New Year’s Day Bowl Game Recap…Is USC the best and is the ACC the worst?

January 02, 2008 |

Biggest Upset: Michigan over Florida
Michigan’s senior class finally won a bowl game. Coach Lloyd Carr is carried off the field in his last game. The Wolverines dominated throwing and running all over the Florida defense. Michigan coughed up four crucial turnovers and still managed to put the hammer down. The Gators are not the top team heading into 2008 as most of the media is attempting to portray. They need help on defense. This day belonged to Lloyd Carr, Chad Henne and Mike Hart. They came up big in their last Maize & Blue performance.

Biggest Surprise: Missouri just pounding Arkansas
This Cotton Bowl was hard to watch. While the Razorback defense was set up to stop QB Chase Daniel from throwing the ball, they forgot about RB Tony Temple, who rushed for 281 yards and four TDs, both records in the 72-year history of the Cotton Bowl. Darren McFadden was shut down as he now heads to the NFL ranks (at least that is my call). And Missouri goes on to prove they should have been in a BCS game. Watch out for the Tigers next season.

Biggest Mismatch: Hawai’i meets a real foe
The undefeated Hawai’i Warriors, whew! Welcome to real competition. This is what happens when you only play two teams on a 12 game schedule that have a winning record. Georgia crushed this team from the first snap. QB Colt Brennan, welcome to a real defense. He was harassed, sacked, pounded, intercepted and off target. What positives Boise State accomplished last year for non-BCS teams after beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Hawai’i may have completely undone.

Is USC the best team out there?
I am not swallowing that pill yet as many others are with a few big games left to play to say the least. The Trojans did look the part in dismantling an Illinois team that wasn’t a bad ball club. But they had no business being paired with USC. Sure the Illini beat Ohio State in Columbus and on this day the money probably would have also been on USC to beat Ohio State in a game played in Los Angeles. So how did USC lose two games? A game at Oregon they lost when Ducks QB Dennis Dixon was still healthy at the same time Trojan QB John David Booty was not. Stanford shocked the world beating USC because the Trojans had so many injuries. You know what, most every team had to deal with injuries this season. Deal with it…

Hunker Down You Hairy Dawgs
The Georgia defense today was every bit as good as the one USC fielded. Seriously, the Dawgs got busy. This was the best pass rush I have seen all season from a DL. Some have clamored that Georgia is also playing the best overall football right now, just like the polls showed before LSU jumped them based on the SEC Championship Game, which Georgia was not a part of. I’ll put the Georgia team I saw today up against anyone under this debate.

The ACC…Not good
After a 2-5 record through the bowl games so far, I am even more convinced the ACC is that bad. Since the merger with three teams from the Big East this conference continues to sink deeper, beyond mediocrity. Sitting back watching each team grasping for moral victories after bowl losses to non-ranked opponents makes one realize how far this league has to go.

Interim Coaches – forget about it
Six teams this bowl season have competed with interim and/or new coaches after the head coach departed (Navy, UCLA, Houston, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Arkansas). Guess what, all six of these teams have lost. Good Luck tonight WVU!

Split National Championship
No one on ESPN GameDay talked about a scenario where two-loss LSU wins a close BCS National Championship Game while another two-loss team like USC, Georgia or Oklahoma gets a split national championship vote from the AP Poll. Remember the AP Poll? While they are no longer part of the BCS formula, they still have a huge say. This could be more interesting than people realize.

What a day!