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If the LSU Tigers pass for more than 150 yards and/or three touchdowns against your defense, your defense is horrible. Texas A&M’s defense is horrible.
LSU backs Stevan Ridley and Spencer Ware each ran for 100 yards, QB Jordan Jefferson was good for 225 total yards (112 of those through the air to Terrence Tolliver), LSU’s defense forced four turnovers and a touchdown that was called back by a penalty undocumented by FOX’s camera crew, and the Aggies held the ball for only 22 minutes. Damn, Mr. Miles.
The Tigers improve to 11-2 and clinch a top-10 finish, the Aggies fall to 9-4 and could exit the top 20.
Arkansas is still the only SEC West team to lose a bowl game this year. SEC bowl games remaining: the Compass Bowl between Kentucky and Pitt and the BCS National Championship Game.
The Ohio St. Buckeyes have snapped their millenia-long bowl losing streak to SEC teams, and Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino is responsible. LOL! The Hogs had a chance to take the lead with under a minute to go after a blocked punt, but QB Ryan Mallett threw an interception to ice it.
It was about time somebody caught a Mallett pass. Arkansas receivers left multiple specific touchdowns on the board and were dumping Mallett line drives all night long. Arkansas’ defense couldn’t do a thing about Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor, who passed for 222 yards and ran for 115.
They couldn’t contain Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, either. The future first-rounder was on Mallett like fog, sacking him once and gathering a handful of tackles and QB hits. The Bucks needed a strong showing from their front seven, as defensive backs were dropping like flies due to injuries all night long.
The Razorbacks trailed by as many as 18 late in the third quarter before a Mallett touchdown, a safety, and a field goal were followed by that blocked punt.
With coach Jim Harbaugh (likely) off to Michigan and QB Andrew Luck (probably) headed for the NFC South, the Stanford Cardinal left no doubt by dusting the Virginia Tech Hokies 40-12 in the most lopsided Orange Bowl since 2005. Stanford outgained VPI by 243 yards, with Stepfan Taylor running for 113 yards, Jeremy Stewart adding 99 on the ground, and Luck good for 302 total yards plus four touchdowns.
The Stanford D bottled up Virginia Tech’s entire offense, save QB Tyrod Taylor. In his final game the ACC Player of the Year accounted for all but 45 of the Hokies’ yards and made one of the wildest plays bowl season has seen yet:
The ACC’s BCS futility continues, with the conference now 1-5 in its marquee bowl since it became a conference championship tie-in. A loss by Boston College to Nevada would also give the ACC a losing bowl season record. No pressure, Eagles.
In today’s only dramatic SEC bowl, the Florida Gators pulled away late to beat the Penn St. Nittany Lions in Urban Meyer’s final game as head coach. The Gators trailed until early in the fourth quarter, when Mike Gillislee banged in a one-yard touchdown run, followed by a Chas Henry field goal and an Ahmad Black pick-six to seal it.
The Lions outgained the Gators, but QB Matthew McGloin threw five interceptions, including two to Black. As always, a glimpse at Florida’s offensive stats leaves one wondering just how the Gators won — three players threw passes, with John Brantley’s 60 yards leading the way, while Jordan Reed led the team in rushing with a 2.8-yard average.
Black finished with 129 interception return yards, two pass break-ups, six tackles (I believe), and a postgame mention by Meyer as the hardest-working player on the team.
Meyer rides into the sunset having won over 80 percent of his games, and if Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden have anything to do with it that ride will end at an ESPN announcing booth.
If someone in the Michigan Wolverines athletic department didn’t spend the whole fourth quarter of the Gator Bowl holding up a giant, blank novelty check with Mississippi St. Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen’s name on it … Let’s face it, this is probably Rich Rodriguez’ last game as Wolverines coach, and if Mullen can win nine games at Missy State he can do it anywhere.
Wolverines QB Denard Robinson put up his customary 300+ yards and multiple touchdowns, and as is also custom got zero help from the rest of his team. QB Chris Reif threw three touchdowns, and RB Vick Ballard ran for another three, and if it weren’t for Bama’s obliteration of Michigan State the Dawgs would have the biggest bowl plastering of the year.
How insane was the SEC West this year? If Mullen’s aboard for the long haul, five of six West programs are going to be in contention for BCS bowls annually.
The SEC finally got on the board thanks to the Alabama Crimson Tide's 49-7 massacre of the Michigan St. Spartans, though after further review the Capitol One Bowl win will be credited to the SEC West, not the entire SEC. In the biggest bowl mismatch since the 2008 GMac Bowl (Tulsa 63, Bowling Green 7), the Tide led 49-0 with six minutes to go before Sparty found the scoreboard.
Four different Bama ballcarriers scored rushing touchdowns, with Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy doubling up. Freshman Lacy posted 86 yards, his career high against a BCS-conference team and five more than he managed against the Georgia St. Panthers. Alabama outrushed Michigan State by 323 yards, though that's skewed somewhat by Bama's five sacks putting the Spartans into the red on the day.
Bama QBs Greg McElroy and A.J. McCarron held it down as well, combining to complete 19 of 23 for 271 yards and no turnovers.
And you know what's crazy? Based on scoreboard alone, this could only be the second-biggest mauling of a Big Ten team by an SEC West team today, as the Mississippi St. Bulldogs are up 52-14 on the Michigan Wolverines with time to go.
We covered each of these games in their own streams, but for the interest of SEC and ACC bowl record-keeping here’s an update for this general bowl stream too.
Chick Fil A Bowl: The Florida St. Seminoles made Jimbo Fisher the first FSU coach to ever notch a bowl win in year one, winning 26-17 and sending the South Carolina Gamecocks home as Georgia Dome losers for the second time this month. Both FSU QB Christian Ponder and Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore left the game early with injuries.
Liberty Bowl: In the most boring bowl game of the season thus far, except for the final two minutes, the Central Florida Knights tipped away a last-second lob by Georgia Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray to win 10-6, give UCF its first-ever bowl win, and give Conference USA its first Liberty win. The Dawgs wound up with their first losing season since 1996.
Independence Bowl: Also limping in with their first losing season since ‘96, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fell 14-7 to option-mates Air Force. Two consecutive flubbed punt returns after the loss of regular return man Jerrard Terrant contributed mightily, but Tech’s defense couldn’t get a stop when it mattered. Tech has now lost five straight bowl games.
Miami Hurricanes QB Jacory Harris has likely started his last college football game. Throwing three interceptions in the Sun Bowl to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after hurling 15 in only nine regular season games, Harris was relieved in favor of freshman Stephen Morris.
I should also say something about “Catholics vs. Convicts” here, but /zzzzzzz.
The spindly Morris has so very many Harris-like tendencies, both good and bad. He did throw a pick on his first drive today, but also started a mini-rally in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns to pull within two scores.
Notre Dame played largely mistake-free football, with no turnovers and only three penalties. You don’t have to overextend yourself too far when the other team whips the ball directly at your safeties four times in one half.
The Canes and Irish finish the season with 7-5 records.
Clemson Tigers QB Kyle Parker had his ribs broken during the first half of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, perhaps affecting his future as a Colorado Rockies minor leaguer. Backup QB Tajh Boyd nearly pulled off a late comeback, throwing two touchdowns in the final two minutes before the South Florida Bulls recovered Clemson’s final onside kick attempt.
Neither team ran the ball very well, but that didn’t stop them from trying. The Tigers and Bulls combined for 140 yards on 65 attempts, and yes watching this game was like watching two people trying to parallel park in one spot.
Parker and Boyd combined for 246 yards but threw a pick each. Parker will be remembered as one of the toughest quarterbacks in Clemson history, turning down a six-figure baseball contract to endure an absolute bloodbath against the Auburn Tigers.
Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have now turned in Clemson’s first losing season since 1998, the year before Tommy Bowden took over. The Bulls finish their season with two straight wins over ACC schools.
In perhaps the craziest ending in a college football season loaded with crazy finishes, the Music City Bowl featured almost too many wild late moments to catalog. Let’s attempt. The Tennessee Volunteers scored a touchdown on a Tyler Bray pass against the North Carolina Tar Heels to take the lead with just minutes to go, but missed the extra point, giving them only a 20-17 edge.
The Heels nearly converted a fourth-and-20 on their next drive, but Dwight Jones dropped T.J. Yates’ pass. The Vols ran some clock and punted back, then Yates found Todd Harrelson for a 28-yard pass, which was extended by a damn-near somersault of a spear to the back of the neck by Janzen Jackson. I’m really not making that up. Another quick gain, and the Heels were in business with seconds left.
Somebody decided running the ball would be a good idea, even though UNC had no timeouts. Shaun Draughn couldn’t get the first down, and the field goal unit thought its services were needed. With at least eight offensive linemen on the field plus the kicker, Yates snapped the ball as the clock expired. Refs ruled the game over, Vols players celebrated, and Derek Dooley knew exactly what was coming.
Official review. Game not over. One second left. Five-yard penalty for seven tons of players on the field. Field goal good. Overtime. Oh, and penalty for roughing the kicker.
Both teams scored in the first round, then Bray threw a pick to set UNC up for a winning field goal. The Heels converted, and good Lord I typed every word of that from memory, because once you’ve gazed at that kind of horror, it’s seared into your mind forever.
Bowl games with departing coaches can go one of two ways, and so far both the Champs Sports Bowl and Military Bowl have gone the ACC’s way. While West Virginia came out flat in Bill Stewart’s first game as coach-with-a-coach-in-waiting, the Maryland Terrapins tore the East Carolina Pirates asunder as a parting gift for Terps coach Ralph Friedgen.
The Turtles piled up 297 rushing yards, and now it’s clear why for months certain Georgia Tech fans (/points at self) had been hoping Tech would get ECU in the Military. Also there were lots of robots on the sidelines and an Army bomb-hunting robot brought out the game ball — like Tech would’ve lost a bowl game staffed by robots.
The N.C. State Wolfpack has put the ACC in the win column with an impressive victory over the coaching-turmoil’d West Virginia Mountaineers. The Pack’s 23 points is the highest total WVU has given up all year, and seven points is the fewest the Eers have scored all year. That’s an old-fashioned ACC ass-whoopin’, friends. (We get to type that once per year, tops, so humor an ACC fan.)
Russell Wilson’s offense outpaced the Mountaineers attack, but it was the five turnovers forced by the State defense that made the difference. Wilson passed for 276 yards and ran for another 41 while throwing a pair of touchdowns, but he also avoided throwing a pick for the first time since Sept. 16.
Pack LB Nate Irving contributed a strip-sack, a passel of tackles, and a fumble recovery in his final game, completing the end of an amazing return to college football after a car accident kept him out of the 2009 season. I, for one, look forward to seeing him in the NFL.
Ohio St. Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor, along with four other players, will miss the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits. The four other players are Devier Posey, Solomon Thomas, Daniel “Boom” Herron, and Mike Adams.
Each will still be able to play in the Sugar Bowl against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Jan. 4. Vegas took down lines on the game at some point Wednesday night, as it began to appear there might be something to the tattoos-for-autographs rumor that had been bubbling all week.
While this suspension doesn’t appear to be all that directly related (qualifiers!) to the tattoo thing, it’s now clear that something was indeed up.
This could certainly prove to be a distraction for the Buckeyes in advance of the Sugar Bowl. While Auburn played carefree football despite the ongoing Cam Newton investigation and scandal, distractions aren’t that easy to overlook for most. Ohio State already had a lot on its mind anyway, considering its lengthy losing streak to SEC teams in bowl games.
Visit SB Nation for more on Pryor’s suspension.
Using Yahoo! Sports College Bowl Pick ’Em, we can see how the general public feels about the outcome of each 2010 bowl game. The SEC brand is strong, as the zeitgeist expects only the Arkansas Razorbacks to lose among all SEC teams.
The Tennessee Volunteers and North Carolina Tar Heels are an even split in the Music City even though Vegas favors the Heels. However, people have invested more confidence points in UNC, so this one sort of favors the ACC.
South Carolina is very heavily favored over the Florida St. Seminoles in the Chick Fil A, as the public is counting on Steve Spurrier to not lose two straight in the Georgia Dome. I guess.
Nick Saban is expected to get a win over his former Michigan St. Spartans, with the Mississippi St. Bulldogs favored by far to finish off the Great Lakes State’s other bowl team, the Michigan Wolverines.
The common fan expects the Ohio St. Buckeyes to end their I’m-not-even-mad-that’s-amazing SEC losing streak by beating the Hogs in the Sugar Bowl, and LSU to blow the Texas A&M Aggies out of the Cotton Bowl despite only a one-point Vegas spread.
As rumored, the Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the Michigan St. Spartans in the Capitol One Bowl, set for Jan. 1 in Orlando, Florida. One of the most prestigious non-BCS bowls, the former Citrus Bowl has been around since 1946, hosting the Spartans twice and Tide once. MSU lost to the Georgia Bulldogs here in 2009.
Bama is 9-3, with its only losses to the SEC Eastern and Western Division champions and the LSU Tigers. Sparty went 11-1, the only team to beat the Rose Bowlin’ Wisconsin Badgers, dropping a head-scratcher to the Iowa Hawkeyes by 31 points. Both teams beat their common opponent, the Penn St. Nittany Lions, though Bama did so by a much greater margin.
The Tide have the nation’s fifth-best defense and last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, while MSU boasts … well, they’re not astounding at anything, but they rank towards the top in most statistical categories.
The LSU Tigers fell just short of a BCS bid by losing to the Arkansas Razorbacks, but a trip to the Cotton Bowl is nothing to sneeze at. The Texas A&M Aggies signed on earlier, and the two will meet on Jan. 7 in Arlington, Texas at JerryWorld.
One of the nation’s oldest bowls, the Cotton has been around since 1937. A&M has played 11 times, including three in a row in the ’90s, winning four. LSU has only played in it four times, most recently losing to the Texas Longhorns in 2003.
10-2 LSU led a charmed life all year, winning games in the most random and impossible fashion and spawning internet cult hero status for coach Les Miles. The Aggies went 9-3, overcoming a three-game midseason losing streak, and do so much weird stuff at their games that Miles will feel right at home.
Texas A&M has the nation’s 18th-ranked passing offense, while LSU has a top-ten scoring defense. Both lost to common opponent Arkansas by a touchdown.
The Orange Bowl managed to avoid the dreaded Virginia Tech Hokies-Connecticut Huskies matchup, wisely pairing the Hokies with the Stanford Cardinal and leaving UConn for the Fiesta. Stanford has never been to the Orange Bowl, but Virginia Tech goes LIKE EVERY YEAR. The Hokies have been twice in the past three years and three times overall, beating the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2008.
The bowl will take place on Jan. 3 at 8:30 in Miami.
ACC champion Virginia Tech finished 11-2 after an 0-2 start that included losses to the Boise St. Broncos and James Madison Dukes. Stanford stormed through the Pac-10, going 11-1, with its only loss to the BCS National Championship Game participant Oregon Ducks.
If you like old-school football, this might be the BCS game for you. Both teams have top-20 defenses and running games. Believe it or not, they’ve played a common opponent: the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Stanford beat Wake 68-24 at home, while VPI handled them 52-21 in Blacksburg.
Not sure when this one got reported, but it’s listed on each team’s schedule now: the Kentucky Wildcats will play the Pittsburgh Panthers in Birmingham, Alabama’s BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. The former PapaJohns.com Bowl has been around since 2006, with a Big East team winning every year.
6-6 Big Blue upset South Carolina, its only noteworthy win, though it also played the Auburn Tigers and Mississippi St. Bulldogs close. Pitt went 7-5 and beat a bunch of Big East teams that sort of run together, getting blown out by the Miami Hurricanes and also losing to the Utah Utes, who we eventually discovered weren’t very good at all. A natural selling point for this game: Randall Cobb vs. Dion Lewis, a pair of exciting and versatile athletes.
The Gators have played in three Outback Bowls since 2002, going 1-1 against the Iowa Hawkeyes and losing to the Michigan Wolverines. Penn State has played three times since 1995, winning each time. Last year’s epic pitted the Auburn Tigers against the Northwestern Wildcats, with the Tigers winning an overtime thriller.
Florida is 7-5, limited by a wildly sputtery offense and losing to four ranked teams on the year. The Nittany Lions are also 7-5, also losing four games to ranked teams — including a blowout loss to an SEC team, the Alabama Crimson Tide. For what it’s worth, Penn State came a few points closer against the Tide than did the Gators. This could be one sloppy game, as neither team has consistently put up points against quality defenses.
Running since 1946, the Gator has never hosted the Bulldogs, though Michigan has played here twice. The Wolverines beat the Mississippi Rebels in 1991 and now aim to complete their set of Egg Bowl victims. That’s a very specific set.
Michigan is 7-5, while MSU is 8-4 — each team has four losses to teams that were ranked at the time. The Dawgs have one win over a team that was ranked (Florida Gators), while the Wolverines have none. Each team also had a two-game losing streak in November.
This matchup pairs one of the nation’s most dynamic players, Michigan QB Denard Robinson, against one of its best defenses. On the flip side, Michigan’s defense is so bad that even Missy State’s ground-and-pound offense should be able to put up some points.
This one hasn’t been reported anywhere yet, but it’s pretty simple. All other ACC bowl spots are spoken for, leaving only the N.C. State Wolfpack for the Champs Sports Bowl. The West Virginia Mountaineers have already officially committed to the bowl, so that’s that.
The Champs Sports is scheduled for Dec. 28 in Orlando at 6:30. It’s been around since 1990.
N.C. State went 8-4 this year and almost played their way into the ACC Championship Game on a strong year by QB Russell Wilson and an aggressive defense. WVU went 9-3 in the Big East, with all three of their losses by a single score. They have the nation’s second-best scoring defense. These teams have a common opponent: the Maryland Terrapins beat N.C. State and lost to West Virginia.
The Clemson Tigers and South Florida Bulls will face off in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, NC on December 31 on ESPN at 12:00 p.m. The two teams have never faced each other.
Clemson is 6-6 and 4-4 in ACC play. The Tigers alternated wins and losses for the last six games of the season. Key wins include over Georgia Tech, NC State, and Maryland. Losses include to North Carolina, Miami, and Florida State. Clemson also gave national championship bound Auburn their toughest test of the season, losing on the road by three points in overtime.
South Florida is 7-5 and 3-4 in the Big East. The Bulls got big wins over Miami, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Louisville. Losses include close ones to Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
The Boston College Eagles get picked last of the ACC teams, and will have to fly across the country to San Francisco to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Boston College has been a streaky team this season, starting the year 2-5 and including losing five straight before wining their last five games to get bowl eligible. Key wins include over Clemson, Virginia, and Syracuse, with losses to Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Florida State.
Nevada has been one of the best non-AQ teams this season, winning the WAC and finishing the year at 12-1 and 7-1 in the conference. Notable wins include over California, BYU, and most notably beating Boise State late in the season. Their only loss came to Hawaii on the road.
The game is January 9th at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN.
As we projected earlier today, the South Carolina Gamecocks will be making a return trip to the Georgia Dome to play the Florida St. Seminoles in the Chick Fil A Bowl. The Cocks were here last night, losing to the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship Game. Coincidentally, the Noles lost the ACC Championship Game last night.
The Chick Fil A Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Since 1968 the bowl has usually pitted SEC teams and ACC teams. Last year the Virginia Tech Hokies beat the Tennessee Volunteers in VPI’s third trip to Atlanta of the year. FSU has appeared twice, including the first-ever outing, back when it was known as the Peach Bowl. South Carolina participated in the second, and hasn’t been back since.
The Noles went 9-4, boasting the nation’s best pass rush. The Gamecocks also went 9-4 and feature a star-studded offense led by RB Marcus Lattimore and WR Alshon Jeffery.
It's official: Georgia Tech will head to Shreveport, Louisiana to take on the Air Force Falcons. Both teams run option based spread offenses. Tech leads the nation with 327 rushing yards per game, and Air Force comes in second nationally with 317.9 yards per game.
As a Tech fan, I'm not all that excited to go the Shreveport, especially after how much fun it was when Georgia went last year. But as for the matchup, this game will be a blast to watch.
Air Force is 8-4 and 5-3 in the MWC this season. They have wins over BYU, Navy, and Army, and had close losses to Oklahoma and Utah.
The game will be Tech's first appearance in the Independence Bowl. The two teams have faced off three times in the past, and Tech has won all of the meetings.
The game is December 27th at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
SB Nation Detroit passes along an interesting finding from the Sugar Bowl’s website: promotional images featuring the logos of the Arkansas Razorbacks and Ohio St. Buckeyes, complete with the Sugar Bowl’s 2011 logo:
Unless the Sugar has a whole set of these ready to go at the official announcement, we can pretty much chalk this one up to hardy internet sleuthing. This matchup was expected anyway, as the Wisconsin Badgers are already committed and Ohio State is a bigger name than the Michigan St. Spartans.
Arkansas has appeared in five Sugar Bowls, most recently a loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in 1980. Ohio State has appeared three times, beating the Texas A&M Aggies in 1999. This year’s edition is set for Jan. 4 at 8:30 in New Orleans.
It could be worse for Dawgs fans — at least there’s a storyline here. UCF is coached by George O’Leary, who went 3-4 against the Dawgs in his seven full seasons as head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Georgia is 1-1 in the Liberty, beating the Arkansas Razorbacks 20-17 in 1987 and losing 14-7 to the N.C. State Wolfpack in 1967. The bowl has been around since 1959, with Arkansas beating the East Carolina Pirates last year. This is the Knights’ first trip.
Conference USA champ UCF is 10-3, with only one loss since October and the nation’s 12th-most-potent scoring offense. The Dawgs are 6-6, gaining bowl eligibility in their final regular season game by beating the Jackets.
Testudo Times, our Maryland Terrapins community, is suitably confident the Terps will meet the East Carolina Pirates in the Military Bowl on Dec. 29 in Washington DC. If It’s good enough for TT it’s good enough for SBN ATL, and this one has been rumored anyway.
As this one is right in Maryland country, it’s the only ACC bowl willing to take a chance on Maryland’s fan base. I’d hoped the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets would get ECU, who allowed 76 points to the Navy Midshipmen earlier in the year.
Maryland is 8-4 and was right in the ACC Atlantic title run until the end of the regular season. Their win over the N.C. State Wolfpack put the Florida St. Seminoles into the conference’s championship game. ECU is 6-6, with the nation’s 118th-best scoring defense.
This is the third iteration of the Military Bowl. The UCLA Bruins beat the Temple Owls last year.
Clay Travis and others are reporting the Tennessee Volunteers will meet the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Music City Bowl. The Nashville bowl is scheduled for Dec. 30 at 6:30. With one potential Georgia Bulldogs bowl now ruled out, a Liberty Bowl bid is looking more likely for the Dawgs.
The Vols and Heels might have had the two most disappointing seasons of any teams in the nation. When Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin fled to take the USC Trojans job, he left behind a depleted roster that new coach Derek Dooley said didn’t have anybody qualified to play second-string. The Heels were supposed to challenge for the ACC title, but scandal forced them to do without almost half of the preseason All-ACC defense.
The Miami Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, old Catholics vs. Convicts rivals, will renew hostilities in the 2010 Sun Bowl. The rivalry was one of the 1980s’ greatest, with several meetings helping to decide national championships. Three Canes title runs involved wins over the Irish, and Notre Dame beat Miami in 1988 on its championship campaign.
The two were already set to play three times in the coming years, with a 2012 Soldier Field matchup followed by a home-and-home.
Neither program is quite what it used to be. The Irish posted multiple losing streaks in what was actually their most successful regular season since Charlie Weis’ second year in 2006. And the Canes fired coach Randy Shannon after a loss to the South Florida Bulls.
I’d given up on the Independence Bowl, which picks seventh among ACC bowls, but Wilmington Star News’ Brett Friedlander reports the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will be going to Shreveport. The Air Force Falcons have already accepted a spot in the Independence Bowl.
Avoiding the Kraft Fight Hunger and the Nevada Wolf Pack is good news for the Jackets, though a trip to less-than-glamorous Shreveport after Tech fans gave Georgia Bulldogs fans grief for making the same trek last year won’t be easy to swallow for Jacket faithful.
Air Force finished the regular season 8-4, 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference. They beat both the Navy Midshipmen and Army Black Knights, and came within a handful of points against the Utah Utes and eventual Big 12-champion Oklahoma Sooners. As we’ve discussed before, this would be a matchup between two teams that both run the same very rare offense. Could we see a two-hour bowl game?
Bowl pairings will be announced tonight on ESPN. Here are a few predictions on the three most Atlanta bowls.
Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 in Memphis: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Central Florida Knights. UCF is already dialed in here, as the Conference USA champion. Georgia makes sense based on the SEC pecking order, though they could also land in the Music City against the ACC's sixth pick (Boston College Eagles, North Carolina Tar Heels) or the BBVA Compass against a middling Big East team (South Florida Bulls, Syracuse Orange, Louisville Cardinals).
Military Bowl on Dec. 29 in Washington DC: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. East Carolina Pirates. Thinking Tech falls to the ACC's eighth spot to the Military, which has already grabbed ECU. They could rise to the Music City against an SEC team (Mississippi St. Bulldogs, Florida Gators) or fall all the way to the Kraft Fight Hunger against either the Boise St. Broncos or Nevada Wolf Pack.
Chick Fil A Bowl on Dec. 31 in Atlanta: Florida St. Seminoles vs. South Carolina Gamecocks. ACC runner-up FSU is all but guaranteed to play in the Georgia Dome after the Chick Fil A announced a few days ago they'd take the ACC Championship Game loser. An Atlanta return trip for the Gamecocks could be a little off-putting for both the fanbase and the selection committee, not because Atlanta isn't the most wonderful place on earth but because of bad SEC Championship Game memories. Still: the Virginia Tech Hokies last year made three different trips to Atlanta, with their Chick Fil A Bowl appearance finally paying off. Also, Steve Spurrier in the Georgia Dome one last time.
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