Thursday, January 6, 2011
Bowl Game Recap
Capital One Bowl ~ Michigan State vs. Alabama
This game looked pretty bad for State prior to it beginning, as the Almighty SEC dominates most other conferences. However, I had some hope for it, which was promptly shattered in the first few quarters. Alabama was able to continuously drive the entire game while still keeping MSU from scoring for most of it. The first quarter and a half were "competitive" in the sense that Alabama didn't score more than a TD for a while, but once Cousins tossed an interception it was over. We eventually did get one touchdown but it was still a horrible blowout unfortunately. This puts an end to the best Spartans season in several decades.
They were a perennial National Champion in the 1950s and 1960s, but now they're just a competent team in a crappy conference. The Big Ten has acted extremely poorly this year (insulting TCU and Boise State) despite still being craptastic, so apart from this game I was rooting for the opposition for the most part. If MSU were able to win this game perhaps the SEC's dominant hold on polls as well as successful streak would have been halted. I know I predicted this outcome but I still would've liked to see the Spartans end their season successfully after miraculously going 11-1. D'Antonio's record in bowls is now 0-4 I believe, perhaps if he'd had another heart attack we could have won with the assistant coach.
Rose Bowl ~ Wisconsin vs. TCU
This was perhaps the game I paid the most attention to aside from the Spartans. Ideally TCU would face someone in the glorified conference and win so there might be more disruption of the horrible system, but alas they had to play someone from the Big Ten. Wisconsin was defeated by MSU earlier in the season, but since it happened early in the season they were magically higher ranked by the end of it despite having the same records. This is mostly because Wisconsin blew out some terrible teams for a few weeks and scored 80 points in one of them. However, TCU had quite a bit of control over this game for the first three quarters, leading by a substantial margin up until the 4th. Eventually TCU just stopped scoring and Wisconsin was able to make the game look close, but it wasn't nearly as interesting as the Ohio State game. Still, much better than the other 2 blowouts.
Orange Bowl ~ Stanford vs. Virginia Tech
This is the first BCS game where one side was particularly overmatched at least on paper. However Virginia Tech was able to keep the score close at 13-12 until halftime. At which point Stanford just massacred them. Andrew Luck is evidently guaranteed to get the Number 1 draft pick, and he certainly decimated the Hokies' defense in the second half. While I quickly lost interest from there I'm still happy to see Stanford finally being successful. The Pac-10 has been so terrible for so long it's nice to see they're actually competent for once, sans the land of recruiting violations. They superseded the Big 10 for third best conference in the nation methinks.
Sugar Bowl ~ Ohio State vs Arkansas
Ohio State's President was the one who disgraced the Big 10 with retardation so naturally I was quite motivated to root for Arkansas even though they're in the SEC. The Buckeyes dominated the first 2.5 quarters however and it looked relatively bleak. However after going ahead 31-13 in the Third they somehow managed to not score for the entire rest of the game and almost blew it, as their defense (2nd best in the nation) could not stop Arkansas at the end. The finish was thus somewhat spectacular. After some exceedingly poor clock management at the end Ohio State failed to convert on 4th down to put the game away (1:30 left on the clock or so) and turned over the ball on downs with Arkansas now deep in OSU's territory. However on the very next play Ohio State intercepted the ball and the game was instantly over, despite it looking like it would have favored Arkansas right at the end.
Through this miracle Ohio State saved their disgraceful season. And while the NCAA somehow let Terrell Pryor and co. play this game they will not be playing the next 5 games of next season (which Pryor reminded of us endlessly in the postgame celebration "I'm very sorry, defense won the game, oh and I'm sorry"), which gives MSU a solid advantage over them in their early game of the season. So perhaps MSU can win the Big 10 again next year only to fail in a BCS bowl! Err woops Nebraska's coming to massacre us all...
Final Score: 31-26
The National Championship is somehow still not for several days but I expect the SEC team to win. Neither Auburn nor Oregon has won the National Championship for quite some time so it'd be a nice story either way, albeit Oregon winning would break that damn streak and maybe kill some of the hype for the SEC.
I am presently ensconced by Demon's Souls hence I wrote this 3 hours after waking, but it still seems to be a halfway decent post. Protip: Use all of your herbs to kill one boss and then yell triumphantly.