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Day 10 of the Long March: Six bowls to end 2007 chat
2007-12-31 06:30
by Bob Timmermann

The Powers That Be in college football bowldom have scheduled six games for today and six more for New Year's Day. Can anyone watch all of them? Two of them will be played at the same time and another will be on the NFL Network, which is available only in Cuba and the Maritime provinces of Canada.

Game 1 Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth at 9:30 am PT. This game matches California (6-6) and Air Force (9-3). This is the first of two games to feature Pac-10 teams that saw promising seasons fall apart in a hurry.


Cal started out 5-0 and had a chance to become #1, but lost at home to Oregon State by three points and then the Golden Bears lost five of their last six, which included a pounding by Washington and the surrender of the Axe to the Stanford.

This will be Cal's 18th bowl game. They are 8-8-1 in previous bowls and have won three of their last four bowl games under current coach Jeff Tedford.

Air Force's three losses this year were all on the road: at BYU, at Navy, and at New Mexico. The Falcons, like Cal, have a bowl record of 8-8-1. However, they haven't played in one since 2002 when they lost to Virginia Tech in the San Francisco Bowl.

The Golden Bears and Falcons have met seven times prior to today and Cal has won five times with Air Force winning in 1961 and 2002. Cal won the last meeting in 2004, 56-14 at Air Force.

Game 2 - Humanitarian Bowl at 11:00 am PT from Boise. What better way to end the year than to play on the blue turf of Boise in the outdoors? Such are the fates of Georgia Tech (7-5) and Fresno State (8-4).

The Yellow Jackets fired their coach, Chan Gailey, and will be coached by Jon Tenuta, and then Paul Johnson will take over next season. The Yellow Jackets have played in 35 bowl games previously and have a 22-13 record in them.

The Bulldogs are playing in their 17th bowl with a record of 9-7 in previous bowls at the Division I-A level.

Fresno State has won the only meeting between the only two schools, a 30-21 win in the 2002 Silicon Valley Football Classic. Both schools have played in this bowl game. Fresno State beat Virginia 27-24 in 2004 and Georgia Tech beat Tulsa 52-10 in 2004 when the game was held on January 3.

Game 3 - Sun Bowl at 11:00 am PT from El Paso. What this game is on CBS, not ESPN? How did that happen? Wherever you find it on TV, it will be a matchup of two schools that were both at one time, #2 in the BCS. #23 South Florida (9-3) takes on unranked Oregon (8-4).

The Bulls were #2 in the BCS for one week and then lost at Rutgers and that was pretty much it for them as they lost later to Connecticut and Cincinnati. Oregon got to #2 in the BCS, but it turned out that QB Dennis Dixon had hurt his knee and the Ducks lost to an unnamed Pac-10 school on the road in the Southwest and then kept losing backup quarterbacks and lost at UCLA and at home to Oregon State.

South Florida is playing in its third bowl game in its brief history. The Bulls lost to North Carolina State in the 2005 Meineke Car Bowl and beat East Carolina last year in the Bowl. The Sun Bowl marks the first non-embarrassing name bowl game for South Florida!

Oregon is playing in its 21st bowl game with a record of 7-13 in the previous 20. The Ducks have lost their last four bowl games and haven't won one since defeating Colorado in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl.

Oregon and South Florida have never met in football before and this will be the first ever game against a Pac-10 team for South Florida.

Game 4 - Music City Bowl at 1 pm PT from Nashville. A pair of 7-5 teams, Florida State and Kentucky, face off in this game.

The Seminoles had to leave behind 36 players because of suspensions in the wake of an academic cheating scandal. The fact that there are guys who had to cheat on a test to pass a class at Florida State is even more remarkable.

Florida State is playing in its 36th bowl game is 20-13-2 in previous games and won a record 11 straight from 1985-1996 (they had two wins and a tie prior to that streak), but since then have gone 4-7.

Kentucky is playing in just its 12th bowl game with a 6-5 record in the previous 11. The Wildcats have played in this game twice, losing to Syracuse in 1999 and beating Clemson last year.

Kentucky leads the alltime series between the two schools by a 3-1-1 mark, but they have not played each other since 1965.

Game 5 - Insight Bowl at 3 pm PT from Tempe. Shh, this one's a secret as only people with the NFL Network can see it. Indiana (7-5) will play Oklahoma State (6-6). Perhaps it's better that way.

The Hoosiers don't go to bowl games often. This is just their ninth bowl game and the first one since 1993, when the played in the Independence Bowl. The Hoosiers are 3-5 in bowl games.

The Cowboys are playing in their 18th bowl and are 11-6 in bowl games. Like Indiana, their last bowl was the Independence Bowl, but that was just last year, a 34-31 win over Alabama.

Oklahoma State and Indiana have met once before, a 7-7 tie in Bloomington on October 11, 1930.

Game 6 - Chick-Fil-A Bowl at 4:30 pm PT from Atlanta - This used to the Peach Bowl and then the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, but this is one corporate sponsorship I can get behind as peaches are a fruit that should be planned from the planet. Oh, yeah, the game. It will be match #15 Clemson (9-3) and #22 Auburn (8-4) in an all-Tiger matchup.

Clemson will play its 30th bowl game and is 15-14 in previous bowls and have played in the Atlanta bowl game six times before, winning two and losing four.

Auburn is playing its 34th bowl game and is 18-13-2 previously in bowls. They have played in Atlanta for bowls twice, splitting the games.

Auburn leads the alltime series between the two schools 32-11-3 and the last meeting was in the 1998 edition of this game (played on January 2), a 21-17 win for Auburn.


Game 1 - Armed Forces Bowl at 9:30 am PT from Fort Worth

2007-12-31 08:34:20
1.   Woden325
Bob, you've got a dangling strong tag somewhere in this post. It's boldlerizing all the subsequent posts in your blog and on the main page.
Frankly I hope the AFA Falcons lose, I'm growing tired of the wall-to-wall hype on the the local news and radio. If they can't win the Commander-in-Chief's trophy, they're dead to me.
2007-12-31 08:51:00
2.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks, that post got all messed up and I don't know how.
2007-12-31 09:44:05
3.   Eric Stephen
Man, I forgot how good FSU was for a couple of decades there. Today's Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl marks the 26th straight season that FSU is in a bowl game! That's got to be some sort of a record.

Bobby Bowden had a stretch of 15 straight years (1992-2006) of playing in a bowl game January 1 or later. He also had an amazing stretch of 13 straight years (1987-1999) of finishing in the top 4 of the final AP ranking (and they finished #5 in 2000).

Pete Carroll has been amazing for USC the last six seasons, beyond anything in my wildest and most optimistic imaginations. USC's record over the past six years is 69-8, a wonderful .896 winning percentage. It's worth noting that FSU's winning percentage from 1987-1999, 13 seasons, was .890. Only seven more years to go, Pete! :)

2007-12-31 10:23:22
4.   Daniel Zappala
I can't ever recall a season in which so many Pac-10 teams were so good, and then fell completely apart.
2007-12-31 10:24:32
5.   Eric Stephen
I picked Cal in my bowl pool, but it is to my advantage that Air Force is unleashing their full squadron. I did a confidence pool, and if all my remaining picks win I still lose the pool. I need Cal to lose because I have fewer points on them than my key rival.
2007-12-31 10:28:39
6.   berkowit28
Game 2 : "Both schools have played in this bowl game. Fresno State beat Virginia 27-24 in 2004 and Georgia Tech beat Tulsa 52-10 in 2004 when the game was held on January 3."

Something doesn't sound right there.

2007-12-31 10:31:54
7.   Bob Timmermann
One was in January 2004 and the other was in December 2004.
2007-12-31 10:34:03
8.   Eric Stephen
2003 season Humanitarian Bowl: G.Tech 52, Tulsa 10; January 3, 2004
2004 season Humanitarian Bowl: Fresno St 37, Virginia 34; December 27, 2004
2007-12-31 10:40:51
9.   Daniel Zappala
Why has Cal been so bad in the second half this season? Why is Kevin Riley playing QB instead of Nate Longshore?
2007-12-31 10:41:39
10.   Eric Stephen
Bob's peach hatred aside, I'm a big fan of each bowl having a name AND a sponsor. In other words, I prefer the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Something about the extra long name adds to the ridiculousness of it all, and is more enjoyable for me.

My favorite bowl sponsorship name of all time (besides the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, of course) is the Poulan and Weed Eater Independence Bowl.

2007-12-31 10:44:14
11.   Bob Timmermann
Your questions tell you everything you need to know about the Golden Bears.
2007-12-31 10:52:01
12.   Eric Stephen
I know Jack Nicklaus went to Ohio State, but I wonder if he gets pissed when Cal performs poorly, as it sullies the Golden Bear® name.
2007-12-31 12:22:11
13.   Bob Timmermann
Oregon ... It goes to 11!
2007-12-31 12:28:02
14.   Linkmeister
The things to look forward to with the Chick-Fil-A Bowl are the creative ads. "Eet Mor Chikn!"
2007-12-31 12:38:29
15.   Bob Timmermann
Elevens are wild in the Sun Bowl!
2007-12-31 13:13:47
16.   Andrew Shimmin
When the halftime show at the Sun Bowl is a rap group with drill teams dancing on the field, does that mean that rap is dead?
2007-12-31 13:15:18
17.   Eric Stephen
Word Up With People?

Okay, now rap is dead.

2007-12-31 13:25:23
18.   Ken Arneson
16 That's starting to get remarkably close to the designed-by-survey "Most Unwanted Song":

On another note, Cal only won because I stopped watching after the first quarter.

2007-12-31 13:31:01
19.   Eric Enders
Why isn't Verne Lundquist announcing the Sun Bowl this year? Hasn't he called it for something like 30 years in a row?
2007-12-31 13:35:46
20.   Eric Enders
What is the record for most penalties in a bowl game?
2007-12-31 13:42:42
21.   Bob Timmermann
The Sun Bowl website has lots of info on who the broadcasters have been.

2007-12-31 13:53:45
22.   Bob Timmermann
The 1999 Peach Bowl is the most penalized bowl game.

Mississippi State was flagged 21 times and Clemson got 8. So Mississippi State has the one team record and the game had the combined record.

Mississippi State won 17-7.

2007-12-31 14:01:46
23.   Bob Timmermann
In terms of yardage, the most penalized team is ... no surprise ... Miami in the 1991 Cotton Bowl.

16 penalties for 202 yards.

The Hurricanes beat Texas 46-3 and won the hearts of America!

2007-12-31 14:36:43
24.   Daniel Zappala
Let this be a lesson to you, Oregon. Next time, have your injured QB sit down, give your backup QB lots of practice, and stay in the national title hunt.
2007-12-31 14:37:03
25.   Daniel Zappala
Oh, and have the prescience to know that your 4th-string QB is the one you should prepare.
2007-12-31 14:38:39
26.   Eric Enders
Also, make sure your running back rushes for 250 yards.

And make sure the other team's QB has three interceptions and a fumble.

2007-12-31 14:45:45
27.   Bob Timmermann
I guess the Ducks ate their Wheaties today.

Could a duck survive on a diet of Wheaties?

2007-12-31 14:58:52
28.   Daniel Zappala
It would have been nice if Stewart was healthy all year. And those two starting wide receivers. But I really do think the blame lies on the coaching staff for not preparing a backup QB adequately.
2007-12-31 14:59:51
29.   Daniel Zappala
I take it the Pac-10 is somewhat vindicated?
2007-12-31 15:04:55
30.   Eric Enders
How the heck was South Florida ever ranked #2?

And more importantly, shouldn't a school called South Florida actually be located in, you know, South Florida?

2007-12-31 15:14:38
31.   Eric Stephen
Yes, unless USC lays an egg tomorrow.
2007-12-31 15:25:24
32.   Bob Timmermann
USC is the biggest favorite in all of the BCS bowls. Even Hawai'i isn't as big of an underdog as Illinois.
2007-12-31 15:26:48
33.   Bob Timmermann
When South Florida opened, it was the southernmost public university in Florida. They weren't keen on anticipating demographic changes I guess.
2007-12-31 15:38:24
34.   Eric Enders
The university is located 213 miles from Jennings, FL (northern state boundary) and 428 miles from Key West (southern state boundary).
2007-12-31 15:50:30
35.   Bob Timmermann
I didn't say it was a good reason.
2007-12-31 16:21:22
36.   Ken Arneson
24 It appears from the performance of Kevin Riley in today's game that Cal could have learned a very similar lesson, oh, about six games ago.
2007-12-31 18:43:38
37.   Linkmeister
Fresno State brought some honor back to the WAC, I see.
2007-12-31 19:26:06
38.   Bob Timmermann
The MAC remains the only winless conference in the bowl season.

But they have two more shots!

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