College Football’s 2014 Resolution of MOAR SPEED AND OFFENSE gets off to a roaring start on New Year’s day with the potential of a BCS Shootout!
The History: The Fiesta Bowl has been a long standing tradition for Arizona football fans since 1971 and has seen some of the best moments in sports history. The Fiesta has been a major part of the BCS era, hosting an NCAA record seven national championship games. Over the last few years, the bowl has become popular for the amount of trick plays that have lead to wins. From Urban Meyer’s 2005 Utah squad, to the 2007 Boise State trick plays, there is no doubt that this bowl has been known as an exciting game to watch every single season.
Let’s relive some of those great moments. Starting with the three Boise State trick plays that beat Oklahoma…
And how about this good ol’ defensive stand on 4th and goal to give the Buckeyes the championship in double OT in 2003…
Buckeye Connection: As witnessed above, the Fiesta Bowl has been good to the Buckeyes. Ohio State has played in the Fiesta six times, defeating Notre Dame (2006), Miami (2003 Championship), Kansas State (2004) and Pittsburgh (1984). The Buckeyes have lost to Texas (2009) and Penn State (1980) in the Fiesta Bowl. Current Head Coach Urban Meyer defeated Ohio State as the head coach of Florida in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl National Championship. Meyer also lead Utah to a 35-7 win over Pitt in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.
The Buckeyes faced UCF last season, lead by current quarterback Blake Bortles in the second game of the year, winning 31-16. Braxton Miller rushed for three touchdowns on a then career high 27 carries. He was the first OSU quarterback in over 34 years to run for three scores.
Despite not playing each other since 1982, a lot of talk during the season from the media and fans pitted Baylor against Ohio State as a matchup they’d like to see at the end of the season. Ohio State and Baylor have only played twice against each other, with OSU holding a 2-0 record against the Bears.
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
You know what’s interesting about college sports? Call it “the circle of life”, call it “karma” (j/k, don’t do that) call it “Brent Musberger’s Vegas Connections”, but the fact is that things just seem to work themselves out.
In spite of efforts to create story lines and “narrative”, teams win and teams lose and everyone gets to play in a bowl. Well, almost everyone.
It’s like I’ve been saying all season- “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Play well, win the game you’re in, and let the chips fall where they may.
Sure, it’s great that you’re averaging a metric bucketload of points every week, but when you don’t hit that target what will you do? Case in point: Texas A&M, Oregon, and Baylor combined for 41 points in their three losses. yesterday. That’s less than Oregon and Baylor were each averaging per game.
As the prophet said, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get hit in the mouth”.
The Ducks went down in spectacular fashion, giving Rich Rodriguez a home upset of a nationally ranked team that will surely a) earn him an extension and b) give Michi1gAAn fans eternal heartburn. Not only did Mariotti throw his first interception of the year in the game as a result of that great play you see above, but he then tossed his second on the way to a 42-16 loss in Tuscon. It’s not that the Ducks were without flash and sizzle… it’s just that they never found a rhythm and were unable to play Stanford football.
Baylor came into Stillwater not having won there in forever… and left the same way. The nation’s top offensive team was unable to deal with the different looks that TBPU gave them, and struggled to get their high octane offense going.
In addition, their vaunted defensive front didn’t create any consistent pressure or stop Oklahoma State’s bigger specialists from making play after play. I guess the Lord helps those who help their Chelf.
Helmet sticker goes to the “turf monster”, though, who seemed to be the leading tackler for both teams. He also made a big play by interfering with a Baylor snap late in the game to solidify the win for the up and coming Cowboy team.
As for Johnny Freaking Football, he and the Aggies continued their trend of underperforming against top competition. As our friend @FightOnTwist pointed out earlier in November, Manziel is an amazing quarterback, but his interceptions often lead to opposing teams’ scores; and other than the win in Tuscaloosa, he’s been pretty pedestrian versus teams that are nationally ranked.
Against LSU on Saturday, his one TD pass was coupled with only 1g completions and two interceptions as the Aggies fell again to LSU by a 34-10 score. I guess you could say he got beaten like a… well… yeah. Read More
The polls are changing. A win at Illinois that left Buckeye Nation questioning everything. Saturday night brought us the end of the Stanford story. We’ll round up all the mass hysteria and make sense of it. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
Bye week hangover
Despite racking up 60 points and Carlos Hyde having a career day on the ground, the general consensus nationally was that the Buckeyes somehow “escaped” in their battle with the Illini. I’ll be the first to admit that this was clearly not the best performance we have seen from the Buckeyes in 2013, but it was hardly if ever in doubt. Oh, and they put up 60 points.
There were a lot of factors in play working against the good guys on Saturday.
Out due to injury, Joshua Perry and Curtis Grant left a gaping hole in the linebacker group. Joey Bosa’s injury took another starter off the field for the Silver Bullets.
Offensively things never seemed to click as timing was off and Braxton Miller seemed to get out of sorts in the middle stages of the game. He was also getting hit hard by the Illini defense, once illegally. Jack Mewhort missed some time during those same middle portions of the game while they looked at a tweak in his knee.
You can’t discount the mood in general, either. The stadium was half full, giving it an almost sleepy feel from the start. I hear you, that shouldn’t matter. But add in that they were near 30 point favorites who are still kids that read their own hype, mix in a week layoff and it is a ripe situation for a letdown. I think it became obvious when they went up 28-0 early that the foot came directly off the gas pedal and the machine was switched into cruise control. Read More
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
As everyone has told Buckeye fans all season long, “let the games play themselves out” and that they are. Another top unbeaten team has fallen and this time it was a biggie.
Oregon was dominated for 54 minutes by Stanford last Thursday and have fallen out of the top spot. Not a lot else really went on this past weekend of note, as Alabama rolled over LSU as did FSU over Wake. The Buckeyes enjoyed their second bye week of the year and prepare to take on the final 3 regular season games.
|Pos.||Team (1st Votes)||LW|
|1||Florida State (6)||2|
|3||Ohio State (1)||4|
Others receiving votes: Texas A&M, South Carolina, Illinois (hey, we need all the help we can get)
Florida St takes over the top spot with a .2 margin over Alabama. Florida St will enjoy a week off while Alabama will travel to Mississippi St.
The only battle of ranked opponents this week is Georgia and Auburn. This is a big game for Auburn as they point towards their battle with the Crimson Tide on November 30th. As for the Buckeyes, they travel to Champaign to battle for the Illibuck trophy.
Stop back next week and see all the comings and goings of the Buckeye Battle Cry’s top ten!!
Today’s soundtrack thanks our Veterans for all that they’ve done…
Ok, class… time for a quiz. What did we learn this week?
We learned that the template for beating Oregon has not changed. Control the ball and the clock with power running, Don’t turn the ball over, Take advantage of turnovers, and Hold on for dear life.
While this would seem to be the obvious solution to beating any team, Stanford has certainly shown that it’s a template for stopping one of the most powerful offenses in the country. By continuing to do so on Thursday night, the Cardinal looked like Ohio State and Auburn and LSU… and the Duck Dynasty were bumped off the path to the National Title game.
If that wasn’t enough, on Saturday the Head Duck even showed his newest uniform… and this one will probably not be welcomed with open arms in Eugene.
We also learned something that we should have already known; sometimes these are the most difficult of lessons. Even here at tBBC we’ve highlighted again and again that “Big Game Bob” is a myth, that other than a BCS game against UConn (not a difficult thing, no matter what Michigan fans will tell you) and some wins over Texas during their programmatic slide, the Sooners have not managed to win the big one at anywhere near a dominant success rate.
Even this year they were embarrassed by a Texas Team that was searching for it’s identity, and have a “quality win” over a Texas Tech team who’s now dropped three in a row. We should have known better than to expect wonders from the team from Norman, but there Buckeye fans were, hoping that they’d handle a Baylor team that’s been setting scoreboards on fire.
We forgot that they have no downfield passing game, and their running game is predicated on a fullback at quarterback. And so, even though it looked close at the outset, we couldn’t be too surprised when Oklahoma collapsed in a heap of it’s own making.
And Baylor? Well, Baylor continues to look absolutely fabulous. With contests against TTU, TBPU and Texas upcoming in their season, the Bears are by no means shoo-ins for the conference title, but the path is pretty clear.
To be fair to the Longhorns, they’ve turned the season around and remained undefeated after their overtime win in the first Texas trip to Morgantown as a part of the new conference configuration. Judging by the responses on Shaggy Bevo, fans are somewhat torn by this turn of events- Winning is good, but how can they fire Mack if he manages to bring home a B12 Title this year? Read More