rssBlog EntriesComments


Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

First Bowl Game Reviews


First Bowl Game Reviews


The Bowl Season starts Saturday! Those who read about the Sutton Bowl Trophy know that this is a highly anticipated event. It’s the greatest time of the year- well, actually, in June when the football magazines come out that’s pretty great, the College Football Season, Rivalry Weekend – but it’s ONE of the greatest times of the year!

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

Our first preview features two teams that are on the rise and in the midst of tCSUurning their programs around. Colorado State has never been a powerful force in the football world. I’m only using my lifespan as the time reference, but I’m pretty sure they’ve never been very dominant. It was only a few years ago that the Rams of the Rocky  Mountains were pretty good and made it to bowl games. That was when Sonny Lubick was the coach and he was so appreciated that the stadium is named after him. Since he left back in 2004, CSU hasn’t been the same. Coach Jim McElwain is in his second year and making it to The New Mexico Bowl is a great accomplishment. When it was announced that they had been selected the team and fans erupted into cheers! Their offense features a run-heavy attack. What would one except from a former Alabama offensive coordinator? They have a pretty good back in Kapri Bibbs, he’s got 28 rushing TD’s and over 1,572 rushing yards. They are not bad at passing, either. They have not fared well against teams from the major, BCS, conferences. Against teams on their own level they were much better. The Rams are improving and making it to this bowl is an indicator.  
Their opponent is Washington State. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, WSU fielded some pretty good teams. They haven’t been to a bowl game since 2003 however, ten years, but then they beat Texas, so they do have a history of making it bowl games, even going to the Rose Bowl twice! Lately, as in this decade, they haven’t done much but lose. Like at Colorado State, a coach was brought in to turn things around. Head Coach Mike Leach has a record of turning a program around, as when he was at Texas Tech. Washington StateNow he has led the Cougars to a Bowl game with his pass-happy attack. And, significantly, the Cougars are relying heavily on freshman and sophomores.  Leach is proud of his boys, and considers they have done extremely well with the schedule they had. He still thinks they should have won their opening game against Auburn. Imagine how that would have affected both teams. Now they face Colorado State in the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. Washington State throws the ball all the time. They do have a running back or two but they are used to catching passes, too. Colorado State has a more ball control mind set. The Rams will grind it out and WSU goes for flashier quick strikes. CSU actually has a defense, Washington State’s couching staff doesn’t concentrate on that side of the ball. Colorado State wins the first bowl game of the season.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

This could be labeled the game of the“Might Have Beens”.  Both teams are acutely aware of what they might have been. First up, Southern Cal, and its carousel of coaches. USCFirst, it was Lane Kiffin, who had the “full confidence” of the USC Athletic Director – until after game five and the confidence evaporated.  Ed Orgeron became the interim head coach, and, in his mind, this was a job interview. The Trojans lost to UCLA so he failed his trial. Then USC hired University of Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, which is just WRONG!! It should be against the law to hire a coach within a team’s own conference. Bad Karma is coming after USC for that. Don’t believe me, just ask Auburn how hiring Tuberville away from Ole Miss worked out.  So now interim Head Coach Clay Helton will coach one game. For the young men who that actually play the game, it’s been a tough year, but they haven’t done all that badly. The defense ranks number one against the pass in the Champagne and Caviar league. Their record is 9-4 and they  beat Stanford. With all their talent and “How the World Turns” in their coaching staff, this was a “Might Have Been” season.

Fresno State finished their regular season at 11-1. They have the best throwing quarterback in the country in Derek Carr. Yes, he is the brother of David Carr, who also quarterbacked the Bulldogs. Carr passes in a way that makes Mike Leach drool with envy. How could this team be a “Might Have Been”? Because they gave up 736 total Fresno Stateyards of offense to San Jose State, and lost 62-52. That’s how. The Spartans, California version, didn’t do much better stopping the Bulldogs but San Jose was not trying to be a BCS buster, either. FSU-west was. All Fresno had to do was go undefeated and they were in a BCS game. Now they are playing in minor bowl, but, at least they get to play a traditional power from the PAC-12. Just a few years ago, remember, Pat Hill took the Bulldogs down to play the Trojans and barely lost. Rankled Fresno. They think they’re good enough to play in the BCS, and win. Here’s their chance to make a statement. Lose, and critics will say they would never have been able complete against schools with better records. Derek Carr wants to go out a winner. There is no way he and his receivers will get shut out.  The Dogs’ problem is with their defense, they sometimes don’t have any. If they couldn’t stop San Jose State, who finished at 6-6 and is not in a bowl game, how do they figure on stopping USC? I don’t think they’re going to, and I do think USC will stop FSU-west a couple times;- not all the time, but it only takes a couple. USC wins and Coach Clay Helton gets to say he’s an undefeated head coach.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

The teams here both had to overcome Really bad starts. San Diego State came out of SDSUthe gates against 1-AA East Illinois Panthers, and got shellacked, 40-19. Oh, that’s got to hurt! Then they went to play Ohio State and the Aztecs didn’t have a Michigan State style defense, so they were crushed, 42-7. Next was Oregon State, another loss, 34-30. They were 0-3. A lot of 0-3 teams would just hope to win a game or two. Not SDSU, they got it together and eked out 7 wins, with four games going into overtime. The Aztecs won three of those games. They have struggled this entire season and now they are in a bowl game. Head Coach Rocky Long has done a tremendous job in keeping this team focused. Now, it’s time to put up or shut up.  As San Diego players know, a team that won’t be beat(en), can’t be beat(en)!

Buffalo started the season as a tune-up game for Ohio State, and that’s they way it went, with the Bulls losing. Next, they played Baylor, another loss, 70-13. There little doubt in my mind that after those two games the head coach went to the AD office and demanded to know just what sadomasochist had scheduled these contests. Buffalo then Buffalo played Stony Brook, and that game went into 5 overtimes! Buffalo won, 26-23. They actually won seven straight, to secure a spot in their second bowl game. Even with Khalil Mack, one of the best linebackers in the country, they just don’t the horses to keep up with San Diego. Unless it’s snowing. If it’s snowing, the gang from Southern California will think they’re on the slopes and supposed to be skiing. Football? In prime powder? You’ve gotten be kidding me!.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl    

It seems kind-of unfair that Tulane gets to play their bowl game on their home field. But, UL-Lafayette thinks this is their post season home field as they will be making theUL-Lafayette 2 ½ hour drive to New Orleans for the third straight year. The last two years the Cajuns won. Lafayette went 8-4 this year and tied for the Sun Belt Conference Championship. They owned the tie breaker so they were rewarded with the trip to New Orleans. LA-Lafayette started the season with two losses, at Arkansas, and Kansas State. They closed out the season with two losses, UL Monroe and South Alabama. They are concerned about QB Broadway, who broke his arm against ULM on Nov 30th. Even if his arm is healed, which it won’t be, not fully, he’s missed a lot of practice time. Back-up QB Haack only has one career start.

Tulane has a QB with the famous last name of Montana. Now, I must be old because I remember watching his dad play and now I’m watching the son. Yep, Nick Montana is Tulaneleading the Green Wave to their first bowl game since 2002. This is their first winning season in 10 years. Tulane didn’t take on any of the big boys this year and the only time they were consistent was for a 4 game win streak mid-season. When one looks at the stats, it is amazing that Tulane is even in this game. Thankfully, they have a defense that is better than their offense. The younger Montana is recovering from a shoulder injury that has slowed him down and made him quasi-questionable for the game. Let’s face it, he’s playing, anyone from Tulane says he’s not is blowing smoke. This is Tulane’s home field and they’re playing on it for the last time as they move to a stadium on campus next year. The Cajuns like the New Orleans Bowl, they’re comfortable playing in it, and they want to continue the tradition. LA-Lafayette wins.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.