Hawaii Bowl, 8pm
Notre Dame vs Hawaii. Lines ND -2, O/U 49
One of my favorite streaks in the history of sports is in jeopardy tonight. Not ND's 0-9 record in bowls, nor the fact ND has not won a bowl game since 1993.
Nope the streak in question is the fact that 89 different schools have won bowl games since the Fighting Irish last celebrated a bowl victory.
How long is that draught? So long that when Arizona--one of the worst teams from a BCS leage over the previous decade--won their bowl game on Saturday, it was the second time the Cats had won a bowl since the Irish won their last one.
Folks, that is not good.
Sadly, that streak will come to end tonight. I have not felt this way about a sports streak since the Rangers were trouncing the Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. With that win, we lost the infamous chant of '1940, 1940' that we could serenade the Rangers with every year they would be eliminated from contention, a testament to how long it had been since the New Yorkers had hoisted the Cup.
I made no money on that back then, but I expect to make some cash tonight on the Irish finally getting of the schnide in postseason.
First, a couple more words about this bowl losing streak by the Irish. There are only 117 teams in DI, so we're 3/4s of the way to seeing every team win a bowl before ND does again. My hopes for seeing that to fruition came to a halt when this matchup was announced a few weeks ago. Sadly, with teams like Buffalo, La Tech, Ball St in the mix this season, I thought we had a great chance of getting into the 90s. Of course, with teams like Indiana out there in the college football world, it was doubtful that every team was going to get a bowl win before ND. So, we might as well put a few bucks and ND and make this sucker worth our while.
Hawaii is not a bowl team. The only reason they qualified is due to a three game winning streak in November against the dregs of CFB, New Mexico St, Idaha and Wassau. Those clubs have a combined four wins between them.
The Rainbows can not run the football, are terrible on the O-Line and commit way too many penalities for my tastes. Throw in the fact that in the post June Jones, Colt Brennan era, they're not the smooth running passing machine they had been and you have to wonder how Hawaii stays in this one for four quarters.
For the Irish, I feel Tenuta and Cornflakes can do enough on defense to keep Hawaii at bay. As long as they dont give the 'Bows a short field, Hawaii wont score more than 20 points tonight.
On offense, ND has a tremendous advantage with Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. The Bows can't cover them. Floyd is a beast and will go for 100 yards and two scores. ND's O-Line is much improved over a year ago, they will keep Claussen clean and Jimmah will have one of his best days of the season. They'll also run the ball effectively late in this game, so there wont be any meltdowns like the Syracuse debacle.
Remember, the ND players want to be here. Their fans might be pissing and moaning about playing a game so far away, on a Holy Day and the band not being there, but this game is one big snowball being thrown back at their fans on behalf of the team. The players are tired about hearing about this bowl losing streak. They will play on fire tonight. Honestly, I would expect ND to play their best game of the season tonight.
The Pick: ND to win on the moneyline, -130.....3 Units....check out this stat I dug up doing research: Road favorites against the moneyline coming off a loss of 28 or more points after the midpoint of the season are 33-4. I'll take that historical trend to the bank tonight and sadly waive goodbye to one of my favorite stats in sports.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I'd spread a little cheer in the form of an update on a familiar story. Hope you all enjoy whatever holiday(s) you celebrate, and have a safe and happy new year.
'Twas the night before Awesome, when all through Ann Arbor
Not a QB was stirring, not even The Coner.
Shafer was hung from the chimney with care,
In hopes that the 3-3-5 soon would be there.
The 2010 recruits were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of snake oil danced in their heads.
And Magee in his 'kerchief, and Rich Rod in his cap,
Again began searching for a second QB to trap.
When out on the Diag there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from The Jug to see what was the matter.
Away to the Big House I flew like a flash,
Jumped the gate, and continued the dash.
The moon on the roof of Crisler's tin dome
Gave the luster of midday to Beilein below,
When, what to my smothering ennui should appear,
But Tate Forcier and hope for next year!
With a new spread offense, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it will eventually stick.
More rapid than eagles, the ninjas they came,
And Barwis whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Koger! Now Cox!
Now, Brown and Odoms!
On, Minor! On, Shaw!
On, Mathews and Stonum!
To the top of the polls!
To the Granddaddy of 'em All!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Don’t fumble the damn ball!"
As "three yards and a cloud of dust" that no longer applies,
When they meet with an obstacle, they'll simply fly by,
And zip to the end zone as the crowd goes 'woo hoo'
With "The Victors" cued up as the extra point goes through.
And then, in a twinkling, I swig from my booze,
Thinking of 2008 and all we endured.
As I draw up the flask and start pouring it down,
All is forgiven and perspective is found.
The Death Butterfly was real, from its head to its foot,
And the commitments poured in, 5-stars to boot.
A bundle of trophies and Big Ten titles won,
The future's not here--it's only begun.
Rich Rod spoke not a word, but continued his work,
And filled the new Big House, then welcomed the perks.
He'll soon walk on water, as Don Nehlen told,
And hacks like Drew Sharp will be fired, when the Freep finally folds.
So to people out there, give our coaches some time,
And embrace the basketball team too, because they have arrived.
And last but not least, as I wind this down right:
GO BLUE to all, and to all a good night.
My idea is that there should be an eight team playoff at the end of the season. The winner of every BCS conference gets a spot in the playoff. If there are conference co-champions, such as this year in the Big Ten, the team with the higher BCS rating gets the bid (this year it would be Penn State). The two remaining spots are at-large bids, reserved for schools from non-BCS conferences or independents (so Notre Dame won't cry). These spots are decided by BCS rating (the two highest rated non-BCS-conference teams who win their conference or independents) get the bid. If there aren't any ranked non-BCS-conference teams who win their conference, a selection panel gets to decide which team gets into the playoff.
Also, no conference can have more than one team represent that conference in the playoff. The teams are seated by BCS rank (the highest BCS ranked team would play the lowest BCS ranked team). The teams that do not make it to the championship game get distributed to various bowls. These bowls do not have to be BCS bowls (BCS bowls do not have to be forced to select #19 Virginia Tech).
The regular season would have to be pushed ahead at least one week. That means Championship Saturday would fall on November 29 this year, round 1 would fall on December 6, and round 2 would fall on December 13. The championship game would be played about a week after the bowl games (no change from when it's played now).
Since the majority of games are played against conference foes, the regular season will stay important and the bowl system will still be preserved. And think about the non-conference matchups we would see, since teams aren't as afraid to lose out of conference because the main priority is winning the conference championship to get that playoff spot. Also, the stereotype of which conference is best or worst can be done away with. Because every conference has its shot, we will know at the end of the playoff how strong conferences and teams really were.
This year's playoff teams would look something like this (based on BCS rank):
1. Oklahoma (Big-12)
2. Florida (SEC)
5. USC (Pac-10)
6. Utah (Mountain-West) [at-large]
8. Penn State (Big Ten)
9. Boise State (WAC) [at-large]
12. Cincinnati (Big East)
19. Virginia Tech (ACC)
The match ups would be:
1. Oklahoma (Big-12) vs. 19. Virginia Tech (ACC)
2. Florida (SEC) vs. 12. Cincinnati (Big East)
5. USC (Pac-10) vs. 9. Boise State (WAC) [at-large]
6. Utah (Mountain-West) [at-large] vs. 8. Penn State (Big Ten)
The only problem I see with this system is having to wait awhile before finding out who goes to bowl games. A season running this late would probably be hell for the bowl selection process. If Penn State makes it to round 2 of the playoffs, we would have to wait until December 13 to find out if they are going to the Rose Bowl or if Ohio State is going to the Rose Bowl.
What do you think?
This program needs some stability and fast! I'm a diehard and true Blue, but there are some chinks beginning to show in the RR armour. Beaver going to TULSA?!?!? RR 'making' a change at DC with no apparent viable prospects?!?!? Isn't this like the old job rule? You don't quit a job without another one to go to. Is deciding to go in a new 'direction' with the DC a good idea if that direction cannot de found quickly so as to solidify the necessary recruits to build it?
I understand completely the 'differences' between RR and SS, but wouldn't RR have talked to some others and gotten a good feel for their interest in the job if it were to come open? In this economy, with so much uncertainty, would you voluntarily leave a high profile position with a top program with NO job to go to?
The turnover so early in the new regime, with no replacement in the sights gives the impression of uncertainty, and possibly a HC that wants to control the defense as well as the offense. We are all fans, some more knowledgeable than others, but the apparent lack of continuity and ever-growing question marks left by the defection of recruits makes this program look a lot less stable than any top 5-10 progam in the country.
Have we fallen that far in one year? Or is all this coincidental serendipity that simply appears related. Maybe this is all concern over nothing, but if the rumors of Hopson thinking of going back to the South are true, and a quality DC is not found at the same time, the appearance of instability creeps in and the possibility of more lost recruits looms larger.
Can all this be just a Wolverine Christmas Carol and we will all wake up tomorrow morning to find we didn't miss the blessed day and all is right with the Program?
I want to wake up and find Hopson the DC, Big Will, a monster LB and another quality QB in the fold and that all is right in AA.
it is official. THE KNOWLEDGE has inside information once again.
The QB has privately committed to RichRod and will announce sometime in mid to late January.
The QB is a 2010 QB.
THE KNOWLEDGE will bask in glory as soon as the young man announces. I cannot tell you his name because it is supposed to be a secret.
THE KNOWLEDGE knows this, and remember that you heard it here first.
Everyone doubts THE KNOWLEDGE but everyone has witnessed the great prediction that Mr. Schafer would be fired and you all witnessed me bask in glory.
these next few words from THE KNOWLEDGE are basically garbage because THE KNOWLEDGE must reach 200 words to post this Diary on these very pages.
But the fact remains, This QB will committ, he will make Michigan fans very happy
actually let me rephrase that, This QB commit will make Michigan fans Fairly or Sort of happy.
THE KNOWLEDGE will be back again soon as a new inside story unfolds.
Now THE KNOWLEDGE will go bask in glory
There is quite an interesting story unfolding within the closed doors of the Michigan football program and THE KNOWLEDGE can not tell you at the moment because it is classified and very sensitive at this point
THE KNOWLEDGE will reign victorious once again.
Poinsetta Bowl, San Diego, 8pm
Boise St vs TCU. Lines, TCU -3, O/U 45
Ok, so Saturday's Bowl Chronicles was a wet blanket. Talk about lousy predictions. But, there is plenty of Bowl Season left and time in order to get some of those losses back.
Tonight, we have a game that really deserves a New Year's Day spotlight. It certainly has more juice to it than the VT-Cincy Orange Bowl.
A lot pundits seem to feel that TCU is the play tonight. After all, they held powerful offenses like BYU and Utah down and held Oklahoma to a season low in points. Conventional wisdom says the kids from Boise has yet to see a defense the likes of the Horned Frogs.
However, Boise's defense is every bit as good. In fact, I feel this is one the school's better teams because it is more stout on defense than ever before.
Both defenses are team strengths. And, there is not an advantage either way. TCU is better up front, but Boise has a better secondary, paricularily at the corners.
The advantage in this game comes offensively, and I feel Boise's O is much better. The game could develop into a good old fashioned taffy pull. If that the case, I'll take the team with better playmakers. To me, that edge rests with Boise and Ian Johnson, John Avery and Kellen Moore.
Bowl teams ranging from Oklahoma, Utah and Colorado State were able to run the ball on TCU. I expect Boise and their multiple headed rushing attack to move the chains and allow Moore enough room to get the passing game going. I like TCU's QB Dalton, but Moore is more explosive. Another edge to Boise in what ought to be a close to fest slugfest.
TCU's meal ticket on D is their ability to sack the QB, but Boise's OL has kept Moore clean most of the year. I think they can handle this challenge.
I see Boise having an edge in team speed and offensive playmakers. And, while everyone seems to be touting TCU's defense, they are forgetting that the Broncos can D it up as well. Boise will make enough plays on O to squeeze by and get a great win for the program.
The Pick: Boise +3.....2 Units.....i think we have a false favorite in this one. The Broncos should be favored, but the public is on TCU because of their performances in the MWC showdowns. One thing to look for as the game gets going: Boise always has tricks up their sleeves. They might not run the Statue of Liberty again, but you know they will hurt TCU with a gimmick or two. In an expected close game, that might end up being the difference.