First off...let me get to this.
Someone....somewhere....linked my blog entry about Notre Dame not deserving to get a BCS invite. I still think Oregon deserves the invitation over the Irish...though I am happy to see the Irish get there. I heard rationale from all over the place...mainly of the "well, if...." variety. "Well if...." the Irish finished off USC and would've taken care of Michigan State...they'd be undefeated. Well, if my aunt had nads...she'd be my uncle.
Oregon deserves the BCS at large bid over Notre Dame. Oregon's lone loss was to USC....though it was quite a beating. But they didn't lose another game...and beat four bowl teams. The Irish also lost to USC...but also lost a game to a team that finished BOWL INELIGIBLE. Both games at home. And only 3 of their wins were against teams that will be in bowls. Navy [7-4], Michigan [7-4] and BYU [6-5]. Not to mention the topper is that OREGON FINISHED WITH A HIGHER BCS RANKING THAN NOTRE DAME!!! What's the point of having this poll if you aren't going to use it to figure out your BCS at large bids.
Now...onto the bowls themselves...
We get what we all wanted with a ROSE BOWL featuring USC and Texas. In those same comments about Notre Dame, I was incorrectly called a Trojan fan for some odd reason. Please, read something else in my blog before pulling something out of your hide. If you had...you'd know that I've been ranking Texas as my #1 team all year....and I am strongly considering picked the Horns to beat USC for the championship. As it is, this game should be quite a great one with so many intangibles. I mean, these two have clearly been the top two teams all season. Both came off complete dismantlings of their final opponents. The game will be almost a home game for USC....but Texas played in the Rose Bowl more recently, beating Michigan this past New Year's Day.
Aside from my opposition to the Irish getting to a BCS game...the FIESTA BOWL with Notre Dame and Ohio State should be quite good. Two programs who share a state line but must travel to Arizona to square off. The marquee value alone is compelling...but we get to see what Charlie Weis can do with a month to break down that Ohio State defense. And while people are waxing love for Notre Dame....remember that the Buckeyes two losses were to the teams currently sitting #2 and #3 in the BCS rankings....with a combined 22-1 mark.
Because of their surprising ACC Championship....Florida State meets Penn State in the ORANGE BOWL. Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno are the two winningest coaches in Division I history...and this historic meeting should be treasured by everyone. And, for those predicting a Nittany Lion romp, remember that this is a "home game" of sorts for the Seminoles. Hey, it worked to their advantage against Va Tech.
Georgia and West Virginia square off in the SUGAR BOWL....which this year will be held in Atlanta due to the damage the Superdome in New Orleans. Atlanta? Wasn't that the site of the Bulldogs upset of LSU last week?? Good omens. But don't underestimate the 10-1 Mountaineers.
And that is just the BCS bowls!!
How about an Alabama-Texas Tech matchup in the COTTON BOWL?? That stingy Tide defense against that explosive Red Raiders offense!! That's what I love about bowl games!!!!
Or the PEACH BOWL which features LSU and Miami. Three weeks ago, this would have been a likely Orange or Sugar bowl game.
Or the CAPITAL ONE BOWL which will see, in my opinion, two of the most underrated teams in the nation: Wisconsin and Auburn.
Or the big name recognition of the ALAMO BOWL....Michigan v Nebraska.
Iowa and Florida meet in the OUTBACK BOWL for the second time in three years.
Or my Oregon team dropping to the HOLIDAY BOWL and facing Oklahoma. If you remember, last year Califiornia was screwed by the BCS [aka the Mack Brown recruitment of voters] and dropped to the Holiday Bowl. They were spanked by Texas Tech.
And bowl week has those little matchups that are great to see. UTEP head coach Mike Price will be in Mobile, Alabama to play Toledo in the GMAC BOWL. Remember, Price was briefly the head coach of Alabama before a scandal forced him out. Or Arkansas State in the NEW ORLEANS BOWL. Arkansas State last played in a bowl back in 1970....the Pecan Bowl. Also, Arkansas State are the Indians...and are one of those schools the NCAA had denied appeals to in order to keep their nickname. Or how about Central Florida who will be in the HAWAII BOWL. They lost every game last season before putting it together in the revamped Conference USA this season. We also see names like Akron, Rutgers, Houston and Nevada during bowl week.
It should be a great 28 games!!!!!