Thursday, January 02, 2014

Bowl Roundup

Music City Bowl: At least Tech waited until the end to embarrass themselves. Defense played well, but Vad Lee just can't run the option – or pass. Hate to say it, but the next two years are not going to be much fun. Corey Dennis, the GT receiver whose late game reverse pass fumble was recovered in the end zone for a safety, is the son of Steve Dennis, who played defensive end at UGA after winning the 1974 state back of the year at my high school (a QB, he set the state TD record). Corey's girlfriend is Urban Meyer's daughter and a GT volleyball player.

Gator Bowl: Georgia almost pulled it out despite playing without four of their top playmakers on offense – in the rain, on a terrible field. Considering these conditions, backup QB Hutson Mason did ok in his second career start. What killed them were at least four dropped passes – two late in the game on fourth down. That fluke 99 yard TD pass was also a killer – right after a questionable non-safety call. That was a nine point swing right there. Nebraska was lucky to win, as the referees continuously overlooked late hits and horse-collar tackles. After the game some fans were demanding the UGA AD to clean house. No comment from Chad Eaton, who must've switched his allegiance to Auburn this week.

Sun Bowl: Hated UCLA's black uniforms, just because their regular unis look so good. Too bad a cheap shot took VT QB Logan Thomas out of the game, though the Bruins would've won anyway. UCLA QB Brett Huntley put on a show, and should compete for the Heisman should he return next year.

Chickfila Bowl: When A&M fell behind in the first quarter I tweeted that Manziel was just setting himself up for a great comeback. I was right. He made one great play after another. Amazing that he finished two seasons with 9989 yards. Johnny was quite tactful immediately after the game when asked whether it was his last college game, instead talking about the interception return, his teammates, and coach. Duke played well, and I'm sure most of the credit should go to Coach Cutcliff – who Duke hired one week after Tech hired Paul Johnson.

Rose Bowl: Gotta respect Michigan State – up to a point. Spartan fans may think they should've played for the championship. Kinda like when an undefeated Auburn team was left out a few years ago. Great uniforms by both teams.

Fiesta Bowl: Loved the UCF win. A 17 point underdog, the Knights won by two touchdowns - despite three first half turnovers. Good thing the Bears didn't have to face Alabama or Ohio State. Perhaps being the most penalized team in college football came back to haunt Baylor. Didn't hear a peep from any obnoxious Baylor fans.

Over the past few days I saw pressured QB's throw interceptions to defensive linemen three times. Several other times QB's were called for intentional grounding. It's getting easier to determine which QB's are good and which aren't. This also reflects on the coaching.

Lots of empty seats at most of the bowls I watched. The Gator Bowl matched two teams that had just played each other in last year's bowl – plus the weather was nasty. Even the 17th consecutive sellout at the Chickfila Bowl featured lots of empty seats. Duke has a hard time selling tickets to home games. Doubt we'll be seeing them back in the Dome any time soon.

This year I picked the bowls two different ways.
My record so far:
18-6 based on which team had the highest-rated QB.
17-11 just picking them, with emphasis on the Sagarin Ratings.

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