Monday Morning Quarterback for January 13th

BCS

After a 16 year run, the NCAA Football Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has come to an end.  There were many opinions as to whether the BCS got it right or not.  I believe for the most part, they got it right.  In saying that, I do believe that It is time for the BCS to go.  I am looking forward to the playoff format that will begin next season.  I will tell you one thing, I think most will agree that the BCS went out with a BANG!!!  Maybe the best overall set of BCS games in its history.  Here is a recap.

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO

rose bowl vizio

The game featured the Champions of the PAC 12 and the BIG 10 (#4 Stanford vs. #5 Michigan State.  This was a very tough, close game throughout.  With Stanford down 24-20 and driving late in the contest facing a fourth and 1. It was Kyler Elsworth, who stuffed Stanford fullback Ryan Hewitt on that fourth and-1 play with 1:34 left and the ball at Stanford’s 34-yard line to preserve the win for the Spartans.  Nice game to begin the last BCS.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

This game featured the Champions of the BIG 12 and the American Athletic Conference (#6 Baylor vs. #15 UCF).  UCF started out with a 14 point lead, but Baylor cut the lead to 14-13.  It became a scoring fest as both teams combining for over 1,000 yards of total offense, but behind a great performance from UCF’s Quarterback Blake Bortles, the Knights prevailed 52-42.  This was the second win in a row in the BCS for the AAC (Formerly he Big East), to finish out the BCS era.

The All State Sugar Bowl

sugar

This was a match up of two traditional college football powers (#3 Alabama vs. #11 Oklahoma).  Just four plays into the ballgame, Alabama had a 7-0 lead and most people were thinking a Bama blowout, but with Oklahoma taking advantage of three Bama turnovers, went into the half with a 34-17 halftime lead.  Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the second half resulting in a 45-31 Sooner victory.  This game saw the emergence of two future college superstars:  Alabama’s freshman running back Derrick Henry (8 carries for 100 yards and 2 touchdown-one on a 61 yard reception) and Oklahoma’s Redshirt Freshman Trevor Knight (32/44 passing for 348 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception).  Alabama’s AJ McCarron finished a great college career going 19/30 passing, with 387 yards; 2 touchdowns and two picks.  It was not the ending he wanted, but McCarron finishes a great career that saw him getting three National Championship Rings for the Crimson Tide.  Being a life long Sooner fan, I personally enjoyed this win.  I am definitely looking forward to next season for Boomer Sooner!!!

The Fed Ex Orange Bowl

fedex-orange-bowl-logo

This game featured two at large programs (#7 Ohio State vs. #12 Clemson).  The game was another back and forth contest, but it was a late touchdown from Clemson’s Taj Boyd to Sammy Watkins, plus a Clemson interception of Ohio State’s Braxton Miller on the following drive to seal a 40-35 Tiger victory.  This was the second loss in a roll for the Buckeyes after winning their first 24 games in the two year Urban Myer era.

VIZIO National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl Stadium

bcs championship

This was a match up between the only unbeaten teams in college football.  (ACC Champ and #1 Florida State vs. SEC Champ and #2 Auburn).  It looked like Auburn was going to make it 8 in a row for the Mighty SEC, as they powered their way to a 21-3 late first half lead.  Florida St, on the strength of a fake punt on a forth and one play, managed to score a touchdown late to cut the lead to 21-10 at the half.  FSU managed only a field goal in the 3rd quarter to cut the Tiger lead to 21-13, but the scoring picked up for both teams in the pivotal 4th quarter.  FSU outscored Auburn 21-10 in the forth with both teams exchanging touchdowns late in the contest.  Tre Mason’s 37 yard touchdown run with 1:19 left put Auburn on top 31-27.  FSU followed that score with a 1 yard touchdown pass from Heisman winner Jameis Winston to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds remaining to seal the Championship for the Seminloes.  The Championship was the second for FSU in the BCS era, preventing Auburn from getting their 2nd title in the last four years.

crystal football

Well the final BCS has come to an end.  As for BCS games go, 2014 was probably the best BCS season ever.  All games were exciting to watch, as most of the games came down to the last minutes of the game before a winner was determined.  All of these schools were winners and deserved to be there, but if you are keeping score at home, here are the final conference records in the 2014 BCS:  ACC was 2-0, AAC was 1-0, BIG 12 and BIG 12 were 1-1, PAC 12 was 0-1 and the SEC was 0-2.

To some, it was a fitting end to the SEC dominance over the last 7 years, but no one can deny that the SEC was the true winner during the BCS era.  The SEC scored 9 National Champions during the BCS era (Bama (3), LSU and Florida (2 each), Auburn and Tennessee (1 each).  The other five conferences combined for 8 Championships (ACC and BIG 12 with 2 a piece (FSU with 2, Oklahoma and Texas with 1 each); (BIG East/AAC, BIG 10 and PAC 12 with 1 a piece (Miami, Ohio State and Southern California*).

*USC’s title in 2005 was vacated due to NCAA Sanctions.

As for the stipulation for Notre Dame and Non Qualifying Conferences in the BCS, that stipulation never really emerged with Notre Dame as the only school outside of the Big Six Conferences to make it to a National Title Game, getting blown out by Alabama in last year’s Title Game.

The Non-Qualifying Conferences did send teams to the BCS with decent results.  Boise State and Utah both went 2-0 in their only BCS appearances, TCU went 1-1 and Hawaii and Northern Illinois lost in their only BCS appearance.  Notre Dame went 0-3 in their only other BCS appearances outside of last year’s title game.

I am definitely looking forward to what the new 4 team playoff system has to offer next season.  Late August will be here quicker than what you think.

Have a great week!!!!

Bowl Preview: The Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO

rose bowl vizio

It is the 100th edition of The Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO! This bowl game got started in 1902, took a break from play during World War 2, and is now celebrating game 100! Historically this match up features Big Ten and Pacific-12 schools and that is the exact match up we have this season. From the Big Ten is the conference champion, Michigan State Spartans (12-1 record) and from the Pacific 12 is the conference champion, Stanford Cardinal (11-2 record).

MichiganStateSpartans stanford tree cartoon

Team History

Sparty got to Pasadena by claiming their 8th Big Ten title. This is their 5th rose bowl appearance and first since 1998, a game in which they were victorious.

For the tree cardinal, they are making back-to-back appearances and playing in their 13th rose bowl. Last season they played in this very match up and won over the Big Ten’s Wisconsin.

Coaches

Mark Dantonio has been the head coach at Michigan State since 2007. In his time he has lead the team to  2 conference titles and 7 straight bowl appearances.

Stanford’s David Shaw is in his 3rd year. He too has 2 conference titles. He also won the Rose Bowl last season.

The Game

Michigan State sophomore QB Connor Cook has been steady for most of the season and has ip[roved all season. I mean this guy was only 6 of 16 in game one against Western Michigan but was the Big Ten title game MVP  with 300+ yards and 3 TDs over the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Running back Jeremy Langford has had 8 straight games for over 100 yards. The Spartan offense  loves long drives and hopes that they can keep the Cardinal defense on the field and wear them down.

Stanford has beaten 6 different teams in the top 25 where as the Spartans beat only 3 teams in the top 25. Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace has Stanford has a 5 point favorite.

Prediction: MSU 35 – Stanford 24