This is what happens when you put your season in Brett Favre's hands...he chokes it away. What an unbelievably devastating way to get knocked out of the playoffs. First, the Pats, despite having absolutely no answer for Fred Jackson, recorded their first shutout in two years, winning 13-0 at the Ralph and what had to have been one of the most bizarre games of all time (at one point, they needed to literally lasso the uprights to straighten them out...that's how bad the wind was). The Jets lost, Welker lost the receptions title to Andre Johnson because of the conditions, Chelsea blew a chance to pick up two points by allowing a goal in the 90th minute in their match against Fulham this morning...at least the Bruins won right? So, while I'm waiting for the Denver/San Diego divisional "clash" to kick off, I figured I would try and get the BCS preview out of the way so I can ramble about God knows what tomorrow.
Thursday, January 1
Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Southern Cal (4:30, ABC)
Head to Head
- Final Score: Southern Cal 30, Penn State 20
- Penn State: Clark: 105 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Royster: 14 rushes, 51 yards, 1 TD; Defense: 2 sacks, 3 TOs
- Southern Cal: Sanchez: 201 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; McKnight/Johnson/Gable: 31 rushes, 134 yards, 1 TD; Defense: 2 sacks, 3 TOs
Do you ever have the feeling that a game could definitely come back and bite you in the backside? Well, this would be it for me. Of course, immediately, you have to take Southern Cal based on the fact that their defense is one of the most dominating ones we may have ever seen, plus their playing the game in Pasadena, where the Trojans play a bunch of their home games at. However, is this offense really good enough to take on Penn State? Don't undersell Penn State's D. They rank in the top 30 in points, rush yards, pass yards, and total yards allowed per game. I'm going to go with Southern Cal, but it's a very hesitant pick at best.
Southern Cal (-8.5)
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati (8:30, FOX)
Head to Head
- Final Score: Cincinnati 26, Virginia Tech 21
- Virginia Tech: Taylor: 106 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Evans/Taylor: 34 rushes, 124 yards, 1 TD; Defense: 5 sacks, 4 TOs
- Cincinnati: Pike: 247 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Ramsey/Goebel/Pead: 30 rushes, 121 yards, 1 TD; Defense: 3 sacks, 3 TOs
Again, this is just me, but I feel like Virginia Tech got extremely lucky getting to this bowl game. They didn't have to go up against Georgia Tech, easily the best team in the conference, to make the Orange Bowl because they both play in the same division in the ACC. Instead, they faced BC, who still reverts to the Tom O'Brien strategy of losing a game of significance at the end of the year, which means going to a lesser bowl game, which means BC can keep their bowl winning streak alive. The people like VA Tech, but slightly (59%). I'm not sold on them. Again, this is one of those times where if they prove me wrong, good for them, but I feel pretty solid about Cincy.
Friday, January 2
Sugar Bowl: Utah vs. Alabama (8:00, FOX)
Head to Head
- Final Score: Alabama 30, Utah 19
- Utah: Johnson: 145 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Asiata/Mack: 20 rushes, 64 yards, 1 TD; Defense: 1 sack, 3 TOs
- Alabama: 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Coffee/Ingram: 30 rushes, 172 yards, 2 TDs; Defense: 2 sacks, 3 TOs
I have literally scoured the internet looking for a reason that Utah will cover this...and I still have nothing. If anyone has some kind of obscure stat that they can share with me that would be favorable to Utah in this game, let me know (actually, I have found favorable stats...how about something that puts them over the top against 'Bama?).
Monday, January 5
Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs, Texas (8:00, FOX)
Head to Head
- Final Score: Texas 33, Ohio State 22
- Ohio State: Pryor: 115 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Wells/Pryor: 27 rushes, 118 yards, 1 TD; Defense: 2 sacks, 2 TOs
- Texas: McCoy: 253 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; McCoy/Whittaker/Johnson: 27 rushes, 123 yards, 2 TDs; Defense: 3 sacks, 2 TOs
I'm having a hard time getting passed the whole "Big 10 being really bad" generalization. Also, another thing I can't seem to get by is how Texas will likely want to avenge any of the BCS wrongdoings they felt were thrown at them this year (while I think they don't exist, some teams will look for anything to get up for a game). I like Pryor, and think he's a factor to change games, but Ohio State actually needs someone who puts the ball up a bunch (see Graham Harrell) and Texas would be in trouble against a team that scores a bunch. Ohio State is not that either.
Thursday, January 8
BCS Championship: Florida vs. Oklahoma (8:00, FOX)
Head to Head
- Final Score: Florida 39, Oklahoma 37
- Florida: 233 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; Harvin/Demps/Rainey: 20 rushes, 151 yards, 2 TDs; Defense: 2 sacks, 1 TO
- Oklahoma: Bradford: 295 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; Brown/Madu: 38 rushes, 160 yards, 2 TDs; Defense: 2 sacks, 2 TOs
Well, I guess this is what we have been waiting for. Speaking of which, can we get rid of this whole playing the national title game a week after all the other BCS games? I understand that because, for whatever reason, they have two BCS games in one place, but come on. This is totally ridiculous to have to wait this long for this game. You know that it will be hyped beyond belief, and there will come a point when you just want them to play so you don't have to hear another "not so fast" from Lee Corso. Why not have the game in another city? Atlanta? Houston? Both of them have domes, they have both hosted Super Bowls...please tell me I'm not the first one to notice how silly this is. Oh, and the game itself...right. Well, I think it will be interesting to see what the field is like. I mean, you never know. It could be raining, which would favor Oklahoma (at least I think). I'll tell you, despite this being really cheezy, I have to go back to the Whole Tebow thing and him saying that no one will work harder than that team. Guess what? No one has. What will Oklahoma will be the long break in between games that these two have. DeMarco Murray, the standout runner for the Sooners, will be sitting this one out, which is a big loss, but they still have a comprable running game with Chris Brown. I think what it comes down to is that Florida simply has too many weapons, and it's impossible to account for all of them every play.
I know, five favorites, way to step out on a limb right? Oh well. The only 'dog I really think can win is VA Tech, and with the betting public favoring them, that makes me a little nervous. The Penn State game is kind of doing the same, but I don't know what kind of run they have in them. In any event, at times this did feel like somewhat of a burden, and due to lack of time, I didn't really have too much time to get into every game, but it's done, and I had fun doing it. Hope everyone has a safe New Year's if you don't hear from me before then. Peace.