Thursday, January 4, 2007
For almost a week now, the collegiate world has put on its bowling shoes. No, not the lane and big ball kind – the wide open field and the oval ball kind. Those lucky enough to go on and vie for the mega purses have extended their seasons.
In our area we have two conferences which once again have done themselves proud by their representation. The good part of this extra season is, win or lose, the revenue is shared.
In C-USA, the East Carolina Pirates drew the South Florida Bulls in the inaugural Papa John’s Bowl. The Pirates, 7-5, fell to the 8-4 Bulls. Just remember as we go on that these games are supposed to pit the cream (?) of the collegiate crop against the cream (?) of the collegiate crop.
In our beloved SEC, there are eight reps. The Crimson Tide, interim coach and all, were set to take on the Cowboys of Oklahoma State on December 28. The Tide was dubbed two-point underdogs.
One day later, Kentucky was pitted against Clemson in the Music City Bowl in Nashville (where else would the Music City Bowl be played?).
Thus far no bowl in the early rounds has received as much hype as the Liberty Bowl. The South Carolina Gamecocks met the Cougars of Houston and the C-USA. The bulk of the hype was not centered around the teams – Carolina with a 7-5 record and Houston with a 10-2 mark. Verily, the hype was surrounding one person, or persona perhaps – Gamecocks’ coach Steve Spurrier.
Why so much media play for a coach whose team is 7-5? Well, according to the experts, Spurrier is a prolific mentor who believes in pleasing the fans while confounding the opposition. Will his style let his “cream team” rise to the top? Well......
One SEC team was in the Peach Bowl Saturday, picked under Virginia Tech by two and a half points. On the first day of the new year, we had Auburn versus Nebraska, with the Tigers getting the nod by two. Tennessee was in the Outback over Papa Joe (Paterno) and Penn State. The nod is four and a half. Arkansas drew Wisconsin in the Capital On Bowl and is supposed to be one point better.
Then you go to the Sugar Bowl on January 3 where LSU is nine (whew) points over Notre Dame. I like Notre Dame, but LSU is SEC, so.....
And on the 8th, Florida is chomping at the bit to gear up against Ohio State. We all know the Gators have a lot of jaw pressure, but will the bite be big enough to crack some Buckeyes and their spread of seven and a half? Sorry, ’Gators. Forgive my SEC bypass on this one, but the last time yours truly bet against Ohio State, it wasn’t pretty. Or profitable.
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