NCAA Football Report (Bowl Week 3)

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The bowl season is officially over with only one game left in the NCAA Football season, the National Championship.

In this last week bowl madness truly took form with more bowls than any other week and some of the best teams in the country finally setting foot on the field.

Although the entire month was full of great bowl games all of the focus was on a special set of bowls that everyone was waiting for since the beginning of bowl season.

That is the New Year’s Six Bowls that feature the best of the best in the NCAA.

Formerly known as the BCS bowls these six bowls are those that generally feature only top 10 teams and with the playoff two of them are used as semi-finals.

They are the bowl games that every program wants to be a part of as they have the biggest exposure and the biggest payoff.

There was plenty of excitement this year as every game was watched with great anticipation and some potentially great matchups.

It all started with the Peach Bowl, a semi-final next year, where the Florida State Seminoles taking on the Houston Cougars.

The game was the only matchup where a non-Power Five Conference team took on a Power Five Conference team.

The Cougar had broken the barrier with a great year and were taking on the former ACC champions in the Seminoles.

What nobody expected was that the AAC team was going to run all over the team representing the ACC.

The Cougars put up 38 points in the game and buried the Seminoles taking advantage of Florida State’s mistakes and putting together a great offensive performance.

It was not the start that many expected in the New Year’s Six Bowls but there was still plenty of hope.

After all the Fiesta Bowl was coming up that featured two of the most legendary programs in the NCAA and two teams that just missed out on the playoff this year.

Notre Dame and Ohio State were set to face-off in a history-laden matchup but from the kickoff the Irish weren’t in the game.

The Buckeyes went ahead 14-0 early in the game and they never gave up the lead despite some fight from Notre Dame to keep the game somewhat within reach for most of the game.

Last year’s defending champions took home the Fiesta Bowl with a 44-28 win in what was essentially another boring match-up.

The “Granddaddy of Them All” was set to try to change things though with Stanford and Iowa looking to put on a show.

Iowa had surprised everyone this year just losing out on the Big Ten Championship while the Cardinal had taken the Pac-12 but couldn’t make the playoff.

The game followed suit though as Stanford took one play to go ahead 7-0 thanks to a big pass to Heisman runner-up Christian McCaffrey.

The likely favourite for the award in 2016 went off in the Rose Bowl, almost like he wanted to prove that the award went to the wrong person, breaking the record for most all-purpose yards in the Rose Bowl held by Barry Sanders.

It resulted in a 45-16 win for the Cardinal who added another Rose Bowl to their collection and truly put a star on display.

The Sugar Bowl must have been the saviour though as two high-powered offences were set to face-off in Oklahoma State and Ole Miss in what was sure to be a shootout.

It turned out to be a shootout but a shootout that featured one team putting up plenty of

The Rebels went ahead early and never looked back with Chad Kelly throwing all over the field to take the game 48-20. For many though these games didn’t matter as it was all about the two semi-finals on New Year’s Eve.

These games were set to determine the National Championship participants and they were looking like great match-ups.

First up was the Orange Bowl where the only undefeated team in the nation, Clemson, was going to take on a team playing great football at the end of the season in Oklahoma with many believing their early loss to Texas was more of a fluke.

Baker Mayfield was going to be too hard to stop for the Tigers but less talk came with Deshaun Watson who was the better player in the game.

The Tigers took a 37-17 win over the Sooners and will move to the National Championship where the “us versus the world” mentality continues.

The next semi-final was a match-up of two grinding teams that were going to get into a great fight.

Michigan State and Alabama made their way to the playoff in similar ways so many assumed it was going to be a tough game that focused on defence.

Clearly the Crimson Tide had the better defence as they shutout the Spartans in an embarrassing 38-0 win.

The New Year’s Six Bowls had a massive hype machine behind them and yet every single game came up way short of what was expected.

Chief among them the semi-finals where the bottom two teams were no match for the best teams.

If 2014 was the expression of how great the playoff system was this year was the expression of how bad an idea it can be.

Meanwhile every other New Year’s Six Bowl winner was looking at the playoff and thinking that they could have put on a better show.

For some it will be a sign that the CFP Committee made the wrong choices and to an extent it seems obvious that they did.

Then again two very good teams are ready to play for the National Title and they had been ranked #1 and #2 for weeks showing that the decisions are at least not all wrong with what could be, and hopefully will be, a great match-up that can save the boring showing of the New Year’s Six.


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