Big games today, a lot is still on the line in a few matchups.
Cowboys vs Giants- Winner wins the NFC East
Lions vs Packers- Aaron Rodgers is inactive today, giving the Lions a chance to clinch the 5th seed. It would also be the Lions first victory in Green Bay in 19 years.
Bengals vs Ravens- Huge game for both teams. The Bengals are in a win and you're in situation. For the Ravens, they could go from a first round bye, to the 5th seed, having to win three straight road games.
Colts vs Jaguars-A colts victory, kicks them out of the first pick, assuming as expected, that the Rams lose to the 49ers.
Rams vs 49ers- Rams clinch the 1st overall pick, with a loss, and a Colts win.
The 49ers and the Saints are still fighting for the first round bye, but with the 49ers only needing a win to clinch, against the lowly Rams, this point seems moot.
Happy New Years to all of you great guys on Mgoblog, enjoy some great food and football today.
Excellent in-depth article in the Omaha World-Herald examining the SEC's recent domination, driving forces behind it, and future prospects. Good read on this off-day in the bowl season before the big games start. Looks at divisional alignment, top athletic dept budgets, oversigning and recruiting loopholes, playing style, demographics, and more.
And concludes: "It's easy to identify why the SEC is better. What's more complicated is pinpointing what changed in the last decade. What prompted the surge?......But the SEC's rise to powerhouse is no fluke. And the reasons behind it — the power sources — suggest that the gap between the SEC and its competitors may actually grow over the next five years."
Link to full article:
Joshua Garnett (2012 OL Football Recruit) recently did an interview with ESPN at the Under Armor All-America Game. It's not paywalled and you can find it here:
Overall, he is a really well-spoken young man and his intelligence and maturity were definitely on display.
To show he is having some fun with the recruting process, he went to registration in a Michigan shirt (discussed ad naseum here) but conducted the interview in a Stanford shirt. He didn't bring any Notre Dame gear. Read into that what you will (preferably nothing).
The interview shows that Michigan is definitely still very much in contention and he even names us his (slight) leader.
Some of the highlights as they pertain to Michigan and in general (emphasis mine):
Reporter: "What's the best and worst part of the recruiting process?"
Garnett: "The best part is meeting guys like Isaac and Eric Magnuson. Guys you would have never met before if you wouldn't have been a big time recruit... The worst part is telling the coaches that you aren't coming to the school and losing those bonds that you've built over the last year."
Reporter: "Your final three: Michigan, Stanford, Notre Dame?"
Reporter: "Why those three?"
Garnett: "They all three have a legacy going for them. Stanford with the academics, Michigan with the Big House, and Notre Dame with the tradition. I think a lot of the schools, especially Michigan, I have a lot of pals who are there and going to be playing for Michigan. So definitely all three are schools that I am going to be looking at very hard just because of the companionship that I've built with the players and the coaches and the football program right now."
Reporter: "There seems to be a perception, I don't know if it is right or wrong, that Michigan is the team to beat for you...at least among the reporters that are covering the process. Is that a misconception or is Michigan maybe slightly ahead of the other guys?"
Garnett: "Yeah, it definitely wouldn't be a misconception. Yeah, it definitely woud be hard to say no to a big time school like that, especially when you have guys like Eric Magnuson, now in the Army game right now, Kyle Kalis is out there. When you have three big time lineman that could come in there right now...could come in and compete with each other and build those friendships and compete with those defensive linemen coming in...and Ohio State is bringing in some guys... So, you definitely have a good match up in three or four years. All those linemen that have come out of Michigan and really the legacy and going to the Big House with 115,000 people waving those pompoms and you're going 'Big Blue' and 'Go Blue' and so it's definitely hard to turn down especially with all those friendships you've built."
Some general comments:
On goals for the game: "Want to ball out for the game....Want to show some of those reporters...some of thos analysts that on ESPN and Scout that maybe they did some things wrong a little bit and look at those rankings a little bit...We're coming here to have fun and work on our skill sets a little bit."
Then, somewhat contradictorily on in regard to rankings, "They're really not important to me. I don't care where I am ranked." "I think it is funny to see what lists people are on. I don't think rankings are as important to me because you still have to come out and perform."
At the request of an MGoUser, the former name of this bowl will be primarily used in the thread title, and I agree with him, for the sponsors have gone too far this time.
So, 7:30 PM EST on ESPN, live from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. You'll see an 8-4 Virginia team versus a 7-5 Auburn in what may very well be the highest quality game of the day, and believe me, that wouldn't take too much to accomplish.
Hopefully, this provides some decent pre-"Ball Drop" viewing for everyone.
From LSAClassOf2000 to the MGoCommunity, best wishes in the New Year and thank you for allowing me to be a miniscule part of your MGoBowlSeason.
I am going to do this now since I am depressed about the B1G at the moment.
These are on at the same time - Liberty Bowl is on ABC at 3:30 PM, and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is on at 3:30 PM on ESPN.
Liberty Bowl - because you wanted Cincinnati (9-3) and Vanderbilt (6-6), right? Right. That Vandy got here is probably going to be considered progress, for they went all of 2-10 in 2010. The Bearcats ended their season on a disappointing note (2-2 in their final four games), and probably want this game for validation. It's the Liberty Bowl, so whatever. I picked Cincinnati here.
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - *snickers* Yes, one of the teams in this one has an overall losing record, and the other fired the man who punted when we least expected it. UCLA (6-7), the de facto Pac-12 South champion is playing a 6-6 Illinois, that went 0-for-the time after we went back to standard time basically. Maybe that loss of an hour blew up their season. We'll never know, I guess. I went Illinois here.
Is anyone else as disappointed as I am that there is not a full slate of bowl games on New Year's day/night ? I don't understand why the NFL didn't move there games to today. They played most of their games last Saturday on Christmas Eve, why not do the same this weekend?
It just does not seem right to have to wait until January 2 to see games like the Rose Bowl.