Notes from around the college football nation: Utah State rolls and Arizona rallies
First, let’s give a moment of silence for the victims of the horrible shooting that happened in Connecticut. When things like that happen, it makes you reflect on life and what is important. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones; may God comfort you in your time of need.
Bowl season has started, and what a way to start. If every bowl game ends like the Arizona vs. Nevada game, then we are in for a treat. I would like to give a quick shout-out to the Oregon woman’s volleyball team, what a great season they had. Just making it to the title game was a shock to most. Congrats on the great season, despite the loss in the title game vs. Texas. Now let’s get onto some thoughts and highlights.
1. I was about to turn the channel when Nevada kicked its last field goal to go up 48-35 with a few minutes to go. Turns out, things were just getting started. Arizona started picking apart the Wolf Pack defense, marching down the field to make it 42-48. Then the Wildcats recovered the onside kick, and drove down for the go-ahead score to make it 49-48. What a wild finish. If every bowl game finishes like this then I might just have a heart attack this holiday season.
2. A shout out to the Utah State Aggies for finishing strong this season. After so many close losses last year, the Aggies finally found ways to win, finishing 10-2 and winning the WAC for the conference’s final year. Utah State could have been a BCS buster, had the refs not blown it for them vs. Wisconsin, and if their kicker was any good vs. BYU. Not too many people are throwing the name Gary Andersen around, but he’s made Utah State relevant. That’s Coach of the Year territory (though ultimately Brian Kelly got the award), and a BCS school should be looking to snatch him up. He’s from the Urban Meyer coaching tree, and we all see how well Meyer is doing. It’s only a matter of time until he leaves. For now, the Aggies need to enjoy their first 11-win season after whooping up Toledo 41-15 and hope he’s there next year.
3. EXPANSION……..SUCKS! The BIG EAST might as well call themselves the BIG MESS or Conference USA. With all the shifting going on, soon we will enjoy games such as UConn vs San Diego State for the BIG EAST title….sound good? Most of the schools see there is no future for them in the conference, so they are getting out while they can. With the off-season approaching, I am predicting FSU to join the BIG-12 and if the BIG-12 does not make a run at FSU, then the PAC-12 will probably make an offer again for Texas and Oklahoma. It is going to be a crazy off-season…quote me on it.
4. I would like to commend the MAC for raising so many good coaches. ESPN did a great article showing all the great coaches coming out of the MAC this year, and in the past. Notre Dame can thank the MAC for Brian Kelly, Ohio State and Florida can thank the MAC for Urban Meyer, and maybe Purdue will be thanking the MAC for Darrell Hazell down the road. The MAC has proven over time that they have quality coaches ready to go. If I was a MAC coach, I would cherish being in the MAC for as long as I could. The big-time schools are appealing, but with that big-time job comes a lot more stress. Being a MAC coach at, say, Toledo means you can go 7-5 or 8-4 every year and still please the AD and fans. Being competitive in the conference and making a run at the title every other year or so suffices for success. That won’t cut it at the big BCS schools, but in the MAC they love it. It will be interesting to see who steps in next season at some of the MAC schools.
5. One last thought. The SEC decided not to suspend Quinton Dial for his horrible hit on Georgia QB Aaron Murray. It just shows the SEC is in a whole different league than anyone one else…for good and bad. Maybe the SEC feels the Tide will need him vs. Notre Dame. Recently watching highlight videos, I saw the tenacity and dirty play that goes on in the SEC. It is kill-or-be-killed, but obviously, 6 national titles in a row and a possible 7th on a way shows it is working. Thoughts? ( I know the picture does not have Texas A&M or Missouri, but it will still take awhile for most of the SEC to accept them)
Let’s hope the craziness of today’s bowl games is only the start. I still can not get over the finish of that Arizona game. I am predicting a similar shootout when Oregon meets Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Happy Holidays to everyone, and enjoy the Bowl Season.
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2. College football mailbag
3. 35 players to watch during Bowl season
4. What if Ohio State and Penn State could go bowling?
5. PAC-12 Mailbag and thoughts