It was everything and more in my opinion.
Starting with the Thursday night shootout between Oregon and Oregon State for the Pac 10 title, and finishing with the controversial ending of the Big XII Championship game, there was excitement throughout.
The Civil War for the roses was, as advertised, an exciting back and forth struggle that saw the Oregon Ducks come out on top.
The MAC championship was a little less exciting as Central Michigan won their third title in four years.
Conference USA has their first back to back champions since the inception of the conference championship game. East Carolina intercepted a late pass in the end zone to hold off a late push by Houston to take the title.
Undefeated Cincinnati rallied to win the Big East after being down 31-10 in the second quarter. The Bearcats comeback started just before the half as they got a touchdown to make it 31-17. Cincinnati put up the only points in the third quarter to bring the score to 31-24. Cincinnati outscored Pitt three touchdowns to two in the fourth quarter to win 45-44.
The SEC Championship game was not very exciting, but did help to determine one of the participants in the National Title game.
By scoring with less than a minute and a half left in the game, Georgia Tech won the ACC. CJ Spiller scored four touchdowns and ran for over 200 yards, but this is a team game and Clemson as a whole came up short.
The Big XII game was a defensive battle that ended in controversy. With only a few seconds left, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy rolled out and threw the ball out of bounds as the clock hit 00:00. Upon further review it was found the ball landed out of bounds with one second left. I have heard there is a rule that states that the clock isn’t reviewable unless there is a reversal of a play such as complete or incomplete pass or if a player stepped out of bounds. I haven’t found it yet, so if anyone knows where it is let me know.
There were other games that weren’t for conference titles.
West Virginia held onto a three point lead for more than eight minutes to beat Rutgers.
Connecticut and South Florida played a 29-27 thriller in the snow.
Florida Atlantic scored the game winning touchdown with less than a minute left.
Arizona beat USC by four to take second place in the Pac 10 and a trip to the Holiday Bowl.
A Big Man Score
Fresno State and Illinois played a thriller of a shootout that had the score at 45-52 with just a few minutes left. Fresno State drove nearly 70 yards for a touchdown that brought the score within one, Fresno State decided to go for the win and go for two.
As Fresno State quarterback Colburn is being tackled, he throws the ball falling backwards toward the end zone and receiver. The ball is deflected and is caught by offensive tackle Devan Cunningham. Cunningham pushes forward for the winning two points.
It has been months in the works. Then weeks of waiting. On the final night of the regular season it happened.
There were steps to be taken. There was a depth chart to climb. There was an injury.
Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount, now infamous for throwing a punch in game one, returned to play in game 12. In the third quarter he got the call as now starting running back LaMichael James tapped his helmet signaling he needed to come off.
Blount’s first few touches were for two yards each. He then went for five yards for a first down. He capped the drive with a 12 yard run for a touchdown. He finished with 51 yards and the one touchdown.
Some will say, and have said, this was a win at all costs tactic or that Blount shouldn’t have been let back on the field. I don’t agree with that and have no problem with his reinstatement.
Notre Dame Says No Thanks
Notre Dame has decided that they do not want to continue this season and would not accept a bowl invite if one were issued.
I think this is ridiculous.
To me, it feels like Notre Dame feels they are too good to play in a lower tier bowl. That because they are Notre Dame they should only be playing in big time bowls and not bowls against teams from the MAC.
News flash, Notre Dame you really are a 6-6 team. This wasn’t a fluke season. This is where you are. Right now. I am not saying Notre Dame will always be here or anything like that but this is how it is right now. Accept it.
A bowl means more practices. It means another game for the seniors who have worked hard. It means getting more experience for the younger players.
Stop thinking you are elite and better than everyone else because right now, you are not.
My projections are
Championship Game—Alabama vs. Texas
Rose Bowl—Oregon vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl—TCU vs. Georgia Tech
Fiesta Bowl—Boise State vs. Iowa
Sugar Bowl—Cincinnati vs. Florida
I don’t know who will win and I don’t know who I think should win. Here is who I think should be in New York though.
Mark Ingram RB Alabama
Toby Gerhart RB Stanford
Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
CJ Spiller RB Clemson
Golden Tate WR Notre Dame