Posts Tagged ‘ Notre Dame Fighting Irish ’

Time to go Bowling!

It's time to go bowling!

It’s time to go bowling!

Wow, what a season for College Football. I don’t even want to get into the disappointment of USC’s 7-5 season, 1-4 down the stretch inlcuding losses to Oregon, UCLA, and Notre Dame. But now that the season has winded down and it is bowl season, let’s look at what is on the horizon.

The 5 BCS bowls, along with the 30 other bowls, were announced yesterday. Much was predicted to be true, but there were some surprises that some of us couldn’t predict. Let’s get into the breakdown of some of the major storylines.

BCS National Championship Game: #1 Notre Dame vs. #2 Alabama. This game pits two of college football’s most storied programs. It also has a couple of my least favorite coaches in college football playing in the biggest game. Something I am not too happy about, even though Brian Kelly has done one hell of a job turning around Notre Dame’s program. This is going to be a defensive battle, one played towards the style of the SEC. I’m picking Alabama to Roll over the Irish.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #4 Oregon vs. #5 Kansas State. Arguably the 2 most talented offenses in the BCS bowl games are going to face off in the Fiesta Bowl. This game will probably play out something like a game of NCAA Football 13. Neither team puts a serious emphasis on defense, usually trying to outscore their opponent rather than get a big defensive stop. Oregon will probably put up 50 points or more on their way to yet another BCS bowl win. Too bad it’s just not the BCS Championship Game.

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio: #6 Stanford vs. Wisconsin. The Rose Bowl. USUALLY a great game between the champion of the Pac-12 and Big Ten, but this year the best teams (record-wise) aren’t playing in this game. But do not discount the excitement of this game. Wisconsin and Stanford both have great running games and this will definitely be a physical game. But like they have done all season, Stanford will find a way to win.

Discover Sugar Bowl: #12 Florida State vs. #15 Northern Illinois. Whoa whoa whoa. Northern Illinois is crashing the party? Yes they had an amazing season, but do they really deserve to be here? More on that later. But let’s just say Florida State is going to break their hearts. Barring any unusual setback, EJ Manuel should have a monster game.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: #3 Florida vs. #21 Louisville. Looks to me like another joke of a BCS game. Okay, not to be so drastic, but yes this game won’t be THAT close. Florida is one of those teams who deserved a shot at the BCS title game, and I am pretty sure they are going to take their aggression and anger out on Louisville. Not to take anything away from Louisville, but they are put in an unfair spot. They had a great season, but playing in the Big East did not prepare for this game.

Alright, as with any season there’s controversy with the BCS. With Northern Illinois sneaking into the BCS, a few teams invitations got lost in the mail. Most notably in this predicament are Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon State and Texas A&M. All these teams had impressive seasons, and if not for the conference they played in, they would very well have an at-large bid into the BCS. Oklahoma and Texas A&M are going to square off in the Cotton Bowl, in an old school Big 12 matchup. Should be an exciting game, with Johnny Football leading the Aggies against Landry Jones and Oklahoma’s high powered offense. Just unfortunate a game this exciting is not going to get the press that a BCS game would. Georgia, recently off the heels of a heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the SEC title game, is facing off against Nebraska in the  Capitol One Bowl. Yet another great matchup between 2 very competitive teams who are both ranked in the top 20 of the final rankings. Lastly, Oregon State is another team set in that unfortunate situation. They finished 3rd in the Pac-12 and will facing off against Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Little unfortunate for them, basically playing a good Texas team in their own state. If only they had allowed a 3rd team from the Pac-12 into the BCS, because under the guidelines Oregon State WOULD have qualified.

But enough with controversy. This is the 2nd to last year we have to be subjected to the will of the BCS. It is going to be interesting to look back on this in the future, especially since they will be moving forward to a 4 team playoff system. Hopefully it will clear up some of the mess that is associated with the college football playoffs. But in the meantime, let’s get excited for the bowl season that is upon us. There are some exciting games to look forward to, along with drama that is yet to unfold.

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Let the Madness Begin!

2011 NCAA Tournament from Houston, Texas

What a final saturday it was in college basketball! Going into Championship week, the real contenders and pretenders are starting to show themselves. This is the first year they have expanded the field to 68 teams this year, so 3 of those teams who normally would be on the outside looking in are going to get that shot to wear the glass slipper and be this years cinderella team.

On what was the last weekend of the season, we witnessed many teams wrap up their conference championships. By virtue of Iowa upsetting #6 Purdue, #1 Ohio State clinched the Big Ten title, and the top seed in next week’s conference tournament. In a matchup of the top 2 teams in the SEC, the #14 Florida Gators went into Nashville, Tennessee and beat the #20 Vanderbilt Commodores.

Ealier this afternoon, in what is considered the toughest conference in the nation, the Big East put on a show. Despite a late charge by the #16 UConn Huskies and their star Ben Hansborough fouling out early in the second half, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish won in Storrs, Connecticut, clinching a double bye in the upcoming Big East tournament. The title of the Big East was won outright by the Pittsburgh Panthers, who also will have a double bye in next weeks Big East Tournament. The Big East tournament is looking to break it’s own record, and send 11 out of their 18 teams to the tournament. Some include Marquette, Cincinnati, Lousiville and West Virgnia. The latter two, engaged in a tough battle this morning with West Virgnia stealing a win away from Louisville who down the stretch, couldn’t seem to put away the Mountaineers. With teams of this caliber all converging on the Madison Square Garden next week, I’m sure we are in for what should be one of the best conference tournaments ever.

As far as the either power conferences, Kansas squeaked out a win over Missouri to clinch the Big 12, and spoil a perfect home record for the Tigers. The Arizona Wildcats were able to close out a perfect home record, en route to clinching their first pac-10 title in 6 years under 2nd year coach Sean Miller. Arizona is a team who missed the NCAA tournament last year along with another major school we are used to seeing in the limelight in the UNC Tar Heels, who today beat their arch-rival Duke Blue Devils to clinch the ACC Regular Season title. It’s great for college basketball that teams such as UNC, Arizona, St. John’s and UCLA are all making their return to NCAA tournament this year. Only the future holds where these teams will finish at the end of the season, but expect an exciting finish to the season!

 

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