5 Thoughts - 2008 Orange Bowl
Kansas WR Marcus Henry
Kansas coming through for the BCSers, the Big 12's big season, sticking with what works & more in the 2008 Orange Bowl 5 Thoughts.
5 Thoughts - Orange Bowl
Kansas 24 ...
Virginia Tech 21
2008 CFN FedEx Orange Bowl Preview
2008 Orange Bowl History, Each Team's Best Bowl Moments, & More
Orange Bowl Stream of
Consciousness Quarter By Quarter Game Notes
1. At least the
BCSers got something right. While we all hoped Hawaii would have
something in its bag of tricks and could come up with a little Boise
State magic to make the Sugar Bowl interesting, Georgia showed up
with other ideas. Everyone prayed the Illinois offense could run on
USC to make the Rose Bowl close, and that Ron Zook wouldn’t go back
to being Ron Zook, but the Trojans ended that with authority. The
Fiesta Bowl might have been entertaining, but it was a blowout. Even
with the other three games expected to be duds from the start, even
if the Fiesta went the other way, Kansas was the controversial call
of the BCS season getting in ahead of Missouri. The Tigers showed
they belonged in one of the big games with its performance against
Arkansas, and then the pressure was on the Jayhawks, who came
through with a game that showed that they were the real deal. Hawaii
hadn’t beaten anyone and it showed in the Sugar. Kansas hadn’t
beaten anyone, and then it showed it could’ve. Had Virginia Tech won
in a blowout, there probably wouldn’t be any outside the box calls
in the BCS selection process for several years to follow.
2. Where have we seen Kansas before? The situation isn’t really like
Kansas State’s, who went from 0-to-60 several years ago with a slew
of breathtaking athletes taken from the JUCO ranks. It’s not really
like Northwestern, who shocked the world with Big Ten championships
in the mid 1990s, or Wake Forest, which has the academic
restrictions that prevent a steady stream of success. Ironically,
with Barry Alvarez in the Fox booth calling the game, the Kansas
rise to prominence mirrors what happened at Wisconsin back in 1993.
A laughing stock before Alvarez got to Madison, it took a few years,
and a few heartbreaks with two 5-6 seasons in Alvarez’s second and
third years, Wisconsin roared in 1993 with a 10-1-1 campaign and a
Rose Bowl win that launched the program into national prominence.
Kansas had nine straight losing seasons before going 7-5 in 2005 and
6-6 last year, and now, with a bunch of unappreciated, unnoticed
recruits who bought into the coaching staff and the program, exactly
like what happened at Wisconsin, the wheels are in motion for KU to
be a regular around the top 25 year in and year out. Can is sustain
the success? The foundation has been set after the best year in
3. To paraphrase John Candy in Splash after he got caught
purposefully dropping coins and looking up women’s skirts, when
something works for you, you stick with it. Virginia Tech RB Branden
Ore was suspended for the first quarter, but came out roaring in the
second as he blasted big run after big run to breathe life into the
Hokie offense. At the end of the first half, Tech went 67 yards in
13 plays helped by 11 carries from Ore on the way to a touchdown.
After getting all the momentum with a punt return for a score in the
third quarter to pull within three, Tech occasionally ran Ore, but
mostly went with a mix of plays that didn’t work. Ore ended up with
23 carries for 116 yards and a score, but there’s no reason why he
couldn’t have cranked out 40 carries as the Tech line wore down the
KU front. It’s not like there’s a game next week. You go with what
works, let your best player get the ball, and if you still get beat,
at least you went down doing what you do best.
4. How big was the Big 12 this bowl season? Of course, all most will
remember was Oklahoma getting its doors blown off by West Virginia,
but the conference came through with a huge statement this
post-season after years of being on the outside looking in when it
came to talk of the top leagues. Considering the coaching situation,
Texas A&M can be forgiven for the loss to Penn State in the Alamo
Bowl, while everyone else came through when few were expecting much.
Arizona State tried to make a claim that it deserved to be in the
BCS, and then Texas won the Holiday Bowl in a blowout. Colorado
lost, but battled back against Alabama to make the Independence Bowl
interesting. Oklahoma State ran past Indiana like it wasn’t there in
the Insight Bowl. Texas Tech came up with a stunning comeback to
beat Virginia in the Gator, Missouri showed it belonged in the BCS
by blasting Arkansas in the Cotton, and now, Kansas showed that it
deserved to be in the big show by getting by Virginia Tech. Think
about it; the team that couldn’t even win its own division beat a
BCS league champion.
5. On the flip side, it’s disaster time for the ACC. It’s star,
Virginia Tech, lost making the league zero for its last six in the
Orange Bowl. Boston College struggled to get by an average Michigan
State in the Champs Sports, Florida State fought well considering
the circumstances, but lost to Kentucky in the Music City, Maryland
lost to Oregon State in the Emerald, Georgia Tech got pantsed by
Fresno State in the Humanitarian, Clemson lost to Auburn n the
Chick-fil-A, and Virginia lost late to Texas Tech in the Gator. Only
Wake Forest really came through with a good win over Connecticut in
the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but that’ll be little solace for a league
that now has to be considered fifth, at best, among the BCS leagues.
Yes, when it comes to national perception, and respect in the polls
the following season, these things do matter.