Now that the New Year has come and gone, college football is winding down and the NFL is working its way into finding their new champion (it will be the Patriots).
As far as bowl picks go, I did pretty crampy once New Year's Eve came. Going into Monday I was 11-4 but Monday's game were bad to me.
I started off ok as Cal was able to hang on and beat Air Force. The Falcons opened the game the way I expected it to happen. They were happy to be their playing while the Golden Bears were going through the motions. Air Force jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Cal put in backup quarterback Kevin Riley. Riley came in during the second quarter and threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns while also running for a touchdown to lead the Cal comeback and get the win 42-36. My record 12-4.
Here's where it gets ugly. I thought USF's defense, the one that shut down West Virginia, would be able to slow down Oregon. Especially since the Ducks didn't have the services of Dennis Dixon. The game wasn't even close as the Bulls had no answer for Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart who finished with 253 yards and a touchdown while freshman quarterback Justin Roper threw for four scores to lead Oregon to a 56-21 blowout win. The Ducks broke the game open with a 28 point third quarter. My record 12-5.
At least one FSU did me proud on Monday as Fresno State was able to beat Georgia Tech 40-28 in the Humanitarian Bowl. GT had to play from behind as the Bulldogs reeled off 27 straight points between the end of the first and the beginning of the third quarter. The Jackets did battle back to make it 34-28 with 13 minutes left in the fourth on the backs of some young players like quarterback Calvin Booker, but ran out of gas. My record 13-5.
Florida State kept the game closer than many people imagined but lost to Kentucky 35-28. Wildcat quarterback Andre Woodson threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns in leading his team to victory. The Seminole defense kept them in the game by forcing turnovers but finally ran out of gas and made a few dumb plays (yeah I mean you Geno Hayes) to let the Wildcats get their 35 points. I do feel ok about next season for the Noles depending on the suspensions and how they play out, but with many of the guys who played in the game coming back, I hope FSU can get it back together and contend for the conference title. My record 14-5.
I thought Indiana would have a chance to win based on their emotional season after losing their coach Terry Hoeppner to a brain tumor. I was wrong as Oklahoma State won 49-33 in the Insight Bowl. I don't even know what happened in this game because it was broadcast on the NFL Network and no one has it. I do known the Cowboys won. I do know that Zac Robinson had a huge game passing for 306 yards and running for 70 more. My record 14-6.
I said that Auburn's offense would not be able to score enough points to beat Clemson but they put up 423 yards of offense and won 23-20 after an OT touchdown run by quarterback Kody Burns. Burns threw for a touchdown and led Auburn in rushing with 69 yards. Anyone who has watched Troy play in recent years knows the numbers that Trojan quarterback Omar Haughabrook put up. Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin will have Burns making the same kind of plays for the next three years on the plains. My record 14-7.
First things first, thank you Phillip Fulmer for not bringing out the all orange uniforms in the Outback Bowl. It seems that Erik Ainge has been at Tennessee forever and he closed out his career with a 356 yard day as the Vols beat Wisconsin 21-17. Another game I got wrong and didn't watch much of except for the last drive. My record 14-8.
In the Cotton Bowl I was prepared to watch the two Heisman finalists Chase Daniel of Missouri and Darren McFadden of Arkansas, I was treated to the Tony Temple show as he ran for a Cotton Bowl record 281 yards and four touchdowns. The Tigers wore out Arkansas 38-7. I hope Arkansas has enjoyed their time with D-Mac and Felix Jones because I think they both will be gone. McFadden will most likely be a top-10 pick and Jones has to know that his stock won't get any better without McFadden to take the pressure off. Back to the game, the Razorbacks never looked in it from the start as Mizzou had their way with them. My favorite part of the game was Temple scoring his last touchdown he cramped up at the five yard line. One of his lineman scooped him up in his arms and carried him off the field. My record 14-9.
It looked like I would be wrong again as Virginia held a two touchdown lead with three minutes to go in the Gator Bowl. Texas Tech finally broke out of their funk to win the game 31-28 on a last second field goal by Alex Trlica. Graham Harrell continued to put up the crazy numbers passing for 407 yards and three touchdowns. UVA seemed in control until they lost quarterback Jameel Sewell. Harrell will be back next season to put up the crazy numbers. My record 15-9.
Nice way to send off Lloyd Carr Michigan, even if I did pick against them. The Wolverines won 41-35 after the Gators last effort fell short. Tim Tebow continued the Heisman jinx by picking a bad time to play a "bad" game. Tebow still threw for three touchdowns but he was under pressure all game. The game was back and forth the entire game with Mike Hart fumbling twice after fumbling only three time his entire career, Chad Henne threw two interceptions. The Michigan seniors were able to finally win a bowl game and cap their careers. Percy Harvin started his audition for the Heisman next season with 165 yards rushing and a touchdown to go with another 77 receiving and a touchdown. Also of note, my cousing Lutrel Alford, who is a 300 pound defensive lineman, returned a kickoff seven yards. My record 15-10.
USC rolled Illinois 49-17 proving once again that the Rose Bowl needs to stop picking their coveted Big 11 vs Pac-10 matchups. Illinois never looked in the game as USC outclassed them the entire game. My record 16-10.
I thought Colt Brennan and Hawaii's offense would still be able to put up points but they looked just as bad as Illinois. The Bulldogs dominated from start to finish in a 41-10 win. Brennan was under siege all night and did not look like a Heisman contender. Time will tell if Brennan has the game to play on Sundays.
Now that college football is over, time for big conference basketball to season to start.