Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Long One

Damn this took a long time. It's too late to properly proof read this so deal with it, internet. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "I cannot abide a man whose imagination is so limited he can only spell one way."

Bowl season may be the most imperfect way to determine the relative merits of the different conferences, yet that’s exactly what most people do. That being so, we’re taking a look at the bowl season through the lens of each conference.


Typical of this conference's Snow White (Boise) and the Seven Dwarves format, it’s been ugly. Sure Boise gets to set at the BCS kids table January 4th, but Fresno State, Nevada, and Idaho spent the holidays at the Company Christmas Party (New Mexico Bowl), Swinging Singles Thanksgiving (Hawaii Bowl), and Soup Kitchen (Humanitarian Bowl), with predictable results.

Fresno, without the usual attractiveness boost of standing next to oh so hot Boise, got depressed, drank herself into a public make out with the guy who works in the copy room, and woke up on the wrong side of a 35-28 Bukake party at the hands of Wyoming. (If you are insulted by that, shame on you for knowing what Bukake is).

Nevada’s plan to pre-drink and get a little liquid courage turned into four Irish car bombs at the bar around the corner. There night ended as SMU loaded them into a taxicab with 20 bucks and a note reading “lost 45-10, please take me home. I’m disoriented but harmless” pinned to their shirt.

And Idaho got a bowl of soup. Way to go Idaho! Sure at 43-42 Bowling Green got some soup also, but you snagged an extra roll you’ll trade for sex after the shelter closes. It’s a Hobo-Christmas for everyone!

That pretty much sums up the WAC. Whatever glory Boise claims in Fiesta Bowl belongs to the Broncos and the Broncos only.

Sun Belt

Isn’t going to a Bowl victory enough for these guys. What do you say about a conference whose “champion” plays in the GMAC Bowl?

Middle Tennessee, the only other team to make a bowl game outside of tall midget Troy, did put together a nice victory over Southern Mississippi in the New Orleans Bowl 42-32. Quick question, how many fans where refused entrance to the Super Dome due to lack of shoes and/or shirt?


The SEC tied the record set by the ACC last year by getting 10 teams into Bowl Games, but the SEC has done much better with their opportunity. 4-5 may not be the best record, but if Alabama wins the National Championship game the conference’s record will improve to 5-5 with a National Champion. 500 is probably a pretty good record for ten teams. After all, some of those teams aren’t going to be that good and made bowls only because other conferences couldn’t meet their obligations. If we look closer at some of the games we’ll see the SEC comported itself quite well.

On December 27th Kentucky lost to Clemson 21-13. Going into the fourth quarter Kentucky trailed Clemson 13-14. CJ Spiller scored early in the fourth to put the game away. All in all though it was a good result for the fourth best team in the SEC East against a Clemson team that took Georgia Tech to the wall in the ACC Championship Game.

Then on December 28th, Georgia destroyed a Texas A&M team that was up and down during the year but put together a few good performances, including a good game against Texas. Hate to say it, but that Mark Richt can coach.

On New Years Eve, Virginia Poly destroyed Tennessee 37-14. This game proved many things:

1) the Chick-fil-A Bowl, usually a bastion of good policy when picking teams for its bowl game, selected 7-5 Tennessee team simply for the gate revenue they knew Orange Hick Nation would bring.

2) The SEC East was down. Georgia may have been a better pick from a competition point of view, but the Bulldogs 4-4 conference record wasn’t good enough to out weight the financial boom Tennessee was to the city of Atlanta.

3) With out of conference wins against Memphis, Western Kentucky, and Ohio, and an in-conference win against Vanderbilt, its safe to say that Tennessee’s 7-5 was misleading.

This wasn’t a good match-up for the SEC. Though SEC homers were loath to admit it, Tennessee had no business being on the field with Virginia Poly. Georgia, a team that was significantly better than its 7-5 record, would have given Virginia Poly a better game.

January 1, 2010 Auburn outlasted a not very good Northwestern team in the Outback Bowl. While the game was exciting, its hard to give Auburn too much credit for beating a middle of the road Big Ten Team, especially when the Wildcats missed not one, but two game winning field goals. What this game does attest to, is the lack of depth the SEC had after Florida and Alabama. Usually the SEC sends two good teams to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Outback Bowl. This year it would have struggled to find one worthy team. In any event, a win's a win, and in this case it’s a win over the Big Ten’s 5th best team.

Later that day LSU lost to Penn State in Less-Milesian Fashion. A questionable unnecessary roughness penalty at the end of the game cost LSU crucial yardage on their final drive. They ended up loosing by 2. A Penn State player lay on top of the ball carrier effectively delaying the spot of the ball and wasting the clock. An LSU lineman reached in and lifted, rather vehemently, the player off the ground. While you can see the officials’ dilemma they really should have used more discretion given the situation and kept the laundry in their pockets. Then again it’s Les Miles, and he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. All in all you’d have to call this a good loss for the SEC. Penn State almost went to the Rose Bowl, but needed a torrential down poor and a questionable call at the end of the game to beat a team coached by an empty hat.

Even later that day, Florida woodsheded a Cincinnati team who probably didn’t belong in the Sugar Bowl, and sure as heck didn’t stand a chance after Notre Dame hired their head coach away. Good for Florida for doing what they do.

On January Second Ole Miss beat Oklahoma State when Zac Robinson crapped himself, pulled down his pants, made shit sandwiches, ate the sandwiches and then puked shit all over himself. Sometimes winning simply comes down to being the guy who doesn’t lose.

Arkansas eked out a win over East Carolina. It wasn’t pretty, but they won, and they did it against the Conference USA Champions.

The only inexplicable loss was South Carolina’s no-show against UConn. The Huskies have struggled through a season in which they lost a player to a stabbing and four games by four or less points. They are definitely a team that is better than its record, but that still doesn’t explain why Steve Spurrier and Cocky the Cocks could only manage a meaningless fourth quarter score on their way to a 20-7 loss.

PAC 10

The PAC 10 was strong and deep all year long, providing some of the best football every Saturday, but Bowl season is a weird and pernicious season, and the results for the PAC 10 have been cover your eyes terrible. After getting seven teams into bowl games they won only two.

One of those wins was USC’s 11 point win over Boston College, like the seventh best ACC team, in the Egotistical Norman's Bowl, and the other was UCLA’s nine point win over Temple. When your only two wins come against teams from North of the Mason/Dixon line and east of State College, Pennsylvania, pride is not what you feel.

The losses? Glad you asked.

It started with BYU wrapping up a week of nickel slots by dropping 44 on a Beavers team that almost went to the Orange Bowl.

Two days later Utah completed the Beehive State’s sweep of the PAC 10 by pasting California 37-27.

A week after that Ndamukong Suh and the Nebraska defense went all Kikuchiyo in a down pour on Arizona (I need many swords, for I have many enemy to kill) 33-0.

The next day a game Stanford team fell to Okalahoma 31-27.

Finally Ohio State ground down Oregon 26-17.

Mountain West Conference

People really need to stop treating the Mountain West like it’s the WAC or Conference USA. The top half of this conference is really, really good. Utah, BYU, TCU and Air Force can play in any conference in America and be just as successful as they are now. Even Wyoming got in the act stealing a win against Fresno State, a big win. They beat the Rough Riders by a touchdown. BYU and Utah took out a couple of prestigious PAC 10 teams. Air Force jumped out to a 14 point lead on Houston and never looked back, finishing up 47-20. If TCU beats Boise the Mountain West will finish a perfect 5-0 on the bowl season, a very impressive record.


On the other end of the spectrum is the 0-4 MAC. Though none of them lost badly, Ohio, Temple, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois all lost, and its not like they faced of against a Murderer's Row. Ohio lost to Marshall in the Little Caesars Bowl, Temple to UCLA, Bowling Green to Idaho of all people. South Florida at least has style if not substance. Central Michigan is the conference’s only hope, but a win over the Sun Belt’s Troy can only do so much to mend the wounds of an under whelming bowl season.


No Notre Dame. I love that. Can’t get enough of it. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching Notre Dame suck. Sigh.

Navy, the only independent team playing in bowl game showed out strong. They beat the Big XII’s Missouri by 22 in the Texas Bowl. Go Option! Beat Army!

Conference USA

Much like the MAC, Conference USA only plays in the bowls people don’t watch. While they too lost four games, unlike the MAC they have won two. SMU Torched Nevada in the Hawaii bowl. The conference’s other victory, Marshal 21, Ohio 17.

East Carolina, the conference champion, put up a good fight but fell to Arkansas in the Liberty bowl. One step below that is Southern Mississippi’s 10 point loss to Middle Tennessee,. Just below that is UCF’s 20 point loss to Rutgers, and at the bottom of the heap Houston’s beat down at the hands of Air Force.


Jumpin’ Moses! this thing is getting long and boring. Lets spice things up by digging into our Blogging bag-o-cheap-tricks. Your Big XXII Bowl experience in quotes from the movie Beerfest.

"This means Great Gam Gam really was a whore." Independence Bowl 12/28/09 Texas A&M loses to Georgia 44-20. This means Mark Richt really can coach. It also means Texas A&M Still Sucks

"DAS BOOT!" Holiday Bowl 12/30/09, Nebraska defeats Arizona 33-0. Germans should be able to drink vast quantities of beer out of glass boots, and Nebraska should stomp their opponents.

"I’ve been shitting pancakes ever since." Texas Bowl 12/31/09 Navy defeats Missouri 35-13. It was ugly, like playing high stakes beer pong in Ding-Dong.

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul!" Insight Bowl 12/31/09 Iowa State beats Minnesota 14-13. Okay, so that ones from Lolita, but it fits.

"And here’s something else you forgot to factor in, where not that drunk." Sun Bowl, 12/31/09 Oklahoma beats a good Stanford team 31-27.

"I got to thank God

Cuz he gave me the strength to rock

HARD!! Knock you out, mama said knock you out”

- Bob Stoops

"Hey guy’s… I don’t think sitting on the rooftop drinking rams piss is the way to go." Cotton Bowl 1/2/10 Oklahoma State shits the bed and loses to Mississippi 21-7. The football equivalent. “If we take care of the ball, don’t make any mental mistakes, play good defense and score some points…we have an excellent chance to win”. OK State proved if you do the opposite you will definitely lose.

"God damn brewery makes 10,000 bottles of Beer a day. I drink 45 and I’m the asshole." Alamo Bowl 1/2/10 Texas Tech beats Michigan State 41-31. Trust us, that is exactly how Mike Leach sees the world.

"he stole it und now instead of Deutschland’s greatest beer we have fourth best behind Steinemarzen, Rottenburger, und…und..und…Becks? yeah, und Becks." National Championship Game 1/7/10. Mac Browns a whiny bitch.

Big Ten

In Big Ten football you can do one of two things. Dig in, or line everyone up, and march them right into the mouth of hell, and keep throwing on bodies until everyone’s dead or your enemies barrels melt down. Long on heroism, short on efficiency, yet surprisingly effective. Beat the drums and let the colors wave. All in the valley of Death rode the six hundred!

Wisconsin opened the festivities with 20-14 grinding of the ‘Canes. 170 yards of rushing to Miami’s 61. Jacory Harris spent a good part of the afternoon running from the suns of gold weather hookers and screaming at the officials to “blow the whistle, blow the whistle!”

We’ve already covered the Italianesque Minnesota vs. Iowa State game where all parties met on the field of battle before hand, discussed the possible outcomes, sued for peace and went home without nary a bow being strung.

Northwestern copied a page from the Finn’s in World War Two by holding out for bad weather and then refusing to quit despite being faced an opponent who at least on paper out manned them 10-1.

Penn State, did their Penn State Thing and beat LSU 19-17. Jo-Pa refused to win by more on the grounds that it would be “unseemly”.

Jim Tressel might be the Big Tenniest of Big Ten coaches, victories in sunny Southern California not withstanding. Think of this as his ode to Napoleon’s Egyptian Expedition.

Michigan State lost to Texas Tech. Of course 15 players were suspended, so file it under “S” for Stalin’s Purges.

And finally Iowa faces Georgia Tech. The last time this many Yankees hit Florida they were dying of Malaria waiting to ship out for Cuba.

Big East

God it never ends.

Right, been over this ground. Big East is not compelling, even to fans of the Big East. Rutgers, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Connecticut won games that end in dot com. West Virginia and Cincinnati lost games people watched.


Not only is the Orange Bowl an important game for Georgia Tech, but also it’s important for the entire ACC. After last years 2-8 in bowl games erased much of the good of getting ten teams into bowl games, the ACC now sits at 3-3. A Jacket win would push the ACC to 4-3 with a second straight BCS victory.

Things got of to a rocky but promising start as UNC lost to Pittsburgh, but only by two points. Not really a bad loss. UNC might have been the fourth best team in the ACC and Pitt almost went to the Sugar Bowl, where they would have gotten smoked.

Then BC lost to USC by 11, no big deal. BC, like UNC, wasn’t a top ACC team, and to fly across the country and hold their own against the great and powerful USC for a few quarters before losing isn’t shame full.

Clemson then beat Kentucky. It wasn’t a great win. Not the kind of win you’d like to see out of an ACC Championship Runner-Up, but a good solid win that won’t be held against the conference.

Then Miami lost to Wisconsin. While the U only lost by six, they were ranked 15 going into the game and lost to 25th ranked Wisconsin team. To much of the nation, the ACC won’t be respectable until Miami and Florida State are ranked in the to 10 consistently. Consequently a loss by Miami to a boring old Big Ten team not named Michigan or Ohio State hurts the entire ACC.

Two good wins followed that have helped set the stage for Tech to rescue the ACC.

First Virginia Poly whipped the floor with an SEC Team with a marquee name in Tennessee, then Florida State up staged West Virginia, another team with good name recognition.

If Tech wins on Tuesday, the ACC can enjoy an off-season of raised expectations and higher media profile. At the front of which will be Paul Johnson and his charges.

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