Sunday, November 24, 2002

We're going to have one crappy Fiesta Bowl this year. Ohio State barely got by Michigan, 14-9, with one of the ugliest gameplans in recent memory. Maurice Clarett may well be the best player in the country, and it will be a shame if he gets overlooked in the Heisman balloting, but Miami will find a way to stop (or slow) him, and after Clarett, the Buckeyes got nada. We will be reminded from now til January 3 that The Ohio State University football team did not even play the next best team in its own conference, reminiscent of those SEC national champs of more than 20 years ago, when Bama and Georgia always somehow avoided playing each other. Still, the Big 10 will almost certainly be the one conference to get two schools in BCS bowls, with Iowa a lock for the Rose Bowl. The Wolverines will have to settle for the Capital One (ie. Citrus) Bowl, and a likely blow-out loss to Florida or LSU.

Of course, we're still assuming Miami gets to Tempe. The Hurricanes got by a Pittsburgh team, at home, on Thursday that looked like it would have a hard time winning the MAC Conference, and still have to play an improving Syracuse team at the CarrierDome next Saturday (btw, a correction: contrary to what I wrote on Thursday, Miami hasn't yet clinched the Big East title, since they still have two games to go). The national title will be decided in a game matching the two worst BCS conferences in the nation, and the calls for a national tournament will justifiably increase.

Two schools that would be favored in such a tournament, USC and Oklahoma, both won impressively Saturday. The Trojans recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, scored on its first offensive play, and routed their cross-town rivals, UCLA, 52-21. The ease with which the Trojans defeated a pretty decent Bruins team may finally get the Palmer for Heisman bandwagon moving, but it is unlikely to be sufficient to get SC another look as an at-large team for January 1; their only hope of playing in a BCS bowl rests with the Bruins, who need to beat Wazzou in two weeks to give the Trojans the Pac-10 title.

In Norman, the Sooners had no trouble pounding Texas Tech, 60-15, and are now the likely fallback team should Miami stumble in one of its remaining games (incidentally, should the Sooners lose either to Oklahoma State next week or in the Big-12 title game, Miami might have to lose twice for either Iowa or Georgia to pass them; we'll know more Monday, when the BCS rankings come out). As alluded to above, Washington State blew a ten point lead in the final five minutes to get shocked by UDub in the Apple Cup, 29-26, and now have to beat UCLA on December 7 to win the conference and assure itself a Rose Bowl berth. The Cougars may have to play without star QB Jason Gesser, who left Saturday night's game with a high ankle sprain (the injury looked a lot worse at the time). The late comeback by the Huskies was marred by a controversial call in the third overtime, in which what appeared to be a pass was ruled a lateral and a fumble recovery by Washington, and a nice little Euro-style soccer riot almost ensued in Pullman.

Florida State laid claim to the second official spot in the BCS, in spite of losing to NC State, 17-7, when Maryland was upset by Virginia; the 'Noles now have a chance to be the first five-loss team to play in the Sugar (or Orange) Bowl if they can find a way to lose at home to Florida next week. Harvard beat Yale, 20-13, in a game of little importance featuring two diploma mills that somehow gave college degrees to W. Lastly, after eight long years, Stanford is once again CAL's bitch, after the Bears' easy 30-7 romp in the Big Game.


Post a Comment

<< Home