I love college football, to me it is far and away the greatest sport. I live and breathe Gator Orange and Blue from September through January every year, and I love Saturdays in the Fall. My Gators took some important steps forward this season, and with another top five recruiting class headed to Gainesville, next year should be even better. Tonight, another season ends, with Notre Dame playing Alabama for the National Championship. And, as always, I will root like Hell for the SEC team, and yes, root against Notre Dame. The second best thing about college football is rooting against someone, the first is rooting your team of course. So, I watch tonight, with a bit of dread. The next eight months will see me longing for next September. Now, Roll Tide!
ROSE BOWL – 01/01/13 (5pm ET)
Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Stanford Cardinal – W
ORANGE BOWL – 01/01/13 (8:30pm ET)
Florida State vs. Northern Illinois
Florida State Seminoles – W
SUGAR BOWL – 01/02/13 (8:30pm ET)
Florida vs. Louisville
Florida Gators – L
FIESTA BOWL – 01/03/13 (8:30pm ET)
Kansas State vs. Oregon
Oregon Ducks – W
Note: the Fiesta Bowl is one of many useless bowl game concepts that should never have been realized, but because the teams playing in it this year are among the top five teams in the country, I decided to include it in my list of bowl games that actually matter.
COTTON BOWL – 01/04/13 (8pm ET)
Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M Aggies – W
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – 01/07/13 (8:30pm ET)
Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Ed’s list of college football bowl games that almost matter.
ALAMO BOWL – 12/29/12 (6:45pm ET)
Texas vs. Oregon State
SUN BOWL – 12/31/12 (2pm ET)
Georgia Tech vs. USC
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL – 12/31/12 (7:30pm ET)
LSU vs. Clemson
GATOR BOWL – 01/01/13 (12pm ET)
Mississippi State vs. Northwestern
CAPITAL ONE BOWL – 01/01/13 (1pm ET)
Georgia vs. Nebraska
Ed’s top ten list of the dumbest-named college football bowl games… in no particular order.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
First, before we get to all the bowls, and my picks, I think the suckage from the BCS reached historic proportions this year. Northern Illinois will play in the Orange Bowl, despite a # 15 ranking, and will get plowed by Florida State. Look, I salute the Huskies for winning the MAC great! But seriously, the BCS passed on Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Oklahoma, AND Clemson to choose Northern Illinois? Of course that was not the only issue with the BCS, all those teams that were passed over were also passed over so #21 Louisville could go play my Gators in the Sugar Bowl? #21 playing #3? Yes, I know, Louisville won the Big East, well actually they finished in a four-way tie, so they get an automatic bid. Come on! Winning the Big East is like winning an ass kicking contest against a one-legged man. Of course, the BCS rule that only two teams from the same conference can play in BCS bowls is idiotic. And boy, did the SEC get screwed by that rule. We have six of the top ten teams, but only two my Gtaors, and Alabama, who will beat Notre Dame like a rented mule, get BCS bowls? Oh, by the way, Wisconsin, who is not even ranked “won” the Big Ten so they get the Rose Bowl? Again SCREW YOU Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Oklahoma, AND Clemson!
Excuse me for a second but we now have 10 slots for the five BCS bowls, we have a ranking system. Why not use that ranking system to put the top ten teams in those games? Yes, OF COURSE! That would make too much sense, what was I thinking? I cannot wait for 2014, when we go to a four team playoff. I wonder how the powers that be will make a mockery of that?
Now, on to the bowls, which start December 15 in the GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL where Arizona and Nevada will hook up! Go with Zona there. Also that day We get the bowl with the most idiotic name the FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL( and you thought the old Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl was bad) with Toledo and Utah State. Go Utah State Aggies on this one.
On to December 20, when we get the SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL (maybe I said the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was the worst named bowl too soon?) where BYU and and San Diego Stare hook up. Go Aztces here!
The next night we get the BEEF ‘O’ BRADY’S BOWL, in St. Petersburg Florida. With Central Florida and Ball State playing. Go UCF here! As a side note, Beef O’Bradys is now a national chain, but once it was one location, on Kings Avenue in Brandon Florida, and they had the BEST wings evah! I remember because I may, or may not have gotten sloshed there.
On to Dec 22 when we get East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL go with La Laf here and Washington vs. No. 19 Boise State in the MAACO BOWL Boise is the good choice there
Then, Christmas Eve we get treated to the SHERATON HAWAII BOWL featuring Fresno State vs. Southern Methodist. Go Fresno here
Then, on the 26th, in case you are craving REALLY awful pizza, tune in to Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan squaring off in the LITTLE CAEASARS BOWL! Go with Central Michigan and LOTS of Maalox here!
Next comes December 27, and three bowls to feast on. In the MILITARY BOWL – PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN we get San Jose State vs. Bowling Green. Go San Jose here
In the BELK BOWL, yes, they really are going with that name. Cincinati and Duke clash. If you just watch one bowl game this year, please do not let this be the one. Bearcats win
In the legendary BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION HOLIDAY BOWL UCLA and Baylor match up in what ought to be a great one. Go with UCLA in a shootout
On to December 28th and Ohio and Louisiana-Monroe in the AdvoCare V100 INDEPENDENCE BOWL. What is advocare? How should I know. why should you care. Go with Monroe here
Then check out the RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL featuring Rutgers and Virginia Tech, which Rutgers will win.
Next, Minnesota and Texas Tech meet in the MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS. I think you can get a free tune up at halftime or something. Tech should take this one.
On the 29th, in the ARMED FORCES BOWL, Rice and Air Force meet. Let’s see Air Force or Rice? In the Armed Forces Bowl? Go with the team with jets and missiles
Then, in what could be a high scoring affair Syracuse and West Virginia meet up in the NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL. Dumb name, good game, Mountaineers roll.
Next, if hunger strikes you watch the KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL, they were going to call it the Kraft Hopes You Starve Bowl, but that got nixed. Anyway Navy and Arizona State clash. Go with the Sun Devils.
In what ought to be a fine game at the VALERO ALAMO BOWL it is #23 Texas vs. No. 13 Oregon State. Tough call but I say Beavers rule.
Wrapping up that Saturdays slate is the BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL with TCU vs. Michigan State. Go with TCU, and the Asian Zing sauce with this one
Enough for now, I will post the rest of these bowl games tomorrow.
This tool. Buzz Bissinger? Really? He thinks college football should be banned! A piece of advice Buzz, do not dare go into an SEC town and identify yourself. Seriously.
In more than 20 years I’ve spent studying the issue, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that college football has anything do with what is presumably the primary purpose of higher education: academics.
That’s because college football has no academic purpose. Which is why it needs to be banned. A radical solution, yes. But necessary in today’s times. Football only provides the thickest layer of distraction in an atmosphere in which colleges and universities these days are all about distraction, nursing an obsession with the social well-being of students as opposed to the obsession that they are there for the vital and single purpose of learning as much as they can to compete in the brutal realities of the global economy.
Oh will you shut the Hell up please! Who wants to bet this douchebag drinks white wine with a pinkie extended?
With bland uniforms, a defense loaded with stalwarts and an offense predicated on smash-mouth football, Alabama remains one of the quintessentially old-school programs in college football.
In the Bowl Championship Series title game, the No. 2 Crimson Tide showed in their 21-0 victory over No. 1 Louisiana State on Monday night that there is still a place in the national elite for a throwback program in which ingenuity comes in the form of a play-action pass. In Alabama, which claimed its 14th national title in the first shutout in B.C.S. title-game history, they do not need to be reminded that football wins are not graded with style points and that touchdowns are overrated.
It was not pretty, nor particularly engaging, but Alabama’s suffocating defense, an effective performance by quarterback A J McCarron and five field goals by Jeremy Shelley helped the Crimson Tide (12-1) win their second national championship in the three years. Nick Saban became the first coach in the B.C.S. era to win three national titles; he also won one while coaching L.S.U. in 2003.
The Alabama victory also gave the state its third consecutive national title — Auburn won last year — and the sixth straight national title for a team from the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama held L.S.U. (13-1) to one first down in the first half and 91 total yards. The senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson fumbled two snaps, averaged just 4.8 yards per completion and never got comfortable running the option. He finished 11 of 17 passing, but L.S.U. never found any rhythm, space or momentum.
L.S.U. won the these teams’ first meeting in overtime, 9-6, because stellar secondary play, elite special teams and an offense that did just enough. This time, it was the Alabama special teams that carried the night, with Shelley’s five field goals tying a record for all bowl games.
Trent Richardson added the exclamation point with a 34-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes 36 seconds to play. (Shelley missed the extra point.)
Alabama’s special teams led the way this time. Punter Cody Mandell kept the ball away from the L.S.U. star Tyrann Mathieu, Shelley hit five of seven field-goal attempts, and a 49-yard punt return midway through the first quarter by Marquis Maze allowed Alabama to corral the game’s momentum.
But it was Alabama’s smothering defense that provided the night’s indelible performance. L.S.U. looked as if it were running in quicksand, with Jefferson looking helpless on option plays and lost in the passing game. His offensive ineptitude was best summarized by one play in the third quarter in which, under pressure, he flipped a shovel pass that Alabama’s C. J. Mosley intercepted.
Jefferson tackled Mosley so hard that it resulted in Mosley’s leaving the game with a gruesome left leg injury, which required him to leave the field on a cart. Jefferson was not the only one frustrated. L.S.U. fans booed him and chanted for the backup Jarrett Lee, who began the season as L.S.U.’s starter before being benched the first game against Alabama.
McCarron orchestrated the Alabama game plan brilliantly. He had thrown a critical interception against L.S.U., and his best statistic on Monday night was that he avoided the big mistake. But he was far from a caretaker, finishing 23 of 34 for 233 yards. While he never found the end zone, McCarron threw aggressively downfield and often at Mathieu, whom Alabama clearly picked on at times.
L.S.U. could not find a spark on offense. The Tigers, one of the country’s dominant rushing teams, averaged 1.4 yards a carry. Alabama’s smothering front seven reduced talented tailbacks like Kenny Hilliard, Michael Ford and Spencer Ware to 23 yards on 12 carries.
Alabama came up with a pair of surprise stars. Receiver Kevin Norwood, who entered the game with seven catches on the season, caught four passes for 78 yards. Tight end Brad Smelley finished with seven catches for 39 yards, and was clearly a factor in the Alabama game plan to counter L.S.U.’s defensive speed.
Alabama took a 3-0 lead after Maze’s punt return set up Alabama at the L.S.U. 26. Alabama chipped away to set up a 23-yard field goal by Shelley, leading a cathartic roar from the Alabama faithful.
In the teams’ first meeting, on Nov. 5, neither team reached the end zone. Alabama was haunted by four missed field goals, three of them by the Tide’s long kicking specialist, Cade Foster. But his only role Monday came as a decoy on a fake punt.
Alabama came out aggressive early, with McCarron living up to his promise to play with more fire and emotion. His sweetest throw ended sourly for the Crimson Tide, when Smelley dropped a sweet lob pass in the second quarter that almost surely would have resulted in a touchdown. Instead, it slipped between his hands and Alabama settled for a 42-yard field-goal attempt after a deft fake field-goal attempt kept the drive alive.
But with the ball at the L.S.U. 25, Saban elected to go with his short kicking specialist, Shelley, on the cusp of his range, and Michael Brockers blocked the kick.
That gave L.S.U. fans flashbacks of the first meeting. The lack of touchdowns certainly looked familiar. But in Tuscaloosa, seasons are graded by whether the Tide win the national title.
And this Alabama season will be remembered as a work of art.
The offensive fireworks that have dominated this bowl season continued Wednesday night with No. 22 West Virginia’s record-setting 70-33 rout of 14th-ranked Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium.
It was the sixth bowl to produce at least 70 total points, joining the Rose, Fiesta, Alamo, Military and Maaco bowls.
The Mountaineers led 49-20 at the half, the most points by one team in a half in any bowl in history, and set an overall scoring record for any bowl with 6:21 remaining
The game turned for good when Clemson’s Andre Ellington fumbled on the West Virginia 1-yard line early in the second quarter and Darwin Cook took the turnover 99 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Mountaineers a 28-17 lead, a margin that kept expanding when Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was intercepted and lost a fumble that led to two more West Virginia touchdowns before the half ended.
West Virginia (10-3) played without leading rusher Dustin Garrison, who went down with a knee injury in practice earlier in the week. The Mountaineers never missed him, as quarterback Geno Smith earned the game’s most outstanding player award by completing 30 of 41 passes for an Orange Bowl-record 401 yards and BCS-game record six touchdowns. Shawne Alston delivered two short scoring runs and Tavon Austin had four touchdown catches.
Clemson (10-4) used Andre Ellington’s 68-yard touchdown run and a 27-yard pass from Boyd to DeAndre Hopkins to take a 17-14 lead that set an Orange Bowl first-quarter record for points. West Virginia countered with a short scoring run by Alston and an 8-yard pass from Smith to Austin.
But after the Mountaineers moved in front 21-17 on Smith’s 8-yard TD toss to Austin, Cook delivered his stunning turnaround recovery to set the course of the game. It was the longest defensive scoring play in Orange Bowl history.
West Virginia dashed whatever miracle comeback ideas Clemson harbored by scoring on its first two possessions of the second half on scoring passes from Smith to Stedman Bailey and Austin. Clemson lost a combined 23 yards on its first two possessions before finally ending its scoring drought when Boyd connected with Hopkins for a 28-yard touchdown late in the period to make it 63-26 entering the fourth quarter.
Clemson was in the Orange Bowl for only the second time and first since its national championship run in 1981 when it defeated Nebraska 22-15. This was the Tigers’ first BCS appearance.
This might have been West Virginia’s final game in the Big East. The Mountaineers have agreed to join the Big 12 and have filed a lawsuit against the Big East seeking an immediate exit.
West Virginia had played in 30 bowls but never the Orange. The Mountaineers only previous meeting with Clemson was a 27-7 loss in the 1989 Gator Bowl.
Victory never tasted so sweet.
Michigan built this season on its defense. All it asked was for enough offense to get by.
Yet Denard Robinson couldn’t run and, aside from two spectacular passes for touchdowns to Junior Hemingway, could barely pass.
Still, in overtime the warped rules showed they didn’t need to march anywhere, as Michigan stole the Sugar Bowl with a field goal, 23-20 at the Superdome on Tuesday before a disappointing crowd of 64,512.
Tech (11-3) had its chance in overtime, getting an apparent touchdown catch by Danny Coale overturned, then missing a 37-yard field goal as third-string kicker Justin Myer pushed it to the right after a perfect night previously.
That set up three set-up runs for U-M’s Brendan Gibbons to line up his own 37-yarder, sealing the win for Michigan (11-2), becoming the fifth team in the modern era of Michigan football to win 11 games.
After U-M’s stagnant offense piddled its way forward – the Wolverines had 34 yards of offense in the second half and 51 yards rushing for the game– they meekly took the lead at 20-17 with a 39-yard field goal by Gibbons with exactly four minutes remaining.
It was just enough time for the Hokies to march down the field with their effective offense and tie the score at 20, forcing the overtime.
Michigan had every chance to get off the field at the start of the fourth quarter, but was done in by its inexplicable issues on third and fourth down. Four times on its drive to open the fourth quarter, the Hokies converted. They did it twice on long runs by quarterback Logan Thomas and then, at the most critical moment, freshman Blake Countess was called for a pass interference, giving Tech the ball at the two.
After a Thomas rush and a two-point conversion, the game was tied at 17.
The key drive of the second half had a ton of Michigan magic.
It began because freshman defensive end Frank Clark, subbing, improbably snatched a screen pass right out of the air.
Then, for the second time in the quarter, Robinson threw an interception to Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley.
Yet, just like the first one, it came right back. The first was overturned on review and the second not only went back to U-M because of a pass interference, it allowed the Wolverine to advance to ball.
You can only give Robinson so many chances, and he took one, hitting Junior Hemingway in the back of the end zone for the 17-6 lead.
In a first half that reminded stats are only an indicator, not the result, the Wolverines were holding their lucky charms.
They floundered for most of the 20 minutes, getting outgained 185-145 and were stuffed too many times on their own offense.
But they kept finding a way.
The defense held Virginia Tech to just two field goals on its first two possessions, despite getting shredded in yardage.
Then U-M coordinator Greg Mattison’s defense found its “place to stand” and pulled off a stop on fourth and on the Wolverines’ four.
Michigan’s offense did little to seize on the gift, yet while deep in their own territory, backup punter Matt Wile drew a roughing call, keeping the drive alive.
Long enough for them to appear to be stalling out with a third and 17 at the Tech 45 – until Robinson scrambled and threw deep, Virginia Tech safety Eddie Whitely gambled and missed, allowing Junior Hemingway to walk in with a 45-yard touchdown for U-M’s first points and the 7-6 lead.
Considering how Michigan played, that was a gift with 49 seconds left.
At least until Tech fumbled the kickoff, giving the Wolverines yet another chance with 38 seconds left.
They nearly ruined that one too, setting up for a field goal. Instead, they ran a fake, holder Drew Dileo threw into coverage and the ball bounced off a Tech player into the hands of U-M long snapper Jareth Glanda for the first down.
In the end, that just set up a Gibbons’ 24 yard field goal, giving U-M a 10-6 lead they had no business holding.
Two years of frustration ended on one night of bliss at the Tournament of Roses.
Oregon beat Wisconsin in a thrilling Rose Bowl 45-38 Monday, as De’Anthony Thomas sprinted by two defenders on huge touchdown runs, Kiko Alonso made a key interception leading to the go-ahead points and the Ducks held off the Badgers before 91,245 at the renovated Rose Bowl Stadium.
The three-time league-champion Ducks (12-2) had been 0-2 in BCS games, but they broke through against the Badgers (11-3), who had lost a tight Rose Bowl to TCU a year before.
This one was a good old-fashioned shootout, with Oregon’s lightning offense matching Wisconsin’s methodical offense led by running back Montee Ball and QB Russell Wilson.
The points scored were the most in a Rose Bowl, surpassing the count in Washington’s 46-34 victory over Iowa in 1991.
Wisconsin appeared to be taking over the game, but on third-and-3 late in the third quarter, Alonso — the twice-suspended linebacker who played a great game — picked off Wisconsin QB Wilson at the UW 39.
LaMichael James ran for 15 yards to the UW 22 and for 1 yard (with David Paulson recovering his fumble) as the third quarter ended.
On third-and-9, the QB Thomas-Thomas connection made a first down, as De’Anthony Thomas broke a tackle after catching a pass. Then Darron Thomas found Tuinei for another TD pass, 11 yards, and Oregon led 42-38 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Ducks forced a punt, and moved upfield. On a key fourth down in UW territory, Thomas hit Tuinei for an 9-yard gain and a first down with the clock ticking toward eight minutes left. Again on fourth-and-1 at the UW 13, an the clock below seven minutes left, the Ducks opted for a field goal, and Alejandro Maldonado nailed a 30-yarder to make it a seven-point lead, 45-38.
Oregon forced and recovered a fumble at its 27 with four minutes to go. The Ducks picked up a first down on the ground, forcing Wisconsin to use its final timeout.
Oregon had fourth-and-6 with 23 seconds to go, and punted to the Badgers 12, for a fair catch with 16 seconds left.
Two long completions got to the Oregon 23 with two seconds left, and Wisconsin tried to spike the ball. The clock went to zero, but the Badgers argued for one more second.
But the officials said time had expired.
The game started like gangbusters, with the teams trading scores and combining for 56 points, a Rose Bowl-record for a half. Included among the stellar offensive play was De’Anthony Thomas’ game-record 91-yard TD run. Wisconsin scored a defensive touchdown on Louis Nzegwu’s 33-yard fumble recovery run.
The freshman phenom Thomas did it again early in the third quarter as Oregon took its first lead. After a couple of James runs, he sprinted 64 yards for another score and UO led 35-28.
The Ducks made a big stop. Jared Abbrederis, who earlier had a fine TD reception, returned the kickoff 60 yards to the UO 36. Montee Ball ran for nine and 14 yards, the second run leaping over UO safety John Boyett to the UO 14. But the Ducks stopped Ball for two yards on two carries and Wilson threw incomplete on third down. Philip Welch’s 29-yard field goal broke the string of touchdowns and made it 35-31, Oregon.
With the momentum, Oregon failed to pick up a first down and punted.
The Badgers methodically went downfield, with Wilson starring. On third-and-8, he scrambled for 17 yards. He later threw seven yards to Ball on third-and-4, and then found Nick Toon in the end zone on an 18-yard TD pass as UW surged ahead, 38-35.
In a game of matching scores, Oregon couldn’t keep up this time. Tuinei made a terrific, 35-yard catch. But, later after a holding penalty by Ryan Clanton, Thomas’ tip got passed and flew into the hands of Aaron Henry for UO’s second turnover. On the play, UO offensive lineman Carson York got injured trying to make the tackle and had to be carted off the field on a stretcher.
Oregon had 341 yards and UW 295 in the first half. De’Anthony Thomas had his 91-yard carry and James had 77 yards on eight carries. Darron Thomas went 9 of 12 for 153 yards.
Ball had 122 yards on 21 carries. Wilson was 10 of 13 for 157 yards.
The previous record for points in a Rose Bowl first half was 45 by UCLA and Wisconsin in 1999. The previous record for a half was 53 by USC and Texas in 2006.
Momentum? What momentum in the first half?
Wisconsin had scoring drives of 77, 79 and 64 yards. Oregon’s four scoring drives took 2:07, 0:32, 0:08 and 2:51.
On UW’s first drive, Ball ran hard caught a 7-yard third-down pass from Wilson. Later, Wilson found Jared Abbrederis open after the receiver spun away from freshman cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and caught a 38-yard TD pass.
But the Ducks responded. James rushed for 23 yards on third-and-3. Darron Thomas was under pressure when he threw 35 yards to Lavasier Tuinei, and James scored on a 1-yard TD run.
The Badgers moved upfield again. Wilson had a nifty draw handoff to Ball, who ran 42 yards, and a 30-yard dump-off pass to Ball that went to the UO 4. Wilson scored on a 4-yard, naked-bootleg TD run.
The Badgers had a chance to go up 21-7, but played conservatively. After an Oregon punt, Nick Toon drew a pass interference play on UO’s John Boyett on third-and-22, giving UW the first down. On fourth-and-2 later, the Badgers opted to punt from the UO 38.
From its own 5, the Ducks struck with freshman phenom De’Anthony Thomas. On second down, he scurried through the line and ran 91 yards for the tying touchdown, setting the Rose Bowl record for longest TD run; it was previously held by Michigan’s Tyrone Wheatley (88 vs. Washington, 1993).
The second quarter saw more points.
Wilson found Jacob Pedersen for 17 yards on third down and Toon for 18 yards to the UO 16. Wilson scampered out of bounds and got hit by Boyett, who drew a personal foul penalty. Ball’s 3-yard TD run put UW up 21-14; it was his 39th TD of the season, tying Barry Sanders’ single-season record (1988).
But, De’Anthony Thomas had a big kickoff return and Darron Thomas found running back Kenjon Barner over the top of the defense for a 54-yard TD pass. Tie score, 21-21.
Oregon came up with a huge stop to presumably secure the momentum.. Wilson threw 23 yards to Abbrederis and Ball ran nine yards to the UO 17. But Ball was stopped by the Ducks’ Wade Keliikipi and Boyett. Wilson, flushed out of the pocket on fourth-and-1, got stopped in the open field by Alonso, who played a great first half.
But Wisconsin took the momentum right back. Mike Taylor blitzed the QB Thomas on third-and-5, forcing a fumble, and teammate Nzegwu recovered and scored from 33 yards out; the play was upheld on review.
The Ducks kept pace. With three minutes, Oregon marched for points as they often do at the end of the first half. James ran for 29 yards and Thomas hit Tuinei for 21. Later, after a timeout, Thomas threw three yards to Tuinei for the score and 28-28 tie.
WISCONSIN 14 14 10 0 — 38
OREGON 14 14 7 10 — 45
WIS — 1st, 11:48: Jared Abbrederis 38 pass from Russell Wilson (Philip Welch kick)
ORE — 1st, 9:41: LaMichael James 1 run (Alejandro Maldonado kick)
WIS — 1st, 5:55: Wilson 4 run (Welch kick)
ORE — 1st, 0:01: De’Anthony Thomas 91 run (Maldonado kick)
WIS — 2nd, 10:52: Montee Ball 3 run (Welch kick)
ORE — 2nd, 10:36: Kenjon Barner 54 pass from Darron Thomas (Maldonado kick)
WIS — 2nd, 3:26: Louis Nzegwu 33 fumble recovery (Welch kick)
ORE — 2nd, 0:30: Lavasier Tuinei 3 pass from Thomas (Maldonado kick)
ORE — 3rd, 14:11: De’Anthony Thomas 64 run (Maldonado kick)
WIS — 3rd, 10:50: Philip Welch 29 FG
WIS — 3rd, 4:44: Nick Toon 18 pass from Wilson (Welch kick)
ORE — 4th, 14:35: Tuinei 11 pass from Thomas (Maldonado kick)
ORE — 4th, 6:50: Maldonado 30 FG
Taking some time today to thank those who are making the blogosphere a more beautiful place!
Bob Belvedere has a bevy of beauties
Donald Douglas has, well, a video treat
Barking Moonbat gives us the sexy Cheryl Cole
The Feral Irishman loves football, and the women who love football
Hell on Earth has, oh my
Jake Finnegan does Rule 5 RIGHT!
Zion’s Trumpet, has a very hot Jessica
Randy has Ashley Gellar
Reaganite Republican has Miss Universe
Dustbury has another hot Jessica
Proof Positive has the lovely Amanda Tapping
The Classic Liberal has tons of hot links
More updates later
William Teach has his always incredible Blogless Sunday Linkfet
If H2 thinks tat a cute Asian girl with big boobs will get me to link him… He is right!
That Mr. G Guy has something inappropriate! And darned funny too
Is Mila Kunis dumber? or Hotter? POH asks
Well, I guess this proves where Wyatt’s mind is at!
Mike Dyer felt nearly every part of his body hit the ground but the important ones, rolled over Oregon’s Eddie Pleasant and heard thousands of voices.
All telling him to keep on running.
“I kind of figured my knee wasn’t down. I didn’t hear no whistle,” Dyer said. “Even the crowd was saying, ‘Go! Go!’”
Dyer got back to his feet and ran 37 yards down to the Oregon 23, turning in one of those plays that will be talked about for years to come in Auburn.
It was that play — and a 16-yard run that followed — that set up Wes Byrum’s 19-yard, game-winning field goal at the buzzer to deliver Auburn a 22-19 win over Oregon in front of a record 78,603 fans at the BCS National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Monday night.
The Tigers’ first national championship in 53 years.
“We said that we wanted to go from good to great,” head coach Gene Chizik said. “And I can sit here tonight and I can tell you that the Auburn Tigers are the best football team in the United States.”
No. 1 Auburn (14-0) took over at its 26-yard line with 2:33 to go, after a 2-yard shovel pass from Darron Thomas to LaMichael James and a 2-point conversion from James to Jeff Maehl — one in which Maehl made a jumping catch in the back of the end zone — knotted the game at 19.
One of the rarest of all occurrences this season, a lost fumble by Cam Newton, set up the tying drive for No. 2 Oregon (12-1).
Newton finished with 265 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 20-of-34 passing, also running 22 times for 64 yards and only his second lost fumble of the year.
“I said ‘We’re going to go down and score,’” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “They’ve done that all year. They found a way.
“Michael Dyer made one of those unbelievable runs that people in Auburn will remember forever, and helped us win the game.”
Newton started off the drive with a 15-yard pass to Emory Blake, then Dyer took an inside draw and appeared to go down after a 5-yard gain.
But none of the vital areas touched the ground, allowing him to scamper for 32 more. And a replay review upheld the call.
“He’s got great balance,” Malzahn said. “He’s one of those guys that spins around.”
It was a bizarre signature play for a bizarre championship game, one that included Oregon getting stuffed on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 but converting a fourth-and-8 with a fake punt; Auburn giving up 449 yards but only 19 points; and both teams going scoreless in the first quarter of a game that was supposed to be an epic shootout.
The two teams combined for 968 yards on the night but a pedestrian 41 points.
Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said all the predictions of a high-scoring game in the lead-up to Monday might have swayed his unit’s play.
“I hope so,” Roof said. “I think it may have.”
Oregon went up first on a field goal, then Auburn answered with a 35-yard pass from Newton to Kodi Burns.
The Ducks went back up on a pass to James — followed by an option to kicker Rob Beard for the 2-point conversion — then a Mike Blanc safety and a 30-yard pass from Newton to Blake put Auburn back up.
A 28-yard Byrum field goal gave Auburn an apparently stable 19-11 lead, especially with the way the Tigers were running the ball.
Until Newton’s fumble.
Another fourth-down conversion and eight plays later, the Ducks had a tie game.
Then it was time for Dyer, the offensive MVP after finishing with 143 yards on 22 carries, to take over.
“There’s a lot of things that happened this year that I never really expected,” Dyer said. “I’m just glad to be here with my team. Glad to be a part of this.”
Dyer picked up another 16 yards on another draw down to the 1 — after a review reversed a touchdown call — two plays later, and Byrum did the rest.
It was the senior’s 60th field goal at Auburn, his sixth game-winner in his college career and his third this season after hitting ones against Clemson and Kentucky.
He celebrated a bit more after this one than his subdued fist pump against the Wildcats. Then again, he didn’t get a hug and proclamation of “You’re the best kicker to ever play here” from Al Del Greco after he beat Kentucky.
“It’s an unbelievable experience, especially after the career he had at Auburn,” Byrum said. “It’s an unbelievable thing.”
There wasn’t much about Auburn’s season that wasn’t unbelievable.
“We’re the champions,” safety Zac Etheridge said. “That’s all I need to say.”
The Ohio State Buckeyes came into their Sugar Bowl match up with the Arkansas Razorbacks knowing that history was certainly not on their side. The Buckeyes were 0-9 against teams from the Southeastern Conference in Bowl games, and had won just two times in eight previous Bowl Championship game appearances.
Time to re-write history, as their was a shift in direction last night for Ohio State following a 31-26 win over Arkansas, albeit was not the runaway victory it appeared to be after the first half.
Entering this one, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, along with four of his other teammates will miss the opening five games of the 2011 College Football Season. The Buckeyes were sure glad that all five were eligible to play in this one, as they had a huge impact on the outcome of this one.
Pryor played very well in the first half, throwing for two touchdowns. The ball was bouncing the Buckeyes way early, as the junior quarterback scrambled towards the end zone from about 40 yards out in the beginning of the first quarter only to be stripped at about the five-yard line. Two Razorback defenders collided when going to for the fumble, only to have the ball roll into the end zone and scooped up by wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher.
The Buckeyes continued to pour it on from there, at one point going up 28-7 before Arkansas added a field goal just seconds before the first half ended, with Ohio State taking a 28-10 lead at the break.
From there, Ohio State had to try and hold off a rally from Arkansas and quarterback Ryan Mallet.
The Razorbacks got it to 31-21 following a Mallet touchdown pass to Jarius Wright and then added a controversial safety to get within eight points in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The momentum had swung in the direction of the Razorbacks’ side of the field, growing more intense with another scoring drive by the offense to get the score to 31-26.
Then, it got even more crazy.
Arkansas held Ohio State in check on offense and forced a punt with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks got penetration and were able to block the punt. It was picked up by Tramain Thomas, who subsequently fell on it like he had probably been taught, though it would have been a walk-in score had he remained on his two feet.
“He just wanted to make sure he got on the ball,” said Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to scoop and score.”
The decision ultimately proved to be the difference-maker.
Two plays later, Mallet scrambled from the pocket and threw the ball into the waiting arms of Ohio State defensive end Soloman Thomas, one of the suspended players for next season.
“That was the second interception of my whole life,” Thomas said after the game. “It feels great.”
For Mallet, it was a 24 for 47 performance with two touchdowns, and that one interception.
“I didn’t see the guy,” Mallett remarked. “I tried to get rid of it quick. They had pressure coming. I didn’t see him. He made a great play.”
The TCU Horned Frogs are Rose Bowl champions after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers, 21-19. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was named Offensive Player of the Game.
Wisconsin lost the coin toss at the beginning of the game — and took the opening kick. The Badgers drove down the field and scored on that first possession with a field goal.
TCU returned fire about midway through the first quarter. They scored a touchdown with a 23-yard pass into the endzone. It culminated a 10-play drive that included six passes.
At the end of Wisconsin’s next drive, runningback John Clay took his first touch in the Rose Bowl into the end zone, pushing the Badgers to a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter.
TCU took its next drive down the field. To cap it off, TCU ran a quarterback sneak into the endzone. It would be the last score of the first quarter.
On the next drive, Wisconsin took the ball down field. But with about 8:30 left in the second quarter, UW failed to complete a 39-yard field goal attempt.
On TCU’s next possession, Wisconsin was able to hold the Horned Frogs. TCU was forced to punt.
Wisconsin capped the first half with a short field goal.
TCU took its first possession of the second half down the field and punched in a two-yard run to score a touchdown. That pushed its lead over Wisconsin to 21-13.
Wisconsin scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter in the 2011 Rose Bowl. But it failed to complete a two-point conversion to tie the game against TCU. Wisconsin could not convert an on-side kick either.
Apparently to the morons who make the rules for college football having fun is bad! William Teach is fired up over this!
Coffman, who played brilliantly in his last college game, led the (Kansas State) Wildcats into Syracuse territory and connected with Hilburn near the sideline about 10 yards down field. After winning a footrace to the end zone, he dropped the ball, did a quick salute and turned to celebrate with his teammates.
The flags came flying and the 2-point attempt turned into a desperation play.
That’s right, campers, K State was given a penalty for excessive celebration for…..throwing a quick salute (picture available at the link). In a time when we have troops fighting two wars, this is simply despicable. Tom Fornelli agrees
It was a terrible call, and at possibly the worst time it could have been made. Kansas State fans, and college football fans have every right to be angry with the official who made the call, and reportedly told Hilburn “wrong choice, buddy” as he threw the flag. Still, we can all be as angry with the official as we want to be, but I worry that we might be shooting the messenger here.