Happy Holidays, Everyone! I hope everybody had a safe and joyous holiday filled with family, friends, food and football. The past week saw some good football, but the biggest story, at least according to our televisions and the Internet, seemed to be yet another school falling on the wrong side of the NCAA's amateurism rules.
Recapping in 500 words or less, this is what we learned about the season:
- Several key members of the Ohio State football program were levied suspensions. By now you know the who (Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas) and the what (five-game suspensions for selling memorabilia), but how about that several why's?
- For one, why would you sell something that's supposed to represent so much as a member of a proud football program? Why didn't the Ohio State compliance staff better educate players that you cannot sell championship rings, gear and other awards? Why is it against the rules to sell those items (I get the whole amateurism thing, but c'mon)? Most importantly, why don't these suspensions begin right away?
- The NCAA gave a few explanations for why these players are not suspended for the Sugar Bowl (the players didn't know what they did was wrong, the "unique opportunity" of the postseason), but none carry much muster. If a player broke NCAA rules and is therefore ineligible to play, how does it make sense to allow them to play in the next game even if that game is a bowl game? NCAA $EN$E, I suppose. Just another unjust aspect of the NCAA's handling of college football in general.
- The first exciting bowl game of the year came as Louisville and Southern Miss duked it out in the...Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl? The game showed just how important special teams really are—the Cardinals made big plays on special teams, while Southern Miss had several special teams miscues and it proved the difference. Charlie Strong has Louisville headed for big things.
- Utah lost the Humanitarian Bowl when they failed to take advantage of Boise State's mistakes. If the Broncos have three turnovers before they get on the board and you manage just a field goal, just call it a day. A disastrous end to the Utes' season after they sat undefeated and ranked fifth in Week 10, but there's enough returning to make an impact in the Pac-10 next year.
- The San Diego State playmakers made big plays and delivered the Poinsettia Bowl win. Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs was able to connect on a few big plays to Greg Jones and he rushed for over 100 yards, but the Aztecs defense did a good job of keeping the Midshipmen at bay and out of the end zone. Two Aztecs set Poinsettia Bowls records for rushing and receiving yards as Ronnie Hillman rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns and Vincent Brown caught eight passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.
- Hawaii turned the ball over six freaking times in the Hawaii Bowl. That said, it's probably pointless to mention the Warriors were defeated by Tulsa on Friday. Give a lot of credit to the Tulsa defense that picked off five passes and returned two for touchdowns to keep Hawaii's offense somewhat in check, but the Golden Hurricane offense mixed run and pass to produce 48 points of their own.
If you're looking for a New Household Name of the week, look no further than Damaris Johnson, who became the NCAA's all-time leader for all-purpose yards. He produced a career-high 326 all-purpose yards in Tulsa's Hawaii Bowl win over Hawaii. He rushed five times for 98 yards and two touchdowns; caught four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown; returned five kicks for 109 yards and returned a punt for 18 yards. It was hard not to call San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman the New Household Name after his 228 yard rushing performance in the Poinsettia Bowl, but Johnson gets the edge in a record-setting night.
Kellen Moore had another big night in the Humanitarian Bowl, throwing for 339 yards and two touchdowns, but Austin Pettis Proved He's Worth the Hype in the bowl win, catching 12 of Moore's 28 completions for 147 yards and a touchdown. Pettis continues to come up big when he's needed and while he and Titus Young may not be selected in the top five of next year's draft, they're both very talented pass catchers who will play well at the next level.
This week's bowl games:
The holiday season continues this week with several bowl games to look forward to including a traditional football-filled New Years Day. Jared Levine and I will be previewing each bowl game this season, so make sure you come back before the game for a quick word on what each team has to do to win and who we think will come away with the victory.
Monday, December 27, 2010
5:00 PM ET ESPN2- AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Air Force (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
6:30 PM ET ESPN- Champs Sports Bowl: No. 22 West Virginia (9-3) vs. NC State (8-4)
10:00 PM ET ESPN- Insight Bowl: No. 12 Missouri (10-2) vs. Iowa (7-5)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
2:30 PM ET ESPN- Military Bowl Pres. By Northrop Grumman: East Carolina (6-6) vs. Maryland (8-4)
6:00 PM ET ESPN- Texas Bowl: Illinois (6-6) vs. Baylor (7-5)
9:15 PM ET ESPN- Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Thursday, December 30, 2010
12:00 PM ET ESPN- Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Army (6-6) vs. SMU (7-6)
3:20 PM ET ESPN- New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)
6:40 PM ET ESPN- Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6)
10:00 PM ET ESPN- Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: No. 18 Nebraska (10-3) vs. Washington (6-6)
Friday, December 31, 2010
12:00 PM ET ESPN- Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida (7-5) vs. Clemson (6-6)
2:00 PM ET CBS- Hyundai Sun Bowl: Miami (7-5) vs. Notre Dame (7-5)
3:30 PM ET ESPN- AutoZone Liberty Bowl: No. 25 UCF (10-3) vs. Georgia (6-6)
7:30 PM ET ESPN- Chick-fil-A Bowl: No. 20 South Carolina (9-4) vs. No. 23 Florida State (9-4)
Saturday, January 1, 2011
12:00 PM ET ESPNU- TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern (7-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
1:00 PM ET ABC- Outback Bowl: Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5)
1:00 PM ET ESPN- Capital One Bowl: No. 16 Alabama (9-3) vs. No. 9 Michigan State (11-1)
1:30 PM ET ESPN2- Progressive Gator Bowl: No. 21 Mississippi State (8-4) vs. Michigan (7-5)
5:00 PM ET ESPN- Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO: No. 3 TCU (12-0) vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (11-1)
8:30 PM ET ESPN- Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: No. 7 Oklahoma (11-2) vs. Connecticut (8-4)
Danny Hobrock is a sports journalist primarily covering college football and professional baseball. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. Danny is the former editor of a political and current events website and the editor of our college football content.
What more appropriate time than Bowl Season to find out what our readers think about a Playoff system rather than the BCS system we have now. We'd like to know what you think.
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