Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowls - The Classics
Auburn RB Michael Dyer
Auburn RB Michael Dyer
Posted Jan 11, 2011

The bowl season might have started off with a thud, but it picked up and finished with several tremendous games. With a final lookback, here's the ranking of the 2010/2011 Bowl Season with the best to the worst bowls. Here are the classics ... the all-timers that will always be remembered, including Michael Dyer and Auburn's win over Oregon.

Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowls

The Classics

- 2010-2011 Bowl Central, Thoughts, Recaps & Scoreboard 
- Ranking the 2009/2010 Bowl Season  
- Ranking the 2008/2009 Bowl Season
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Excellent 
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Above-Average 
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Good  
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Mediocre 
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Duds   
The Classics

All-timers that will always be remembered

5. 2011 Sugar Bowl
Ohio State 31 … Arkansas 26
- 2011 Sugar Bowl SOC Notes
What Happened: Ohio State had a 31-13 lead late in the third quarter, helped by a 43-yard Terrelle Pryor touchdown pass to DeVier Posey and a 15-yard throw to Dane Sanzenbacher, but had to hang on for dear life. Arkansas mounted a huge comeback with a 19-3 run from the end of the second half on. Zach Hocker nailed three field goals and Ryan Mallett connected with Jarius Wright for a 22-yard score, and things got interesting late as a safety, taking OSU RB Dan Herron and pushing him back into the end zone, brought the Hogs within eight before Hocker's 47-yard shot with 8:55 to play made it a five-point game. Mallett got his final chance closer than expected with a blocked punt putting the ball deep in Buckeye territory, but OSU's Solomon Thomas picked off a Mallett pass in the final seconds to seal the program's first bowl win over an SEC team.
Player of the Game: Ohio State DT Cameron Heyward made six tackles, a sack, 3.5 tackles for loss, two broken up passes, and a broken up pass.
Stat Leaders: Arkansas – Passing: Ryan Mallett, 24-47, 277 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Knile Davis, 26-139 Receiving: Joe Adams, 9-120, 1 TD
Ohio State – Passing: Terrelle Pryor, 14-25, 221 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Terrelle Pryor, 15-115 Receiving: DeVier Posey, 3-70, 1 TD
Bowl Notes: Arkansas S Tramain Thomas led all defenders with 12 tackles and two forced fumbles … Arkansas punter Dylan Breeding kept Ohio State pinned deep all night long, averaging 43.7 yards per kick with four put inside the 20. … Arkansas dropped six passes. … Sacks: Ohio State 4 for 28 yards – Arkansas 0 for 0. … Combined fumbles: 5 – Lost Fumbles: 0 … Total yards: Ohio State 446 – Arkansas 402

4. 2011 Rose Bowl
TCU 21 … Wisconsin 19
What Happened: TCU held on to win a thrilling Rose Bowl as LB Tank Carder tipped a two-point conversion attempt that almost certainly would've been completed to a wide open receiver. With only two minutes to play and with just one time out left, UW tried the onside kick, but the Horned Frogs recovered and ran out the clock. The two teams traded punches in the first half with Andy Dalton finding Bart Johnson for a 23-yard touchdown and ran for a four-yard score, while the Badgers started off the scoring with a 30-yard Philip Welch field goal and added a one-yard John Clay scoring run. UW owned the second quarter holding on to the ball for 13:30, but appeared to lose track of time and settled for a Welch field goal to pull within one going into halftime. TCU increased its lead to 21-13 on a one-yard Luke Shivers run in the third, but the Badger defense stiffened up the rest of the way and the offense marched on a ten play, 77-yard drive culminating in a five-yard Montee Ball touchdown run to set up the critical two-point attempt.
Player of the Game: TCU QB Andy Dalton completed 15-of-23 passes for 219 yards and a score, and he led the team with 28 rushing yards and a score on nine carries.
Stat Leaders: Wisconsin – Passing: Scott Tolzien, 12-21, 159 yds
Rushing: Montee Ball, 22-132, 1 TD Receiving: Lance Kendricks, 4-36
TCU – Passing: Andy Dalton, 15-23, 219 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Andy Dalton, 9-28, 1 TD Receiving: Jeremy Kerley, 6-58
Bowl Notes: 2011 Rose Bowl SOC Notes  … TCU QB Andy Dalton completed 15-of-23 passes for 219 yards and a score, and he led the team with 28 rushing yards and a score on nine carries. TCU LB Tank Carder made six tackles with a sack, three tackles for loss, and batted down the two point conversion attempt that would've tied the game with two minutes to play. … TCU SS Colin Jones made a game-leading ten tackles with a sack and two broken up passes. … Wisconsin star DE J.J. Watt was held to three tackles and one broken up pass. … Time of possession: Wisconsin 36:35 – TCU 23:25 … Rushing yards: Wisconsin 226 – TCU 82 … Total offense: UW 385 – TCU 301.

3. 2011 BCS Championship
Auburn 22 … Oregon 19
What Happened: In a strange and thrilling game, Auburn capped off a seven-play, 73-yard drive with a walk-off, game-winning 19-yard field goal from Wes Byrum to win the national title. Auburn rolled up 519 yards of total offense, but it couldn't put the game away as Oregon's defense came up with just enough big stops to make up for an offense that was held to 75 yards rushing. The Ducks took the first lead with a 26-yard Rob Beard field goal in the second quarter, and answered a 35-yard Kodi Burns touchdown catch with an eight-play, 93-yard drive culminating with an eight-yard Darron Thomas pass to LaMichael James, but sparked by an 81-yard pass play to Jeff Maehl. The Ducks went for two and got it as Beard took the pitch for a score and an 11-7 lead. Auburn took the lead into halftime on a stuff by Mike Blanc of James for a safety and followed up by a 30-yard Emory Blake touchdown catch for a 16-11 lead. A Byrum 28-yard field goal put the Tigers up eight early in the third, but the offense couldn't put the game away. Oregon had its chances, but it struggled in the red zone including a goal line stand from Auburn late in the third after the Ducks had it first and goal from the one. Just when it seemed like Auburn was going to close, Oregon LB Casey Matthews forced a Cam Newton fumble in the final minutes, and the offense took advantage with James capping off the drive with a two-yard shovel-pass catch for the score with 2:33 to play, and Thomas found Maehl for the two-point conversion and a tie game. Auburn marched down the field without a problem with Michael Dyer rolling over a defender, getting up, and taking off for a 37-yard dash. Dyer rumbled down to the one yard line, Newton was stuffed on a sneak, and Byrum came on to hit the kick for the win.
Player of the Game: Auburn DT Nick Fairley made five tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, an a forced fumble.
Stat Leaders: Oregon – Passing: Darron Thomas, 27-40, 363 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: LaMichael James, 13-49 Receiving: Jeff Maehl, 9-133
Auburn – Passing: Cam Newton, 20-34, 265 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Michael Dyer, 22-143 Receiving: Terrell Zachery, 6-48
Bowl Notes: Total yards: Auburn 519 – Oregon 449 … Average yards per carry: Auburn 5.1 – Oregon 2.3 … Rushing yards: Auburn 254 – Oregon 75 … Oregon DE Kenny Rowe made nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and four tackles for loss. … LaMichael James only ran for 49 yards, but he caught four passes for 39 yards and two scores … Cam Newton ran 22 times for 64 yards … Auburn S Mike McNeill lead all defenders with 14 tackles with 12 solo stops … Auburn P Ryan Shoemaker kicked five times for a 40.4-yard average and put three inside the 20.

2. 2010 New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Syracuse 36 … Kansas State 34
What Happened: In a wild game, the two teams traded big offensive punches with Kansas State answering late with a 30-yard Adrian Hilburn catch to pull the Cats within two with 1:13 to play, but he was hit with an unsportsmanlike penalty after saluting the crowd. The two point conversion attempt failed, the onside kick attempt didn't go ten yards, and Syracuse survived. The Orange got three touchdown catches from Marcus Sales, with scoring plays from 52 and 36 yards away in the first half for a 14-7 lead, and a 44-yard play in the fourth. As good as he was, RB Delone Carter had the bigger game with touchdown runs from seven and 15 yards away while running for 198 yards. KSU kept pressing as neither team ever got up by more than one score. Daniel Thomas started off the scoring with a 51-yard dash less than 30 seconds in the game, and he added two more scoring runs from ten and one yard away. SU's Ross Krautman missed a key extra point in the third, forcing the team to go for two, and miss, on the third Sales scoring catch, but he hit a 40-yard field goal with just over three minutes left for an eight point lead forcing KSU to go for its ill-fated two-point attempt.
Player of the Game: Syracuse RB Delone Carter ran 27 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Kansas Sate – Passing: Carson Coffman, 17-23, 228 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Daniel Thomas, 22-90, 3 TD Receiving: Adrian Hilburn, 5-84, 1 TD
Syracuse – Passing: Ryan Nassib, 13-21, 239 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Delone Carter, 27-198, 2 TD Receiving: Marcus Sales, 5-172, 2 TD
Bowl Notes: Syracuse LB Derrell Smith led all tacklers with 11 … Kansas State was 3-for-4 on fourth down conversions, Syracuse was 0-for-2. … Syracuse averaged 308 yards of total offense per game, and came up with 498 against KSU. … Penalties: Kansas State 4-for-99, Syracuse 4-for-45. … Yards per carry: Syracuse 6.0 - Kansas State 3.4 … KSU's Daniel Thomas ran for just 39 yards after his initial 51-yard dash.

1. 2010 Music City Bowl
North Carolina 30 … Tennessee 27 2OT
What Happened: In a wild and crazy finish, North Carolina appeared to have blown a chance at a game-tying field goal with poor clock management in the final seconds. Time ran out, Tennessee celebrated, and the coaches shook hands, but after further review, one second was put on the clock after it was determined that T.J. Yates spiked the ball just in the nick of time, and Casey Barth came through with a 40-yard field goal. The two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime with Yates giving the Tar Heels the lead on a one-yard sneak, and with Tennessee answering on a brilliant 20-yard catch by Luke Stocker. But in the second overtime, Tennessee QB Tyler Bray was picked off by Quan Sturdivant, and Barth came through again with a 23-yard kick for the game-winner. Before all the madness, Bray had a magnificent game finishing with four touchdown passes including what appears at the time to be a possible game-winner on an eight-yard play to Justin Hunter. He also connected with Gerald Jones for a 29-yard score in the first quarter and on a 45-yard strike to Da'Rick Rogers late in the second, but North Carolina always had an answer as neither team got ahead by more than four points. Shaun Draughn started out the scoring for the Tar Heels on a 58-yard dash in the first quarter, and highlighted by a 39-yard Erik Highsmith touchdown catch in the final seconds to close out a wild first half. Neither team got back on the board in the second half until the final 5:16.
Player of the Game: North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant made a team-leading 12 tackles with a sack, two tackles for loss, a broken up pass, and with an overtime interception.
Stat Leaders: Tennessee – Passing: Tyler Bray, 27-45, 312 yds, 4 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Tauren Poole, 11-40 Receiving: Gerald Jones, 9-89, 1 TD
North Carolina – Passing: T.J. Yates, 23-39, 234 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Shaun Draughn, 23-160, 1 TD Receiving: Ryan Taylor, 9-85
Bowl Notes: Tennessee LB Nick Reveiz led the game with 14 tackles and two broken up passes … Penalties: UNC 12 for 80 yards – Tennessee 8 for 75 yards … Rushing yards: UNC 151 – Tennessee 27 … Total offense: UNC 385 – Tennessee 339 … Tennessee fumbled three times and didn't lose any … Sacks: UNC 4 – Tennessee 3 … Tennessee P Chad Cunningham averaged 43.5 yards per punt putting one inside the 20. … North Carolina star safety Deunta Williams suffered a leg injury and was carted off the field.

- 2010-2011 Bowl Central, Thoughts, Recaps & Scoreboard 
- Ranking the 2009/2010 Bowl Season  
- Ranking the 2008/2009 Bowl Season

- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Excellent 
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Above-Average 
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Good  
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Mediocre 
- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season - The Duds