Tuesday Question - Bowl Surprises and Trends

Posted Dec 26, 2006

What are three biggest surprises, disappointments, and trends so far in the bowl season?


Past TQs
- 3 things to look for from the bowls
- 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 biggest surprises, disappointments, and trends so far in the bowl season?

A: Surprises ...
Besides Troy over Rice in the New Orleans Bowl, the shocker has been how well the little guy, or the perceived little guy, has done. The WAC got a big feather in its cap with Hawaii's win over Arizona State, the Mountain West needed its star, BYU, to shine, and it did against Oregon, and San Jose State pulled off a bit of a stunner beating New Mexico at New Mexico. There are more big tests to come, but it's looked good so far for the teams and leagues that needed a big splash.

Disappointments ...
The first seven bowls. The Hawaii win over Arizona State was fun, but the winners in the first seven have triumphed by a total score of 226 to 88, or an average of 32.3 to 12.6. The games have hardly been interesting, much less exciting. These first games are what give bowls a bad name.

Trends ...
Mistakes mean everything. New Mexico, for example, couldn't hold on to the ball and lost to San Jose State. Rice wasn't able to get its game plan going and missed a ton of tackles in the loss to Troy. South Florida forced early East Carolina mistakes and pulled off the win. You can't turn the ball over, and you can't be flat, if you want to win a bowl. If the first seven games were any indication, you can figure out right away who's in a bowl and who isn't.

Richard Cirminiello  
Q: What are three biggest surprises, disappointments, and trends so far in the bowl season?

A: 1. Biggest surprises so far in the bowls… the play of the defenses.  The postseason is usually a haven for high-scoring shootouts, but not through the first seven games of 2006.  TCU, BYU, Troy, South Florida, San Jose State and Utah have delivered surprisingly stout defensive efforts, creating a slew of turnovers and a bunch of one-sided games.  Even the Hawaii Bowl, which typically generates about a million points, was only 10-3 at halftime.

2. Biggest disappointments… the quality of the games.  Yikes, if these are the bowl games that are being protected in lieu of a playoff system, someone might have to rethink the format of the postseason.  The next game decided by a touchdown or less will be the first this month.  Through seven games, only the Hawaii Bowl between Arizona State and Hawaii was genuinely entertaining in the second half.       

3. What trend do you see from them so far…motivated mid-major programs picking up statement wins.  Just one week into the bowl season, Troy and South Florida have already bagged their first bowl win, BYU and Hawaii have beaten Pac-10 opponents and San Jose State upset New Mexico in Albuquerque.  Can you say recruiting boost?  Speaking of the Pac-10, losses by Oregon and Arizona State has it looking a bit overrated right now.  UCLA, Oregon State, Cal and USC will get their chances to alter that notion over the next week.  

Matthew Zemek       
Q: What are three biggest surprises, disappointments, and trends so far in the bowl season?

A: Biggest surprises so far in the bowls.

1) Troy hammering Rice with ease. It was lopsided from the start in the Superdome, as a Sun Belt team won the New Orleans Bowl (not a common occurrence). That Troy won was a slight surprise; that the Trojans dominated with their speed was an eye-opener.

2) San Jose State defeating New Mexico. The Spartans weren't just happy to be in a bowl game; they played tough, physical, focused football to authoritatively whack Los Lobos in Albuquerque.

Biggest disappointments:

1) Oregon, Oregon, Oregon. In a word, disgraceful.

2) New Mexico losing a home game to San Jose State. All credit to Dick Tomey's team--it was better coached and far more prepared. With that said, one usually expects a home team (see Hawaii) to have more juice in a bowl game. Did Bob Toledo's departure to Tulane have any effect on the UNM offense? Maybe that was at the root of the Lobos' shoddy performance

What trend do you see from them so far?

The Pac-10 and Conference USA aren't measuring up. Rice's blowout loss to Troy might have been an aberration, but when one then considers how East Carolina and Tulsa got dumped on Saturday, it becomes clear that C-USA just didn't perform at a high level in 2006. The Pac-10 will need Cal to beat Texas A&M if it can claim to have any depth or substance as a league. Oregon and Arizona State did not help the image of the conference with their performances against schools from non-BCS conferences.

John Harris             
Q: What are three biggest surprises, disappointments, and trends so far in the bowl season?