Seventh Day Adventure
Football Outsiders' weekly preview for people who like their football played on Saturdays

Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

by Vinny Gauri and Russell Levine

Russell: The readers have spoken, Vin. Looks like it's back to the good, old-fashioned printed word after a couple weeks of dabbling in these new-fangled podcasts. (You can still listen below)

Vinny: Come on, really? Just when I was refining my impressions of Gushberger ("alllriiiiggghhtttt!"), Dick Vermeil ("Nice job, young man!") and Jim Donnan ("uhhhh...."). I was going to be the new audio-only college version of Frank Caliendo. It's a niche market. But lucrative.

Russell: After 27 mostly meaningless bowls, we've gotten down to the good stuff. We'll cover the first four BCS games here, and then do a special edition of SDA next week on the championship game between Florida and some other team.

Vinny: Ooph. I still haven't sorted out my emotional baggage (about the size of the Tumi catalog) for that one. In the meantime, I've been trying to solve the mystery of whether BC interim coach Frank Spaziani is really just former NYC police commish Bernie Kerik in disguise.

Russell: Tumi? Wow, I knew I should have gone to law school. Vin, I understand you'll be in the Arroyo Seco Monday afternoon. Hopefully you've secured better accommodations then the last time we were there together. I don't know about you, but that might be the only time I've ever stayed at a hotel that advertised "Free Playboy" on the marquee.

Vinny: It was the Regal Inn Motel! It had "regal" in its name -- it had to be a nice place. You just can't argue with that logic. Well, maybe you can. The extra charge for the telephone and the hourly room option were somewhat disconcerting at check-in. And I still wake up with nightmares that I contracted the Andromeda Strain from the beds in that place.

Russell: Oooh, a one-star rating! Nice pick, Vin.

Rose Bowl, Monday, Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET, ABC
#3 Michigan (+1) vs. #7 USC

Russell: Let's get one thing straight off the bat. I don't buy for a second that either team in this game is going to be flat because they're disappointed to be in Pasadena instead of Glendale. Maybe on December 3, but not on January 1. The significance of the Rose Bowl to the Big Ten and Pac-10 is such that it could never be viewed as a consolation prize.

Vinny: Indeed. And USC is hearing the whispers (or shouts) about the end of its dynasty. The Trojans want to prove that they're still a force to be reckoned with and that they're not on some downward spiral back to mediocrity. Before the season, I was convinced that they would lose at least three games trying to replace Leinart, Bush and White. Halfway through the season, I looked dead wrong (per usual). Now, it's a possibility. Meanwhile, USC's total offense has gone from an insane 580 yards per game last year to a mortal 388 yards per game this year.

Russell: For Michigan, a win over USC means the chance to finish second in the polls behind the only team it lost to. I also think the winner here could be ranked first in the preseason polls next year, particularly if Ohio State beats Florida (the young Gators would be the likely No. 1 team coming off a national championship).

Vinny: That is certainly the talk. Michigan also got handled 28-14 by USC in their last Rose Bowl matchup in 2003. And it wasn't as close as the score. Only a few senior players on the current squads were involved in that one, but the coaching staffs and fans remember it well. Of course, USC claimed a share of its first national championship under Pete Carroll with that convincing win.

Russell: Michigan has to be licking its chops after watching the USC-UCLA film. UCLA got after John David Booty with their speed-rushing defensive ends and completely stifled the USC passing game. The Trojans have struggled with good pass-rushing teams all year, and Michigan's front seven is the best they've faced, because they bring pressure with not just the ends, but with pocket-collapsing tackle Alan Branch as well.

Vinny: This may be Branch's finale for Michigan before he bolts for the NFL, and he probably should as a projected top-ten pick. He'll be going up against a solid interior line for USC led by senior center Ryan Kalil. Tailback Chauncey Washington is healthy, but he and C.J. Gable don't exactly strike fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators. Certainly not Ron English, with the best run defense in the country. But Michigan wasn't focused on Antonio Pittman or Chris Wells and they both had long touchdown scampers that proved decisive in Ohio State's victory. The Wolverines definitely need better safety play against USC. (Ryan Mundy, please click here).

Russell: Brian from mgoblog doesn't refer to it as "Yards after Mundy" for nothing, Vin. After Ohio State torched Michigan, I have some nightmares about Dwayne Jarrett and Co. running free through the Michigan secondary. But I think Leon Hall's play will improve -- his performance against the Buckeyes might have cost him several million dollars in signing bonus money. And it wasn't so much the Ohio State receivers that hurt Michigan as it was Troy Smith, who took whatever the defense gave him and killed Michigan 10 yards at a time. Booty is more of a downfield thrower, and he tends to look at the pass rush if it gets to him. Advantage, Michigan.

Vinny: Jarrett grabs the headlines with his freakish ability, but Steve Smith is just as dangerous. He reminds me of Ohio State's Anthony Gonazlez with his route-running, sure hands and underrated speed. I doubt USC's offensive braintrust (Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian) will adopt the five-wide approach that Jim Tressel used against Michigan, but they know Michigan's Achilles' heel is the secondary. I don't expect the Trojans to be as passive with their gameplan as they were against the Bruins.

Russell: On offense, Michigan can't afford to become one-dimensional. Mike Hart needs to have some success, but that doesn't mean the Wolverines look to establish the run early. They might come out throwing as they did against Ohio State. Either way, I think Michigan wins this one on defense. Booty will toss a few picks after the rush gets to him, and Michigan wins it going away for both Bo and former team MVP Gerald Ford. RIP, Mr. President, and kudos to you, sir, for making "Hail to the Victors" a part of your funeral service.

Vinny: Caroll has called this Trojan defense the quickest and best he's coached, but I don't buy it. There's no way this unit is equal to the Kenechi Udeze, Mike Patterson, Lofa Tatupu defenses of 2003-04. Sedrick Ellis can wreak havoc on the interior but end Lawrence Jackson is a little over-hyped if you ask me. And as Oregon State's Matt Moore showed, USC's secondary can be had. I expect Chad Henne to find Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington and Steve Breaston early and often as coordinator Mike DeBord unleashes a pass-happy attack. I think this will be an instant classic that Michigan actually wins.

Fiesta Bowl, Monday, Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX
#8 Boise State (+7) vs. #10 Oklahoma

Russell: I'm actually looking forward to watching this game, and I'm glad that this time around, the "mid-major" BCS party-crasher is facing top competition, unlike Utah which crushed overmatched Pittsburgh in the Fiesta two years ago. Boise State has a lot to prove taking on an Oklahoma team that, as it turned out, would have been in the thick of the national-title chase if not for some brutal replay calls in their early-season loss at Oregon.

Vinny: The Broncos are undefeated thanks to their WAC schedule and another home rout of Oregon State back in September. In previous years, they were a different team away from home. But other than a close scare at San Jose State, they took care of business off the Smurf Turf. We'll see if that holds true against the Sooners.

Russell: Boise doesn't have to win this game to prove it belongs. The Broncos just have to be able to compete -- unlike their ill-fated trip to Georgia to begin the 2005 season. Jared Zabransky committed six first-half turnovers in a 48-13 loss. But I'm less worried about Zabransky -- who I think has grown from that experience -- than I am about the Boise defense that must cope with Adrian Peterson and his talented backups in the Oklahoma backfield.

Vinny: True enough. With the exception of the Big XII title game against Nebraska, the Sooners did just fine on the ground without Peterson. Both Allen Patrick and Chris Brown (4.4 and 4.9 yards per carry, respectively) showed what they could do.

Russell: I don't see Boise slowing down the Oklahoma offense much -- not with Peterson back, and not with Paul Thompson playing as well as he has all year. Thompson has been one of my favorite players this season, stepping in from receiver to save the Sooners after Rhett Bomar was kicked off the team. I do have some concerns about the Oklahoma defense, which has been vulnerable to the big play this year. I can see Ian Johnson ripping off some big runs in this one.

Vinny: He'll have to, because Zabransky won't be able to do much otherwise. Everything for Boise State depends on the success of their smashmouth approach. Center Jadon Dailey is confident that the Broncos can get to the second level against the Sooners. Oklahoma is already somewhat acquainted with Boise State's offense after having played Colorado (coached by former Broncos' coach Dan Hawkins) this year.

Russell: I think Boise will give a good account of itself, and I can see this being a game at halftime. It's important that Boise play well. The addition of a fifth BCS game means that most years, a mid-major team will qualify. But I still think the BCS has designs on turning that fifth game into a championship of a four-team playoff, and it will be easier to take away the new access from the non-BCS leagues if they get killed in these games.

Vinny: Take it easy, Russ. I think you've had too many conversations with Robert Ericsson.

Russell: I think the seven-point line shows great respect for Boise, but Oklahoma has too much talent, and Peterson's return is the icing on the cake. Although I think he's crazy to risk injury in this game when he'd be a top NFL pick either way, I expect Peterson to have an impact as Oklahoma puts away the stubborn Broncos in the second half and covers the spread.

Vinny: I expect both offenses to have a big day. I want to pick the Broncos, but ... screw it: give me Boise State and the points.

Orange Bowl, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
#6 Louisville (-10) vs. #14 Wake Forest

Russell: Welcome to the FedEx Orange Bowl! Winning coach gets to tell Mal Moore he'll coach Alabama for $5 million a year. This game would have been more appealing had Rutgers topped West Virginia, but we've still got Wake Forest, the most overachieving team in the nation this year behind head coach Jim Grobe.

Vinny: Well, it's the day after New Year's Day and a Tuesday night. So I'll watch. But then, I'm home right now on a Saturday night and I'm watching Ronin on Telemundo ("Seppu... seppu... ¿que?"). So what else do I have to do?

Russell: Umm, you need to get out more. Wake is great story. You watch them play and you think, "this team isn't very good." They don't do one thing particularly well and they often looked like they were getting outplayed, no matter the caliber of the opposition -- they needed a blocked field goal in the final seconds to hang on against Duke, for example. But add it up, and this team is somehow 11-2 and ACC champs -- although I'm not sure if that says more about Wake Forest or the ACC.

Vinny: I'm thinking the latter, especially after watching Clemson lay down against Kentucky. The Deacons aren't terribly exciting. They rank fourth nationally in turnover margin and play solid special teams. Cinemax star Sam Swank has netted 21-of-28 field goals this season, including three of over 50 yards to beat N.C. State.

Russell: I give Wake Forest a puncher's chance in this game. Alright, maybe it's a George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer puncher's chance, but it's a chance. Unfortunately for Wake, this is an awful matchup against Louisville's big-play, pass-happy offense. Wake's smallish corners, Alphonso Smith and Riley Swanson, must contend with 6-foot-6 receiver Mario Urrutia, whose name may sound like a scary medical procedure but whose game is just play scary. Louisville also has a 6-foot-6 tight end, Gary Barnidge, whom Wake's 72nd-ranked pass defense must contend with. They better get after Brian Brohm or this could be a very long day.

Vinny: I don't like their chances of doing that against another solid offensive line for Louisville. Brohm has only struggled once this season, and that was the road ambush in Piscataway against a very good Rutgers defense. Wake has forced 22 interceptions, but that's probably as much a function of playing lousy quarterbacks in the ACC as anything. Louisville has some great youngsters in freshman Anthony Allen (12 touchdowns) and 19-year old senior defensive tackle Amobi Okoye (six sacks, 12 tackles for loss).

Russell: Yeah, Louisville just has too much talent. They'll be plenty motivated despite backing into this game; after all, it's not like BCS bids are old hat for the Louisville program. Riley Skinner will string some drives together and Wake will have some success with a bend-don't-break defense, but it'll be too much Brohm in the end. I like Louisville big, and I'll make this my Freddy lock of the BCS games. After it's over, Bobby Petrino and Grobe can trade real-estate agents' cards at midfield.

Vinny: Agreed. It's been a great year for Wake, but the Cardinals have too much firepower. Louisville coasts to an easy win. I'll make this my Fred Edelstein Lock as well.

Sugar Bowl, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
#4 LSU (-9) vs. #11 Notre Dame

Russell: Question for you, Vin. If you took all Notre Dame's players and even uber-genius coach Charlie Weis and put them in Washington State garb and gave them the same exact results this season, what do you think the line would be on this game? 16? 20?

Vinny: I'm guessing at least two touchdowns.

Russell: My point is, the line reflects a great respect for the size of Notre Dame's fan base. Everyone knows that Notre Dame got killed against the only two really good teams it played this year -- Michigan (47-21!!!! Pwnd!!!), and USC -- but it's more than that. The secondary was torched by UCLA, Purdue, and Michigan State. Brady Quinn's numbers were terrific at the end of the year, but he was beyond bad until garbage time against the Wolverines and Trojans, and his performance against Michigan State was nothing to be too proud of either. LSU has every bit as much talent as Michigan and USC, maybe more. Notre Dame hasn't won a bowl game since the 1993 season. Should I go on?

Vinny: Point taken. The Tigers have one of the best defenses in the country (third in passing efficiency and total defense, fifth in scoring defense). This is a quick, relentless group that can easily overwhelm the Irish offensive line. Senior free safety LaRon Landry has 16 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. And junior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey could make the jump to the NFL after Wednesday night.

Russell: I'll concede that Weis is an excellent coach and the program is in better shape than it has been at any time since Holtz last cared (circa 1993). In the coaching matchup against Les "I need to bend my brim" Miles, Weis gets a healthy nod. But coaching can only do so much. LSU's D-line will be all over Quinn, and we all know what happens to BQ's game when he starts to get hit (Yakety Sax). Notre Dame receivers need to start preparing for balls in the dirt or 10 feet over their heads. Lets hope the FOX announcers can avoid a 15-minute testament to Quinn's courage as he's going 2-for-11 for seven yards while LSU builds a three-score lead. Sure, it takes courage to take a beating and keep getting up, but it doesn't take skill to stink up the joint while doing so.

Vinny: LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell may join Dorsey in declaring for the draft after this game. Most have Russell and Quinn as the top two quarterbacks on the board (I would still trade down and take Troy Smith). Russell has had a terrific year, completing 68.5 percent of his passes and tossing 26 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. He had a couple rough games against two very good defenses (Florida, Tennessee) but has carved up everyone else. The running game hasn't been great, but LSU still had the ninth-ranked scoring offense in the country. Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher interviewed for the UAB job (nixed by Alabama boosters?) and now is being linked to the FSU offensive coordinator gig. Too many distractions for the Tigers?

Russell: That's not just "Alabama boosters," that's Paul Bryant, Jr. You gotta love football in the South. Anyway, I don't think LSU will be too distracted. It's probably no secret which way I'm leaning. LSU should win huge in this one, and they're my pick to cover. I should probably make them my Freddy, but it's only my fear that the whole world seems to share my opinion on this one that prevents me from doing so.

Vinny: I'm rooting for an entertaining game so hopefully Quinn can connect with Jeff Samardzija often enough. And maybe Rhema McKnight got some hands for Christmas. But yes, I'm going with the Tigers to cover.

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The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Favorite Spread Underdog Vinny Says Russell Says
Outback Bowl (Tampa), Monday, January 1, 11 a.m. ET ESPN
Tennessee -4 Penn State Tennessee Tennessee
 
AT&T Cotton Bowl (Dallas), Monday, January 1, 11:30 a.m. ET FOX
Auburn -2 Nebraska Nebraska Nebraska
 
Capital One Bowl (Orlando), Monday, January 1, 1 p.m. ET ABC
Arkansas -1.5 Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin
 
Toyota Gator Bowl (Jacksonville), Monday, January 1, 1 p.m. ET CBS
West Virginia -10 Georgia Tech West Virginia West Virginia
 
Rose Bowl (Pasadena), Monday, January 2, 5 p.m. ET ABC
Michigan +1 USC Michigan Michigan
 
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale), Monday, January 1, 8:30 p.m. ET FOX
Boise State +7 Oklahoma Boise State Oklahoma
 
Orange Bowl (Miami), Tuesday, January 2, 8 p.m. ET FOX
Louisville -10 Wake Forest Louisville* Louisville*
 
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans), Wednesday, January 3, 8 p.m. ET FOX
LSU -9 Notre Dame LSU LSU
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
Note: Numbers will be updated following the completion of all the non-BCS games.
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 8-4-0 (1-0-0) 66-57-1 (10-5-0)
Russell 7-5-0 (0-1-0) 72-51-1 (9-6-0)

Comments

333 comments, Last at 06 Jan 2007, 2:50pm

1 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Hmmm, Louisville looks like a pretty good bet, then. I'll listen to your advice and put some vCash on the game.

2 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Pat Summerall in the Cotton Bowl sounds really senile. He's getting names wrong, and he keeps repeating the same stupid comments. "He was more than lucky..." "Let's see if he's lucky..."
Saying it 18 times doesn't make it any funnier.

"He's in there because of an injury." (I'm waiting for him to say that a 4th time)

3 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Russell... I understand you don't like Notre Dame, but please try to stick to the facts. Let's not make up things about the Purdue, Mich St., and UCLA games. Purdue was trailing 28-7 in the first half, if you want to talk about garbage yards. In the UCLA game, the Bruins got two lucky long passes in the first half and had one good drive the rest of the game. They didn't throw the ball well outside of those three drives. Michigan State was ahead in that game because they were running the ball well. After the first quarter, Stanton was 4-12 with two INTs.

BTW, I love the analysis of Brady Quinn as if he's the only QB who doesn't play well when he gets hit often. That pretty much describes 99.9% of the QBs in college and the NFL. Let's not forget how rattled Brian Brohm was against Rutgers.

5 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

What I don't like about Notre Dame is the deification of Weis without beating a single quality opponent in two years.

Fair point that Purdue piled up garbage time yards, but Purdue is awful. UCLA may have gotten "lucky" but those yards count just the same. UCLA's offense is also not very good. North Carolina's offense is worse than that, but they also hit some big plays against that Irish secondary.

Quinn is far from the only quarterback whose game suffers when he gets hit, but I stand by my opinion that he was horrendous against Michigan and USC when the game mattered, that he gets rattled and his mechanics really suffer. Against Michigan, he started spraying balls all over the place even when he did have time. Same thing against Georgia Tech. This guys is the presumed no. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and I'm not sure he can be successful in a league where accuracy is paramount and all QBs get hit a lot.

6 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

They could exhume Pat Summerall's corpse 175 years from now and I'd still take him calling the Cotton Bowl over Mike Patrick calling the Outback Bowl.

7 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Russell... Michigan is only a quality opponent when they beat the Irish? I recall Weis and Notre Dame winning at the big house last season.

I'll be the first one to admit this ND team isn't as good as last season's and the o-line (somehow) got much worse. However, one must acknowledge there are only two good players on this offense besides Quinn... Samardzija and Carlson. Considering that and the fact GT has one of the nation's top 3-5 defensive coordinators who had 7 months to prepare for the game, I can't kill Quinn. Plus, Michigan and USC are damn good defenses. Even UCLA showed how good they were. It sounds like I'm making excuses, but sometimes you have to give the other team credit. Especially when ND doesn't walk into these games with the talent most big programs possess.

As I type this, I see a Tennessee RB with more speed than any ND back... ever?

8 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

No, Michigan is only a quality opponent when they go 11-1 as opposed to 7-5 (UM's worst team in 21 seasons).

Perhaps I should have said "elite" opponent as opposed to "quality". In my view, Weis/ND has faced 4 elite teams (USC, Ohio State in '05; Michigan and USC in '06) in two seasons and they have gone 0-4 and been outclassed in three of the games.

9 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Cox has been unable to find his receivers at all.
Nebraska is thoroughly outplaying Auburn. Two fluky turnovers (one resulting off a silly decision for a fake at their own 15) are what has Auburn in this contest.

10 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

"ND doesn’t walk into these games with the talent most big programs possess." Little too much celebrating last night, Kevin? ND has its own television network, a national fan base that is larger than anyone else's, and had the fifth ranked recruiting classes (according to the CSTV website--I have no idea how authoritative, it was the first recruiting/ranking site I found) in 2003 and 2006, and was highly ranked in one of the intervening years. It wasn't that long ago that it seemed like every top recruit in the country had narrowed his choices to college X and Notre Dame. If ND can't get talent, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Oh, yeah, UCLA's "lucky" passes. I guess ND didn't have any plays like that this season. That last score against Michigan State was totally skill and execution.

11 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I understand the nostalgia in hearing Summerall again, but the announcing has been dreadful.
Also, Auburn should've just taken a knee or two. What they did there made no sense.

12 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Russell... I don't disagree with you about those four games. HOWEVER, even you must admit those were four REALLY good teams with REALLY EXCEPTIONAL talent. If you want to kill Weis about the Michigan St. games, go ahead. Killing him about the losing badly to teams that are MUCH more talented than ND doesn't seem like much of a revelation.

In Weis' defense, I must state ND has won 9 games back to back seasons for the first time since the Lou Holtz era. Plus, he turned a talented kid into perhaps the first pick in the draft. He made Maurice Stovall into an actual football player. He realized Jeff Samardzija can actually be good if he's on the field. Most importantly though, Weis is getting big time recruits and that's REALLY what big time college football is about... talent. The 4 seasons prior to last year, the Irish got 9 Top 100 recruits. In the past two seasons (with still more time left), Weis has nabbed 13 Top 100 players.

13 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

8: Russell as much as I hate that Notre Dame is playing in a BCS game I have to say that although they are technically 0-4 against "elite teams" they are 1-3 in my mind.

Matt Leinart fumbled the ball out of bounds around the 2 or 3 yard line. Every replay I watched showed the ball going out WELL before the goalline, yet the refs spotted him at the half-yard line for 4th down. Then Notre Dame stopped Leinart on the sneak (I'd say I'm about 90% certain that Leinart was going to be tackled outside of the goalline) when Reggie Bush ILLEGALLY pushed him into the endzone. Of course the refs were afraid to call it, and do you blame them? That's like calling Michael Jordan on a push off when he hits a Finals winning jumper.

16 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I guess Calvin Johnson is still good when you throw him the ball. Reggie Ball somehow didn't understand that.

17 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

As soon as it's obvious Penn State will do nothing but run the ball, they become unstoppable. What's the deal?

18 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Is there a story behind the Cotton Bowl being left out of the championship rotation? My perception was that right up until the formation of the Bowl Alliance, it ranked ahead of the Fiesta in terms of prestige -- as a kid, I never heard tales of Fiesta Bowls past, but I damn sure knew about the great Texas teams and Joe Montana's chicken soup -- so I've always been puzzled by its exclusion.

20 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

And as soon as I say Penn State's rushing offense is unstoppable, they're stopped. FG and ten point lead nonetheless for PSU.

21 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re: 18

The Cotton wanted to be a part of the BCS, I believe, but was done in by several factors, including backing, the facility, and the association with the Southwest Conference.

22 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re #20
What I liked about that FG was Todd Blackledge arguing Penn State should go for it on 4&G up 7 with less than 4 to play, rather than kick the FG to make it a 10 point lead. Now, coaches probably should go for it more often, but that's one of those times it does make sense to kick the FG and make it a 2-score game.

23 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Why I love Fox: it took them two minutes to actually notice the biggest play of the game, Auburn's 3rd down run to seal the game, was under review. Replay correctly reversed the call on the field, and Nebraska gets the ball back and a chance to win. Of course, Callahan decides not to try to return the punt at all, costing his team likely a few yards and, more preciously, some time. Oh, and with 9 seconds left on the clock, the Huskers run a Hail Mary, rather than from 70-ish yards away, rather than, say, running a short play to get closer and running a shorter heave. Callahan deserves some JLS consideration for blowing this, though I'm sure some other idiot is/will be more deserving.

24 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Sign of the Apocalypse of the Year, Incredibly Early Edition: Lame "Florida Sun" (parody of Rivieras' "California Sun") during halftime of Capitol One, nee Citrus, nee Tangerine, Bowl)

25 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

How is Arkansas down by 10? I only watched a little bit of the first half? The yardage/turnovers seem to indicate a closer game.

26 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wow. Rich Rodriguez tells the sideline reporter coming out of the locker room at halftime Slaton won't be playing, then GaTech pulls out the surprise onside up 28-17. Gailey/Nix then pull out the flea-flicker on the first play, but Bennett can't find anybody open downfield. So, Choice can just pick up 18 yards on the ground. Not looking good for the Mountaineers.

28 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

How sick must Georgia Tech fans be watching this performance by the backup QB after suffering through four years with Reggie Ball?

Calvin Johnson would look awful good in a Tampa Bay uniform at #3 or 4.

29 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

2 things:

1)I don't get why they went for it on 4th and 5. Straight out of the buffalo playbook. Kick the damn field goal.

2)The Wisconsin player should've knocked it down, not caught it. It's 4th down. Idiot.

30 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Arkansas has about twice as many yards as Wisconsin and they're winning the turnover battle.

The lesson--special teams are important.

31 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I think calling him an "idiot" for a play that may have cost Wisconsin three yards is a bit strong.

Arkansas's kicking game leaves something to be desired, which is why they went for it.

32 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

The 3rd quarter of the Wisc-Arky game set football back about 40 years. But Arky just scored, so now we've got a ballgame...

35 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

RE: 31

Obviously they have no confidence in their kicker, but I think you have to in that situation.

It was just a stupid interception by a player looking to pad his stats. That's not team football.

36 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Arkansas actually benefitted from getting called for pass interference. The INT had them way back down the field. Fumble might give them better field position.

39 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Arkansas has over 350 yards of offense. Prior to this current drive, Wisconsin had 5 yds of offense in the 2nd half.

40 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Yeah, this would be one of those games that a college DVOA would point to Arkansas dominating Wisconsin.

Also, why didn't they review that close spot that gave Wisconsin the first down that allowed them to run out the clock?

41 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

John Stocco: 14-34, 206, 2TD, 2 INT. And he's named MVP? Wow. I know the losing team rarely has the game MVP, but it probably should've gone to Felix Jones.

42 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

West Virginia gets a first down with 2:36 to play, up 3. Georgia Tech has 1 TO. Naturally, Chan takes it before the first down play, when it takes the least time off possible. Seriously, 3-2-5-e has been in place all freakin' year, and some coaches still haven't figured this out?

43 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

p.s. Kudos to Wisconsin for hanging on. Their defense made the plays in the 4th Quarter when it needed to. Their offense better be treating their defense to a few cold ones once they get back to Madison.

44 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

And because of Gailey's screw-up, West Virginia has 7 seconds left instead of 22 when they make it to 4th down. White boots outside, and finally goes for the scramble upfield when he's run almost all the time off the clock. He nabs the first down, but it didn't really matter because the clock had expired. Does Rodriguez call the same play if it won't run out the clock? Well, maybe, but Gailey deprived us of the chance to know, and hurt his team's chance to win.

45 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wisconsin sucks. No way in hell they could go through a quality conference with only one loss. That offense is horrible.

Penn State should just say thank you very much for the gift.

Listening to color guys who played in the Big Ten do bowl games involving the Big 10 ought to be outlawed. What a bunch of freaking homers!

Tennessee is running effectively to their left. Gee, Penn St grad Todd Blackledge, do you think it might have anything to do with All-SEC left tackle, Aaron Sears? Guess not, all we hear about is Penn State's problems defending there. All Joe Pa, all Penn St, all the time. Pathetic effort there, Todd.

Arkansas gets called for the absolute worst PI penalty of all time, negating an interception. There was no contact between a defender and the receiver! But Big Ten grad Bob Griese continues to tell us that you can't put your hands on the receiver once the ball is in the air. First, WRs and DBs have been hand fighting for years, Bob. Get a clue. Second, on the play in question -- he didn't even touch him! Look at your freaking monitor where they are showing the replay while you talk. No contact. Geez, what a tool.

And now we get the culmination of a week long gagfest on the Rose Bowl. The most overrated sporting event in history. For most of my life, watching the Rose Bowl has always been the worst part of bowl week. Multiple games early on Jan 1 with most of them being good games. But we have to switch back and forth like crazy to keep up. Then the Rose Bowl where some overrated Big 10 cupcake would regularly get the crap beat out of it by a Pac 10 team with an overwhelming speed advantage.

By the 3Q you're desperate for another game to switch to. But no, its the granddaddy of them all. So no competition on the tube and we have only the blowout to watch. This went on for years. And to top off the misery, Brent freaking Musberger, another Big Ten grad, doing the game and making you want to ralph. You'd think Tylenol and Advil would be smart enough to do all the ads.

I know the Big Ten viewing area is huge. I know the networks are going to cater to that huge population base. But damn, a little honesty and balance once in a while wouldn't hurt.

48 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Thanks for the laugh stan.

I can't stand Musberger either, he's probably the announcer I dislike the most, and that's saying a lot. I do like Griese though--I enjoyed how he was ripping into Paul Maguire today.

ps. John Stocco just wins baby...

49 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Nice tirade! I don't quite get the Rose Bowl bit ("Then the Rose Bowl where some overrated Big 10 cupcake would regularly get the crap beat out of it by a Pac 10 team..."). From 1980 - 2002, the Pac 10 won 12 Rose Bowls, and the Big 10 won 10.

But that's all right. I live in Ohio; I root for the University of Cincinnati because I went to school there; and I wasn't aware that there are really vehement anti-Big 10 people. Not that I have anything against the Big 10--I kind of root for Ohio State in football because my girlfriend went there, and she's a big fan--but all I hear about are the Big 10 and the MAC, and it's nice to see other perspectives.

51 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I'd like to thank Bob Davie for telling us Michigan is 11-1 this year as opposed to last year's 7-5 because Lloyd Carr is looser. I thought it had something to do with Henne playing at a higher level more consistently, better overall team health, particularly including Hart and Long, the emergence of Mario Manningham as a #1 WR, better defensive play, and the absence of close losses against teams with inferior talent. But, no, it's all about Carr's attitude.

52 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I turned 13 in 1969. Started really paying attention to college football about then. The Big Ten won only four times in the 23 games starting with the Rose Bowl that year. Yet, every year the national media would tell us about how great the Big Ten is and how great the Rose Bowl is. The game would suck, the Big Ten would suck and the important games with national implications were almost always the Sugar and Orange.

During those years when it is obvious to everyone that the league is terrible and the media still puffs them up, it causes anyone capable of logic to doubt the credibility of the media.

When it continues over decades, it gets rather irritating.

53 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Brent Musberger -- NFL talent evaluator!

Why do they have two color commentators when Brent never shuts up about stuff he knows nothing about?

54 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Arkansas had the ball at the Wisky 35 a kajillion times in the second half and got bupkus. Is that Wisco's fault?

Was at the game. Life is good.

Sid, do you think a kid thinks all that? Because the pros do the same thing. I figure its instinct.

55 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I think I like Coach Carr a little more. When Bonnie asked him what Mich had to do to run the ball better with Hart he said "block them." Ask a stupid question ....

Bob Davie gave us "USC needed to get their swagger back". Barf.

And Herbie (who I generally like, even if he, like Mushberger, is a Big 10 grad), speculates on how USC's offensive line could possibly be handling the awesome pass rush of Michigan after struggling to block UCLA. Uhh, Kirk, maybe Michigan's pass rush really isn't the best in the nation? Is it even possible that they built their rep by beating up on bad teams?

How many great pass blocking lines did Mich face?

56 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wait, no jokes about how the Big 10 teams can't possibly cope with that amazing SEC speed? Apparently that speed didn't help Tennessee much in stopping Tony Hunt.

57 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re 56: Tennessee is very overrated. Look at their schedule...aside from their opening win against Cal, they didn't beat anyone all season. They lost to all the good teams on their schedule. They mailed in their season back in November after they lost to LSU.

Penn St's win doesn't prove much, other than the team that turns the ball over 3 times usually loses.

58 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

57- I agree that UT was overrated, although I'd like to see how the LSU game turns out if Ainge is healthy. I just get irritated hearing about the SEC's great speed advantage when just about every good team has speed. I still think it's the best conference this year, but it's not like the SEC's teams blow away everyone else.

59 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Gator:

I find your comment interesting. Because many folks, including this forum, had the Vols walking away with the win.

60 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

The SEC speed thing is stupid, and I'm speaking as a SEC fan.

Also, an 83 yard fumble return is really going to swing a game and it's not a frequent event so that's probably a bit misleading.

62 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

The weekend EDSBS dubbed FOOTBALLPOCALYPSE featured better, more interesting, more compelling matchups than we've seen today.

63 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re 59: I thought Tenn was going to lose. Watching the Vols play in November after the LSU loss, they just looked like they didn't care anymore. And I'm not sure there is a coach in the country who looses his team faster than Fulmer. Tenn was the 5th best team in the SEC, and in my opinion, there is a pretty steep drop between the SEC's top-4 (Fla, LSU, Ark, Aub), and the rest of the conference, so I'm not particularly surprised that the Big Ten's 4th best team beat the SEC's 5th best team.

As for the SEC speed thing, I think that was true 10-15 years ago, but not anymore. All top-20 teams have speed.

Re 61: That was a catch, Jarrett had the ball and his right knee was down. Pretty cut & dry, in my opinion.

64 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Are the announcers ever going to figure out USC is totally avoiding #29 Leon Hall and picking exclusively on the other CB, #14 Morgan Trent?

65 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Michigan's not exactly convincing anyone that they were robbed and should have gotten a rematch against OSU today.

66 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

The ball was coming out before his knee touched down, you could see it turning. I thought it was incomplete because he didn't have two feet down and a football move--but that's the NFL rule and college might be different.

I guess if they blew the whistle and it was a fumble, not incomplete, then the review was correct because in college the play is still dead at the whistle on a review.

67 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

USC 16, Michigan 3. I no longer wonder if Michigan got robbed by the voters of a chance to win the BCS title.

68 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

This game is slipping away from Michigan. Henne seems to have a lot of trouble handling pressure--has no other team been able to pressure him so far? I would be worried as an Ohio State fan that Michigan put up so many points against OSU.

A touchdown here probably puts the game away.

69 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Big call by Carroll in going for it--I love it. I thought it was a bad spot but SoCal got it anyways.

Almost a huge stop by Michigan's defense.

70 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re 66: College is different, you only need one foot down, and college football does not have the "must make a football move" rule.

With the benefit of slo-mo on my TiVo, I disagree that the ball was coming out before his knee was down. But it doesn't matter what we think, the refs made the call, reviewed it, and the call stood.

71 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I'll take your word for it. I was commenting on what I saw, and Musberger disagreeing with me sealed the deal for me.

Booty is really inaccurate. I think the loss of Leinart hurts much more than losing either Bush or LenDale White.

72 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Tennessee lost by 1 to Fla and lost on the last play of the game to LSU. They got run over by Ark. Wins over Cal, Ala, Ga, SC, and Ky. Since when is beating 5 bowl teams the same as playing nobody? And Cal, Ga, SC, and Ky all won their bowl games.

The speed advantage of the SEC is at LB and D line, and safety. Ask any NFL scout. Everyone has a few guys who can run at WR, RB and usually CB.

The reason that SEC RBs do so much better than Big Ten RBs in the NFL is that SEC defenses close holes like the pros. When Ron Dayne was totally shut down by Georgia in a bowl game, you could see that he would struggle as a pro. He couldn't cut in the hole. He got away with it in the Big Ten, but would never have been effective in the SEC.

73 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

"He got away with it in the Big Ten, but would never have been effective in the SEC"

Yeah, no SEC RB has ever been a bust before. Just because someone hasn't been great at the Pro Level in no way shows that they would not have had success in college.

76 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

73,

Wow Jason, talk about logical fallacies! I said that Ron Dayne couldn't cut in the hole. He was exposed when he played a fast Georgia defense which just shut him down.

It was his woeful performance against Ga that exposed him, not his woeful performance in the NFL. It was obvious he doesn't have good enough feet. He can't cut back. He can't bounce a play well enough. He couldn't then. He can't now.

He got away with it against slow Big 10 defenses. He didn't get away with it against Ga and he wouldn't have gotten away with against Tenn, LSU, Ala, Aub, SC, Fla, et al.

That conclusion isn't based on the fact that he busted in the NFL. It is based on the way he played in college. Just as I wrote originally.

78 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

stan,

I guess that is why in the 2006 draft, 6 LBs were taken in the first round. 3 from the Big Ten, 3 from the ACC and none from the SEC. The first SEC linebacker (DeMeco Ryans) was taken despite concerns about his speed.

The only two safeties chosen in the first round of the same draft were from the Big 12 and the Big 10.

Why don't these NFL scouts just make assumptions based on the superior SEC speed we always hear about from people like you?

79 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

To continue the point...1st round DEs in the 2006 draft, 2 from the ACC and 1 from the Big Ten.

1st round DTs, 1 from the PAC-10, 2 from the ACC. Otherwise, the facts totally support your argument.

80 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Who ends up ranked higher -- Wisconsin or Michigan?

My rankings near the end of the Rose Bowl game (subject to change) I think Wisconsin ends up at 5 and Michigan drops to 6. 1. Fla/OSU winner 2. Loser 3. LSU 4. USC 5. Wisconsin 6. Michigan 7. Louisville 8. Auburn 9. Oklahoma 10. West Virginia

81 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Yes, looking at just 2006 represents a 20 year history that the other poster mentions.

Q: Which conference has the most players in the NFL?
A: I think you know.

82 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Both Wisconsin and Arkansas should drop after that "game" they supposedly played today. Wisconsin for winning despite being dominated according to the numbers, and Arkansas for allowing that to happen.

83 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Michigan ends up higher. The game between the two teams wasn't close. While Wisconsin won their bowl game, they didn't look very impressive in doing so. USC has thoroughly beaten Michigan, but there have at least been moments where they've looked competent.

Personally, I'm looking forward to MGoBlog's rant on how stupid the commentators are for yammering on about "bloggers" and their inevitable cries for Lloyd Carr's head, particularly given that the cries at the start of this season were all, uh, media-inspired, not an internet campaign.

84 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

arkansas will drop to about 17th. Wisconsin will go up, but without a true elite win, it's kind of disappointing that they do.

85 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

navin,

Well I'd love to see the poster support his statement with some facts but I think he would rather throw around lazy assertions. I don't have time to do a comprehensive study but why don't you produce the 1st round stats from 2005 for the positions he pointed out? LB, Safety, and DL if you feel up for it...between a few of us, we might be able to produce something more substantial.

86 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I'm watching Fox with the sound off, but Chris Rose's presence alone tells me this is the nadir of sports television.

88 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

All Wisconsin does is win football games.
;)
Seriously, that was an ugly win, but now that the season's over, I think it's time to go by acomplishments and not appearance. I'm comfortable leaving UW around 6, depending on what L'ville does (I'm assuming that LSU wins easily).

89 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

If you're watching with the sound off, then you missed Fox's evil scheme to play the World's Most Incredibly Annoying Intro Music so that commentators that are only Awful won't seem quite so bad.

90 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wisconsin should and will finish ahead of Michigan. Michigan, frankly, has been exposed as a fraud, and Wisconsin has finally achieved the quality win that they had been lacking all year. Today's games validated Wisconsin's season and largely invalidated Michigan's. The Badgers must be kicking themselves right now knowing that, in retrospect, they should have been able to beat an overrated Michigan team in Ann Arbor and be awaiting a de facto Big Ten championship game in Glendale next week.

91 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

90 - Not sure how Wisconsin *could* beat Michigan - the way tOSU and USC did it was by exploiting matchups in the secondary, either by spreading the field (tOSU), or exploiting size/speed advantages (USC).

I don't see how Stocco and whomever does that.

92 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re: 85.

NFL first round draft, 2003-2005.

Linebackers.
SEC: 1
Non-SEC: 7

Safeties.
SEC: 1
Non-SEC: 2

Cornerbacks.
SEC: 3
Non-SEC: 10

Defensive linemen.
SEC: 3
Non-SEC: 17

93 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

RE: 24; sign of the apocalypse of the year no. 2 - hearing The Minutemen on national television as part of the ad campaign for a movie that shall go nameless. well, maybe not the apocalypse but d. boon is currently spinning violently counter clockwise in his grave.

94 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wow. Michigan wins going away, eh? Quite the pick. Instead, one has the announcers openly speculating, before the game ends on whether or not Carr should be fired out of hand a la Mason.

He shouldn't be (USC and OSU fans in particular are very fond of Lloyd Carr) but that was not the best possible showing by the Blue.

96 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

In both of Michigan's losses, their defense, and in particular, the defensive secondary, was completely exposed. I'm interested to hear thoughts on whether people think Michigan's defense is overrated, or are USC and Ohio St just that good offensively? Personally, I've thought Michigan's defense is overrated for quite some time. That's not to say they aren't a very good defensive unit, but I personally don't think they are as good as some talking heads and Michigan fans think they are. Receivers on both USC and tOSU routinely ran right by Michgan's DBs, and the vauted Michigan front 7 had 2 sacks on a day when Booty threw the ball 45 times.

Despite USC's loss to UCLA, maybe USC is really the second best team in the country.

97 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Totally bizarre coach's challenge by Stoops, since he apparently doesn't understand 'forward progress' or maybe just wants to feel hated by the officials, followed by Zabransky hitting on a bomb. (i) Bowl games are unpredictable. (ii) The talent gap ain't what it used to be, as Ian Johnson's conversion on the 3rd down before the challenge demonstrated.

99 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

If Boise State wins big and Ohio State loses, how many AP voters will put Boise State number one on their ballots?

100 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Here we are midway through the first quarter and Boise State is up 14-0 over Oklahoma.

Oklahoma hasn't had much success in BCS bowl games since their championship.

And that was a terrible use of the coach's challenge - given he only gets one, using it with 12 or so minutes left in the first quarter is asking for trouble.

101 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Updating to include Perrin's additions...thanks by the way.

These are first round picks at stan's selected positions from 2003-2006.

LBs
SEC: 1
Non-SEC: 13

Safeties
SEC: 1
Non-SEC: 4

Defensive linemen
SEC: 3
Non-SEC: 23

102 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re: 99

It has been regarded as such a given in so many people's minds that Ohio State and Oklahoma win their respective games that this is the first time I've even heard that question asked.

103 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re #96
Ohio State's dominance of Michigan in the passing game can be easily explained by Troy Smith's ability as a passer to move and accurately hit an open WR and their ability to field not just 4 WRs, but 4 WRs who are pretty good-Ginn + Gonzalez rival Smith + Jarrett for the top 2 WR pair in the country.

USC is a little bit of a different story. As I noted upthread, USC was picking almost exclusively on Morgan Trent (exception: Leon Hall was the CB in coverage on the bomb to Jarrett that made it 25-11), and that was a size-speed mismatch. Booty also had it going on, and was very accurate. That was a direct consequence of what surprised me the most about this game: USC's ability to withstand Michigan's pressure. I guess, after 3 straight bowl games, there's no reason to doubt USC's ability to fight and win in the trenches.

Overall, what do those indicate for Michigan's defense? I think they had a really first-class run defense, better than tOSU last year. But, they were exploitable by a very good passing offense. There aren't very many of those in college football, and it was a down year for quarterbacking in the Big Ten, so Michigan didn't face a very stiff test in the passing game most of the time. I think the defensive problems showed up more strongly in the Rose Bowl tonight because Chad Henne played more like Henne c. 2005 than Henne c. 2006. If Michigan does something offensively in the first 2 1/2 quarters, I think Michigan's defense is able to attack Booty more and coverage for some of their coverage problems.

104 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I thought it was Michigan's Offense, rather than it's D, that looked pedestrian today. They just couldn't move the ball at all. I mean USC has a pretty good O, you've got to expect them to score at least 20-some. Plus, the poor performance of the O certainly didn't help.

105 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I'm impressed with how well BSU's been able to move the football. The last time I really watched them was that little disaster against UGA. Needless to say this is going a little better.

106 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

We won't know for a week (!) yet how Florida will do against Ohio State, but any Michigan loyalists who were clamoring for the title game rematch have got to feel pretty stupid now. In light of USC' performance today, it'll be interesting to consider the USC@UCLA game if Florida does lose, especially if they lose substantially.

UCLA lost their bowl game 44-27 to a crappy Florida State team, yet playing on pure inspired rivalry adrenaline UCLA somehow beat consensus #2 USC 13-9 in the last game of the year, keeping USC out of the BCS championship. Let's hope Florida at least puts up a strong showing, or we'll have a fluke UCLA game to blame for ruining the BCS title?

109 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Maybe it's hindsight, but Zabransky has seemed to play much more conservative and under control than the disaster Between The Hedges. Yes, the dreaded 'Game Manager' tag, but he's still been very effective. I can't help but think, though, that Michigan would have throttled BSU's run game and contained Zabransky and Henne would hit Manningham up top for big plays, while Hart would run effectively enough, as OU has so far.

Jimmy Johnson beats the tar out of Barry Switzer as a college football analyst. Gun In Luggage seems capable only of repeating what he's been told by the OU coaching staff.

110 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Paul Thompson with a terrible throw for an INT. On one hand, it was 3rd and long so it was essentially a punt, but it had no hope. Plus the INT was run back to midfield.

My dad and I are bewildered that OU isn't trying to play a more physical game and pound on BSU's front line more. Especially since Thompson looks like garbage. I know BSU is doing well at stopping the run now but I think that OU is outsmarting themselves by being too cute and gimmicky.

111 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wow. And an interception returned for a TD by Boise State, to go up 28-10.

Oklahoma barely looks in the game.

112 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

OU looks a lot like the team that rolled over against K-State in 2003, or USC in the title game when things got rough.

114 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Derek and Perrin,

You guys can't possibly be that stupid. Don't either of you have the slightest clue how to marshall evidence to support or debunk an assertion?

If you want to establish whether the SEC has superior speed at the positions in question, you get the times of the players at those positions.

One proxy would be the times of players at the combine (by no means complete because the sample is small compared to the league as a whole, but a start). Draft picks represent such an incredibly tiny sample of players from a college conference that you cannot possibly draw a conclusion.

The comparisons drawn in your posts are pointless.

But Derek, since you brought up NFL scouts, why don't you talk to them like I have. They'll tell you the same thing. Or perhaps you might ask some of the NFL coaches that I coached with.

115 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Thoughts:

1) In the 4th quarter of Ark/Wis, the coach for Arkansas was too busy screaming at an official about a PI call on an Arkansas non-interception to actually do any coaching. It was a horrible display of sportsmanship, and the call could have fairly gone either way.

2) Am I the only person who thinks that Michigan's coaching staff brought on this disaster by refusing to adjust to the fact that their O-line was getting destroyed? I never saw extra blockers, and if the ant-blitz screen pass doesn't work the first 8 times, why would you think it will work on the 9th?

116 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Yay, trolling! I'm impressed with how you've marshalled evidence to support your assertion, Stan.

I actually don't care whether or not SEC defensemen are faster than average. Even if they are, they've not been fast enough recently to make enough of them elite prospects in the eyes of NFL GMs. Ah well.

I called all the NFL coaches that I coached with to ask them about it, but all of them (to a man!) could only rant about the imbalance of the Rose Bowl in the 1960s and 1970s, and I couldn't get a word in edgewise. Pity.

Now I'll not act like a jackass. It's possible that SEC football players on defense are faster than players in other conferences, and that they're better, too. The NFL team I follow (Bengals) has drafted a couple good SEC players recently for defense. I'm interested in whatever evidence you have, Stan, and I've got an open mind, but I need more than you've presented to be swayed. What do you know?

117 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

here's where I try play action if I'm Boise State. Try that play earlier where a guy was wide open. If nothing's there, throw it away. Drive in the dagger.

118 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

As writers across the country start erasing their "Gigantic upset by the little guy" columns that are in-progress, and replacing them with "Little guy has spunk, but in the end couldn't hang on when facing the big boys" columns.

Just in case.

And an Oklahoma TD makes it closer...

119 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wow, illegal shift penalty on Oklahoma after try #1 at the 2-pt conversion results in DPI. Critical mental error. And Thompson still hits Iglesias. 28-28, 1:26 to play.

123 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

#122-

Maybe, but I haven't seen the highlights from yesterday's Bronco game (I was driving and missed all but OT) so I'm going with the traditional standard for a shaky QB. :)

I'm not sure if this is an amazing comeback or amazing chokejob.

128 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

WOW. Way to bust out the ole hook-and-ladder play. 4&15 from midfield, 13 yard pass, and the toss back, dash for the TD with 7 seconds left. Welcome to overtime, barring some kickoff hijinks.

Best game of the day, no question about it.

130 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

And Brenneman with the "fight in the dog" cliche. He's every bit as bad at football as he is at baseball.

137 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Wildcat formation on 4&2 from the 5, with Zabransky split out. HB pass, TD.

Brenneman, shut the hell up. Don't ruin this awesome football game by whining about a playoff. Thanks to Charles Davis for telling him just that.

Awesome play on the 2-pt conversion, faking the pass to trips right and running the counter draw to Johnson left end. Great ending to a great game. Congrats, Broncos, for pulling out the stops and pulling off the W in Tempe.

141 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Awesome!
BTW, OK defender with that interception with a minute left should have just gone out of bounds at the 2, instead of scoring the TD, can't blame him for scoring obviously you're in the heat of the moment.

143 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Hahahaa...
The final 2:40 of that football game was so good my wife is still waiting to see another replay.

I had told her BSU would go for 2, so the game would be over, but she insisted on getting the baby to sleep. So when they scored I called her over and after the 3rd replay and demonstration she finally understood what happened.

Please please please NFL coaches teach your teams how to execute these types of trick plays like BSU.

144 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

... and I think the BSU coach wishes he had done that in the 4th quarter instead of playing for OT... he could've dialed in the TD and 2 point plays there...

146 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Annnd Ian Johnson just proposed to his amazingly hot girlfriend, who also doubles as the head cheerleader for BSU, on national television. Storybook anyone?

147 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

You know, it's pretty appropriate that the trophy they handed Boise's coach was an actual brass ball.

148 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

Re: 128

best game of the day? this is one of the best games i've ever seen. the hook and lateral on 4th-and-18, and then the old statue of liberty play (sort of) on the deuce try in OT... wow.

i'm still sort of in shock at all of the events of the last 2 minutes and then OT. it is just not that common to lose with an 8-point lead, 2 minutes to go, and an opponent with no timeouts... but it looked like they would do it after zabransky threw that awful pick-6 (though i have to give OU props for their tying TD drive, that was outstanding). then all of the craziness after that... just... wow.

149 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

I kinda wish, being on the Left Coast, that it had gone to 6 OTs, solely so BSU could pull out all of the trick plays.

That was the most fun football game I've seen in a long time.

150 Re: Seventh Day Adventure: The BCS Bowls

148:

I'm nominating this for game of the year, and I'm quite aware that it is only 1/2 as I type this.

I didn't mind the playoff "whining" because I happen to agree with the concept.