Friday, January 11, 2008

A Little Last Minute Late Bowl Season Breakdown.

Bowl season is over and there are a lot of teams happy with the results, and a few who were not. The Big Eleven continued to struggle in the Bowl Games going 3-5 and losing both BCS games to superior conferences. Illinois was thrashed by USC and Ohio State lost to an SEC contender for the second straight year. Here are a few wrap up thoughts on the Bowl Season that was.

I still think that a playoff system is necessary in college football. Whether it’s a 4 team, 8 team, or my super special 16 team bracket is up for discussion. Unfortunately for some, Georgia stomped on Hawai’i in the Sugar Bowl. Hawai’i, and really the WAC in general over the last 2 years was a major catalyst for my reasoning of a playoff system. The irony is after that game was over Georgia President, Michael Adams is saying we need a playoff. Mere days after his victory suggested otherwise. But he’s still right, the 3 loss Bulldogs deserved a chance as much as Oklahoma, LSU, Ohio State, West Virginia and others.

It was only mildly mentioned by me, and I haven’t read it any where else but the irony is amazing in Tallahassee. The Noles were playing in the Music City Bowl. They lost because about 20 of their players were academically ineligible. They were ineligible because they cheated in a Music History class. Irony.

Because of this seasons flip flopping of the rankings every week the folks in El Paso, TX got to witness the Brut Sun Bowl as they have every year since the Depression. The Oregon Ducks soundly defeated the South Florida Bulls. Why is this important, it’s a December Bowl game. It wasn’t even a BCS game. It’s important because both of these teams were ranked #2 at one point in the season and they played their last game in 2007. Had this game taken place during the season prior to November this would have been the game of the week by far. Instead it was a pre-New Years Bowl Game. That is rare, but I suppose it will happen when there are 8 different #2 seeds (I don’t feel like going back and re-researching this I’m just guessing 8 seems about right to me).

Does the name Tony Temple mean anything to you? Probably not unless you follow Mizzou. The Senior back rushed for a Cotton Bowl record 281 yards and 4 TDs. He only had 3 games over 100 yds all season and actually finished with 40 of less in 7 of the season’s contests.

The Alamo Bowl was the 500th game of JoePa’s career and his 23rd Bowl Win. With the Penn State semi-success over the last couple seasons and Florida State slowly slipping into futility, it looks like JoePa and Bowden will be going head to head until one of them actually does die on the sideline. JoePa has 3 more Bowl Wins and 1 less win overall. JoePa could pass Bowden before conference play opens up next year.

Colt Brennan looked a little less than Heisman worthy against Georgia. It will be interesting to see how far he falls in the draft and if the chip on his shoulder can make him a really good NFL QB, or if he’s gonna be the biggest bust since Leaf. Time can only tell on that one.

Notre Dame did not play in a Bowl game. This was a big story in one of the worst seasons in ND Fighting Irish history. It however isn’t all that uncommon for the Irish who have gone from unstoppable to laughable in the last decade. From the 1987 (‘88 Bowl) season to the 1998 (‘99 Bowl) The Irish played in 11 Bowl games. Since the 2000 (‘01 Bowl) season they have played and lost in 5, 3 times in BCS bowls. They have also lost they’re last nine. Next year is not looking that promising either for Touchdown Jesus’ tribe.

The Pac-10 went 4-2 in Bowl Games this Bowl Season. UCLA had an interim coach, was still hampered by injuries, and barely lost to BYU. Look out for the Pac-10 next season with parity (except for USC) becoming more prevalent in the conference the Pac could surprise some folks next year.

And on that note it is becoming more and more obvious that the SEC and Pac are becoming the top two conferences by far. Environmentally more people want to live in California (4 schools) and Arizona (2 schools) then in Ohio or Nebraska. There is also better football being played at the High School level in the western states. We are looking at a major paradigm shift in the college football world. They play is much better in the SEC and Pac-10 and the recruits are going to these schools for a reason. And if USC gets hit with sanctions because of the Reggie Bush fiasco and if Carroll leaves the Pac will be stealing a lot of those recruits further evening out the Pac-10. It could be the beginning of a good decade for the West Coast teams. There is an outside shot that there could be as many as 5 (USC, Oregon, ASU, UCLA, Oregon State, Arizona, and Cal all have a chance) Pac-10 teams in the top 25 at some point next season, perhaps all at once, and at least 3 (Oregon, USC, ASU) in the preseason rankings.