georgia coach Mark Richt has seen his program dwindle in the last half-decade, and he is on the hot seat coming in to 2011. A win over a non-AQ power would be a good building block for next year -- the fact that victory is no guarantee is a sign of just how far the school has slipped.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: No. 23 Florida State +3 vs. No. 20 South Carolina (Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Florida St.
Has the Ball ...
When S. Carolina
Has the Ball ...
Category FSU
(9-4)
S. Caro.
(9-4)
FSU
Off
S. Caro.
Def
FSU
Def
S. Caro.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 19 10 6 18 48 13
2010 FEI Rk 21 16 7 33 45 6
2010 S&P+ Rk 15 6 8 6 36 14
2010 FPA Rk 32 14
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 8 2 39 22
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 9 21 32 10
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 14 9 23 22
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
59.5% Run
(62nd)
66.4% Run
(28th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 3 16 54 7
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
37.3% Run
(34th)
30.9% Run
(76th)

Both teams in today's Spicy Chicken Sandwich Bowl surged ahead nicely this season, but came close to much more. South Carolina made its first SEC title game but ran into a Cam Newton-sized buzzsaw in its attempt for a BCS bowl. Meanwhile, Florida State couldn't get past Virginia Tech on the same weekend. So they meet in Atlanta. Both offenses hold the edge in this battle. Florida State may have ranked just 35th in points per game in 2010, but the advanced stats love them. Only Auburn, Alabama, Michigan and the Seminoles ranked in the Top 10 in both Rushing and Passing S&P+. With a lovely run-pass split, they are good on standard downs ... and they are one of the best in the country on passing downs. (This despite injuries at the quarterback position.) They are as balanced as a team can be, and it will be interesting to see how they attack Devin Taylor, Antonio Allen, and the stout South Carolina run defense. Runners Chris Thompson and Ty Jones are significantly underrated, but are they good enough for this challenge? On the other side of the ball, Florida State had one defined weakness in 2010: its inability to make quite enough stops on passing downs. If the Seminoles cannot slow down receiver Alshon Jeffery in such situations, it might be hard for them to keep up on the scoreboard.

TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern +9.5 vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

OVERALL When Northwestern
Has the Ball ...
When Texas Tech
Has the Ball ...
Category NW'ern
(7-5)
Tex. Tech
(7-5)
NW'ern
Off
Tex. Tech
Def
NW'ern
Def
Tex. Tech
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 71 60 50 61 88 55
2010 FEI Rk 66 65 47 49 86 54
2010 S&P+ Rk 77 55 64 59 85 46
2010 FPA Rk 41 68
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 51 34 109 84
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 68 78 58 35
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 74 70 84 51
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.6% Run
(53rd)
45.0% Run
(116th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 61 41 82 34
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
37.9% Run
(29th)
27.7% Run
(94th)

You want definitive proof that January 1 just doesn't have the same buzz as it used to? One of four non-Big Ten or SEC teams playing tomorrow is ... Texas Tech. You will wake up tomorrow morning, turn this game on, and think, What day is it again? And why is this being played in the Cotton Bowl ... but it's not the Cotton Bowl? (Followed by: What did I do last night? And: Whose house is this?) What this underwhelming-for-January-1 lacks in notability, it makes up for in even matchups. Northwestern may have struggled after a season-ending injury to quarterback Dan Persa, but the offense wasn't necessarily the problem. The issue, of course, was that the defense couldn't stop anybody. The Wildcats allowed 1,118 yards and 118 points to Wisconsin and Illinois in the last two games. Tech's offense has struggled with consistency, but it should be able to move the ball with relative ease. Can Northwestern? Running back Mike Trumpy has had his moments this year but is a game-time decision after breaking his wrist against Illinois. New quarterback Evan Watkins, nondescript in his two post-Persa starts, should have some opportunities to shine against an iffy Tech pass defense.

Outback Bowl: Penn State +7 vs. Florida (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Penn State
Has the Ball ...
When Florida
Has the Ball ...
Category PSU
(7-5)
Florida
(7-5)
PSU
Off
Florida
Def
PSU
Def
Florida
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 47 30 65 25 41 48
2010 FEI Rk 52 37 70 28 53 54
2010 S&P+ Rk 43 26 56 21 38 31
2010 FPA Rk 24 25
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 69 21 37 21
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 49 24 39 54
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 38 11 57 29
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
59.1% Run
(64th)
62.1% Run
(47th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 51 25 23 33
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
32.4% Run
(71st)
37.3% Run
(35th)

Hard to believe that this bowl matches a school coached by an 84-year-old shooting down retirement rumors against another whose 48-year-old coach is retiring. Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer each have two national championship trophies in the foyer, and each had disappointing 7-5 seasons in 2010. And while Will Muschamp will take over in Gainesville at the final gun, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley waits for his shot at running the show in Happy Valley. Meanwhile, amid the head coach psychodrama, both teams fought quarterback issues during the year. John Brantley is the nominal starter for Florida, but the Gators used spread quarterbacks as well. Will Meyer go all out to win with his spread system in his final game, or will he look to the future and let Brantley play most of the snaps? Meanwhile, JoePa finally replaced freshman quarterback Robert Bolden with sophomore Matt McGloin late in the season, and the Nittany Lions offense perked up. The Big Ten has had success against its SEC rivals in this particular bowl in recent seasons -- Penn State is 3-0, Florida 1-2 -- and a win would be a nice parting gift for Paterno in his final game. Oh, wait ...

Capital One Bowl: No. 9 Michigan State +10 vs. No. 16 Alabama (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Michigan State
Has the Ball ...
When Alabama
Has the Ball ...
Category MSU
(11-1)
Alabama
(9-3)
MSU
Off
Alabama
Def
MSU
Def
Alabama
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 24 4 25 13 30 5
2010 FEI Rk 22 5 17 19 18 4
2010 S&P+ Rk 25 5 24 10 31 5
2010 FPA Rk 85 8
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 30 13 25 6
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 14 11 28 7
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 37 6 19 8
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.2% Run
(57th)
59.6% Run
(60th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 23 5 83 4
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
34.1% Run
(57th)
28.3% Run
(89th)

In the win column, the Spartans posted the best season in school history, but Big Ten tiebreakers denied them a spot in a coveted BCS bowl game. That said, don't expect a team fraught with disappointment to meander listlessly onto the field in Orlando. Michigan State will bring a solid, balanced attack on both sides of the ball. Their best effort may not enough, however, against an even more solid, balanced attack from Alabama. According to FEI, Alabama played seven games rated among the Top 100 in terms of single game opponent-adjusted efficiency, while Michigan State had just one. There was also the ugly loss by the Spartans to Iowa, and the Crimson Tide are a little better at pretty much everything the Hawkeyes do well. Former MSU coach Nick Saban should dial up healthy doses of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson on offense. Defensively, the Crimson Tide may be young, but they are faster and stronger than anyone the Spartans faced this year.

Progressive Gator Bowl: Michigan +4.5 vs. No. 21 Mississippi State (Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

OVERALL When Michigan
Has the Ball ...
When Miss. State
Has the Ball ...
Category Michigan
(7-5)
MSU
(7-5)
Michigan
Off
MSU
Def
Michigan
Def
MSU
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 36 31 2 11 109 79
2010 FEI Rk 44 33 2 14 103 72
2010 S&P+ Rk 29 34 3 13 80 68
2010 FPA Rk 91 31
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 2 14 80 71
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 4 20 87 56
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 2 10 62 46
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
69.5% Run
(18th)
71.3% Run
(14th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 11 17 110 60
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
31.9% Run
(72nd)
51.6% Run
(fifth)

Rich Rodriguez and Dan Mullen have each been churned through the coaching change rumor mill since the regular season ended, but for entirely different reasons. After possible flirtations with more prestigious jobs, Mullen ultimately signed a contract extension to stay at Mississippi State. Rodriguez is still waiting on a vote of confidence from his athletic director, and the fan base clearly has its heart set on Stanford's Jim Harbaugh. The featured matchup in this bowl is Michigan's offense -- specifically Denard Robinson's fleet feet -- versus Mississippi State's elite defense. If a month away from the field recharged Robinson's batteries, the Bulldogs could have their hands full. On the other hand, Michigan faced only one defense this season on par with Mississippi State, and Ohio State completely shut down the Wolverines. Another big question is whether the Bulldogs will open it up against a Michigan defense that has been torched by nearly everyone this year. The Wolverines were crushed on the ground against Wisconsin and Ohio State and gave up at least 200 yards passing to all but one opponent.

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio: No. 3 TCU -3 vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When TCU
Has the Ball ...
When Wisconsin
Has the Ball ...
Category TCU
(12-0)
Wisconsin
(11-1)
TCU
Off
Wisconsin
Def
TCU
Def
Wisconsin
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 6 12 24 28 4 9
2010 FEI Rk 14 9 19 29 12 5
2010 S&P+ Rk 4 14 20 24 2 12
2010 FPA Rk 4 10
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 10 47 16 4
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 28 18 1 25
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 20 47 7 6
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
71.9% Run
(12th)
73.7% Run
(ninth)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 18 27 1 9
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
39.9% Run
(21st)
40.3% Run
(19th)

It's one of the most eagerly anticipated non-championship BCS bowl games in recent history, and it may all boil down to a simple test of power versus speed. Wisconsin's line is beefy and its backfield has been special, pouring in 46 touchdowns on the ground and positioning three running backs -- James White, John Clay, and Montee Ball -- within range of 1,000 yards on the season. TCU counters with a fast and nimble defense ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring and yards given up and No. 4 in F/+. Both teams obliterated weak opponents this year and turned it on down the stretch -- TCU and Wisconsin blew out their November competition by a combined score of 388-143. The Badgers' Scott Tolzien and Horned Frogs' Andy Dalton both rank in the Top 5 nationally in pass efficiency. They also spread the wealth -- neither team has a receiver ranked in the Top 100 in yards per game. Utah and Boise State have claimed all the post-season non-AQ conference accolades in the last decade, but TCU has been every bit as successful. They just need the hardware, and a Rose Bowl title is the next best thing to a national championship in every corner of the college football landscape. The non-traditional Rose Bowl matchup favors TCU as well: In the three Rose Bowls played in the last decade between a traditional Big Ten or Pac-10 participant and one from another conference, the non-traditional opponent has won each game.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut +17 vs. No. 7 Oklahoma (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When UConn
Has the Ball ...
When Oklahoma
Has the Ball ...
Category UConn
(8-4)
OU
(10-3)
UConn
Off
OU
Def
UConn
Def
OU
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 51 7 77 6 42 18
2010 FEI Rk 44 8 78 4 37 13
2010 S&P+ Rk 67 7 71 7 57 16
2010 FPA Rk 20 25
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 40 10 63 48
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 94 9 56 8
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 56 12 45 23
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
67.2% Run
(27th)
56.5% Run
(84th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 95 3 32 26
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
39.8% Run
(22nd)
22.3% Run
(112th)

Let's put it this way: If Oklahoma loses this time, they just need to start turning down Fiesta Bowl bids. They famously lost in the desert to Boise State in 2007 and West Virginia in 2008, but both of those teams ranked much higher than the underdog Huskies, who rank 44th in FEI and a whopping 67th in S&P+. It's easy to be happy for UConn -- the eam went through a lot last year with the Jasper Howard death, and coach Randy Edsall is, by all accounts, a complete class act. But if Oklahoma is engaged and interested, the Sooners should win in a walk. Connecticut running back Jordan Todman is a solid weapon. He rushed for at least 80 yards in every game he played this year and posted at least 120 seven times, but in his two games against defenses ranking among the Top 40 in Rushing S&P+ (No. 5 West Virginia, No. 35 South Florida), he averaged just 3.1 yards per carry. Oklahoma's defense? Tenth in Rushing S&P+. UConn absolutely must maintain leverage and avoid passing downs, otherwise the three-and-outs will add up quickly. As for Oklahoma's offense, the Sooners hold a significant advantage in the passing game, but they'll need to avoid passing downs as well. Though they haven't faced a receiver the caliber of Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, UConn's defense improves by the down, and Landry Jones was not quite the playmaker he was expected to be in must-pass situations.

Storylines of the Week

Rob Weintraub: In this 10-game slate, five Big Ten and five SEC schools do battle, with three head-to-head collisions. Much wind will be expelled drawing conclusions from these games. But recent events prove that the Big Ten has pulled ahead of the SEC in off-field scandal. That might not seem possible, given the epic legacy of cheating down south. But between Ohio State's trophies-for-tats barter program and Iowa's pharmaceutical farmer's market, the Legends and Leaders have all been tarnished, just in time for bowl season to kick off in earnest. The Pac-10 now 12 has dreams of joining the big boys in football supremacy. They have a lot of police blotter activity to catch up on as well.

Brian Fremeau: As Rob mentioned, much will be made of head-to-head conference results this bowl season. The Big 12 is off to a dreadful start, but the Big Ten and ACC are on the right track so far. The Big East gets no respect but hasn't done much recently to earn it either. The conference may have the strongest aggregate bowl performance in the BCS era, but most of its bowl tie-ins are against weaker conferences. Simply comparing bowl records of each conference is a rather meaningless exercise. How about another one? Which team had the strongest schedule based on opponent bowl records this year? The next few days will be influential in deciding that outcome. We're halfway through the bowl season and three teams haven't seen a regular season opponent take the field in a bowl yet -- Auburn (nine bowl opponents), Mississippi State (seven), and Tennessee (seven). Sixteen teams' opponents are undefeated in bowl season so far, led by Florida State's opponents (4-0). FSU (10), Cincinnati (10), South Carolina (11) and Florida (10) are the only teams that played 10 or more games against bowl-bound opponents this year, and combined, 28 of those results still need to be determined. Does it matter? Nah. But in bowl season, how much does any of it really matter?

Bill Connelly: To continue the theme ... How much should we actually value bowl games? We all acknowledge that the team that cares more is as or more likely to win a bowl as the team who might actually be better, but then we judge conferences and base some of our preseason picks for the following season based on bowl results. In terms of conference strength, I understand how this happens -- we've barely seen any non-conference games since the beginning of October, so we almost have no choice but to use bowl results in the ongoing, "Which conference is better?" arguments. But at the same time, if we know the games don't really tell us much, should we really treat them as anything more than entertaining exhibitions? And should we really judge the Big 12 (or Big Ten, I guess) harshly because, for instance, Nebraska had no interest in a rematch with Washington and played like it? Or because a referee decided a salute to the crowd should decide the Kansas State-Syracuse game? We always fall into trap of drawing huge conclusions with small sample sizes and questionable circumstances, but with bowls we know we're doing it ... and it doesn't stop us from doing it.

Picks

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Rob F/+
S. Florida +5.5 Clemson Clemson Clemson
Notre Dame +3 Miami Miami Miami
C. Florida +6.5 Georgia Georgia C. Florida
Florida St. +3 S. Carolina Florida St. S. Carolina
Northwestern +9.5 Texas Tech Tex. Tech NW'ern
Penn State +7 Florida Florida Florida
Michigan St. +10 Alabama Alabama Alabama
Michigan +4.5 Mississippi St. Michigan Michigan
TCU -3 Wisconsin Wisconsin TCU
Connecticut +17 Oklahoma Oklahoma* Oklahoma*
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
Bowls Vol. 2
Season Total
Rob: 5-5 (1-0) 77-76-5 (9-6)
F/+: 6-4 (0-1) 79-74-5 (4-12)

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 31 Dec 2010

9 comments, Last at 02 Jan 2011, 5:02pm by Joshua Northey

Comments

1
by Tom Gower :: Fri, 12/31/2010 - 7:06pm

No picks for over USF-Clemson (don't know which way I would've gone, but probably USF) and Notre Dame-Miami (Irish) or in-progress Georgia-UCF (Dawgs), so I'll take FSU, Texas Tech, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State, TCU, and Oklahoma. With no Irish to go with, the Bulldogs are my only counter-consensus pick and thus lock.

2
by JonFrum :: Fri, 12/31/2010 - 8:15pm

There are no more Bowl games. There are post-season exhibition games, and a 'national championship' game.

3
by zlionsfan :: Sat, 01/01/2011 - 1:56pm

agreed. The current bowl setup is no more "historical" than a playoff would be (actually significantly less so, given that other divisions have been running playoffs for nearly 40 years), and not just the BCS aspect of it ... half the bowls that feature teams within a game of .500 didn't even have a name to begin with. (At least the older bowls used to pretend they stood alone; the newer ones skip straight to the commercialism.)

It's fine with me, though. We do have more days on which we can watch college football, even if it's mostly just the About to Go Bankrupt and/or Be Renamed Bowl ... and there's no need to push a playoff system when Mr. Hancock uses the current system as an example of tradition. He does a good enough job of making "our" case for "us".

4
by Theo :: Sat, 01/01/2011 - 7:20pm

Here in Europe I like it; it means there's less ice hockey on ESPN America.

5
by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 12:48pm

Looks like the Little10 got exposed as the REAL "Little Sisters of the Poor"

LMAO.

----------------------------------------
Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.

6
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 1:38pm

Well Wisconsin covered and Iowa won handily, so really just the Michigan school looked terrible. Now if Ohio State has a bad showing that is another story.

Also why do you come to this site if you always are making sweeping generalizations off of tiny samples.

The Big 10 obviously doesn't deserve all the the attention and coverage it gets based on its play on the field, but that exactly what you would expect when one conference has such a large following.

7
by Eddo :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 1:59pm

And, for the record, Illinois destroyed Baylor, though Northwestern lost by seven to Texas Tech.

So it would appear SEC > Mountain West > Big Ten > Big XII.

8
by Bill Connelly :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 2:45pm

I think you and I have different definitions of "handily."

9
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 5:02pm

I meant covered that was a mistype. I was adjusting everything by the lines since we are talking about what the bowls taught us, and presumably the past information as already encompassed in the lines.