Monday, 1 January 2007

New Year's Day Bowl Games Recap

In terms of quantity and quality of the sports taking place on a given day, here are my 3 favorite days of the year:

(1) NCAA Basketball Tournament - Day 1
(2) NCAA Basketball Tournament - Day 2
(3) New Year's Day

And this year was made even better by the inclusion of perhaps the greatest game I have ever witnessed (which will deserve its own post). My quick thoughts on the other five games.

Auburn 17, Nebraska 14
The announcing team just ruined this game for me. There was Pat Summerall, who is ok but has to be like 80 years old, and then I think it was Brian Baldinger. Anyway, they sucked and turned an otherwise good game into a dull one. And that's a bad recap, but that's what I most took out of that game, was how dull the announcers were.

Penn St. 20, Tennessee 10
This was a solid, entertaining game all-around. I thought Penn St. had the weapons to hang in it if Anthony Morelli played well, and he did. But mostly it was all about the Nittany Lions defense. Not only holding Tennessee to 10 points, but making the winning score on a fumble return with about 10 minutes left. Great performance for Joe Paterno's squad, even if he wasn't on the field to enjoy it.

Wisconsin 17, Arkansas 14
Speaking of announcers I don't like, I'm gonna tell you another one I don't like. Wait for it, look right here, bam! Paul Maguire! But enough about that. Speaking of rookie coaches, Bert Bielema was pretty impressive this year, no? I don't like Maguire, but he had a good point in that if Arkansas had even an ok QB, that would help. Great job by Arkansas to shut down PJ Hill, but Stocco did just enough early on, and the defense was just good enough for the Badgers.

West Virginia 38, Georgia Tech 35
This was the game I was probably least looking forward to, and it wound up being very competitive and exciting. Calvin Johnson is an absolute stud, the best WR in the nation, and if he somehow fell to the Vikings in the draft I would, well, I don't know what I'd do, but I'd be happy. Impressive performance by the Mountaineers offensively, even without Steve Slaton. Pat White played well, and Rich Rodriguez showed why he is a top coach.

And speaking of announcers, since I've been ragging on them so far, let me say I really enjoy listening to Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson. Mostly I really like Verne whether he's calling football or basketball, but I've always liked Gary Danielson as well. Very enjoyable 2-man crew.

USC 32, Michigan 18
USC just absolutely outcoached and outplayed Michigan. I've said for a long time that I thought Michigan was the best team in the country, but USC just handed it to them today. Carroll came up with great schemes to shut down Michael Hart and pressure Chad Henne all day, and the Wolverines could do nothing to counter it. On the other side of the ball, John David Booty had a field day in the 2nd half, throwing for nearly 400 yards and 4 TD overall. Jarrett was awesome, Smith was solid, and everyone else on the USC offense was good. Just a thorough beating.

One more rag on the announcers... guys, I know Keyshawn Johnson doesn't think Dwayne Jarrett is ready for the NFL. Wanna know how I know? You mentioned it about 50 times, every single time Jarrett did something good (which was often). I get it. But to end on a positive note, I pretty much like Kirk Herbstreit in whatever capacity ESPN uses him. And that's all.