Bowl Season Disappoints
January 13, 2017
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As the bowl season comes to an end, the college football season that started on Labor Day weekend is officially over. There were great games, and there were some that should have been skipped at the local level, especially.
In the state of Maryland, both the Terps and the Naval academy qualified and went to a bowl game, along with the local Military Bowl which took place in Annapolis. The Terps played Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl, the Terps would enter a defensive struggle that would put their O-line to the test. The O-line allowed six sacks on the day, which would lead to a 36-30 lose.
Meanwhile, the Midshipman where in an opposite position in a high scoring game, even with their third string quarterback not turning the ball over and handing the ball off to the rushing game, which put up 45 points. The defense did not show up and the Naval Academy fell 48-45.
The final local event was the Military Bowl, and the two teams playing were the Temple Owls and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Temple drew first blood, but the Deacons went on to score 31 unanswered points. In the end the defeat was too large for the owls to over come with their offense able to make any plays in the end, and their comeback fell short, 26-34.
National bowl games disappointed, too. That does not mean that all of the games were complete trash, for instance, the Sun Bowl in El Paso Texas, featuring the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the Stanford Cardinals. The game was made to be close and lived up to expectations. The teams battled back and forth until it came down to North Carolina needing a touchdown and a two point conversion to tie; they got the touch down after a couple of dropped passes, but star defensive back Solomon Thomas blew up the two point conversion, sealing the 25-23 win for Stanford.
Then there was a game that everyone thought would be regrettable but instead turned out not only to be worth while, but enjoyable. That game was the Birmingham Bow,l featuring the South Carolina Gamecocks and the South Florida Bulls. The Gamecocks came in on a disappointing 6-6 season, but they didn’t play–they were 6-6. Entering the forth quarter, they were down by fifteen, and they came all the way back and sent the game to overtime. It was valiant effort, but it was for not as the Gamecocks would lose in overtime 46-39. The best game had to be the Orange Bowl.
The most impressive non-New Year’s game had to be the Orange Bowl game between Florida State and Michigan. The game was highly anticipated and did not disappoint. This was the second best bowl game of the year, and it had just about everything. The game started off with a total domination of FSU in the first half, as they entered the end of the first half leading 20-6. Then in the second half Michigan started its comeback with a pick-6 in the third, and after a back and forth second half Michigan took the lead with 1:47 left in the game. Up by three, it was up to their defense to hold the Seminoles. That did not happen, though they gave up a touchdown with 36 seconds left, but the extra point was blocked a returned for two points. This valiant effort was for naught, as the last second score was not enough for Michigan to pull out a W. Florida State won 33-32.
If this was the second best, then the best was apart of the New Year’s games. The first game to be played on the day was the Cotton Bowl, which featured Wisconsin and Western Michigan. Western Michigan made its first appearance in the top 25 this year, and also was 12-0 entering into the season. The best team was coming out of the Group of 5 and the runner up in the Big Ten. The game was close, but not close enough to create panic in Badger Nation.
As they led the entire game, Western Michigan gave a good show but did not have the horses to match a Big Ten Power, losing 24-16. The second game was Florida Iowa in the Outback bowl. This game was a disappointment on all levels this was never a game and Iowa was a total disappointment. This was a game to turn off immediately. This blow out ended in a 30-3 thrashing of the Hawkeyes, as Florida took the game handily.
In the night, Game One of two games was the Sugar Bowl, featuring Oklahoma and Auburn. This game was all Sooners, and sooner or later the game was going to end. The Sooners took control from the start, and the only credit to go to Auburn was they don’t give up and the last second touchdown for pride must be commended. Still it was not enough with Auburn falling 35-19.
The best game of the year had to be the grand daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. This was the game that everyone was waiting for, not to mention it featured two teams that struggled in the beginning of the year but went to tear the league apart. The teams were Penn State and USC. Both were extremely similar, and both had a bright young star. Both teams used their offense to maximum efficiency and offered an old-fashioned shootout. The game started with a PSU interception on back-to-back drives which gave USC 13-0 lead, but in the second quarter both sides erupted with a combined 35 points.
Then the second half started with Penn State scoring on three straight plays, and the team was able to take a two touchdown lead heading into the forth quarter, but midway through the forth quarter USC erupted with back to back touchdowns, tying the game. With less then a minute left PSU got the ball and on third down they went deep and…. got an interception that was returned to the 37-yard line, putting the USC kicker on the spot. He missed two that game, and this was for it all. Third time was the charm as he nailed giving USC this ESPN classic. The game everyone waited all bowl season for was won on the last play of the game.
One word sums up the Bowl season: pitiful. None of the non-“big” games really provided good entertainment. Then some of the most anticipated games ended up being a complete disgrace to the name of college football. Thankfully, there were the Orange and Rose Bowls, the two iconic games of the season that exceeded expectation and saved the season from being a complete disappointment.