Who's Hot & Not ... The Bowls
Who's Hot ... From the Bowl Season
Who’s Not ...
25. Boston College QB David Shinskie
The former Major League pitcher got a crack at USC in the Emerald Bowl at the home of the San Francisco Giants. It didn’t help for the 25-year old rookie. He hit Rich Gunnell for a 61-yard seam-buster in the second quarter. The rest of the night, he was just 13-of-32 for 157 yards and a pick.
In the Little Caesars Bowl, Marshall had no permanent coach and was missing one of its best weapons, TE Cody Slate. Surely, this was the opening the Bobcats needed to finally win a school-first bowl game. Nope. They came out flat, falling behind 21-0 in a game they should have won and coming up short in their comeback bid. Chalk it up as a lost opportunity.
23. The Southern Miss D
If this is one of Conference USA’s stiffest defenses, it’s no wonder the league has become an offensive playground. A favorite in the New Orleans Bowl, the Eagles wound up allowing 450 balanced yards in a dismal 42-32 loss.
22. The UCF Pass Rush
A terror all season, the Knight’s front seven managed just a single sack and three tackles for loss against Rutgers in a 45-24 St. Petersburg Bowl loss to Rutgers. The Scarlet Knight began the game 111th nationally in sacks yielded.
21. The LSU Offense
Yeah, the field was a mess and the Penn State D is rugged, but nine first downs and just 243 total yards in the Capital One Bowl? The Tigers have struggled all year against better defenses and obviously missed top RB Charles Scott.
20. Tennessee in the Trenches
The Vols got bullied on both sides of the ball by Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, keeping Lane Kiffin from ending his first season on a high note. The Hokies rushed for 229 yards to pull away in the second half and got to Jonathan Crompton a season-high six times.
19. Fresno State
Anybody, anytime, anywhere. Unless it’s a New Mexico Bowl date with Wyoming, which shocked the heavily-favored Bulldogs, 35-28, in double-overtime.
In one of the most feeble efforts of the postseason, the Pack ran for more than 200 yards below their season average and made SMU QB Kyle Padron look like a young Colt Brennan in a 45-10 Hawaii Bowl loss.
17. Miami QB Jacory Harris
Harris had problems moving the Hurricane offense all night in the Champs Sports Bowl, looking nothing like the player who started the season so hot. Although he wasn’t intercepted for a change, he accounted for only 187 yards, most of which came on one drive when Wisconsin was giving up the short stuff.
16. Humanitarian Bowl Pass Defenses
In the last minute alone, Idaho inexplicably let Freddie Barnes get behind the secondary for a 51-yard score and Bowling Green allowed the Vandals to go 66 yards in 28 seconds for the win. It was a microcosm of a game that featured eight touchdown passes and 627 yards from Nathan Enderle and Tyler Sheehan.
15. Stanford QB Tavita Pritchard
Starting QB Andrew Luck was sorely missed in the Cardinal’s 31-27 loss to Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl. Ya think? A symbol of the old Stanford, Pritchard only completed 8-of-19 passes for 117 yards, no touchdowns, and two picks.
14. Northwestern PK Stefan Demos
Demos missed three field goals, including a pair with the Outback Bowl hanging in the balance, and an extra point before suffering a leg injury. He also averaged just 31.6 yards as the punter in a rough overall afternoon for the junior.
13. East Carolina PK Ben Hartman
So many chances to defeat Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl. And yet, so many blown opportunities for the senior. In a 20-17 loss to the Hogs, Hartman went just 1-of-5 on field goal tries, missing a pair from 39 yards in the last 63 seconds of the fourth quarter and a 35-yarder in overtime.
12. The MAC
While Central Michigan is still set to go on Wednesday in the GMAC Bowl, the Mid-American Conference has dropped all four of this year’s bowl games, running its postseason losing streak to 13 games. Bowling Green suffered a heartbreaker at the hands of Idaho and Temple hung with UCLA, but it’s still been more than three years since the league was victorious, a Chippewa win over Middle Tennessee in the 2006 Motor City Bowl.
11. Texas A&M
To call the Aggies sloppy in their 44-20 Independence Bowl loss to Georgia would be kind. A&M tackled poorly after the first quarter, couldn’t execute on offense, and completely imploded on special teams, allowing a kick return for a score and a couple of blocked kicks. If this is what Mike Sherman produces with a month to prepare, he’ll have a short tenure in College Station.
While there’s no shame in losing to a service academy, Mizzou got thoroughly abused by Navy in the Texas Bowl, 35-13. It’s one thing to allow a ton of yards to the triple-option, but QB Blaine Gabbert and the Tiger offense didn’t do their part, producing no touchdowns over the final 59 minutes and yielding four sacks.
After getting a two-touchdown head start on Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Bears started the offseason about three quarters too early. The Utes took full advantage, getting a huge night from rookie QB Jordan Wynn and the defense in a 37-27 come-from-behind win.
8. Oregon State
For the second straight December, the Beavers were shockingly bad, getting thumped by BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, 44-20. Absolutely nothing went right for OSU, which looked like a shell of the team that darn near won a Pac-10 title.
In one of the most dreadful all-around postseason performances you’ll ever see, the Wildcats did a weak job of representing the Pac-10 in the Holiday Bowl. No match for Nebraska, Arizona got manhandled from the opening kickoff, losing 33-0 and getting outgained 396-109.
6. South Carolina
Let’s all have a moratorium on the assumption that Steve Spurrier will someday turn this program into an SEC powerhouse. Maybe it’s just not going to ever happen. The Gamecocks were so feeble and ill-prepared for Connecticut in the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the coach felt compelled to apologize to the fans who made the trip from South Carolina for the game.
5. Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli
Where were the electrifying moments that have typified his two seasons in Eugene? He was bottled up all afternoon in the Rose Bowl, running for a season-low nine yards and a score, while only going 9-of-20 for 81 yards and a pick through the air.
4. Cotton Bowl Quarterbacks
Jevan Snead vs. Zac Robinson might have sounded like a titanic quarterback battle if the discussion took place in August. In January? Not so much. For differing reasons, neither player reached expectations, capping disappointing years by combining for zero touchdowns and seven interceptions in Arlington.
Okay, so no one expected you to beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl, especially without Brian Kelly, but could you put up a fight? Unbeaten and in the hunt for a national title all year, the Bearcats got exposed in New Orleans, allowing 659 total yards to the Gators and failing to be competitive shortly after kickoff.
2. Houston QB Case Keenum
During the 12-game regular season, Keenum threw six interceptions. Since then, he’s thrown nine, including a half-dozen in the Cougars’ dreadful Armed Forces Bowl loss to Air Force. If he was even flirting with the idea of turning pro a week ago, he isn’t today.
1. The Pac-10
USC beat Boston College in the Emerald Bowl and UCLA defeated Temple in the EagleBank Bowl. Whoopee! The Pac-10 had very little to crow about this postseason, as its top four teams in the regular season standings all lost as part of a 2-5 overall mark. Oregon failed to keep the league’s Rose Bowl dominance going, and Arizona, Oregon State, and Cal were all hideous in December blowout losses.
Who's Hot ... From the Bowl Season