Rivalry Week lives up to hype

Nickoe Whitley strips Bo Wallace as Hugh Freeze looks on in horror.

Nickoe Whitley strips Bo Wallace as Hugh Freeze looks on in horror.

Beginning with Mississippi State’s dramatic overtime win over arch-rival Mississippi in the 2013 Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night, college football’s annual Rivalry Week was full of big plays, timely defense, some trickeration, and BCS-changing upsets.  The table is being set, with one of the few BCS questions remaining to be settled next Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, 11:00 am kickoff.

Friday’s SEC matchup featured hapless Arkansas reverting to form in the final seconds to give up the game winning TD pass to LSU’s freshman qb, after Mettenberger went down with a season ending knee injury.

Saturday’s games included Michigan’s tough loss  to Ohio State in The Game, SC thumping of Clemson, and Missouri claiming the SEC East over aTm in the night cap.  But, far and away, the game of the year was played at Jordan-Hare Stadium as Auburn claimed the West in the annual Iron Bowl with an ending that I can best describe in three letters.  …  WOW!!!   If you didn’t see it, just check SportsCenter, it will be shown for weeks to come.  Auburn has the look of a team of destiny, if you believe in that kind of stuff, or unbelievably lucky if you don’t.

Rivalry Week was a Football Feast.  Bowl season is coming up fast, and I can’t believe how quickly the season has passed.

 

Choppin’ Cotton At The ‘Death Star’

I haven’t payed much attention to what the alleged experts have to say regarding tonight’s Cotton Bowl match between OU and TAMU.  I’m certain the story lines always begin with Johnny Manziel, though.

As for the nuts and bolts of the game, my take is probably quite different from the alleged experts.

Other than La. Tech, I’m not certain TAMU has encountered a potent spread offense and they barely escaped Shreveport with a 59-57 win, that was a missed two point conversion from going to overtime.  Other than La. Tech, TAMU has only faced one other team ranked in the top twenty scoring offenses, #14 Alabama.

Conversely, OU encountered five of the top twenty scoring offenses, losing one to #9 Kansas State.  OU has faced four of the top fifteen teams in total offense, winning all four. TAMU faced only one, La. Tech.

As for how these two teams ranked in scoring defense, TAMU finished at #29 while OU finished at #40.  In total defense, OU finished 45th in the nation, TAMU was not ranked in the top 50.

If the thought hasn’t already occurred, TAMU has not faced the high powered offenses OU has and doesn’t have the defensive statistics to indicate they are capable of doing so.

Then there is the fast paced offense that OU runs, an offense that TAMU head coach Kevin Sumlin was instrumental in developing while co-offensive coordinator at OU.  Many of the TAMU defensive players will remember facing it last year and others from the years before that.  Many teams in the NCAA now use the ‘hurry-up’ offense, but OU was the originator of the concept five years ago.  In the 2009 BCS championship game, Urban Meyer of Florida said if his team hadn’t had forty days to prepare for it they could have never won.  Even when Florida had conditioned specifically for the ‘hurry-up’ they were clearly gassed at different points in the game when they couldn’t substitute defensive players.

My conclusion, the OU offense OUt matches the TAMU defense more than the TAMU offense OUt matches the OU defense.  Further, the advantage of  Senior QB Landry Jones, the most prolific passer and winner of more games than any OU QB(which speaks volumes), and his experience in big games is a tremendous advantage over the young red shirt phenom Johnny Manziel.

Regardless of the words I have used and the many others have, the game is only hours away.

The tailgaters will be setting up outside Jerry’s ‘Death Star’ soon.

The bands will be arriving in their buses and prepping their instruments and uniforms.

The excitement is building for the fans and players, a big game on national television on a Friday night at the stadium that sets the standard for modern stadiums.

Both teams have played at this stadium, OU played a big game there a few years ago, coming from behind in the last Big 12 championship game against Nebraska.

Then, when you don’t think you can wait any longer, the players exit the locker room and take the field.

BOOMER SOONER!!

BCS Open Thread

Colt McCoy is injured in the 1st quarter. Two early Texas field goals then 24 unanswered from the Tide.

Halftime score Alabama 24 Texas 6

Funniest thing so far, Lee “Not so fast” Corso, drunk off his azz at the ABC desk …. just doin’ his Max Baucus impression, I suppose.

Update: It’s final, Bama 37-21.

2nd funniest thing so far, Nick “Show Me The Money” Saban getting a gatorade shower. He was the only person in the entire audience that didn’t see it coming. Solid!

Ole Miss spanks Tech in Cotton Bowl

There is an old saying that things are bigger in Texas.

Ole Miss FootballOn this 73rd and farewell performance in Cotton Bowl Stadium, the size of the can of whoop-ass that Ole Miss opened up on Texas Tech was big indeed.

Sparked by the twin MVP’s Dexter McCluster on offense, and Marshay Green on defense, the Rebels overcame an early 14 point deficit to dominate the Big-12 South champs 47-34.

Hotty Totty! Go Rebs.

(That’s hard to say for this die-hard MSU Bulldog). Read more from ESPN….

Behind Jevan Snead’s passing, Dexter McCluster’s squirming runs and some big returns by Marshay Green, No. 25 Mississippi overcame an early deficit and beat No. 7 Texas Tech 47-34 Friday in the final Cotton Bowl played in the stadium of the same name.

The Red Raiders (11-2) converted a pair of early turnovers into a 14-0 lead, but Snead led the Rebels to touchdowns on their next three drives, followed by a go-ahead field goal shortly before halftime.

Once Green returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, Ole Miss (9-4) was well on its way to capping coach Houston Nutt’s first season in grand style.

This was Mississippi’s sixth straight win, matching its longest streak since 2003, when Eli Manning was a senior. That also was the last time the Rebels had been to a bowl.

This roll began when Ole Miss was only 3-4 and coming off consecutive losses following its stunning upset at the Swamp.

Although Texas Tech pulled off huge comebacks in its last two bowls, McCluster ended any such thoughts by barreling into the end zone with 4:34 left. When Rebels fans finished clapping, they began chanting “S-E-C! S-E-C!” They did so again with 1:37 left after Ole Miss snuffed out a 2-point conversion attempt, then again following a recovered onside kick.

A little louder and the chants might’ve been heard at the Big 12 offices about 12 miles away. Still, the message that the fourth-best team in the SEC, according to the polls, is better than the third-best team in the Big 12 will certainly be noted as schools from these leagues — No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Oklahoma — meet next week in the national championship game.

S-E-C!

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