Friday Florida Bowls Open Thread
The College Bowls are back with 4 more games today! With each bowl game involving a team from Florida, and Clemson, South Carolina, and Georgia also representing, it is a dream day for football fans in the South. No Nascar replays today, fellers, it's all football! There is also a team that we root for at least one day during the regular season (taking on Miami):
Photo Source: Lefty's Last Cry
It will be interesting to see if today's games can live up to the insanity of yesterday's. Sadly, Thursday was not the strongest of days for the NCAA officials, and that's already a very low bar to crawl under. The referees drew attention to themselves by throwing an absolutely ridiculous flag on a KSU receiver for drawing attention to himself with an end zone salute right after he drew attention to himself with a great 30 yd catch and run for a last minute TD. The flag cost the Wildcats a fair shot at a game tying 2 pt conversion in an otherwise really entertaining game with Syracuse. But wow, how offense should be called (cough, cough, Chow, cough...).
Not to be outdone, the officials in the UNC-Tennessee game were so bewildered by the TarHeel Fire Drill at the end of regulation that they didn't know whether to flag illegal motion on any of the illegal substitutions who were illegally participating. They announced the game was over, then they let UNC play some more and get to OT, where Tennessee learned that it doesn't matter who has too many men on the field, themselves or their opponent, they lose either way. Sorry Vols. We still love you for your hospitality and style.
And props to the Washington Huskies for getting the Pac 10 in the win column this post season, avenging an earlier drubbing by upsetting the Nebraska Cornhuskers 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl. That was not very Legendary of Nebraska. or Leaderish. Enjoy the Big X
Yesterday I was happily able to completely disregard all corporate sponsors. Today I am stuck with the fact that two of the bowl games are named solely for the sponsors. As such, I will refer to them only by their ordinality, so I apologize in advance for any confusion. Today's matchups and previews after the jump...
Florida Bowl Day kicks off with the First Bowl of the day pitting South Florida (7-5) against Clemson (6-6), in a stadium just 2 hours away from the Clemson campus. However, since neither Tennessee nor SMU much enjoyed their virtual home games yesterday, USF ought to like its chances. Beware (even more than usual) of the unintelligible BSPN studio rantings of Lou Holtz tomorrow. His son Skip is the coach at USF. I'm sure Lou will talk about it. I just won't have any idea what he's saying. This game begins at Noon EST on tWWL.
The Sun Bowl is up next at 2 EST with Notre Dame (7-5) in its annual divine-right-to-a-bowl-game facing Miami (FL) (7-5). Twenty years ago, these teams were competing for national titles. Today, they are vying for something a little less prestigious.
"Nobody has their eyes set on the Sun Bowl when you start the season. Nobody does," first-year Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
I'm sure the Sun Bowl Committee and its sponsors are very grateful for your comments, Brian. Meanwhile, The U's former head coach is currently interviewing for jobs at Other U's, and the new head coach is not coaching The U yet, so the Hurricanes will be led today by some interim guy named Jeff. One last thought on Miami...Brad Melsby was down and didn't fumble. Screw you forever. This game will on CBS.
The Liberty Bowl sees Georgia (6-6) lining up against #25 Central Florida (10-3). UCF's head coach George O'Leary can rightly claim on his resume an excellent year as his Knights ran and passed right through Conference USA to win the title. Georgia head coach Mark Richt should rightly strike this year from his resume, as he went from one of CFB's hottest coaches last year to trying to keep the Bulldogs from suffering their first losing season in 14 years today. This game will show us if the good looking mid major can handle the mediocre SEC school. It begins at 3:30 EST on tWWL, so you can watch for 30 minutes before turning to UCLA basketball.
The Final Bowl of the day has our favorite #20 USC (9-4) and #23 Florida State (9-4) meeting in the SEC/ACC Bridesmaids Bowl. This is the second bowl of the post season so far to match two ranked teams (trivia: what was the first?), so this should be a competitive matchup between the two conference runners up. As both teams feature very good defenses, we should expect a low scoring game, so it'll probably end up 42-40 or something like that. With a victory, FSU can bookend 2010 with bowl wins, having won the Gator Bowl on Jan 1. On the other side, the real USC can tie its all-time high for wins in a season with 10 if they can get the victory. And we thought they were just a baseball school. This game starts at 7:30 EST on tWWL.
Here's your Florida Bowl Game Open Thread - Have at it. Remember, UCLA basketball begins today at 4 EST. So if we see any posts in this thread during that time, we will be forced to bring N out of retirement to keep his banhammer in shape.
Trivia answer: #10 Boise State beat #19 Utah 26-3 back on Dec 22. Yeah, I didn't know it had been played either. Goes to show you should make your field goals when you have the chance.