Sunday, December 31, 2006
The Broncos came out fired up, and the bi-partisan Pasadena crowd got behind them. However, the Buckeyes had no intentions of being upset -- or even being challenged. Troy Smith and company proved to have too much firepower for the WAC Champs, and waltzed to the semis.
Ohio St. 38 Boise St. 14
(2) vs. (7) -- Citrus Bowl (to hell with sponsors)
The Men of Troy were mad after losing to UCLA. They got even madder after being named the number seven seed -- feeling they got jobbed.
The Gators defense didn't much give a damn about how the Trojans were feeling, they were in Orlando to play football. Tough, nasty, rough SEC football. The Gators D hit Trojans QB John David Booty all night, and Chris Leak led the offense to a comfortable lead that withstood a late USC rally.
Florida 28 USC 21
(3) vs. (11) -- Gator Bowl
The Mountaineers proved that they could run their offense against a strong D when they beat Oklahoma in the first round. But the Wolverines aren't just a strong D. Steve Slaton and Pat White got their scores in, but the Michigan D toughened up in the second half, and WVU couldn't keep pace with Chad Henne and his gang.
Michigan 41 WVU 24
(4) vs. (5) -- Cotton Bowl
Louisville's offense proved they could hang with the best of them, but unfortunately for the Cardinals their D has not. Jamarcus Russell carved apart the Louisville secondary all afternoon, and the physical Bayou Bengals D made life painful for Brian Brohm and company.
LSU 45 Louisville 10
(1) Ohio St. vs. (4) LSU
(2) Florida vs. (3) Michigan
Thursday, December 21, 2006
(16) -- Columbus
Twas a glorious day for Troy. Unfortunately for the Sun Belt Champions, it was Troy Smith who had the great game -- well, great two and a half quarters anyway.
In all reality, this game was over when the brackets were announced. In actuality, the game was over after Troy Smith hooked up with Ted Ginn, Jr. on a long touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage. And again on the Buckeye's second offensive play, right after the their D picked off a Trojans pass.
If those two weren't enough, Smith added one more touchdown lob to Anthony Gonzalez, and Antonio Pittman scampered for two scores as well. All before halftime, mind you. The defense did the rest of the work, and the boys in scarlet and silver walked through their first round game.
Ohio St. 56 Troy 0
(15) -- Gainesville
As if it isn't bad enough to lose your coach right before the postseason, the MAC Champion Chippewas also had the pleasure of preparing for the Mighty Gators, winners of the SEC.
Well, coach be damned, the Gators weren't letting this one become close anytime soon. The much-maligned Florida offense set the tone early, marching down the field to the Central Michigan 3-yard-line. What happened next? You guessed it, Tim Tebow barrelled his way into the end-zone, the first of two rushing touchdowns for the freshman, who also threw for another touchdown.
But the star of this game was the Florida D, namely defensive back Reggie Nelson. Nelson stepped in front of CMU QB Dan LeFevour's first pass and took it to the house, setting the tone for turnover-filled day.
Florida 45 CMU 0
(14) -- Ann Arbor
Kevin Kolb had never seen a defense quite like that of the one wearing maize and blue. But he wasn't scared, and he showed it.
On the Cougars opening drive, Kolb found his rhythm and Houston got a field goal out of the drive, taking a 3-0 lead in the early going.
Not to be outdone, Chad Henne found Mario Manningham on a skinny post and the Wolverines took the 7-3 lead. Now, any sane person would think that would be all the Wolverines D needed.
Apparently, Kolb is no sane person. Undaunted, he marched the cougars right back down the field, this time putting the ball in the end-zone, and giving the Cougars a 10-7 lead that would hold up for the rest of the first quarter.
And then Mike Hart took over, and Kolb didn't see too many opportunities after that. Hart finished with over 200 yards on the ground, and three scores on the day. The Michigan D, apparently upset over Kolb's solid first quarter, shut down the high-flying Cougar offense en route to a comfortable win for the Wolverines.
Michigan 34 Houston 10
(13) -- Baton Rouge
John Beck may have put the BYU QB position back on the map, but the Bayou Bengals D has been there for awhile, and had no intentions of letting an upstart QB change that.
While Beck kept up his reputation as an accurate passer, he rarely had the opportunity to get a pass off clean. The Tigers were in Beck's face all night long, even when he was on the bench.
Jamarcus Russell did the rest, spreading the ball out to his magnificent WR trio on the way to a big night. The rowdy Cajuns in purple and gold had plenty to cheer about on this night.
LSU 42 BYU 14
(12) -- Louisville
In college basketball, the 5-12 match-up is almost always cause for concern for the high seed.
Not here it ain't. Brian Brohm and the Cardinals offense sliced and diced their way through the Demon Deacons defense, en route to the highest first round score in the Kooly Cup.
Jim Grobe's misdirection offense put a dent in the Louisville D, but just didn't have the steam to keep up with Brohm and co.
Louisville 66 Wake Forest 34
(11) -- Norman
In a game that featured a titanic RB showdown, a QB stole the show. Pat White, the oft-dissed Moutaineers QB, proved once and for all that he can indeed throw the pigskin around when called upon.
Both defenses came into this game knowing their goal: shut down the run. Although neither did that very well, they did manage to contain the ground attacks to a certain degree -- even though both Adrian Peterson and Steve Slaton showed why they'll both be fine NFL RBs in the near future.
However, when it came down to it, WVU had an answer for the Sooners' loaded defensive box: toss it over the top. White threw for three second half touchdowns to help alleviate Slaton. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers defense was able to slow down Peterson just enough to force the Sooners into passing the ball -- and that's where the trouble started. OU had no answer for White's performance, and WVU walked out of Norman with a very unexpected win.
WVU 42 OU 31
(10) -- Los Angeles
The Trojans came into this one mad, very mad. Their dynasty had been toppled by their cross-town rival UCLA.
Auburn on the other hand was riding high. Despite the ugly loss against Georgia, the Tigers went into Tuscaloosa and defeated in-state rival Alabama for the 5th straight year.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, that memory was the only good thing for them on thsi day. Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett abused the Auburn secondary all day, tallying two touchdown catches each. The USC defense did the dirty work, hitting hard all day long and holding the beaten Tigers ofefnse to under 200 total yards.
USC 28 Auburn 10
(9) -- Boise
If you like excitement on offense, this game wasn't for you. Both offenses ran wild on the opposing defenses.
When it came down to it, however, the home-field adavantage -- and a late field goal -- was just enough edge for the Broncos to pull it out against the arguably overrated Badgers. Ian Johnson and Jared Zabransky came out on a mission to prove that the WAC powerhouse belonged with the big boys.
Boise St. 31 Wisconsin 28
Second Round Games:
(1) Ohio St. vs. (8) Boise St. -- Rose Bowl
(2) Florida vs. (7) USC -- Capital One Bowl
(3) Michigan vs. (11) West Virginia -- Gator Bowl
(4) LSU vs. (5) Louisville -- Cotton Bowl
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Remember, there will be 16 teams competing for the title. Of those 16 teams, 11 will be the winners of each D-1A conference. Those winners are:
ACC: Wake Forest
Big East: Louisville
Big 10: Ohio State
Big 12: Oklahoma
MAC: Central Michigan
Mountain West: BYU
Pac 10: USC
Sun Belt: Troy
WAC: Boise State
Now for the dramatic part, the 5 at-large berths. The selection process for these berths is nothing more than my own opinion, using the BCS rankings and human polls as tools. Without further ado, the 5 at-large teams in the Kooly Cup:
Michigan (Big 10)
Wisconsin (Big 10)
West Virginia (Big East)
There you go. And of course, the seedings and first round matchups:
(1) Ohio St. Buckeyes vs. (16) Troy Trojans
(2) Florida Gators vs. (15)Central Michigan Chippewas
(3) Michigan Wolverines vs. (14) Houston Cougars
(4) LSU Tigers vs. (13) BYU Cougars
(5) Louisville Cardinals vs. (12) Wake Forest Demon Deacons
(6) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (11) West Virginia Mountaineers
(7) USC Trojans vs. (10) Auburn Tigers
(8) Boise St. Broncos vs. (9) Wisconsin Badgers
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
(This is the beginning of the rant I promised before the season)
The BCS is the biggest crock of shit to ever hit collegiate sports. The fact that teams are stripped of the ability to prove themselves on the field is bullshit.
Now, for as long as I can remember I have been in the pro-playoff crowd (back on the original Playstation, you could actually change your postseason format while playing NCAA Football, guess what I did?). Bowls haven't been useful since before I was born, before the age of corporate sponsorship and 6-6 being a bowl-eligible record.
Now, I'm always told by bowl supporters that the best part of the bowl system is that teams are rewarded for their hard work during the season. I got news for you: every team works hard, bowls are supposed to reward results, not practice. No 6-6 team deserves a bowl game, not even my beloved Crimson Tide. You should be at least 3 games above .500 to earn a bid.
As special as it is for the players in the Troy-Rice bowl game, no one cares about it outside of those camps. It will get shitty ratings and even worse attendance. It will not make millions of dollars, which bowl supporters like to tell you every bowl makes.
The tradition of bowls is long dead. This bowl season, 19 bowls feature at least one team that has 5 or 6 losses. That is pathetic. There are 32 bowls, that means 64 teams are playing postseason ball. 64 out of 119 teams -- that's over half for the non-math majors.
Bowls were special when there was less than 20 of them. Now? Well let me just put it this way: I'll never be telling my grandkids about the golden days of the New Mexico Bowl.
As I did last year on the now defunct Our End of the Bar, I will give you my fantasy college football playoff. Right now, I will be lay out the ground rules that I devised, and will later present my seedings and matchups, then move on to the actual "games."
Without further ado, I present to you the rules of the Kooly Cup.
> The regular season will start the first weekend of September, and will end Thanksgiving weekend. That gives teams 13 weeks to play a maximum of 11 games.
> The weekend after Thanksgiving will be for conference championship games and the Army/Navy game ONLY.
>Each conference must have a clear-cut champion, proven on the field. That means either have a conference championship game or play a full round-robin schedule.
> Everyone except Army and Navy will be required to be in a conference. That means you Notre Dame, you aren't special.
> There will be 16 teams in this playoff -- because 8 just doesn't satisfy me. Of these 16, 11 will be automatic bids to the winner of EACH conference. That's right, even the Sun Belt winner gets a shot.
> The 5 remaining spots will be at-large berths. A committee comprised of human beings, not computers, will select at-larges. Exactly like the NCAA basketball selection committee. However, the BCS may be kept around as a tool in aiding the selection of at large teams and seeding - much like the RPI rankings in basketball.
>Teams not qualifying for the Kooly Cup playoffs but still deserving of a postseason game will play in bowls. Teams must be at least 3 games above .500 (7-4) to be bowl-eligible. There will be 8 bowls -- which bowls they are is none of my concern.
> You will not talk about the Fight Club. Oops, my bad, wrong set of rules.
> The playoffs will start two weekends after the conference championship games. That allows time for players to study for finals, and time off in general.
> Sites for the playoffs will go as follows. The first round games will be played at the homes of the higher seeds. The rest of the playoffs will be played on neutral bowl sites. The current four BCS bowls are the active "big bowls," so they will rotate hosting the championship game and semifinals. The one bowl left out of that mix will host a quarterfinal game. The other three quarterfinal games will rotate sites between the other bowls. To clear that up, let's say that this year the Sugar hosts the NC game, the Orange and Rose host semis, and the Fiesta hosts one of the quarters. Well, that leaves 3 playoff games left, and don't forget about the 8 non-playoff bowls. So that's a possible 11 sites to choose from. With the rotation, it allows for cities to host a meaningful game every few years, as opposed to a second-tier bowl every year. Just like the Big Dance.
> This is the most important aspect, one that many people are surprisingly unaware of. The NCAA does not officially recognize a college football national champion. That's why every other major NCAA champion gets one of those plaques, and the NCAA football champ doesn't. Well, in my playoffs, that will change. The NCAA will sanction this playoff, and will recognize the champ. The champ will get one of those plaques too. If some company still wants to sponsor the crystal ball, well that's fine by me.
> The fans will rejoice at actually having a true champion, determined on the field.
Plus: It's all football, all the time.
Minus: The "tradition" of the bowls is a long time gone.
With that said, my awards for the 2006/2007 bowl season.
The "Best Case for Eliminating 80% of the Bowls" Award goes to...
The New Mexico Bowl. Guess who's playing in this one...go ahead...got it? yep, it's New Mexico. What...the...fuck? It gets better, they're 6-6. Their opponent? 8-4 San Jose St. Just shoot me now.
The "Why Are We Rewarding These Teams With a Postseason Game?" Award goes to...
In what could be the worst bowl season ever, we have a tie. The Emerald Bowl between 6-6 Florida St. and 7-5 UCLA gets one half. The other half goes to the Independence Bowl between two 6-6 powerhouses, Oklahoma St. and Alabama. I'm just gonna move on before I get depressed.
The "Defense? We Don't Need No Stinking Defense" Award goes to...
The Hawaii bowl featuring Arizona State (7-5) vs. Hawaii (10-3). First team to 50 wins...the first quarter.
The "Annual Irresistible Force vs. Immovable Object Bowl" Award goes to...
The Sugar Bowl. The force being Notre Dame's offense, the object being LSU's defense.
And finally, the "Tell Me Again How This is Tradition" Award goes to...
Another tie! This time between the 19 bowls that have at least one five-loss team in them (I just died a little) and the brand spanking new BCS National Championship game. You know what, that last one deserves its own rant. Stay tuned for that.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Let's go back to my original list of candidates and see what we got left.
Paul Johnson, Navy Head Coach
Why? Because he's a winner. Two national championships at Georgia Southern. Three straight winning seasons at Navy. He can adapt to his team (one of Shula's faults). Ex: He ran a spread offense that consisted of the run & shoot, option and play action pass at GSU, and now the flexbone triple option at Navy. Imagine what he will do with SEC athletes...
I still stand buy my endorsement of PJ. If you can win at a service academy, you can win ANYWHERE.
Mike Sherman, Houston Texans assistant coach
Look at Pete Carroll. Look at Gene Stallings. Sometimes, guys just can't coach the pros, and then they do wonders in the college ranks. However, the aforementioned three have a personality, Sherman? I'm not so sure. Still, he was pretty solid in Green Bay. The only thing that did him in was the fact his players went down faster than black people in horror flicks.
Still the snake in the grass if you ask me.
Jim Grobe, Wake Forest head coach
I know the 30-0 drubbing of FSU in The Doak. But other than that, nothing.
Steve Kragthorpe, Tulsa head coach
Seriously, can a guy make the jump from Tulsa to Bama? I don't know...but, I do hear very good things.
Same thing I said before about these cats: I jsut don't know enough about them.
Mike Leach, Texas Tech head coach
Look up some of his interview quotes. The guy is friggin hilarious. Plus, that offense is fun as all hell to watch -- and he's playing with leftovers that Texas and Oklahoma don't want, it would be interesting to see his offense with some top tier athletes. But again, I need defense...a good one.
He was interested in the Miami opening, would he be interested here? Of course, I doubt any Bama booster could stand his offense here. Not enough three and outs.
One thing's for sure, I don't want Nick Saban. Why? I just have a bad feeling about the guy. Like he said, he already had a great job in college (LSU), why would he leave there if he just wanted to come back in 2 years?
Whatever, we'll see.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
My new favorite candidate might just be Rich Rodriguez. I've done some more research on the guy, and well when people say he's the game's best offensive mind they aren't lying.
So, with all this news about him meeting with Mal Moore, I'm a bit excited.
Anywho, things to look for in the coming days: bowl previews and the beginning of my fantasy college football playoff system.