Tuesday Question - 3 Bowl Things to Watch For

Posted Dec 19, 2006

What are three things to watch for from the bowl season?

Past TQs
- Do you want the Alabama job?
- What are the 3 best non-BCS bowls?
- Who's 2nd in the Heisman race?
- Michigan-OSU rematch?
- Michigan or Ohio State?
- Should Louisville be No. 3?
- The nat'l title game will be ...
- The best one-loss team
- Rule changes to help the flow
- The Midseason Stuff
- The real top five ranking
- The early coach of the year is ...?
- These three teams are for real, these three aren't
- After 2 weeks, who's better, who's worse?
- 10 Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Defensive Players of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Regular Season Games of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Playmakers of All-Time
- 10 Worst Heisman Winners
- 10 Greatest Bowl Games
- All-Time Offensive Team
- All-Time Defensive Team

Pete Fiutak           
Q: What are three things you're looking for from the bowl season?

A: 3) Can the Big Ten actually play?
Wisconsin beat almost no one this season, while the rest of the league appeared to be extremely average. Did we all overrate Ohio State and Michigan based on what they did in the mediocre conference? That can all go away with a good post-season as Minnesota plays Texas Tech, Iowa plays Texas, Penn State plays Tennessee, Wisconsin plays Arkansas, Michigan plays USC, and of course, Ohio State battles Florida for the national title.

2) Boise State
Does anyone outside of Idaho think Chris Petersen's club has a shot to beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl? Actually, I sort of do. I don't think it'll happen, but with a good defense and Ian Johnson and the great running game, the Broncos are good enough to make it more than just an odd curiosity bowl. A blowout loss would be disastrous for the future of the little guy and the BCS. What you saw the voters to do Michigan this year is what will happen to the Boise State's of the world for a few years if OU wins 56-3.

1) Who's going to be the West Virginia of the bowl season?
The Mountaineers milked the national attention from the great 2006 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia for all it was worth. With so many teams returning good veterans, it'll be interesting to see who the hot teams are after the bowl year. They can come from upsets, but watch other big things can get the debate going, like how well the winner of the Michigan vs. USC Rose Bowl looks as far as who might be 2007's preseason number one. If Florida beats Ohio State impressively, will that mean a preseason top spot? Can Texas rebound and thump Iowa? How will the Big Easters do now that they have more respect? We'll get all the off-season talk rolling in a few weeks.

Richard Cirminiello  
Q: What are three things you're looking for from the bowl season?

A: 1. I recognize this is a ridiculously calculating confession at such a wonderful time of the year, but for me, 2007 began right after the Heisman Trophy was announced.  With the exception of the five BCS bowl games, I’m treating the next three weeks as an ideal opportunity to watch 64 teams and a slew of terrific young players that’ll dominate the college landscape next fall and beyond.  Don’t kid yourself—in a sport that is heavily dominated by opinion and perception, next year’s rankings and the races for individual awards have already begun.  December and January are the launching pads for August and September (see West Virginia in last year’s Sugar Bowl), so I’ll be watching teams, such as Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M with one eye on the outcome and the other on its impact on next season.     

2. One of the many beauties of the bowl season is having a chance to really lock in for one night on some of the game’s stars from smaller programs that don’t enjoy widespread national pub.  Yeah, you do your best to watch everything and everyone on a Saturday, but that’s just not feasible.  I want to watch Kentucky QB Andre Woodson for four quarters, really understand what makes Central Michigan DE Dan Bazuin so dominant and get to know Rice WR Jarett Dillard beyond just the numbers and the records.  The post-season affords us an opportunity to soak in some of college football’s underpublicized heroes without the distraction of 50 other games, most of which would be higher on the national significance pecking order. 

3. How cool is Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson?  He broke his collarbone in October, giving him a very good excuse to sit out the Fiesta Bowl and protect his NFL Draft status, but instead has done everything within his power to get back in time to play this game.  Heck, he was pushing to be cleared for the Big 12 Championship game two weeks ago.  Money matters, but not everything is about dollars and cents, something Peterson made crystal clear from the moment he declared in October that he planned to return again in 2006.  While others might have taken the more practical approach, he’s attacked this injury the way he does defenders—head on and without caution.  Peterson’s going to make his millions soon enough, but right now, he wants to play one more game for the Sooners.  I’m looking forward to seeing him get his wish.  

John Harris  
Q: What are three things you're looking for from the bowl season?

A. 1. Adrian Peterson playing in the Fiesta Bowl. Will Oklahoma allow Adrian Peterson to play agianst Boise State? Although he's been cleared to play, will he and if so, how much will he play? How many carries?

2. Teams making a "first appearance" in a bowl feeding off the emotion of "being there" for the first time. Furthermore, what does this one singular bowl trip/month of practice in December mean to programs at schools like Rice, Middle Tennessee State, Western Michigan - teams that don't make visits often to bowls?

3. These two weeks (well, three this year) determine what conferences/teams were frauds throughout the year and what conferences/teams were actually legit. In particular, I'm gearing up for SEC-Big Ten showdowns - Penn State vs. Tennessee, Wisconsin vs. Arkansas and of course, Florida vs. Ohio State. Shoot for that matter throw in the other Midwest power Notre Dame and LSU in the Sugar Bowl as well. Whose football reigns supreme? Allez cuisine!

Matthew Zemek       
Q: What are three things you're looking for from the bowl season?

A: 3 - Better quarterbacking than what we've seen this season. After a lot of mediocre performances this past year, one hopes the month of preparation will produce better offenses. Both QBs in the Peach Bowl (yeah, we know the corporate name) will need to perform. John David Booty will need to step it up in the Rose Bowl. Brandon Cox, all eyes are on you in Dallas. Reggie

Ball: do you have a good game left at Georgia Tech? Arkansas: can you get Marcus Monk the ball against Wisconsin? Oregon--can you get good play under center against BYU? The list goes on and on.

2 - Something special. Lots of these games are dogs with fleas. Someone please provide a spark.

1 - No grumbling, no grumbling, no grumbling. It's a bowl game. You have one month to prepare for it, and you (as a player) are getting loads of free goodies as part of the deal. Play with passion and pride. If you're a huge favorite, a loss should reflect negatively on you and your conference. Go out and prove you're a good team, even if you're playing a very inferior opponent.