NCAA Football Report (Bowl Week 2)

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The Bowl Season is officially in full swing as the holidays will see bowls take over the airwaves for the better part of the week. As the bowls rev up more teams get their shot at a national audience or an international audience. As the bowls move on though more and more a pattern appears on the sidelines of many NCAA teams. The NCAA bowl season is a strange part of the NCAA season as not everyone makes it to the postseason and each bowl means little to anyone besides the teams involved. It is not like the playoffs in other sports as the postseason only lasts for one game and many times runs into another essential part of the offseason. This part of the offseason is the signing of recruits and the last few weeks of trying to get recruits to commit to their program. This is a job done by the head coach as they regularly balance planning for games and visited the future of their team. As the bowl season creeps up recruits are finished their seasons meaning they begin to take a serious look into what college they want to attend. This can mean problems for many schools as seasons end and coaches move on to another challenge. Some coaches choose to leave a school in order to coach a bigger program that wants their services. Some coaches are fired because they did not have the season that the Athletic Director was expecting. Either way these coaching changes usually occur at the beginning of December because of the recruiting responsibilities. Anytime there is a coaching change many recruits might get worried as they had been speaking with one person the entire year and all of a sudden that person is gone. This means that the new coach has to make visits to all of the recruits to put them at ease and make sure they think that the school is right for them. As coaching spots are filled and emptied many teams go into a bowl game without the man who led them through the season. Interim coaches are seen regularly during bowl season as head coaches are with new teams and new coaches are not ready to coach a team that has been playing one way all season. It is a strange occurrence in the NCAA and it is noticed more than ever during the bowl season. The fact that coaches may not always see the end of their season outlines what many see as the problem with bowls. For some bowls are simply not that important unless it is a BCS bowl. The coaches not attending many of the bowls does not do anything to refute that thought as many use it to show how unimportant these other bowls are. It is more unfortunate for the players who go to a bowl looking for a win and have to do that with a different coach who may not call plays the way that got them to the bowl. When it comes to recruiting it can make a lot of sense as to why the coaches are generally not on the sidelines. It still is a strange thing that is a part of the NCAA that should be changed as the bowl season seems not to count. If a coach leads his team to a bowl game, no matter which one, he should stay through that bowl game. It makes little sense in allowing a coach to leave for the program that had hired him first. As important as the recruiting is to these programs who hire new coaches this time of the year it is more important for the programs who are in a bowl game to continue the team that brought them their including the head coach. As bowl season continues on more coaches will not be with their teams as more and more teams will have interim coaches. It is a strange fact of the NCAA football season and something that can make some fans scratch their heads but there is no sign that it will change anytime soon as the NCAA loves the status quo.

 

Scores

SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl:
BYU Cougars 23 – 6 San Diego State Aztecs
– The Game would remain a very close defensive battle until the fourth quarter when out of nowhere the Cougars would capitalize on two big turnovers forced by Kyle Van Noy who would recover his forced fumble for a TD and earn an interception for a TD leading to the win

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg:
UCF Knights 38 – 17 Ball State Cardinals
– The Knights came to play and so did their QB Kyle Bortles who led the UCF offence throwing for three TDs and running for one as the Knights had their best offensive game of the year to easily get past Ball State for the St. Petersburg Bowl

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl:
LA-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns 43 – 34 East Carolina Pirates
– The Cajuns won their first bowl game since World War II last year and now they were going for their second bowl win in as many years and in front of a largely Cajun crowd Terrance Broadway led the Ragin Cajuns to the win in a tight game

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas:
#19 Boise State Broncos 28 – 26 Washington Huskies
– The Broncos were used to blowing out everyone in their last few bowl games but this time it would not be as easy with the Washington Huskies pushing them to the limit and requiring a last-minute field goal to win yet another bowl

 

Upcoming Bowls

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl:
Fresno State Bulldogs vs. SMU Mustangs (Monday December 24th; 8:00 pm EST)
– The Mustangs are still recovering from the Death Penalty but a second straight bowl is going a long way to doing this even though they will be in tough against one of the best passing attacks in college football in the Fresno State Bulldogs

Little Caesar’s Bowl:
W. Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. C. Michigan Chippewas (Wednesday December 26th; 7:30 pm EST)
– The Hilltoppers will be in their first bowl game since joining the FBS in 2009 and all after the very controversial hiring of former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino as they look for their first bowl win against the Chippewas who are on a three game winning streak

Military Bowl:
#24 San Jose State Spartans vs. Bowling Green Falcons (Thursday December 27th; 3:00 pm; EST)
– In 2010 both the Spartans and Falcons combined for a total of three wins but in 2012 they turned things around as they will both enter bowls this year as the Spartans look for their first 11 win season since 1939 while the Falcons are in their first bowl game since 2006

BELK Bowl:
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils (Thursday December 27th; 6:30 pm EST)
– The Blue Devils have not been in a bowl in close to 18 years and after a 4 game losing streak to end the season they are hoping that the home crowd will give them a boost against a team that has now become a launching pad for coaches as they go into another bowl game without their head coach

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl:
Baylor Bears vs. #17 UCLA Bruins (Thursday December 27th; 9:45 pm EST)
– The Bears are without Robert Griffin but that didn’t stop them from being one of the best passing offences in the NCAA as they will look to take their 44 point average against the resurgent Bruins who have only allowed 25 points per game this year

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl:
Ohio Bobcats vs. LA-Monroe Warhawks (Friday December 28th; 2:00 pm EST)
– The Warhawks are one of the more surprising teams this year as they would open the season with a win against Arkansas and they go into their first bowl game in the team’s history against the Bobcats who will be in their fourth consecutive bowl

Russell Athletic Bowl:
Rutgers Scarlett Knights vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (Friday December 28th; 5:30 pm EST)
– Rutgers flirted with the top 25 rankings but two losses in their last two games hurt their chances although they take a 7 bowl game winning streak into their game against the Hokies who won their last two games to sneak into the postseason

Meineke Car Care Bowl:
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Friday December 28th; 9:00 pm EST)
– The Raiders were in and out of the rankings this year and now they go into their fourth straight bowl game without their head coach as they look to beat the gophers in what could turn out to be a defensive battle

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl:
Rice Owls vs. Air Force Falcons (Saturday December 29th; 11:45 pm EST)
– Both teams are very similar as they both stand at .500 records with bad defences and very high-powered offences as the Owls look to take a four game winning streak into the bowl game against the Falcons who have lost three of their last four games

New Era Pinstripe Bowl:
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange (Saturday December 29th; 3:15 pm EST)
– In one of the most unique fields in the bowl season the Orange and Mountaineers will take to Yankee Stadium as one of the most exciting players in the NCAA, Geno Smith, will look to recover from a bad second half of the season for a Bowl win

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl:
Navy Midshipmen vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (Saturday December 29th; 4:00 pm EST)
– Keeping with the baseball theme the Devils and Midshipmen travel to AT&T park in San Francisco as the good defence of the Sun Devils takes on the perplexing triple option of the midshipmen to see who can come out on top

Valero Alamo Bowl:
#23 Texas Longhorns vs. #13 Oregon State Beavers (Saturday December 29th; 6:45 pm EST)
– The first bowl game with two ranked teams feature very different teams as the Longhorns are disappointed with their ranking after a tough season while the Beavers are happy just to be ranked after a massive turnaround this year in a matchup of David versus Goliath

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl:
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Michigan State Spartans (Saturday December 29th; 10:15 pm EST)
– Two of the best defences in the country will face off in what is sure to be a game where points are hard to come by as the Spartans, ranked 4th in total defence, and TCU, ranked 18th in total defence, look to salvage seasons where they began the year ranked in the top 20

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