Well, did we ever ring out the old and ring in the new with the 2014 Bowl games to wind down the CFB season! Welcome to 2015 (and a very Happy New Year to one and all) and the College Football Playoff format. Gotta say, I like it. Sure, there are those who are going to complain, there is going to be controversy, many will immediately start to call for an eight team playoff instead of a four team playoff. But as opposed to the former BCS system, this is GOOD! If we had the old system, Alabama and FSU would be playing for the National Championship. Many would say they would like to see that game..but they are not the best teams. With the playoff system and the bowl games, we saw that Oregon with the superb M. Mariota and surprising Ohio State with their third QB of the season deserve to play for the National title.
Oregon took FSU to the woodshed in the first semifinal game from beautiful Pasadena at the Rose Bowl, they even called off the dogs so it could have been much worse. Mariota sat out the final minutes of the the game (compassionate of Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich) thus, Oregon 59 – FSU 20. It could have been worse, maybe Oregon 79! Mariota had 300+ yards passing with one interception (0nly his third of the season, his career interception % is the lowest in college football history!) while Jameis Winston of FSU had four turnovers! (Where were these gifts when GT played FSU in the ACC Title game??) An absolutely definitive win by the Oregon Ducks. I am so happy as I have wanted to see Oregon play for the National Championship along with many others from across the country.
In the other semifinal game..the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Shocker! I thought Alabama would probably win, but NOT! Ohio State (many questioned whether they belonged in the #4 slot) with their third string QB, C. Jones, played a very physical game and prevailed over Bama, 42-35. Bama QB Davis had three costly interceptions. So Urban Meyer worked his his magic over Nick Saban and the Buckeyes are into the National title game…January 12, 2015 from Arlington, Texas, 8:30 pm on ESPN. Quite a New Years Day and night it was!
Back to the day prior..New Year’s Eve Day…TCU annihilated Ole Miss, 42-3. If there is one team that is on the outside with every right to be looking in and saying what about us, it is TCU. Boise State continued their magic, defeating Arizona 31-20. And in Miami, Georgia Tech defeated Miss State, 49-34 and set an Orange Bowl rushing record in the process. What a great win for GT..their second win over a ranked SEC team (UGA as well) and a big win for the ACC! It was a great night to be a Georgia Tech fan! Eleven win season for the first time since 1990, certainly a top ten finish, and congrats to MVP, QB Joshua Thomas! Great performance by B-Back S. Days as well..hey, awesome performance by the entire GT team!
Speaking of the SEC, the vaunted SEC West has gone 2-5 in bowl games, 0-4 against ranked teams. LSU fell to Notre Dame 31-28, TCU embarrassed Ole Miss, 42-3 (see above), GT took care of Miss State 49-34 (see above) and finally, Alabama went down to Ohio State 42-35. Also, Auburn lost to Wisconsin in OT 34-31 (Outback Bowl). The other team on the outside looking in, Baylor went down to Michigan State, 42-35 in the Cotton Bowl. SEC teams with nice wins, UGA over Louisville 37-14, Arkansas over Texas 31-7, and Missouri over Minnesota 33-17.
Nice bowl game on this afternoon, the Armed Forces Bowl. It featured a remarkable come form behind win by Houston, scoring a TD and making a 2 pt. conversion late to defeat Pitt, 35-34. Tonight, it isn’t over..more bowl action as Kansas State will take on UCLA in the Alamo Bowl. Two 9-3 teams, one from the Big 12 and the other from the Pac 12.
Well guys..hope you have all enjoyed watching these incredible football games as much as I have. Tennis returns (or Roger Federer returns!) next week in Brisbane, Australia. Coverage begins on 1/6/15 on Tennis Channel. As always, I am excited!!
Happy New Year and here is to a GREAT 2015 for all of us!