Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.
And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.
While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.
Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.
As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.
While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.
Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.
Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.
That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS. I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do. You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.
With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.
And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.
And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.
By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the
B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).
That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.
Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.
That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game. That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.
Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance. Splendid.
Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:
Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.
Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.
And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?
That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests. See what you think:
The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.
All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.
But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:
Alabama’s run at the top of tBBC’s top ten was short lived. A missed field goal that was promptly returned 100 (officially) yards basically ended Bama’s hopes of a 3rd straight national title.
Ohio State survived a failed 2 point conversion attempt by TTUN to win their regular season finale and FSU beat and battered a Florida team who lost to Georgia Southern the week before.
|Pos.||Team (1st Votes)||LW|
|1||Florida State (7)||2|
|2||Ohio State (3)||3|
Dropped Out – Wisconsin
That brings us to championship week. Three games will essentially decide who will play for the crystal ball.
The biggest one of all will be the 3rd annual B1G championship game in Indianapolis. For the first time in its short history, the game is a sell out and will match the 2nd ranked Buckeyes vs the 10th ranked Spartans of Michigan State. If the Buckeyes win, they should be playing for all the marbles. That game is at 8pm eastern time.
At 4pm, the SEC championship will be decided in Atlanta between Auburn and Missouri. If Auburn can win, they will no doubt sit back and watch the B1G champ game with baited breath.
Down in Charlotte, NC, the Duke Blue Devils will attempt to finish their Cinderella season with a monumental upset of the number 1 ranked Seminoles of Florida State.
Other games of interest: Oklahoma travels to Oklahoma State for Bedlam, Texas travels to Baylor and Stanford will travel to Arizona State to battle for the PAC 12 championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Stop back next week and see who’ll be playing for the crystal ball in January.
If the pounds of fried turkey and sweet potato pie that you ate on Thursday didn’t give you a heart attack, this week’s college football games certainly were going to do their damnedest to finish the job.
Rivalries, by nature, raise the blood pressure of those involved… if they didn’t it would be called a “friendly tiff” or an “untimely spat”. Add the magnitude of what was on the line for some teams, and you’ve surely got the makings for one of the most memorable weekends of the year, if not all times.
We’ve already discussed the awesomeness that was the victory in The Game, and join the rest of Buckeye Nation in sending Tyvis Powell the kinds of “thank you” that would be approved by the NCAA. TWTW doesn’t often spend time rehashing Buckeye wins, but man… that’s one to savor. Right, Eddie?
Kudos to Coach Hoke and his team in their preparation and gameplan, and for the decision to go for it all at the end. It didn’t work out, but it was a great call. Kudos to Devin Gardner as well- after a rough year, and on a bad wheel, he really put it all on the line for his team. I’m not gloating, but that’s how the game is meant to be played… win or lose, you leave everything on the field.
While I’m here, I can’t figure out how only one of these guys was ejected from the game, and that it wasn’t the first one to throw a punch (#34). The Buckeye reaction was understandable, but inappropriate given the program and the magnitude of the game. That being said, if you’re looking for Christmas gifts for me…
But this amazing weekend started well before kickoff in Ann Arbor. Thursday’s rivalry action in the Egg Bowl saw an injured quarterback enter into Mississippi State legend status, leading his team to an overtime win with a touchdown run on fourth and 1 from near the goal-line. Sometimes, gutsy calls work out for the home team. Also on Thursday, Texas fans saw another big win… one big enough to celebrate with a shirt and a Mack Brown contract extension? Yeah, probably not.
Friday’s game that should be called “Farmageddon” but isn’t saw the start of the Christmas season in Lincoln Nebraska. At least that had to be what the Huskers thought, since One Weisman was enough to do a ton of damage to the Blackshirt defense. That Nebraska lost was surprising enough, but for me the really interesting part of the game was the media response during and after. Coach Pelini has been on a hot seat, and you could sense his frustration even during the typical halftime “let’s chat on your way to the locker room” interview.
Postgame, someone asked him about his job status and… well, listen to his response here.
Essentially, he says “look, you’re making a story out of something that I have no control over, and your decision to do so is hurting our players and our team. If the people in charge want to fire me, they can.”
The storyline from the game? “If they want to fire me, go ahead“, as if he was calling his AD and the University leadership out. Of course they didn’t talk about his comments ripping the media for impacting the program… it’s like they say. Read More
Another week, another change at the top. Whether it’s legal troubles or the fact people realize FSU’s schedule isn’t all that great, Alabama has regained it’s spot atop tBBC top ten.
|Pos.||Team (1st Votes)||LW|
|2||Florida State (4)||1|
|3||Ohio State (1)||3|
Dropped out – Stanford, Baylor, Oregon
Huge games on the docket this week with major BCS national championship implications. On top of that “game” up there in TSUN, Alabama will travel to Auburn, FSU travels to the swamp to take on Florida, Clemson travels to South Carolina, and Johnny Football travels to the Zoo to take on Missouri.
Stop back after The Game and see all the movers and shakers in tBBC top ten.
If the pundits and voters would only listen to us, they’d understand that the B1G is due some respect.
With three teams in the latest tBBC Top Ten, the Legendary Leaders put one more than the ACC, PAC, B12, and SEC.
(Not that we’re biased or anything)
|Pos.||Team (1st Votes)||LW|
|1||Florida State (5)||1|
|3||Ohio State (1)||3|
The biggest mover is the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who leap up to the eight spot right before they host Baylor on Saturday. Mike Gundy’s team worked Texas over on Saturday in preparation of facing the undefeated Bears.
Wisconsin also joins the Top 1o for the first time this season, tied with their two loss brothers who forgot to play Stanford Football again on Saturday.
Missouri and South Carolina also received votes this week.
Are we on the money or off base? In the comments, let us know what you think…
In a week full of surprises, this is a pretty good soundtrack for your Monday morning reading.
Sometimes life gives you some unexpected gifts. You’re set up on a date to be a wingman for a friend who’s girl has a cousin in town, and you end up in an amazing marriage together. You open a book and find an old letter from a friend that you’d forgotten about. A seldom worn jacket has cash in the pocket. Mowing the grass reveals a dog you’d forgotten you had. You let a friend borrow your truck and he has it detailed while he’s got it.
On second thought, that last one probably means that he used it to transport a body or something. Let’s move on.
This week in college football was like that- on paper, there weren’t any marquee “games of the century”. But, as we know, games aren’t played on paper- instead the tiny men who square off in our TV sets gave us some fantastic finishes and an incredible weekend of sports.
Let’s start in the B12… We give Charlie Weis and the Jayhawk program a lot of well deserved grief hereabouts, so I’ll be among the first to celebrate their win over the couch fire that has become the West Virginia program. It’s hard to say that Coach Holgorsen might be in a bit of a rebuilding year, but it’s certainly difficult to see the Mountaineer program fall so quickly from the tops of the conference.
That’s not to take anything away from Kansas- great win, gang. However, let’s not get all carried away, shall we?
Ohio State fans are certainly well aware of the Baylor Bears, who now are poised to jump the Buckeyes in the “we’re still totally making this up as we go” BCS standings. Baylor continued their undefeated season with a big win over Texas Tech on Saturday, a Raiders team that was a media darling following a soft early season schedule, but has now dropped four straight games. What the #narrative won’t tell you as they tout Baylor’s 63-34 win is that the Bears were trailing 20-7 in the first quarter. But hey… shiny!
With all the firepower that the Bears bring to the table one of the surprises is that it was Tech that gave us our first “catch of the week” nominee. For another angle, check this out:
Interestingly enough, the B12 also brings us the hit of the week, which was 100% targeting. It’s a Vine, but check out the shot that this trooper puts on this fan who decides that he wants to be a part of the action… If only Stoops’ team had tackled that well against Baylor. Read More
It’s not summer yet, no matter how many days of 90+ degree weather that we have in Los Angeles… but the summer blockbuster season is upon us. With that in mind, let’s revisit an SBP favorite for this week’s soundtrack.
The beauty of it is, kids are kids and people are people, and if they first and foremost feel that you care about them and that you really are there to serve them, it’s easy. I’ve had the chance to hone those skills for many, many, many years, and to me it’s second nature to want to see what I can do for someone.
This also sounds familiar,
That marketing and television and all of the funds that are involved in major college athletics have certainly taken a little bit of control, not just for the institution, but I think it’s affected the experience for the youngsters. It’s not necessarily what I believe in, and I worry a little bit that there’s so much time invested into that singular passion, that — are we giving them the experiences that they are going to need through the rest of their lives?
Akron students… I hope you know how fortunate you are.
Oh, college football… How I love you!!
Well, that happened.
While a lot of people were saying that Alabama was ripe for a loss against a Texas A&M team that’s been playing really well over the past few weeks, most of this felt like lip service. You know, the kind of things that ESPN makes one person say on the Gameday set in order to appear unbiased.
And then- “Johnny Football”.
There are a lot of reasons why Alabama lost- coming off of an emotional win on the road in Death Valley, LSU’s offense showed a lot of people the issues that the Tide have in their secondary, Saban’s fear of the high speed offense is based on his knowledge of his team’s weaknesses; but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies outplayed Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, in several key areas of the game.
The Crimson Tide defensive front was stifled, for the most part, by the aTm offensive tackles. Combined with concerns about a quarterback’s mobility, the Tide were not able to mount the type of disruptive pressure that they are so used to.
Alabama’s offense made key mistakes and turnovers, and seemed out of rhythm all night long. The three turnovers didn’t help, particularly when the Tide defense couldn’t get any of their own… and the mental errors were even more egregious. On the final interception, it seems to me that the receiver on the end of the line of scrimmage did a poor job getting depth in the end zone, making it easy for defenders to cover both him and the primary target. In addition, with Bama’s defense stiffening and forcing a punt, to have a member of their punt return/block team create a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down is an aggressive penalty, but one that is terrible to have happen in that circumstance. Again, the intensity was there for the student in question, but the lack of focus eventually cost them a final chance at victory.
But we can’t miss the point here- this game was won by Johnny Manziel’s continual ability to make plays and put the Tide defense on their heels.
After the third week in a row with this type of performance (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State), the redshirt freshman has lifted himself into Heisman candidacy- and for good reason. Given the lack of a clear “star” this year, given Matt Barkley’s struggles, the game this weekend was his “Flutie to Phelan” moment; outstanding performance in high profile opportunity. I’ll leave the debate to others, but will certainly enjoy watching the electricity that all of these candidates provide.
Even if he doesn’t win this year, you’ve got to think that next year’s Heisman race is going to be something spectacular- Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Everett Gholston, Tahj Boyd, DeAnthony Thomas… and those are just the ones I’ve got off the top of my head.
(And since I’m on the topic, I think that Marquis Lee needs to be included in this year’s debate. But that’s just me).
Does this loss end the run of SEC titles in the final year of the BCS? Well, not exactly… more on this in a bit.