New Year's Day Bowl Games 2011: News and Notes From TicketCity To Fiesta Bowl
Unless your team is in the BCS National Championship Game, New Year's Day is one of the best days—if not THE best—of the college football season.
It's a smorgasbord of games from Noon (EST) to Midnight, the likely end time of the Fiesta Bowl, the sixth and final game of today.
We'll talk about each of the games, what's happened so far in the bowl season, that excessive celebration penalty (huh?!?), Jim Harbaugh, Rich Rodriguez and more.
Also on Bleacher Report today, we'll be having live coverage and analysis of each individual game, so for scoring updates and such on the TicketCity, Outback, Capital One, Gator, Rose and Fiesta bowls, just head back to the home page.
Got a couch? Check.
Got beverage of your choice? Check
Got snacks? Check.
Then, let's go!
Well, give the Connecticut Huskies some credit. There were a couple of times in tonight's Fiesta Bowl where they could have folded -- at 14-0 and 34-10 -- but both times they battled back.
UConn just trimmed OU's lead to 34-20 thanks to a 95-yard kickoff return for TD by Robbie Frey, and a 38-yard field goal from Dave Teggart.
And there's still more than four minutes to play in the third quarter and then the entire fourth quarter, so anything can happen.
We've now had two defensive touchdowns in the game -- two Pick Six's -- and a special teams TD, so this game can change on a dime.
Heck of a performance by Landry Jones so far, too, with 324 yards passing for OU.
Get to know the name "David Brandon." That's the Michigan athletic director, and the man who will ultimately make the decision on whether Rich Rodriguez returns for a fourth season to coach the Wolverines.
But the decision won't come lightly, and it won't come quickly, so don't be looking for anything on Sunday or Monday. Brandon told the Detroit News, "I'm going to travel back to Ann Arbor when the team goes back (Sunday morning), and over the next few days will wr my work as far as my evaluation that has been a nine-month process. I will meet with my coach, and I will have more to say on this matter the latter part of the week.I have done a lot of work on this, and I will continue to work on it."
Part of this timing, and reasoning, has to be respect for Jim Harbaugh. If Michigan has any hope at all of landing the Stanford coach, it must lay low the next couple of days while Harbaugh and The Cardinal prepare for Monday night's Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech, and not shift the spotlight away from the game and the team's accomplishments this season.
TCU might have made some history with its 21-19 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl this afternoon, but the Horned Frogs -- albeit a non-automatic qualifier -- certainly deserve some national championship love.
TCU finished the season 13-0, and despite what you might think, its schedule and its victories are pretty impressive. I mean, not as impressive as an Auburn, but pretty darn impressive. Consider:
TCU opened the season with a win over Oregon State, a Pac-10 team.
The Horned Frogs also beat Baylor, a bowl team this year; SMU, a bowl team this year; BYU, a bowl team this year; Air Force, a bowl team this year; Utah, a bowl team this year; San Diego State, a bowl team this year, and now Wisconsin, in the Rose Bowl.
You can only win the schedule you play, and TCU certainly did that.
TCU coach Gary Patterson after the Horned Frogs beat Wisconsin, 21-19, to win the Rose Bowl: "This class has won 44 games and they're just special ... We've done all we can do. We're 13-0."
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton after the game: "We were going out to prove a point today and that's what we did. Our defense struggled early on and they found their groove and played really hard. Big, big stop on the two-point conversion. I knew they were going to make a big play. ... We executed really well. We took what they gave us. ... We did everything they asked us to do so I don't see why not (on whether TCU deserves national championship consideration)."
So? Do the Horned Frogs deserve some national championship love? They're 13-0 and will end up as only one of two undefeated teams this season.
Remember, the coaches in the coaches' poll have to vote for the BCS title game winner. But if the BCS NC game is a stinker, I wonder if the Associated Press will give TCU some consideration ?
That's it. It's official.
TCU knocks down Wisconsin's two-point attempt, and the Horned Frogs hang on for a 21-19 victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
That's an putrid 0-for-5 effort from the Big Ten day, arguably the worst and most embarrassing day in Big Ten football history.
Kudos to TCU football. The Horned Frogs finish the season undefeated at 13-0, answering all questions along the way, particularly in handling Wisconsin's big boys up front.
Terrific game by quarterback Andy Dalton after his rough performance last year in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State.
Just a great, great win.
This might go down as the worst day in Big Ten bowl game history.
With 12 minutes left, TCU leads Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, 21-13. If it holds up, it would make the Big Ten 0-for-5 in bowl games today.
Here are the other scores:
TicketCity Bowl: Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38
Capital One Bowl: Alabama 49, Michigan State 7
Outback Bowl: Florida 37, Penn State 24
Gator Bowl: Mississippi State 52 Michigan 14
Well, that was quick.
I think I just posted 15 minutes ago that new Pittsburgh football Mike Haywood was released from jail and I speculated what the school would do, given the precedent set in previous cases involving George O'Leary at Notre Dame (for lying on his resume) and Wally Backman with the Arizoona Diamondbacks (financial issues and a domestic violence charge).
Haywood is now the former coach at Pitt.
The school just announced that it has fired Haywood, 16 days after hiring him away from Miami (Ohio.).
In a statement, the school said: "After careful consideration of recent events, the University of Pittsburgh has dismissed Michael Haywood as its head football coach, effective immediately. He was advised of that action this afternoon."
Here we go ! Is this thing going to be a shootout?
There's been five possession so far in the first quarter and five scores. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton just ran in from four yards out and the Horned Frogs lead the Badgers, 14-10.
TCU is the first school from a non-automatic qualifying conference to play in the Rose Bowl during the BCS era. The Horned Frogs are undefeated but didn't have enough quality wins because of its schedule to surpass Oregon and Auburn in the BCS standings, thus falling short of the national championship game.
Dalton is already 5-for-7 for 101 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter.
Mike Haywood, who just got the Pittsburgh coaching job less than three weeks ago, wsa released on bond today after being arresed Friday night on a domestic violence charge.
What was originally described as Haywood grabbing the neck and arm of a female with whom he has a child, has now been upgraded to a felony domestic battery in the presence of a minor.
The incident happened at his South Bend, Ind., home. Haywood played at Notre Dame and later was an assistant coach there.
The University of Pittsburgh released a statement that read: "The University of Pittsburgh is aware of an alleged incident involving head football coach Michael Haywood today in South Bend, Indiana. The University expects the highest standards of conduct from its employees, including its coaches, and any breach of those standards is a very serious matter. The University will decline further comment until more complete information is available."
Haywood told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that "It isn't fair. The truth will eventually come out."
It will be interesting to see what Pitt does. Remember, there's precedent here with coaches who were hired and never coached a game. Notre Dame dumped George O'Leary when it found out about his enhanced resume, and the Arizona Diamondbacks cut Wally Backman loose when the club found out about his financial issues and a domestic violence charge as well.
Urban Meyer, who announced he was stepping down as Florida's coach three weeks ago and that the Outback Bowl vs. Penn State would be his final game, went out a winner.
Meyer and the Gators beat Penn State, 37-24, in the Outback.
That's it for the Meyer Era, as Will Muschamp takes over next season.
But is this Meyer's last game ever? ESPN's Bruce Feldman blogged today that Meyer would be an excellent candidate to succeed Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Here's the link, though you need to be an ESPN Insider: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/blog?name=feldman_bruce&id=5974560&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fncf%2fblog%3fname%3dfeldman_bruce%26id%3d5974560
Not sure I necessarily agree with this premise, even if it is a couple of years down the road.
As many have pointed out, the Gator Bowl was going to be a pivotal game for Rich Rodriguez in terms of his continued future employment as Michigan's coach.
I suppose if the final score was 52-14 in Michigan's favor, instead of Mississippi State, this would be a moot discussion.
But it wasn't.
So now you have to wonder .... is it really the Gator Bowl all along or is it the body of work over the last three years?
Check out this slideshow that takes a look at the Rich Rod Era at U-M.
Four bowl games in the books.
Four chokes for teams from the Big Ten Conference.
Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38
Alabama 49, Michigan State 7
Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14
Florida 37, Penn State 24
Wow. That's just an awful, awful performance by the Big Ten. And, remember Ohio State -- um, excuse me, THE Ohio State University -- is 0-9 vs. SEC teams in bowl games.
Who do the Buckeyes have in the Sugar Bowl? The SEC's Arkansas.
With Michigan just five minutes away from not only losing the Gator Bowl to Mississippi State, but also suffering the worst bowl loss in school history, ESPN analyst Craig James just made an interesting observation.
Perhaps Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, whom everybody believes is the successor-in-waiting if he leaves Palo Alto, is NOT the best choice.
James speculated that former Michigan assistant Brady Hoke, who was part of the staff that won a share of the 1997 national championship, might be the best choice. Hoke left U-M to become the head coach at Ball State in 2003 and went 34-38 in six seasons, including a 12-1 mark and a berth in the GMAC Bowl in 2008.
He left to take the head job at San Diego State, and after a 4-8 first season Hoke went 9-4 this season and won the Poinsettia Bowl over Navy.
Mississippi State just scored again, setting a Gator Bowl record for points, as it now leads Michigan 52-14.
The Wolverines are on their way to their worst bowl loss in the history of the program, and now it's not just a matter of whether a simple loss would be the deciding factor in whether coach Rich Rodriguez would save his job. Now it's matter of embarrassing the program on national television.
Hard to believe that Michigan actually led this game at one point, 14-10, only to have its porous, awful defense give up 42 consecutive points.
Right now, you have to believe it would be an absolute shock if Michigan athletic director David Brandon decided to bring back Rodriguez for the fourth year of his six-year contract. Think about it -- in Rodriguez's three years, he has produced a 3-9 mark that ended a 33-year streak of going to a bowl game, a 5-7 mark in the second year, and now what will likely end up as the worst bowl loss in school history.
Well, they'll be screaming that from the rooftops and the mountain tops as Alabama continues to pour it on.
Eddie Lacy just went 62 yards for a score, and Alabama now leads Michigan State 49-0 in one of those "take the Big Ten team out behind the woodshed" kind of games.
The Crimson Tide is just completely dominant on this day, and the game shows that, while Michigan State did a nice job in finishing 11-1 and winning a share of the Big Ten title, Sparty just isn't ready to make that jump to the next level.