Monday, January 01, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

New Years Days Bowls

You have to hand it to Joe Paterno for coaching Penn St to victory over Tennessee from the press box. Phil Fulmer must be feeling a little uneasy after this one since the Volunteer faithful are getting tired of not winning the SEC then losing on New Years. With Paterno watching from the press box while recovering from a broken leg, Tony Hunt ran for 158 yards and Tony Davis returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown Monday, leading the Nittany Lions to a 20-10 victory over No. 17 Tennessee.

In the Cotton Bowl Auburn was able to outlast turnover prone Nebraska 17-14. The Huskers actually outplayed the Tigers most of the game, but just couldn't capitalize on offense. The Cornhuskers (9-5) opened with a dominating drive, but couldn't do much else right in their first January game in five years. Their bid for 10 wins ended when Zac Taylor threw an incompletion on fourth-and-11 from the Auburn 30 with 2:03 left.

Quarterback Patrick White led West Virginia back from an 18-point deficit in the second half for a 38-35 victory over Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl. The teams set a Gator Bowl record for scoring, breaking the previous mark set in Tennessee's 45-23 win over Virginia Tech in 1994. This one looked like a yawner but turned into a barnburner.

With its running game stifled and its quarterback under constant pressure, the Badgers did just enough to hold off No. 12 Arkansas 17-14 Monday in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Wisconsin won 12 games in a season for the first time and finished with a nine-game winning streak, although this was the Badgers' first win over a ranked team. Wisconsin now has a chance to finish the season in the top five, quite a reward for a team overshadowed by Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan.

USC, and Michigan are up next in what could be a classic Rose Bowl. Following that is probably the game I am most interested in as Oklahoma takes on Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Is Boise State ready for the big time?

Wake Forest, and Louisville square off in the Orange Bowl tomorrow night.

As the games are played I will be updating the blog, Happy 2007 everyone!

The Rose Bowl (The Grand Daddy of Them All)

A pretty tight first half as we have a 3-3 deadlock midway through the second quarter. The USC offense is starting to move the ball through the air but they just fumbled away the ball deep in Michigan territory. USC's defense has stuffed the Wolverines so far in the first half. I think SC has sacked them five times in the first half. Booty hasn't been able to get his team moving since the fumble. Michigan is only averaging 2 yards per carry. USC looks like they have an edge in team speed. We have 2:23 left in the first half, and it is still 3-3 with Michigan starting a drive from around their own 20 yard line. USC is just stuffing them at the line of scrimmage. Looks like it is going to be a defensive struggle where the team with the least mistakes wins by a couple at the end. The half ends 3-3.

Michigan stuffs USC on the first drive of the second half. Neither team can get anything going today on the ground. Michigan's Chad Henne pass was intercepted by USC's Lawrence Jackson at the Mich 43, returned for 5 yards to the Mich 38. Booty hits Jarrett with a nice pass to the 2, and SC converts on the next play to go ahead 10-3.

USC drives down the field on it's next possession to move up 16-3, and this one is about over. Booty has finally found a rythym and the Wolverines defense is starting to wear down. Duane Jarrett looks pretty good out there today, and grabbed the 23 yd TD pass.

On the next possesion Henne is sacked and fumbles the ball, USC takes over at the Michigan 30. The Trojans go for it on 4th down from the 20 and pick it up an inch. The Wolverines have their back up against the wall and are making SC earn this. On 3rd and ten Booty fires a strike to Smith for the first down at the Michigan 7. Michigan forces them to kick the field goal 19-3 USC with 48 seconds left in the 3rd qtr.

Michigan has to come out throwing if they are going to be able to get back in this game. The Wolverines respond well and drive through the air to the SC 20. They also pick up another 10 on a late hit. The wolverines strike through the air on the next play for the TD. Michigan decides to go for two and run it in on the ground. USC 19 Michigan 11.

Michigan comes out and plays some inspired defense, but against all odds Booty hit Jarrett for a 63 yard TD on third and long. USC 25 Michigan 11...ouch! USC just missed their second PAT.

Michigan responds by driving back down the field but had to give it up on downs inside the USC 20. USC decides to go for the juggler and drives down the field once again on the arm of Booty and the hands of Jarrett. Booty hits Smith in the endzone and this one is now over. USC 32 Michigan 11 with 6:52 left in the game. Obviously this is the best USC and Booty have played all season, and most of these guys are going to be back next year as USC should be #1 coming out of the gate to start the year. Hard to believe these guys lost to UCLA.

John David Booty is going to win the MVP of this game. He is 27/44 for 391 yards and 4 TD's with 6 minutes still left in the game. The announcers said some nice things about Taylor Mays. Pretty impressive freshmen year for this kid.

Final Score USC 32 Michigan 18

The Fiesta Bowl (Does the Slipper fit on Cinderella's foot?)

I am going to be all over this one. I really want to see what Boise State can do against an elite program. We of course have the Bronco's on the schedule next year and it will be nice preview to the future. Can the little dog run with the big dog?

Boise State is driving early in the first quarter against the Sooner's. Boise State goes long and hits on a 50 yard TD pass to take the lead 7-0. Oklahoma looks larger, and more physical but Boise seems to be pretty mobile, and disciplined, this hsould be a good one.

Oklahoma blows up on offense on the next drive when Thompson fumbles deep in their own territory. Boise State takes over and puts it in the end zone to take a 14-0 lead with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

Oklahoma starts chewing up yards on the ground in the next series. Looks like they are settling down after spotting BSU 14. Despite the score Oklahoma has better athletes and if they can eliminate the mistakes they should win. BSU is giving Thompson too much time, and Peterson is beginning to pick up yards in chunks. Thompson hits Johnson in the endzone, and the Sooner's are on the board. BSU 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Boise starts the second quarter form their own 18 yard line. This is a bog series for the Bronco's since the Sooner's have taken back momentum. BSU starts moving it down the field again with a nice pass followed by a 16 yard Johnson run. The drive stalls at midfield and the Soooners take over. The Sooners take over and drive but throw an interception in the end zone. The Sooners are doing everything they can to keep Boise in this game. Boise goes nowhere, and has to punt. The Sooners are in business near midfield. They get a big run from Patrick, and they get the ball deep into Boise territory at the 22. The drive stalls, and Oklahoma goes for the FG. BSU 14-10

Boise is starting to struggle now, and Oklahoma is starting to get in a groove. Oklahoma smothers Boise on the next drive. Oklahoma goes nowhere after taking over, and has to punt. Boise takes over, and hits a big pass to move the ball to midfield. Boise scores a 32 yard TD on a tremendous run and catch by Drisan James. BSU 21-10 going into the half. That was a huge play that switches the momentum around and keeps the Sooner's in a hole. Oklahoma has better talent, and they should be wearing the Bronco's down, but the longer you keep the underdog in the game the better the chance they come out with the win.

Boise goes 3 and out to open the first half. OU throws an interception for it's third turnover of the game and Boise takes over at midfield. I don't no what they were thinking on that one, looked more like a punt than a pass. Boise doesn't advance it and punts once again which backs up the Sooner's. Thompson then throws another interception that is returned for a TD by Boise. BSU 28-10.

Boise 3 and outs OU but makes a crucial mistake that may let the Sooner's back in the game. A punt takes a weird bounce and touches a Boise player and Oklahoma recovers inside the BSU 10 and Peterson runs it in for a TD. BSU 28-17

Momentum has swung again, and Oklahoma stuffs Boise on the next series. Oklahoma is driving on the next series completing a long pass play to get down to the Boise 32. Boise's defense looks like it is starting to tire out. The pursuit is wearing out. Oklahoma starts to stall at the ten and is sacked on 3rd down. OU is forced to kick a FG. BSU 28-20 as we start the 4th quarter.

Boise could use some points on this drive, and they keep Oklahoma off balance by keeping the ball on the ground for a couple of nice gains, and running some time off the clock. Boise is forced to punt at around midfield, and pins Oklahoma back at their own five. The Bronco's force Oklahoma to punt and they take over at midfield. Boise keeps running the ball with some success picking up a first down with 9:30 left. Boise fumbles the ball at the Oklahoma 29. That one hurt. Boise stops OU and forces them to punt.

Boise takes over from their own 20 with just under six minutes left. Boise runs some time off the clock and punts to Oklahoma with 2:40 left to go. Oklahoma moves the ball to midfield and this one is going down to the wire. On the next play they take it down to the Boise 20. Oklahoma scores a TD on a tipped pass in the endzone. Oklahoma has to go for 2 to tie the game, and they do on the third try after 2 penalties. 28-28

Boise has 1:26 to make something happen and get some points on the board to avoid overtime. Boise starts on the 25. Boise throws an interception and it is returned for a TD. Oklahoma 35-28....ouch!

Boise has :54 left to try to pull off the miracle. Zabransky hits a big one, but is sacked on the next play. :30 left to go and the Bronco's are at midfield. Boise just scored a TD on one of the greatest plays of all time. A completed pass than a lateral results in the last second TD which puts the game into overtime. Boise St 35 Oklahoma 35.

Boise State ends up winning this one in overtime by going for two after Oklahoma scored on it's first possesion. This one has to rank among the best college football games I have seen in some time. The Boise offense was just something else tonight. Boise St 43 Oklahoma 42

Husky Basketball Aftermath

We all know the Huskies had a terrible weekend dropping two in LA. You need to split on the road if you want to win the Pac Ten. I didn't expect them to lose to USC, but I didn't expect them to get routed by the Bruins. The Huskies have a lot of problems right now on the perimeter not being able to defense, or get the ball inside enough to take advantage of their big men. I'd like to be able to say it is a solvable problem, but this team can't make up for the loss of Brandon Roy, and Bobby Jones. Those two guys really brought it on the defensive side each nighr, plus Roy was able to just take over games. I think we have some great young talent, but the guards just don't have it at this point for this team to be be able to go very deep in the Big Dance.

Recruiting will heat up this coming weekend

Recruiting will pick up this coming weekend with a dozen PSA's coming in to visit the campus. UW currently is ranked third in the Pac Ten just a slot behind Oregon, and with a strong finish has a shot to be in the top 15 and #2 to USC when it is all said, and done. The Huskies have around seven spots left to fill. Those spots will probably go to DB's and linemen. I will put another recruiting summary up after the visits this coming weekend.

Saban to Alabama?

An Alabama official, speaking on the condition on anonymity, said earlier this week the Crimson Tide are interested in as many as five candidates to replace Shula, but Saban was clearly the top choice. The Alabama official said the school hoped to have Shula's replacement hired by Friday, which marks the beginning of an important recruiting weekend. Alabama has floated numbers that will be in the $4 to $4.5 million range, but over an 8- to 10-year term. Saban has three years left on his Dolphins deal worth approximately $4.5 million a year. Wayne Huizenga may have to bump him up considerably to keep him because the financial security gap is expected to be significantly different between the Dolphins and the Crimson Tide.

Minnesota fires Glen Mason

Minnesota fired Mason on Sunday, two days after the Gophers blew a 31-point third quarter lead against Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl and exactly one year after signing a four-year contract extension. "If we had not lost the way we had lost, we probably wouldn't be here today," athletic director Joel Maturi said. When reached at his home Sunday afternoon, Mason said the decision shocked him. "Most people are," Mason told's Ivan Maisel. "I was. You go to five straight bowl games and seven in 10 years. We played a good team and we lost."

Mason was 64-57 in 10 years at Minnesota and led the Gophers to seven bowl games. But he was just 3-4 in those games, with his latest loss proving to be the backbreaker despite the lengthy contract extension. The Gophers led the Red Raiders 38-7 in the third quarter on Friday before Tech orchestrated the biggest comeback in bowl history. The 44-41 loss dropped the Gophers to 6-7 for the season, the first time they have finished under .500 in five years.

WSU wins Capital One Mascot Competition

The Cougars may not be bowling this year but Clem the Cougar won the Capital One mascot contest this year.

Steve Schilling

Steve Schilling had a dissapointing first year at Michigan because he never hit the field because of injury, and illness. Schilling contracted a nasty case of Mononucleosis and missed practicing this season. He also had an old shoulder injury that they decided to clean up so the kid missed a complete year of development while redshirting. Steve should be ready to go this Spring, and he hopefully he will be able to put back the 25 pounds he lost while ill. Steve did not make the trip to Pasadena according to the Times.


Anonymous said...

I agree on the Oklahoma vs Boise State game. I am hoping Boise St. comes away with a win. It would be big for all West Coast schools...

Health Insurance Expert said...

I am really rooting for Boise State. This has to be the biggest athletic event in the history of Idaho. Do I think Boise can beat them...don't think so...they will need a lot of help.

Anonymous said...

So was I and that was a fun, and nerve-wracking, game to watch. Almost all the games were, regardless of which side you were pulling for. That was probably the best day of football I've watched in quite awhile.

Health Insurance Expert said...

The Boise State Game was the best football game I have seen in quite a while. For Boise and the smaller schools it represents a coming out party to the big time. This win will change the face of the college football landscape.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see how it will change the landscape, although I think that would be a good thing. I'd like to go back to the four big bowls one after another on New Year's day, but that just sentiment talking.

It's still going to be ruled by money and I'm kind of worried it will result in an even more concerted effort to keep small schools out of the picture. It takes a perfect season for one of them to make it in to the BCS now and I'm not sure the major conferences want to let them in. I don't "know" anything but I'm cynical by nature.

The only thing I'm certain of is that I was entertained. I shouldn't complain. :)

Health Insurance Expert said...

It is still going to be ruled by money, but you can bet Boise State generated some interest and drama which will generate money.

This was the best game of the day, and the overall effect is it will help the WAC compete at a much higher level in the future.

I think the small schools gained entrance tonight into a world they have been shut out of for 50 or so years.

nsc said...

Health Insurance Expert I don't see how this is really going to change anything. Boise will come back down to earth next year after they losee 22 seniors just as Utah did two years ago. They both made the BCS and won games but they are not big time teams. I mean I am a Bulldog fan (Fresno State) and I am admitting we have no chance of ever winning it all. Money rules the world, a playoff would never be run fairly, and the BCS will continue to shut out mid majors. As much as I want to believe that this game would change the landscape the presidents are just too damn stubborn to ever let that happen.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I think it changes from the perspective that there will always be an opening for a mid major team that is deserving. Tulane, Boise, UTEP, Utah, Fresno, or whomever, they won't be there every year, but the point is now they have the opportunity.

I think a mid major has a chance of winning it all some day in the near future if the chips fall the right way.

Remember BYU won it all in 84 as a member of the WAC despite being shup out of the major bowls. Of course being shut out helped them do it because they faced a weak Michigan team in the Holiday bowl. Washington finished second that year by the way after beating Oklahoma in the Orange.