Folks we're fresh off an eventful, entertaining week and most excellent weekend of bowls and we're heading into the finale that is the final week of bowls. Last week we saw come from behind wins, devastating losses, embarrassing efforts and overall just exciting football to help us ring in the New Year.
Also on the plate for last week is an ugly so big it gets its own intro as Mike Leach was fired by Gerald Myers and the Texas Tech administration. I hope you've read my take on the Leach situation in your assessment of the situation and as I watched the incident unfold I felt more and more comfortable with my stance. Myers and Texas Tech were looking for a reason and Leach, through his unorthodox treatment of James, game them exactly what they needed to fire him.
All in all I don't feel bad for Leach as he was stubborn and could have alleviated the situation by swallowing his pride and signing the apology the university attempted to issue to pacify the James-clan. I don't feel bad for Adam James as he has been shown to be a problem player that used this incident to get back at his coach. I do think that if there is any justice or karma in the world Myers will be fired soon. From everything that I've read Texas Tech donations and support are drying up with the Leach firing and Myers' personal crusade against Leach has shown his inability to conduct business without checking his ego at the door.
Now, for the rest of the good, the bad and the ugly read more...
A major hat tip to the Virginia Tech Hokies for saving the ACC from absolute embarrassment not only in the post season but at the hands of the SEC. Folks were talking a lot of smack from both sides but Frank Beamer'ssquad marched out onto the field in the Georgia Dome and showed Lane Kiffin that Alabama wasn't the only team that could out physical an opponent in Atlanta. The 37-14 massacre saw the Hokies pile up 438 yards of total offense against Tennessee's vaunted defense while the Bud Foster led group held Kiffin's unit to 240 total yards including just 5 net rushing yards.
While everyone else probably had enough of Thom Brennan's manlove for Tebow, I will jot this down as a good for Tim Tebow as he walked out with a win. He led the Gators with 4 total touchdowns as he put on a clinic for how to kill an ant with a sledge hammer. The pious senior was anything but in the sinister way he carved up the Bearcats inept secondary to the tune of 482 yards as Steve "dive-dive-shovel pass" Addazio took the leash off Tebow. 533 total yards for Tebow in his finale; what a game the senior played.
While the ACC got a big save with the Hokies win the real overall conference winner was the Big 10. Penn Stateshowed up huge netting a come from behind victory over the SEC's third ranked team LSU and then Ohio State beat down the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions overcame the horrendous field conditions and took advantage of the Bayou Bengals ineptitude to pull out the 2-point win. The Buckeyes were even more impressive as they unleashed Terrelle Pryor for 266 passing yards and 72 more yards on the ground.
We'll start here by ringing up everyone's favorite and superiority infused conference the ESS EEE SEE!That's right folks we'll go ahead and say it, the SEC was down right bad this past week with the exception of Florida and Ole Miss. Auburn and Arkansas were bad in wins while LSU, Tennessee and Sakerlina were equally pathetic in losses.
We'll tee off on the winners first as Auburn, squaring off against the Vanderbilt of the midwest, blew a 21-7 3rd quarter lead and needed an injured Wildcats kicker to escape overtime. Arkansas was thoroughly manhandled by ECU, a team that had three chances to win the game, but kicker Ben Hartman's three misses gave Arkansas the game.
On the losing side the Bayou Bengals were able to rally from a 13 point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter but were unable to hang on. They allowed Penn State's Daryll Clark, who has never beaten a ranked team, to navigate the last drive and pull out the win in his final game for the Lions. South Carolina, just played plain uninspired football and we've already covered how Tennessee got manhandled by the Hokies.
Sure the league has a 5-4 record right now to hang their hats on but being manhandled by VT, UConn and ECU has led to a considerable quieting of the SEC Chant.
Cincinnati gets the ugly nod for their performance in the Sugar Bowl. True it wasn't the Bearcats fault, as many commenters from websites have noticed, a talent and size differential does exist. However, the Bearcats did their best to ruin any notion that teams like the Bearcats or Boise State belong in the same breath as the Alabama, Texas and Florida's of the world. The Bearcats took a Saturday night expected to exciting and competitive and turned it into a Tim Tebow lovefest, NFL draft combine and Fox NFL Sunday for the entire second half. Plus the Gators hung 50 on them, ouch. Now you see why they weren't in the title discussion?
Ben Hartman. Somebody get this kid a tissue and a police escort for the start of the semester in Greenville because I wouldn't be surprised if more than one frat Pirate is upset that their generally reliable kicker missed three field goals against Arkansas. In a game where Patrick Pinkney and Co outgained the Hogs by over 100 yards, held Ryan Mallett to just 202 yards passing they were outdone on the only stat that mattered; the scoreboard. ECU's all time leading scorer missed four total field goals in the game but the last three came in the fourth quarter at the 1:31 and 00:34 marks as well as one in overtime. Nightmares to the Ray Finkel degree.
Speaking of kicking Northwestern's kicking situation ended up both saving and costing them the game in unheard of fashion. First the Wildcats already struggling kicker, Stefan Demos, misses the kick that would send the game into double overtime. However, Demos was roughed by Auburn which gave Fitzgerald's squad new life in the OT. Then with Demos out after the brutal roughing hit, the Wildcats sent in Jeff Budzien a freshman kicker to attempt to tie the game. Fitzgerald, lacking confidence ran a fake that Auburn snuffed out at the two yard line ending the game in heartbreaking fashion for Northwestern.