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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Bowl Season

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Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Prepare yourselves for an onslaught of wacky bowl games, recruit flipping, and the coaching carousel. The Bowl Season has begun.



All 38 bowls (+ the CFPCG) matchups are set with such juggernauts as Toledo and UTEP participating. Just to drive me crazier, one more bowl game will be added next season, a third game to be played in Orlando. Totally needed.

The number of bowl games increased from six to 11 between 1955 and 1975, and from 11 to 18 from 1975 to 1995. During the 16-year Bowl Championship Series era, the amount of bowls increased from 20 to 35.

Fourteen teams with 6 wins will be participating in a bowl. Two sets of 6-6 teams will face off against each other leaving two losers with an ugly 6-7 record.

One of the most ridiculous of the lot is Fresno State getting into a bowl with a current 6-7 record. A few years ago both UCLA and Georgia Tech were granted a waiver despite having losing records after going to their respective conference title games. The same waiver was granted in this situation. In case you have forgotten, Fresno is NOT a Power 5 team.

Why not just have 64 bowls so EVERYONE can go to a bowl???

This season's bowl games locations range from the Bahamas and Yankee Stadium to Boise and our ol' favorite Shreveport, the garden spot of the South.



Only one FBS game was played this past week: the 115th edition of the Army–Navy Game.

Navy 17 Army 10 - I kinda feel sorry for the Cadets as the Naval Academy takes its 13th straight victory over Army. It was a close winnable game but the Midshipmen were just too strong. Ken Niumatalolo becomes the winningest football coach in Navy history at 56–35 (.615).



Heisman Hype

Emphasis on the "Hype".

Player School Class Pos 1st 2nd 3rd Tot
Marcus Mariota Oregon JR QB 788 74 22 2,534
Melvin Gordon Wisconsin JR RB 37 432 275 1,250
Amari Cooper Alabama JR WR 49 280 316 1,023
Trevone Boykin Texas Christian JR QB 7 45 104 218
J.T. Barrett Ohio State FR QB 0 19 40 78
Jameis Winston Florida State SO QB 4 10 19 51
Tevin Coleman Indiana JR RB 2 8 22 44
Dak Prescott Mississippi State JR QB 2 4 13 21
Scooby Wright
Arizona SO LB 0 4 13 21
Bryce Petty Baylor SR QB 1 3 4 13

As expected, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota took home the Heisman Trophy on Saturday. I am okay with that but the real disappointing thing was that Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon took second place when Alabama's Amari Cooper was clearly deserving of the second slot.

Don't get me wrong. I think Gordon is a fine player, but consider that six of the top 20 rushers - including the top two, one of whom plays for Indiana - came from the Big Ten. That does not speak well of Big Ten defenses.

1. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin 2,336
2. Tevin Coleman, Indiana 2,036
9. David Cobb, Minnesota 1,545
11. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska 1,523
16. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio St. 1,402
18. Jeremy Langford, Michigan St. 1,360

I guess we will find out when Gordon goes up against Auburn in the Outback Bowl Jan. 1.


Extra Points

  • Former Big East commissioner and current College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) member Mike Tranghese made comments this week about his time on the committee this year. Among the most interesting remarks were his questioning of the use of athletic directors on the CFPC. He wasn't critical but pointed out the time constraints on an AD. For the full article, go here.
  • It was a rough week for Tennessee as three true freshmen announced plans to transfer. Tight end Daniel Helm, defensive end Dewayne Hendrix, and running back Derrell Scott all saw playing time this season. I admit I don't know the circumstances of each young man, but the impatience of young players today is baffling. They could learn a thing or two from Blake Sims. Hendrix and Helm were both 4-stars. So much for that #7 recruiting class from earlier this year. UT got more bad news when three/four-star linebacker Cecil Cherry decommited this week and flipped to Texas. Not enough schadenfreude for you? UT will be without WR Jason Croom (knee) for the Gator Bowl. In other Vols news, Tennessee has announced they will play Bowling Green in 2015. I guess Butchie has not been paying attention regarding scheduling.


In a crazy turn of events, when Mike Riley took the head coaching job at Nebraska, Gary Andersen left Wisconsin for his Riley's old post at Oregon State after only two seasons in Madison.

One national website posited "Why are coaches leaving Wisconsin?" I don't want to name names but it rhymes with "Zarry Zalvarez". In a move that should shock nobody, the Badgers egotistical Despot/AD Barry Alvarez named himself interim coach like he did after Bret Bielema left two years ago. Alvarez, who sits on the CFPC, will collect yet another fat paycheck for the game. CFP executive director Bill Hancock said Thusday, "there's no problem with Barry coaching the bowl game. It doesn't affect his ability to select the teams next year." Uh-huh... at least he is not invested too much into his school or anything.

Pitt coach and former Badgers player Paul Chryst is a leading candidate. Former Rutgers coach and NFL flop Greg Schiano is also thought to be in consideration.

More news in the Coaching Carousel:

  • Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman takes the head job at U of Houston.
  • SMU hires Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris to lead the Pony Express.
  • Tulsa hitches their wagon to Baylor offensive coordinator Phillip Montgomery.
  • Missouri defensive coordinator Dave Steckel is heading down downstate to Missouri State.
  • Troy hires Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
  • Texas A&M receivers coach and recruiting coordinator David Beaty returns to Kansas as head man. He had two stints in Lawrence as an assistant 2008–2009 and 2011.
  • As of this writing, reports say that Bo Pelini will take over at Youngstown State.
  • There is still an opening at Michigan though they are hoping to court former Wolverine quarterback, former Stanford coach, current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. There will be lotsa competition for his services. Les Miles repeats that he is not interested.
  • In other news, Hummer pitchman Ed Ogeron is still unemployed.



Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Wisconsin.



  • As of now, LB Denzel Devall (foot) appears to be the only member of the Crimson Tide questionable for the Sugar Bowl.
  • No new injuries to report from Ohio State.
  • FSU was short a few players at practice this week as DT Eddie Goldman (ankle), S Trey Marshall (hamstring), TE Kevin Haplea and DB Tyler Hunter have yet to practice. Cornerback Ronald Darby (arm) and Karlos Williams (concussion) returned but were limited. DL Adam Torres underwent shoulder surgery.
  • Oregon's OL Hroniss Grasu (leg) and RB Thomas Tyner (ankle) are both questionable.
  • West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said last Thursday that quarterback Clint Trickett’s status for the Liberty Bowl against Texas A&M on Dec. 29 remains "in limbo right now" from a concussion suffered against Kansas State on Nov. 20. If he cannot go, the Mountaineers will again turn to sophomore Skyler Howard, who threw three touchdowns during a 37-24 win at Iowa State in the regular-season finale.
  • Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight (concussion) has been upgraded to probable, but may not start their bowl game with Clemson.
  • Surely it's unrelated... but Nebraska center Mark Pelini (ankle) has been downgraded to "expected to miss Saturday vs. Southern Cal". The senior center is the nephew of fired coach Bo Pelini.




Saturday, December 20, 2014
Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette NEW ORLEANS BOWL 10am ET / 11am ET ESPNESPN
Utah State vs. UTEP NEW MEXICO BOWL 1:20pm CT / 2:20pm ET ESPNESPN
#22 Utah vs. Colorado State LAS VEGAS BOWL 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET ABCABCGAME OF THE WEEK
Western Michigan vs. Air Force POTATO BOWL 4:45pm CT / 5:45pm ET ESPNESPN
South Alabama vs. Bowling Green CAMELLIA BOWL 8:15pm CT / 9:15pm ET ESPESPN

Monday, December 22, 2014
BYU vs. Memphis MIAMI BEACH BOWL 1:00pm CT / 2:00pm ET ESPNESPN

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Marshall vs. Northern Illinois BOCA RATON BOWL 5pm ET / 6pm ET ESPNESPN
Navy vs. San Diego State POINSETTIA BOWL 8:30pm CT / 9:30pm ET ESPNESPN

Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...



Alabama vs. Ohio State 7:30pm CT / 8:30pm ET - ESPNESPN- Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly 'Skid' Rowe

Superdome, New Orleans, LA