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.
Getting ready for the next phase of college fandom, that wonderful world filled with gifts of college hoops and bowl catastophies. As such, here’s the soundtrack for this week’s look back.
Robert Frost once said, “Nothing Gold can stay”; and so, another leaf turns and this college football season comes to a close. Before we jump into Championship Weekend, let me take a second to say “Thank You” to a great Ohio State blog and BBN member who hung up their keyboards this week- Dave and Drew, Godspeed on the next adventure.
Well, the crapocalypse is surely upon us- we’ve now got the choice to pull for Notre Dame or for Alabama in the Mythical National Title game come January; although I’m still holding out hope that the Mayans were right.
Alabama punched their ticket to yet another dance via a dominant second half performance against a very game Georgia team. Throughout the first half and into the third quarter, it looked as if the Bulldogs had figured out a way to neutralize the Bama defense, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown only extended the sense of dread that Alabama fans must have been feeling throughout the sold-out Georgia Dome.
And then Nick Saban remembered that he had a running game. From that moment on, the Crimson Tide’s offensive line and stable of running backs managed to decimate the Georgia defense, churning clock and yardage. After running all over the Black and Red, it only made sense that Alabama’s last score would come on a beautifully executed play action pass- everyone, including the cameramen and your humble correspondent bit on the fake, and McCarron’s ball was perfectly targeted for the score.
Again, kudos to the Georgia team; they refused to give up even under dire circumstances and dwindling clock. They managed to drive to the red zone in a short amount of time, but then made decisions that I’m still trying to figure out.
After passing for the first down on the Alabama 8 yard line, Georgia chose to run a play and not spike the ball for clock stoppage goodness- they had used their last time outs forcing the Tide to punt on the previous series. The process of setting the play up itself cost them a good 5 seconds or so, and then they chose to run the following attempt:
There’s a lot of things that went wrong here- the pass was tipped at the line, and the receiver should have intentionally dropped it (although that’s a hard thing to do, as it goes against years of practice). But the decision to not control the clock a bit better at the end send Nick Saban to Miami to defend his team’s national title, and ended up pushing Georgia to game against the B1G Championship Runner Up (more later). Read More
Sure, there’s games on Monday, but the weekend has been so amazing that we just couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle for our reflections on the games of note. Plus, are we really all that excited about a game that’s all technical and stuff? I thought not. Obvious choice for this week’s soundtrack… happy Labor Day.
Whew… I’ve got to admit, I should have been working out with Coach Mick during the offseason. Saturday found me trying to knock the rust off of my college football regimen, although I can definitely say that I was well hydrated. I’m guessing that’s what happened during the livechat- I hadn’t prepared enough, and brought the jinxation. You can breathe a sigh of relief, though- when I caught the replay on Sunday, my presence made no difference in the outcome… Baby steps, right?
From the looks of things, a number of teams were still in “preseason” form, and didn’t have their moves down pat just yet. For instance, while I’m sure that Dabo Swinney’s mom is sure proud of him for leading his fellers to victory over North Carolina State, she certainly couldn’t have been too excited that his first steps leading the team onto the turf ended up in a faceplant. That, combined with this excellent display of exuberance are enough to remind Volunteer fans that their team still has some work to do. Which is good… no one likes to peak during the first weekend of games- well, no one outside of the B1G, that is (more later).
Some of the butterflies were even evident in the Southern Idaho State University trip to East Lansing. Sure, the B1G represented well, as Michigan State showed many why they are a favorite for the conference title… but the game turned out to be “off-script” for both teams. For instance, no matter how hard they tried, Rob Harley’s new squadron couldn’t “Sparty” the game away. Shocker. Oh, and SISU broke their streak of beating out of conference teams when they have a ridiculously long time to prepare… effectively ending their bid at a BCS bowl until they join a legitimate BCS conference in the Big Eas…. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t bring myself to type that. The game also gave us a pretty amazing interception- as always, Tim Burke has ALL the great screencaps and stuff from the weekend’s events.
Saturday’s festivities kicked off with Notre Dame pounding the living stuffing out of Navy in their game in the Emerald Isle… Brian Kelly, why you no like America? And then, your boys let this happen?
Man, back in my day, we fought revolutions for less <adjusts tricorner cap>. Read More
Continuing our look across the vast expanse that is the honorable bowl season…
History: Believe it or not, this is the thirteenth edition of this epic endeavor, which is on at least it’s fourth sponsor. Played, as you know, on the smurf turf of Southern Idaho State, it was a home game for the Broncos on four occasions and for the Idaho Vandals on two others. My personal favorite memory of the game is the 2006 clash between ‘Da U and Nevada- great to see a team from Florida have to play a bowl game in that horrid thing called “weather”.
One of the “neat” aspects of this game is the decision to honor a “Highway Angel” as a part of the festivities- a over the road truck driver who risked his or her life in order to benefit another motorist in danger. Although, I’m not sure “Hey, you get to be in Boise in December” will be a very strong motivation.
Undefeated in MAC play until their upset at the hands of Miami’s Redhawks, this season has been another in a string of successes for Coach Jerry Kill, now the head coach at the University of Minnesota. Ironically, of the two Big T1e1n teams that NIU played, the Gophers were the ones the Huskies defeated, losing by 6 at Illinois earlier in the season. This game will be Tom Matukewicz’ opportunity to earn the top spot. I’m sure vaunted alumni Krusty the Klown is looking for continued excellence.
MAC player of the year Chad Spann leads the Huskies with an average of 5.6 yards per carry, although quarterback Chandler Harnish has set the Northern Illinois record for total offense in the season with 2230 yards through the air and 764 yards on the ground to amass 25 touchdowns. Defensively, Jake Coffman has achieved 12 tackles for a loss to go with his 6.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one blocked kick.
NIU/Buckeye Connections: Fortunately the game turned out to be an Ohio State win, but the 2006 game in Columbus was definitely the coming out party for Husky running back Garrett Wolfe.
This will be the fifth time that the Huskies will be facing off against the Bulldogs of Fresno State, a program that has made its name on being willing to play anyone, anywhere, anytime. Winning those games might be another story, but you’ve got to appreciate FSU’s scheduling philosophy. For the Humanitarian Bowl, the University has chosen to give free tickets to any student who wants to make the trip north- again, not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse, given that FSU has to pay for tickets anyway. You’d think that they’d be able to hit up their comedic genius alumni for help with that… and perhaps they have.
Defensive end Chris Carter is the team’s MVP, and the anchor for a defense that has amassed 37 sacks on the season. However, they’ll be missing Kyle Knox, who’s been suspended for the game. On offense, quarterback Ryan Colburn is completing 62% of his passes for 21 touchdowns and over 2500 yards through the air.
Fresno State/Buckeye connections: I looked, but didn’t find any historical meeting between Ohio State and the Bulldogs, although I did find some people who were convinced that the Buckeyes would be over matched by FSU. Man, I miss those guys. The Bulldogs finished their season with an upset win over common opponent Illinois, so I’m thinking they may be back. Correction- As Eric pointed out, the Buckeyes have faced the Bulldogs on two occasions. Total scores- 77-20.
Who Are We Picking?
For me, I like the consistency and “moxie” that Pat Hill brings to his team and their effort, and believe that the coaching transition might be too great of a distraction for the Huskies from DeKalb.
While I will strive to NOT post boring stuff just for the sake of posting, I want to make a solid effort to blog on a daily basis. I realize that i have very few readers right now, but that is no excuse for laziness…as a matter of fact, it’s a GREAT way to build a following. I’ll probably also tweak the template a few times in the near future, to see if I can get a near-perfect look to The BBC. Of course, Blogger.com is free, so I realize I can’t be too picky. Still, I like what I see so far.
Anyway, let’s get into discussing the Iowa game this weekend. Everybody knows how huge this game is. Before the season started, I pointed towards three games that I felt could trip up the Buckeyes….Texas, Iowa, and TTUN (That Team Up North, for fans new to the terminology). ESPN is sending GameDay to Iowa City (where Corso will probably pick the Hawkeyes just to get fans there to cheer for him). ABC has made it their nationally-televised Saturday Night College Football Game. Translation – EVERYBODY knows how huge this game is.
Still, some Iowa fans seem to think that Ohio State is overlooking the Hawkeyes and this will lead directly to our demise. Whatever gets you through the night, Herky.
Now, I am NOT underestimating Iowa when I say this….but I just don’t see anything that has impressed me in the 2006 season. I’m not sure Iowa has shown why they are capable of upsetting the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes.
We’ve heard about how great Iowa’s offense is supposed to be, behind QB Drew Tate. Yet, they’ve got the 40th ranked offense in the NCAA. By contrast, Northern Illinois has the 17th best offense and Texas has the 23rd best offense. Even Penn State is barely behind Iowa, ranked at 44th in the NCAA. We stifled all three of those offenses.
The Iowa defense? Not too bad….ranked 26th in the NCAA. But let’s be serious here…they got that lofty ranking by playing against the offenses of Iowa State (60th-ranked offense), Illinois (63rd-ranked offense), Syracuse (99th-ranked offense) and Montana (Dision 1-AA school). They’re not going to be facing a weak offense like that this Saturday.
Now, these are just the numbers as they appear on paper…you know the cliche’ about the game not being played on paper, but those stats say a lot.
From what I see, if both teams play like they have been playing all year, this one’s a blowout. But I won’t dare predict that, because I think Iowa will be looking for the respect they badly need. The Buckeyes better be ready….but then again, I have faith in Tressel.