Tag Archives: Fiesta Bowl

D-Day looms for BCS

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for that Sunday in March, ‘Selection Sunday,’ where the NCAA Tournament brackets are revealed.

We now have a new selection Sunday, this coming one, where the Bowl Championship Series will make it’s selections for the four games, plus the given national title game (unless Texas somehow screws up the Big 12 title game)…

The looming issue for the BCS, what to do with a second Big Ten team. Many are lobbying for Iowa to be that team because afterall they played in the de facto conference title game against Ohio State and they beat PSU head-to-head.

Iowa deserves the nod, there’s no question. If the BCS wants to have any shred of credibility, they won’t stoop to the level of picking the marketable PSU over Iowa.

But they don’t and they won’t.

So Penn State, I feel, is headed to a BCS bowl, the Fiesta, where they will get Boise State or TCU in what should be three things. First, the highest rated of the non-title games, second, wildly entertaining and third, a huge cash cow for the BCS.

Every year we can point out problems with the bowl system. In fact all this talk that FSU might play West Virginia in a Bowden-farewell bowl is disgusting.

The BCS is nothing more than a business and Penn State is good for bowl business. All this nonsense about economy and people not traveling is just that, nonsense. People who say they have sources that tell them this or that about bowls, don’t.

Don’t buy it.

Do buy that when push comes to shove, Penn State is good for business, they draw, they always will, they have Joe Paterno, they have stars in Daryll Clark and Navorro Bowman, and if the Big Ten wants to shed it’s terrible image with the big games, PSU is the safest of the two picks.

Whether or not they deserve it, you can keep debating that until you’re blue in the face. But they’re going to be there.

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Big Ten Monday: Salt in the wound edition

The Big Ten announced its conference Players of the Week….turn away if you are a PSU supporter.

Iowa’s Tyler Sash, for his game changing interception of Daryll Clark was tabbed the conference defensive player of the week. As if that weren’t enough pain for PSU fans to deal with, Iowa was also named the FWAA Fiesta Bowl Team of the Week.

In other news, Penn State’s game with Michigan State that is shaping up to be the conference title game, is now set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC on November 22nd. Gameday was rumored to be making an apperance, however since PSU is no longer undefeated, nor will be fighting for a BCS title game berth as well as the Big Ten title, it remains to be seen if Fowler and gang show up. I’d doubt it.

For the record, there is still NO Saturday Night Football game set for the 22nd, so who knows. Michigan-Ohio State is the noon kick on ABC that weekend. Texas Tech-Oklahoma is likely going to be the SNF game, it’s the biggest of the weekend, but that hasn’t been announced yet. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State has been set for ABC coverage the following week, but it could be moved to a 3:30 regional kickoff.

Speaking off Tech….

A few readers have e-mailed asking what has to happen in order for PSU to make it back into the BCS title game picture, ala Ohio State last year.

It’s very, very complicated, but not impossible.

PSU would need Oklahoma to beat Texas Tech, then Oklahoma State to beat Oklahoma. Also it needs Texas to make the Big 12 title game and lose to Missouri, leaving Texas to the Cotton Bowl and Mizzou the automatic bid, with the at-large to be sorted out between the Sooners, Cowboys and Red Raiders. Remember, the last team to lose is essentially out of the running. It happened to Mizzou last year when they beat Kansas then lost the Big 12 title game….I think we all can agree that the Tigers should have been there over Kansas as an at-large. But the last team that loses in the running is the one that is punished.

Then PSU needs either Florida or Alabama to lose its rivalry game against Florida State or Auburn respectively, then whichever does lose, they need that team to win the SEC title game, especially if its Florida since they would have two losses going into that game. That would be a bigger help to PSU because a two-loss team may make the title game, but it wouldn’t jump a one-loss team to get there, at least it shouldn’t.

That would set up PSU-USC if both win out. And it seems the only logical solution to the question, and while it’s not impossible, it’s damn sure a long shot. A very loooooooooooooooong shot.

But let’s play the what-if game here for a second. Is the Fiesta Bowl a possibility? Mad scientist and fellow beat writer Mark Wogenrich of the Allentown Morning Call propses this theory.

Oregon State wins out and claims the Pac-10 automatic berth, meaning they land in the Rose Bowl, Boise State and Utah both lose for good measure removing them from the BCS consideration and Penn State is swapped out of the Rose to prevent a rematch with the Beavers and they land in the Fiesta opposite Texas.

Can we just go to a playoff already?

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Big Ten misses chance it never had

Show of hands.

Who out there actually thought Illinois had a shot to beat USC?? Anyone? Bueller……Bueller?

Despite the preconceived notion that mobile quarterbacks were a threat to the Trojans, Illinois never had a chance…..because their quarterback never had a chance.

And now starts the debate among the pundits about the national standing of the Big Ten. Again, a conference rep failed to win the Rose Bowl, and Michigan had to drastically change their gameplan (Kudos, by the way for doing so) to beat Florida.

Purdue struggled with a team they banged up earlier in the season, Indiana was out muscled and OUTMANNED! by Oklahoma State,  Michigan State blew its chances, and Penn State needed to rally from 14 down to beat A&M.

Really the two best performances were the Nittany Lions and Michigan.  And why did they win those games? Because they (in Michigan’s case) threw in an entirely new scheme, or in PSU’s case, adjusted to what the defense was giving them (Daryll Clark) and took chances (Morelli’s fourth down  TD pass to Butler). Penn State and Michigan played like they wanted to really win both games. I can’t say the same for Illinois, Indiana or even Purdue despite their win.

Save for those two, the conference really hasn’t shown its spine yet.

And they have one chance to do it  yet, and that comes against LSU in the national title game. The Big Ten really needs Ohio State next week to save some face nationally.

NYD BOWL WINNERS AND LOSERS

COTTON BOWL

Winner: Tony Temple, for stealing the spotlight from Darren McFadden.

Loser: Duh. Did McFadden even care he was playing?

CAPITAL ONE BOWL

Winner: The trio of Hart, Henne and Long, for finally winning a big game.

Loser: Urban Myer. Wonder if the polish from his title win and that smirk are finally wiped away. Seriously, is there a more overrated coach in football? Nice running game, by the way.

OUTBACK BOWL

Winner: Seriously, Tyler Donovan who showed some serious guts in the loss.

Loser: Tennessee, because they can’t get rid of Phil Fullmer now…..

ROSE BOWL

Winner: USC, because they may have just earned a split national title with that win.

Loser: The Big Ten, a no-brainer. Wonder when the next time a Big Ten team will win the Rose Bowl is?

SUGAR BOWL

Winner: June Jones, yes June Jones. If you heard the story about his recruiting budget, and the office he works out of, you’d have a whole new appreciation for him.

Loser: Mark Richt. His kids played with less class as the game wore on and what’s with throwing up 34-3 in the fourth quarter? It’s called respect, look it up.

TONIGHTS PICK

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl takes place tonight, it was the scene of the crime last season for Oklahoma in their incredible overtime loss to Boise State. Bob Stoops has a reputation for getting to the big game, but not winning it.

West Virginia, on the other hand could be flat, and more inclined to show Rich Rodriguez up than win the game itself. Interesting….

West Virginia MountaineersThe Case for WVU: They still have Pat White, Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, etc etc. So that means they can match speed for speed with Oklahoma. White can throw the ball, he will have to, and this is Noel Devine’s coming out party (see: Harvin, Percy, Florida, 2007 BCS title game.)

Oklahoma Sooners
The Case for Boomer Sooner: They are hungry and playing as well as anyone in the country right now. Last year’s Fiesta Bowl left a seriously bad taste in their mouth. Plus they have speed everywhere. If Bradford is healthy, has time, look out. Plus their rushing attack, when up to speed, is as lethal as any.

The Pick: Rodriguez’s departure is a distraction, no matter what anyone says. Plus it means the Mountaineers have to get up and play for a coach they won’t be playing under in 2008….makes it for a rough night.

Oklahoma did a great job in the Big 12 title game of getting to the receivers, not allowing the big play and limited the threats Missouri had offensively. Tonight’s attack is a little different, but with speed everywhere for the Sooners, it’s the same result.

Oklahoma 31, West Virginia 20 

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