This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Figured I'd split the three Bowl games into seperate threads to avoid large masses of posts all over the place and seeing how one can get lost in a thread approaching 300 posts.
This is you're official Outback Bowl Thread
Melvin Gordon still running for Heisman award.
I know we all tired quickly of the replay of Clowney's hit on Vincent Smith. One of the guys at WolverineNation did a short article about Smith's perspective on the hit.
A good read and the best part of the article is how pissed Smith's older brother got at the endless replays for the next two weeks (can't say I blame him!). "Smith's older brother, Jaworski Bowie, actually took the impact of the hit harder. Bowie texted his younger brother, perturbed the hit was being shown ad nauseam. It reached the point where Smith told his brother to stop. Smith wasn't bothered by it, so why should his brother be? Besides, Smith said, he has been hit harder."
Smith's feeling on the hit reminds me of Jim Carey's great line in Liar, Liar, "I've had better."
As you may have noticed from watching all the New Year's Day games, a plethora of tickets were still available at the bowl games, particularly the Gator Bowl.
For the Outback Bowl, the addition of Michigan did help increase attendance (54,527 vs 49,429) somewhat but it was still far from a sellout. In terms of TV, the rating dropped quite a bit, from a 5.0 (MSU/Georgia) to a 4.3 (UM/SC).
It's obvious Georgia is a bigger TV draw than SC, but I'm a little surprised Michigan didn't help keep that number closer for 2013. Pairing this with the poor showing of last year's Sugar Bowl (3rd lowest BCS game of all-time), it seems to confirm that while we're a big TV draw (compared to 95% of programs), we're not quite big enough by ourselves to draw a huge numbers of viewers.***
(Note on link: while the ratings are as solid as TV ratings get, take the attendance figures with a grain of salt; there is simply no way there were 70,000+ at the Orange Bowl -- on TV it looked like a typical U of Miami game.)
***Update: as 'Murph' pointed out below, the Outback bowl was on ABC last year, not ESPN. Since ESPN is in 87% of TV household (essentially 5/6), this means the "normalized" number for last year's Outback would be 4.2 -- thus the TV rating was essentially unchanged from 2012/2013..
Article at sportsline about the game's big matchup, notes that it shaped up as the blockbuster battle that everyone expected:
Suggests that Clowney gave Lewan problems, but that Michigan's All American lineman largely held his own. Lewan was not responsible for Clowney on the big play that nailed Vince Smith in the backfield and resulted in a fumble.
EDIT: After the game, according to the News, Lewan sought Clowney out. "I went up to him after the game and told him, 'You're one of the best defensive ends I've ever played against.' He said, 'You're the best tackle I've ever played against.' So that's a great compliment to have, but none of this matters because we didn't win the damn game."
So, here's a quick Outback Bowl wallpaper for you all featuring "Captain Gibbons" and his parrot. This was a fun wallpaper to make, so I hope you enjoy it and get a chuckle out of seeing Gibbons as his boyhood dream. Now, let's kick some South Carolina/SEC ass!
BONUS CONTENT! Here's my avatar, in case anyone is interested.
My apologies for having no idea how to embed. Thought this video was very cool though, great to see these players having a positive effect on those around them! It's a South Carolina video, so the second half is just an interview with some South Carolina players, but the first half is still quite nice.