Unfortunately we are down to only one more college football game this season. The College Football National Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes is Monday night and will be quite the affair, as it will be the first ‘true’ champion in college football according to the College Football Playoff Committee and others in the hierarchy of the sport. I’ll have a full break down of that game Monday morning but for now, we will reflect on the bowl season that just ended.
Best Bowl Game – Popeyes Bahamas Bowl – Western Kentucky over Central Michigan 49-48 – It was Christmas Eve and I was at home finishing up my Christmas gift wrapping and the game on at the time was the first ever Bahamas Bowl between two teams from places where the weather was cold, snowy and miserable. Most people couldn’t name the national leader in passing but it was Brandon Doughty of Western Kentucky and he was dialed in during the first half of the bowl game as he tossed five touchdown passes in the first half. The Hilltoppers held a ridiculous 42-14 first half lead but the fireworks in Nassau had only just begun. A different Chippewa team emerged in the 4th quarter as Central Michigan stormed back with four touchdowns to make it a ball game. Then with just one second remaining, the Chippewas lined up on their own 25 yard line and everyone including the Hilltoppers expected a hail mary pass. That wasn’t what any of us got. Instead, we got a 35 yard pass into traffic that turned into a five lateral play where senior wide receiver Titus Davis dove for the pylon scoring the touchdown to give Central Michigan a chance to kick the extra point for the tie or to go for two for the win. Decisions, decisions. The Chippewas chose the latter and failed but no one can fault Central Michigan for going for the win.
If you weren’t in one of the big 6 bowls.. The winner is the Bahamas bowl, Popeyes chicken and football in the Bahamas, and what a 4th Qtr
— Mike Golic (@espngolic) December 24, 2014
Worst Bowl Game – R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – UL-Lafayette over Nevada 16-3 – Unfortunately, the worst bowl game of the bowl season to me was the first one. Sometimes we fire out of the blocks with two teams that want to air it out and put points on the board but the Cajuns & Wolf Pack were content in playing it safe. We got a touchdown from UL-Lafayette in the first few minutes of the game but only got 12 points total after that. The Ragin’ Cajuns were in a bit of a home field as their campus in only two and a half hours away and have never lost a New Orleans Bowl but refused to go away from their conservative offensive gameplan for literally the entire game. It was a competitive game but definitely the worst in terms of entertainment value.
Wildest Bowl Game – National University Holiday Bowl – Southern California over Nebraska 45-42 – Historically the Holiday Bowl has always provided us with some wild games because the game usually pits two teams that just did miss out on the ‘big bowls’ who also end up having wide open offenses while also leaving their defenses on campus. Nebraska came in without their head coach after firing Bo Pelini weeks earlier and USC came in just being happy to be back in a bowl game in Southern California. Well history repeated itself as the two teams combined for over 1,000 yards of offense and almost 100 pass attempts. There was only eight points scored in the 4th quarter but the three quarters provided plenty of post-christmas fun. Even though the Cornhuskers lost, new head coach Mike Riley has to be pleased at the talent that is on the roster going forward. USC has to be excited too after freshman Adoree’ Jackson’s star-in-the-making performance (3 receptions, 73 yards, 3 kick returns, 130 yards 2 total touchdowns).
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) December 29, 2014
Best Bowl Performance – Clemson QB Cole Stoudt – 26/36 319 yards 3 touchdowns – Senior Tiger quarterback Cole Stoudt began the season as the starter with the knowledge that he most likely wouldn’t be the starter throughout the season as super freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson was getting better and better as the season went on. When Watson went down with an injury and Stoudt was called upon to run the offense again and the offense sputtered. The Tigers won a game or two and then laid a massive egg in Atlanta against Georgia Tech so Stoudt’s confidence was on thin ice. When news of Watson’s post season knee surgery surfaced, it was easy to think that Stoudt would struggle in the bowl game against Oklahoma. That wasn’t the case at all as Stoudt played the best game of his career and led Clemson to a rout over Oklahoma down in Orlando.
Worst Bowl Performance – Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes – 13/25 57 yards INT – The Texas Bowl was a really bad game to watch because of how poorly the Longhorn quarterback played. All season long Swoopes would bounce back and forth between having good performances and historically bad performances and the ball bounced into the historically bad zone for Texas’ bowl game. Swoopes was running for his life the entire game and when he did have time in the pocket he had trouble making the right decision or any decision at all really. After subtracting his sack yardage from his passing yards, the sophomore quarterback ended the game with 25 yards of offense and two turnovers. Ouch.
Log on to Sowegalive on Monday for a full National Championship Game Preview!