Sunday, December 03, 2006

Big Ten will Dominate in BCS - SEC is Overated

On the positive side of today's (outrageous/unfathomable/unconstitutional/absurd/explicative deleted) outcome, splitting up Michigan and OSU into separate bowl matchups gives the Big Ten a chance to showcase themselves as the strongest conference in the nation, finally putting to rest the mythical notion that the SEC is in some way superior in every way.

National Championship #1 Ohio State vs #2 Florida. OSU is going to completely obliterate #2 Florida. This is going to be a joke. Final Score: OSU 55 - Florida 12

Rose Bowl - #3 Michigan vs. #5 USC - Michigan will destroy #5 USC. USC has been the most consistanly overrated school all season long. UCLA shut USC down defensively, and Michigan has the #1 defense in the nation. Mario Manningham, Prescott Burgess and Willis Berringer will all be 100% healthy. Final Score: Michigan 45 - USC 21.

Capitol One Bowl- #7 Wisconsin vs #12 Arkansas. Wisconsin has done everything they can to demonstrate that they are one of the best schools in the country, but they continue to be disrespected. The Arkansas-Florida SEC championship was a joke, and the Razerbacks are way too one-dimensional. The Wisconsin defense will stop the running game of Arkansas in it's tracks. Final Score: Wisconsin 35 - Arkansas 9

Outback Bowl -#28 Penn State vs #17 Tennessee. Penn State has been disrespected all season long, although they have a very strong defense, and great tailback in Tony Hunt. Penn State's 8-4 record looks somewhat mediocre, but those 4 losses came against teams (Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Notre Dame) that have a combined record of 45 - 4. Someone had to lose those games, and PSU was just a notch below the top level talent in the Big Ten. Tennessee's #17 ranking is undeserved, and is just a byproduct of the media's continual fascination with overrating all things SEC. Final Score: Penn State 28 - Tennessee 21.

Alamo Bowl - #19 Texas vs (One Time #13) Iowa - A matchup of two of the most overrated programs in the nation. Colt McCoy should have time to heal up, so this game should be interesting. Iowa did little to impress in their final six weeks of the season, with their lone win against Northern Illinois. I have a hard time believing Iowa will be competitive in this matchup, although perhaps Drew Tate can pull one last masterpiece out of his repository to impress NFL scouts enough for a decent draft selection. Although I don't really have any confidence in it, I'm going to predict a Final Score of Iowa 31 - Texas 28.

Insight Bowl - Minnesota vs Texas Tech - This is where I start to wonder why they hold so many bowl games. Minnesota managed to win 4 of their last 5 games to pull back to .500 and secure a bowl matchup. They were robbed of a win against Penn State on a bad pass interference call in OT, and I really didn't see much of them outside of decently impressive performance at the Metrodome against Michigan. Amer Pinnix was the only man to rush for 100 yards against Michigan all season until the field-induced disaster against OSU. Texas Tech almost pulled off an upset vs. (overrated) Texas, but nothing else on their schedule jumps out at me as something to worry about. Final Score Minnesota 28 - Texas Tech 21

Champs Sports Bowl - Purdue vs. Maryland - Purdue launched out of the gate with a 4-0 start against teams my adult rec league could probably beat. The Boilermakers had the easiest Big Ten schedule in history, skipping both Michigan and OSU, and playing an incredibly weak out-of-conference schedule, yet all they managed to come up with was an 8-4 record. At one point in the season, they had the best offense in the country, and the worst defense in the country. The only time I heard Maryland mentioned in the news is when they were cited as the top opponent West Virginia had faced in the country before their eventual loss to Louisville - that has to count for something, I suppose. Maryland actually has a few AP and Coach's poll votes, placing them are #32 in the country, so I suppose this might be somewhat of a mismatch, as nobody in their right mind would consider Purdue to be in that league. Maryland's 4 losses came against ranked opponents (West Virginia, Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest), and the managed to pull out a win against Clemson. I suppose I should probably respect them for that, but I watched the ACC championship, and I don't think I'll ever take anyone from that conference seriously again*. Final Score - Purdue 41 - Maryland 38

Outside of the Lousville-Rutgers, and Arkansas-LSU matchups, I have walked away unimpressed with every football game outside of the Big Ten I've watched this season. I don't really expect the Big Ten to go 6-0 in the bowl season this year, as it would take a miracle for Minnesota, Iowa, or Purdue to pull out a victory, but I do expect Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin to impress the nation with convincing victories. How sweet would it be to see the Big Ten ranked #1, #2, and #3 at the end of the season. Perhaps then we can finally do away with the mythical notion that the SEC is in every way superior to everyone else, so they have no need to play anybody besides the Sun Belt in their out-of-conference schedules.

*Regarding the ACC Championship game: I was mildly curious as to what Georgia Tech and Wake Forest had to offer, since I witnessed those teams hanging around the bottom third of the BCS rankings every once in a while.

The Georgia Tech offense was supposed to be the Calvin Johnson show - supposedly, this guy is unarguably the most talented player in college football. Johnson 117 yards on 8 receptions, but he also dropped an easy pass, tipped a pass up in the air for an easy interception, and let a pass fall on the ground in front of him that I would've certainly been able to catch. The Georgia Tech offense focused entirely around Reggie Ball throwing the ball 50 yards down the field, and hoping the defense would occasionally bump into one of the Johnson twins and draw the inevitable pass interference call. Reggie Ball successfully drew 3 pass interference calls during the game, but he also went 9-for-29, and those 45 yards would've come a lot easier if they were actually trying for pass completions.

The Wake Forest offense was no better. The Demon Deacons offense consisted entirely of reverses and end-arounds, which was the offensive approach I actually recommended Michigan take vs. Northwestern earlier this year, due to the inclement weather. It was hilarious watching Wake Forest attempt an elaborate reverse that took twenty second to run, and produced 2 yards, and then turn around and reproduce the exact same play on second down for no gain, and then run the same play again on third down, resulting in a 5-yard sack.

The offense on both teams was inept, yet somebody had to win. Eventually, time expired, and Wake Forest limped off the field with a hard-fought, nausea inducing 9-6 victory.