Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Excitement In Glendale



BCS Winners & Losers

The five BCS games this season provided everything one could have imagined when the match ups came out 38 days ago. From predictions rang true, to predictions gone very terribly wrong. We seen arguably the best BCS game of all-time when Boise shocked Oklahoma with late game tricks that were a treat to watch. We watched in shock as Florida, who many thought would get throttled by Ohio State, instead was blown out themselves. We laughed (or at least I did) as Notre dame once again looked like a 1-AA team against a big time opponent. So who were the winners and loser of this seasons BCS games? Here are one man's opinions:

Team:
Winner: Florida
This category was going to Boise State before the national championship game kicked off. Florida rolled over Ohio State 41-14 in one of the more shocking title games in recent memory. Many people believed the only way Florida won this game was in a barn burner. Yet Ohio State had a good chance to blow Florida off the field in the eyes of the expert. I'm not going to claim I saw this coming. because I didn't. Chris Leak a senior QB who was booed at home this season started the game 9-9 and was nearly perfect on his way to the MVP trophy. The Florida defense made Troy Smith look like Brady Quinn, Smith finished 4-14 for 35 yards along with -29 yards on 10 runs, and two turnovers. It was 34-14 at halftime and everyone who was watching knew it was over.

Runner-Up: Boise State
Everyone knows what happened in the last 2 minutes of that game so I won't recap it. But I myself still can't believe it.

Loser: Michigan
After all the complaining and claims they were screwed you would have thought that Michigan would have went to the Rose Bowl to prove a point. Well they did, but not the one they wanted to I don't think. Michigan was absolutely dominated in the second half by USC in a convincing victory 32-18. The Wolverines refused to abandon the run despite being held to .4 YPC. USC came out passing in the second half to turn a tie game into a rout. Dwayne Jarrett torched the UM secondary for 205 yards and two scores on 11 catches. John David Booty, who couldn't get going against UCLA suddenly morphed into Carson Palmer at halftime. In large part because Michigan's defensive strength is up front, USC did the same thing Ohio State had done. Abandoned the run all together and chucked it 45 times. UM may still enter next season at #1 because of all their returning offensive starters. But if they let Henne take that kind of beating they're not going to beat anyone.

Runner-Up: Notre Dame
Another Bowl game thumping for the Irish. You think Weiss will come under fire like Willingham did? I doubt it, but having lost 9 strait bowls by an average of 17 points, he better figure out something to earn that contract.

Coach:
Winner: Chris Peterson
After his team not only blew a 28-10 lead but went down 7 points Chris Peterson pulled out the gadget plays. On 4th and 18 with just seconds left Peterson pulled out the "hook-and-ladder" for a 50 yard TD to send the game to overtime. That however wasn't enough, after Oklahoma scored on just one play in OT, Boise State used a WR pass to pull within one point. Peterson then decided to go for 2 and put it all on that one play, one chance to win, or lose it. Win it is exactly what they did, on the "Statue of Liberty" play, Zabransky faked a screen pass, and then handed it off behind his back to HB Ian Johnson who ran in for the score untouched. Peterson took chances and they worked out, or he may be the loser here. However, since they did work out he gets to be the genius this year.

Runner-Up: Urban Meyer
I still can't believe how well Florida played in the National Title Game. Meyer deserves a lot of credit for this one in just his second year at Florida.

Loser: Lloyd Carr
It's a toss up really between he and Charlie Weiss here. Carr gets the nod because he appeared to make no adjustments at halftime of the Rose Bowl. The game was tied 3-3 and neither team could get the run game going. Meanwhile, Chad Henne was being blitzed nearly every down and just could not get any time to throw. So what does Lloyd do? The same thing Lloyd does every year sticks with his original game plan. His reward? A 14 point loss that should have been bigger than that. The Wolverines did go pass happy after they got down 19-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter. But it was a little to late and the USC passing was unstoppable.

Runner-Up: Charlie Weiss
Wow, Chuck needs some defense. Anyone with a decent passing attack can put up 40 on the Irish with little effort.

Player:
Winner: JaMarcus Russell
Russell dominated the Irish defense with 3 Touchdowns (1 rushing) and 332 pass yards. He improved his draft stock more than probably anyone else, drawing comparisons to Daunte Culpepper in the Sugar Bowl. While I will say I think that comparison is a bad thing as Culpepper without a Randy Moss go and get it like receiver is a horrible quarterback. Regardless Russell is probably heading to Oakland, where he can throw to Moss and look like a quality QB. Before being exposed as a fraud when Moss decided to hate him and moves on much like he did in Minnesota.

Runner-Up: Dwayne Jarrett
209 yards and 2 scores on 11 catches I think is all that needs to be said. The UM secondary was clearly over matched by the big receiver, he should be a solid NFL WR. That is of course as long as he doesn't decide to take after his buddy Mike Williams.

Loser: Troy Smith
While he wasn't a top 5 pick by any means Mr. Smith may slip out of the first round after his horrible performance in the title game. He would be best served going late first round to a team who has a solid offensive line. He ended a stellar season tragically going 4-14 with a pick and a lost fumble against Florida. If Brian Brohm does come out I think he's a lock for early second round.

Runner-Up: Brady Quinn
Once again Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman put up a horrible performance against a good defense in a big game. Throwing for just 148 yards and 2 TD's and 2 INT's, this I don't think hurts his draft stock however. He's probably perfect for the Detroit Lions as they love to take over hyped guys who are inevitable busts. Though they say Kitna is the QB for next year I'd love to see what the Bears think about playing Brady behind the horrendous offensive line the Lions have.

Glendale, Arizona was the site for the two biggest upsets of the BCS this season. The University of Phoenix stadium hosted both the Boise State-Oklahoma thriller as well as the Florida-Ohio State shocker. Overall only the former was a good game, the rest were hardly entertaining. Another lackluster bowl season in terms of entertainment, but I doubt the NCAA is complaining as they count their profits. Playoff anyone?

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