It all comes down to this: The Fightin’ Irish attempting to “wake up the echoes” from the coma they have been in for nearly twenty years against Nick Saban and his SEC juggernaut, the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Historically this is a match-up for the ages. Two of the nations all-time premier programs, a north versus south pride war for all the marbles.
History: Given the recent history of the SEC some would consider this a surprise, but coming into the championship game Notre Dame holds a 5-1 all-time record vs the Crimson Tide in head to head match-ups. Perhaps the surprise is lessened when it is revealed that these two have not met on the gridiron since 1987, a 37-6 blowout by the Irish in South Bend. The only win in the series for the Tide came a year earlier in 1986, a 28-10 win that was played in Birmingham, Alabama.
This isn’t the first time they have met in a bowl game. Notre Dame edged the Tide 24-23 in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and beat them in the 1975 Orange Bowl 13-11.
As far as championship games pitting the titans of a sport against one another, Notre Dame vs Alabama is hard to beat. The Irish are third on the all-time wins list while the Tide come in at number seven. Alabama has 14 national championships, Notre Dame with 11, however they are tied at 9 a piece if you only count the “poll era” post 1936 to present day. Love them or hate them, they are titans of the sport. Read More
There are two story lines to this match-up and it appears that we will see many bowl games between teams who have left a conference for another. The Cotton Bowl hit on a biggie here with the Aggies and Sooners. First, you have the first ever frosh to win the Heisman in Johnny Manziel trying to keep the streak alive of proving there’s no such thing as a Heisman curse. The winners are 4 and 6 in the last 10 games they played after receiving the award. After losing four straight, which included former Buckeye Troy Smith, they are on a three game winning streak. In 5 of the 7 games during the last two streaks were winners playing for a National Title, Mark Ingram and Cam Newton were the only two winners in those games.
Second, you have a game that everyone is calling a good rivalry out of what use to be an annual Big12 game. The Aggies and Sooners first played in 1903 which was hit or miss for several years and the Aggies won 3 of the first 4. They picked back up close to the end of WW2 and after the ’51 season went forty plus years before getting back on track in 1993. Since then, the Sooners have dominated the rivalry having won 12 of 18 and took over the series in the 2000′s winning every year save for 2002 and 2010. The Aggies moved to the SEC and have surprised everyone with the season they’ve had upsetting Alabama along the way, thus winning the Heisman for Johnny Football. Read More
OK, this one might actually be interesting…
The History: The Tositos Fiesta Bowl has been a staple in Glendale, AZ for 42 years. A group from Arizona State originally pitched the idea to the NCAA in 1968 but the NCAA rejected the proposal. One year later the NCAA approved the bowl as part of their annnual bowl games. The Fiesta Bowl is played at The University of Phoenix Stadium and has hosted 7 National Championship games (Does anyone remember 2002?) since it was first played in 1971. Not only is this Fiesta Bowl important to college footbal, it is important to the Glendale area. Over a 5 year span the bowl has generated over $1 Billion in the Glendale economy.
Slight variation in schedule… think of this as TWTW meets Wednesday’s regular SBP. Here’s the tunes behind the guy behind the guy.
2013 started almost the same way that every other year has started since I can remember… with a slate of B1G Ten games, highlighting how many people who live in the midwest want to flee to warmer climes for some semblance of a vacation. I still haven’t figured out how the scheduling geniuses who have an entire slate of games and “bowl week” to work with decide to run four of them at semi-simultaneous time times, though.
You’ll note that I said “almost”… one of the major differences this year was the lack of Buckeye football; in case you hadn’t heard, they had a one year vacation from the post-season. What’s intriguing about that fact is that we seemingly had it shoved down our throats throughout the regular season by the good folks at the four letter network, and yet I can count on one hand the times I heard the words “Ohio State” or “Buckeyes” thus far in the bowl season. Penn State, too, although you’d think that one of the things that would be covered would be how teams playing got their losses this year; the Rose Bowl’s discussion included the review of their overtime losses, but didn’t mention by name two of the teams that handed those to them.
I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised, though… you want the games to be celebrations of the teams that are playing, and it’d be a shame to see anything hamper the narrative of next Monday’s “Championship” game; reminding folks of another undefeated team might cast a pall on that sacred moment. However, I don’t seem to remember Southern Cal being erased from the post season even when they were ineligible- their 10-2 record last year was certainly a topic of commentary.
Anywho… Ohio State hasn’t lost a game in over a year, and that can’t be taken away from them or their fans.
So let’s dive into the spectacle that was B1G Tuesday, taking a look at all of the outcomes and then reflecting on what this might “mean” for the conference and college football as a whole. Remember, the results you witnessed might have been different should the two outsider programs be in the mix this season… B1G fans, how are those “you’ve got no bowl game” taunts holding up for you these days?
The History: Originally called the Hall of Fame Bowl when it began in 1986, the Outback Bowl became the staple it is today in 1995 when Outback Steakhouse became its official sponsor. The last 21 years the game has been played in Tampa, Florida and will feature a cool $7.2 million payout this year. Since 2000, the game has been between the Big Ten conference and the SEC conference with the SEC holding an 8-5 edge.
Michigan Scouting Report: It’s no secret that the defense is the most consistent part of the Michigan team. DB Jordan Kovacs’ 65 tackles, 5 stops for loss, 2 sacks, an interception, and one forced fumble make him an important compnent for the Wolverine defense. Offensively, QB Devin Gardner will most like start his 6th straight game where he has completed 63% of his passes for 1,005 yards and had 8 touchdowns while throing 4 interceptions. OT Taylor Lewan is the Big Ten’s best offensive lineman and will be key to the Michigan offense when his assignment is to stop South Carolina’s Jadevon Clowney.
Kirk Herbstreit’s favorite BCS matchup.
The History: The Orange Bowl has been played annually since 1935, making it the second-oldest bowl game, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl, behind the Rose Bowl. Played in Miami, Fla., the Orange Bowl has been sponsored by Discover since 2010 after FedEx sponsored the game for 21 years before that.
Northern Illinois Scouting Report: The Huskies squeaked their way into the BCS party by finishing in the top 16 of the BCS standings after their 44-37 double overtime win against Kent State in the MAC Championship Game. Quarterback Jordan Lynch has thrown for 2,962 yards and 24 touchdowns this season and rushed for 1,771 yards and 19 touchdowns. To put it mildly, he’s decent.
Florida State Scouting Report: The Seminoles come into the Orange Bowl with two losses on the year–one to NC State and the other to rival Florida. Florida State’s defense is again one of the best in the country and quarterback E.J. Manuel leads the offense as he has thrown for 3,101 yards and 22 touchdowns on the year.
tBBC “Expert Selections:
My Selection: As you can see, all of us here at tBBC are not giving Northern Illinois a chance in this ballgame. A lot of people felt the Huskies didn’t deserve to be in this game so it will be their job to prove all of the naysayers incorrect. However, I just think the Seminoles have too much firepower, especially defensively. This one could get ugly quick and I see FSU winning 38-14.
The granddaddy of them all… and the reason why southern California smells like wine and cheese this New Year’s.
The History: “The Grandaddy of Them All.” The Rose Bowl is the oldest of all the bowl games, with the first game being played in 1902. The game then took a break until 1916 and has been played annually since. Traditionally, the Rose Bowl sees the champion of the Big Ten and the Pac-12 square off and this year is no different. USC has made the most appearances in the Rose Bowl with 33. After the Trojans, the teams with the most appearances are: Michigan (20), Washington (14) and Ohio State (14). The game is held in Pasadena, Calif.
Wisconsin Scouting Report: Wisconsin the the first team five-loss team to ever appear in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers made their way to the Big Ten Championship Game by default as both Ohio State and Penn State finished ahead of the Badgers in the Leaders Division, but were ineligible for postseason play. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball is the all-time FBS leader in rushing touchdowns with 76 and is no doubt the key to the Badgers’ offense.
Stanford Scouting Report: Not many people expected Stanford to be in this situation after losing the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft last year in Andrew Luck. But the Cardinal finished the season as Pac-12 champions, with their big victory coming against Oregon back in November. The Cardinal feature a balanced offensive attack, much like they did a season ago, and a solid defense.
tBBC “Expert Selections:
My Selection: On paper, this seems like a great match-up for Wisconsin. If the Badgers had to deal with Oregon in this game, it would be a blowout. But, Stanford and Wisconsin play similar styles of football which will give Wisconsin a chance to hang in the game. In the end, though, Stanford is too much for Wisconsin as the Cardinal defeat the Badgers, 24-16.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never blah blah blah… it’s the second B1G/SEC tilt of the day, and should be airing right about the time that you find your keys in the bottom of the guacamole.
The History: This is one of the oldest games in the country, and was formerly the “Tangerine Bowl”. Because of it’s location, African American players were not allowed to participate, causing Hillsdale to decline their team’s offer to the game in 1955, and Buffalo choosing to do the same in 1958. In 1966, Morgan State (a historically black college) won the game and finished their season undefeated.
The “gifts that you can’t sell at all” for the student athletes in this game include yet another Fossil Watch and a $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy. 420. Seriously. While this is awesome in and of itself… if I was participating, I’d really want something a bit more connected with the game’s sponsor, like, say “cash” or medieval weaponry.
Ohio State is 1-3 in this game, with their only win coming against BYU in 1985. The last B1G team to win this game was… wait for it… TTUN, giving Urban Meyer his only loss in Llllloyd Carr’s final game. Alec Baldwin was not involved in any way.
Georgia Scouting Report – At the beginning of the season, the Bulldogs’ head coach found himself on a short list of coaches that might be replaced in January. A brilliant campaign that led to a three way tie in the SEC East and a berth in the SEC Championship Game has certainly stopped those whispers. The Dawgs’ best win was the “upset” of Florida in the Swamp, where they held the Gators to nine points; their most heartbreaking loss was against Alabama in the SECCG- a game that was decided by really poor clock management at the end of the contest. Georgia’s offense is led by the aerial attack of Aaron Murray and Tavarres King, while Todd Gurley’s 1260 yards on the ground help balance the Bulldogs’ game plan. However, it’s linebacker Jarvis Jones who gets the headlines most often, his numbers are among the tops in the nation and certainly better than a certain Heisman candidate.
Buckeye Connection- The Buckeyes are 1-o against Georgia, although any chance for a more current assessment went by the wayside when the proposed series against the Bulldogs was cancelled to set up the B1G/PAC challenge… which was then cancelled. If it helps, Urban Meyer owns Mark Richt. Read More