Cliffhangers Highlight Power Five Entrance into Bowl Schedule
Lotsa drama in games played for nothing but fun yesterday.
Too bad these matchups don't happen very often during the season to help better determine the teams who should be playing for games that do mean something this time of year.
But that would apparently put too much presure on millionaire coaches who are paid those big bucks to win high-stakes games.
Ah, yes, the ironies of college football.
Four of Saturrday's bowl games came down to the final possession.
- South Carolina showed that Miami has a 'ways to go before the 'Canes are back, defeating them, 24-21, in the Independence Bowl;
- Penn State returned to the bowl scene and needed overtime before stopping Boston College, 31-30, in the Pinstripe Bowl;
- Arizona State and Duke turned El Paso's annual game into the Devil Bowl, with the Suns edging the Blues, 36-31;
- And let's face it, USC held on to beat Nebraska, 45-42, in the Holiday Bowl, with a ghastly display of pseudo-defense proving why neither team won its respective conference division.
Tuesday, three big programs that had disappointing seasons will take their shots at going out on a high note.
Notre Dame (7-5) was 6-0 before having a victory taken away at Florida State and wound up losing their final four games. The Irish are ravaged by injuries, and quarterback Everett Golson had an up-and-down season. They go into Tuesday's Music City Bowl planning for Golson and Malik Zaire to split time against an LSU team that's young and talented enough for Les Miles to again turn down feelers about his dream job at Michigan.
Georgia (9-3) started the season with a big win over Clemson, but injuries and suspensions caught up to them. The Bulldogs lost to South Carolina and Florida before blowing the final game of the season to Georgia Tech with a mondo bizarro set of plays:
Todd Gurley started the season fast and was in prime position for the Heisman Trophy before being suspended, coming back, and then getting hurt. Nick Chubb will be the primary runner as Georgia plays Louisville, also 9-3, in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte.
Finally on Tuesday, Stanford meets Maryland in the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara. The Cardinal (7-5) struggled all season on offense while losing close games to USC, Notre Dame, and Utah. Stanford hopes that quarterback Kevin Hogan will shine in his last game in their sixth straight post-season appearance following a long drought. As to the Terrapins (7-5), their drama may revolve around whatever fashion crime they choose to commit on the day.