College Bowl Mega-Thread

Bowl games + winter vacation + TiVo = college football heaven

GMAC Bowl - Toledo 45, UTEP 13

Here's two teams I'm familiar with, as UTEP was in the WAC until moving to C-USA for this past year, and Toledo came here to Fresno for Fresno State's 3rd game.

Toledo QB Bruce Gradkowski has been considered to be the next MAC QB headed into the NFL. MAC QBs have been on a roll lately, minus injured Chad Pennington. Leftwich had a breakout season before hurting his ankle, Roethlisberger continues to be as solid of a ball-control offense QB as you can get, and Charlie Frye is having his coming-out party right now.

Gradkowski looks more like a mid-to-late round QB to me, from his performance in this game. He threw for 298 yards and 5 TDs, but he should have thrown for over 400. He was incredibly indecisive, often double and triple-clutching the ball - and sometimes not even bringing it in for a full clutch, but rather waving it around in half-throwing motions before finally making a throw. Gradkowski doesn't have a big arm, but he flicks the ball around OK and might be an NFL quarterback with some good coaching.

Jordan Palmer - Carson Palmer's little brother - is only a junior, and it's a good thing. His performance was terrible. He was not indecisive like Gradkowski, but his throws were terrible. Passes sailed high, deep passes floated and let defenders jump all over them, and some throws just plain didn't go anywhere near their intended receiver. He does NOT look like a guy with an NFL arm.

UTEP receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins may have a future in the NFL as a kick/punt returner. Anytime you run a hand-timed 4.18 40, and have that speed show up on the field as well as the stopwatch, you get looks. I'd like to judge him as a receiver, but Jordan Palmer didn't get passes anywhere near him, so I couldn't tell you if he can catch or not. UTEP didn't use him as a returner either, for some god-unknown reason. But the guy did fly down the field, and it would've been nice to see him with the ball in his hand now and then.

Toledo also had a couple more potential NFL prospects - middle linebacker Anthony Jordan and running back Trinity Dawson. Both played great against an inferior UTEP squad. It's hard to judge them against such light competition, but they're two guys that will be in the mix somewhere.

Las Vegas Bowl - Cal 35, BYU 28

The game wasn't anywhere as close as the score. Cal completely dominated this game from start to near-finish.

Cal had two extremely explosive players on their offense - RB Marshawn Lynch and WR DeSean Jackson. Lynch may be a player we talk about very highly in draft terms in a year or two - he's only a sophomore. He was one of the highest rated prep players and he sure appears to be living up to that. He tore ass up and down the field, pulling through the tackles of BYU players much larger than him. As impressive as he was, he paled compared to DeSean Jackson in this game. Jackson - a mere freshman - was sensational. He made the BYU defense look like it was standing still. At only 5'11" and 175 pounds, he's probably too small to consider an eventual draft prospect, but maybe if he puts on some weight and keeps the speed, he'll get some sniffs.

BYU has the heaviest starting O-line in the country. And they were terrible. They couldn't push Cal's D-line off the line against the run, and they had a lot of trouble in pass protection. BYU QB John Beck ran for his life quite a bit, and it's a good thing he's so mobile.

Cal's RT, Ryan O'Callaghan, is a beast, and he blew the Cougar linemen off the line. He could be a first rounder if he shows himself to be nimble for his size in workouts.

Legion, you look lonley in here.

Motor City Bowl - Memphis 38, Akron 31

Caught the second half of this one, featuring DeAngelo Williams in his final college game. And it didn't dissapoint in term of the Tigers Team. Strong running by Williams with 233 yards and his record-breaking 34th 100 yard game, a mediocre effort by QB John Avery (but what can you expect from the third string wide receiver-turned-quarterback) and a strong defensive first half, followed by bending in the third quarter and a damn near breaking in the fourth. Seriously, even with the bad QB situation, Memphis could have been a much better team all year if not for Joe Lee Dunn. The man hates zone defense, and as the commentators pointed out, he is a coordinator that is on the side lines (not in the booth) and he doesn't wear a headset. No headset? How the hell does he know what's going on in a 21st century college football game. C'mon Joe Lee, it's time to embrace a little thing we like to call technology. It might make your life easier -- and maybe just maybe-- the defense better. That and some Cover 2 defensive schemes at the very least. The safties are not linebackers.

With Williams leaving though, a program that has gone to three straight bowl games could fall by the way side if they don't shore up their defense. Memphis should have a decent offense next season and Joseph Doss could be a decent back (he won't be another DeAngelo Williams) but the defense needs to fix the gaping holes. Plus Memphis didn't even really get a chance to see its new QB this year before losing him to injury, so we will see.

Akron, however, playing in it's first bowl game since EVER, settled down after some early nerves. I especially loved the snapping of the ball as Getsy and Biggs were in motion in the backfield as Getsy was audibling. Classic. And it was an exciting finish as the clock had just over two minutes left with Memphis up 38-17 and with about 55 seconds left in the game, Akron had come within a touchdown (again, Joe Lee, the Prevent Defense does WHAT?)

Go Tigers.

Nevada - 49 UCF - 48

Missed extra point in overtime gives Nevada the win.

UCF and USF really stepped in up this year. UCF with O'Leary totally turned it around this year. They plan on building a new stadium hopefully he will stick around for a bit.

What a wild one in Hawaii! I couldn't believe that UCF came back in it only to lose on an extra point. Not only that, but my dad and I were saying that the kicker should be the MVP should UCF pull it out. He made some HUGE kicks throughout the game, and that onside kick was a thing of beauty. Seriously, I am not sure I have seen a better onside kick in my life. Anyway, a wild one.

Some quickies

Motor City Bowl - Memphis 38, Akron 31

DeAngelo Williams solidified himself as a top 15 pick in my mind. He's 215 pounds and his frame could add a little weight without concern. He has a great burst through the hole and is also a patient runner. He reminds me a bit of a Priest Holmes, except with a bit more speed and perhaps a little less straight-forward power. Neither team really had much of other NFL prospects.

Hawaii Bowl - Nevada 49, UCF 48

You know what's sad about this one? Until the extra point, UCF kicker Matt Prater was the most impressive player of the game. He kicked two field goals over 45 yards, with enough leg to make them from 60. All but one of his kickoffs was a touchback - some right out the back of the endzone. Looking at his season stats, though, he looks like a streaky kicker with a cannon leg. Perhaps with some top-level coaching, he could be an NFL level kicker. Interestingly, in 2003, he was a Ray Guy award semifinalist for punters.

UCF receiver Brandon Marshall had quite a game. He's a big target and very athletic, but he has to show me he's got the wheels to be a contributor at the next level.

Poinsettia Bowl - Navy 51, Colorado State 30

This game set an NCAA record for most yardage in a bowl game - 1,183 yards of total offense. But watching the game, you would never have known. Save for a few plays here and there, neither team had any jaw-dropping big plays. The ball kept moving every drive, but those 1,183 yards pretty much came in 7 yard chunks.

Navy had 5 pass completions - for the whole game. One was a 55 yard TD on the team's first offensive play, but beyond that, it was all ground pounding. Little 5'6", 160 pound "WR" (in quotes because, well, Navy doesn't throw) Reggie Campbell tied Barry Sanders' bowl record for 5 touchdowns.

From a draft perspective, there wasn't a lot to see. Nobody on the Navy side stood out. On Colorado State, one guy that impressed me was sophomore TE Kory Sperry. He's a 6'6" 235 pound ex-basketball player who may have an NFL future - I see him on 2008 draft boards. As for this year, CS WR David Anderson had great hands, but did not impress me with his route running. His cuts weren't sharp or crisp. Mid-to-late round selection probably. Colorado State LT Mike Brisiel was OK - decently athletic but not as dominant of a blocker against Navy's D-line as I would like to see.

Michigan should be embarassed. However, that final play was heee-larious.

Good show by Oregon, but they really could've claimed getting screwed if they had just beaten OU. Last-drive picks do that to you.

Yeah, what a Holiday Bowl bummer for us Duck fans. Well, 10-2 is still a great season up here and I'm optimistic for next year. Great game by Oklahoma.

MPC Computers Bowl - Boston College 27, Boise State 21

Boston College was up 27-0 in the 3rd. Then Boise found that high-flying offense and tallied a couple of quick scores, as well as a home-run TD on a punt return from Quinton Jones. Boise found a way to adjust to the bigger Boston College players, and had the game gone 5 quarters, Boise would undoubtably been the team that won. As it was, an interception in the endzone caused Boise to come up just a hair short of a huge comeback win. Best bowl game I've watched this bowl season so far.

In the 3rd quarter, the game went from dry to rain to hail. I can honestly say I've never seen hail hitting the Boise blue carpet.

The stud of the game was supposed to be DE Mathias Kiwanuka - supposedly the best DE prospect in the draft, best prospect Boston College has ever had, etc etc. Instead, Boise's star OT, Daryn Colledge, shut him down. Kiwanuka couldn't bull rush Colledge, he couldn't edge rush him, and he couldn't hold up against the run against him either. For all the chatter the pre-game announcers had to offer about Kiwanuka, it took them a while to notice that Kiwanuka was getting 0wned. Colledge stood up Kiwanuka and stonewalled him. So what did BC do? Move Kiwanuka to the left end spot, of course! But he was pushed around against the run even there. Against the pass, he was able to get in the backfield a couple of times on that side. But Kiwanuka's inability to play ball against an NFL level OT makes me think that, if he gets drafted where he's talked about going, he may be highly overrated. I also noticed times where he was actually off the field on running downs, and come back in just for 3rd down. He also got hard-counted to jump offsides in the 2nd quarter, and he bit on a fake handoff to the HB (on an end-around play) like a fool. I know scouts are seeing this, so let's just see if the Kiwanuka hype dies down. The game's halftime show was all about Kiwanuka and hyped his draft status and called him an NFL star in the making. He's gotta show me a lot in the Senior Bowl, because all he showed me in this game was him getting pushed around, getting out of position, and just occasionally getting pass rush when he went up against the non-NFL prospect OT.

Boston College C Pat Ross was supposed to be one of the better center prospects of the draft, but he was pushed around by Boise DT Alex Guerrero. Guerrero made some great plays, including plowing the scrambling BC quarterback and forcing a fumble. Guerrero was the lone bright spot on a Boise D-line that was totally outmatched by the big Boston College O-line.

I was impressed by one Boston prospect - left tackle Jeremy Trueblood. He dominated with his blocks. He wasn't going up against any stud pass rushers or anything, so there's only so much weight you can put on the performance, but he did his job. He was pretty athletic in getting downfield for blocks, which is always nice to see for an OT prospect.

Boise punt returner Quinton Jones was awesome, and ridiculously fearless when it came to running up into traffic to field a punt. I don't think this guy's ever seen a punt that he'll call a fair catch for. He got burned fielding punts inside the 10, and then he broke one out for a 92-yard TD to bring Boise within one score late in the game. He's only a sophomore, probably will be a prospect in a couple years.

Just returned from the:

Liberty Bowl - Tulsa 31, Fresno State 24

Tulsa shocks the world (and Legion) by knocking off Fresno State in a game that started out slowly but turned into a tough fought game. After the opening drive in which Fresno State practically ran the ball down Tulsa's throat, the Golden Hurricanes made a RedZone stand. The fourth down attempt in the red zone instead of kicking a field goal could be seen as one on the bad decisions that led to the Bulldogs loss. But then, kicker Kyle Zimmerman missed on a 22 yard field goal attempt in the third quarter, so maybe going for it then wasn't such a bad idea.

Fresno State was not outplayed in this game. Special Teams (the missed field goal and the phantom field goal I will credit them with from the first drive) cost them 6 points. Then with less than 3 minutes in the game, Fresno State marched downfield only to have QB Pinegar not see a wide open Joe Fernandez and try to force a throw that was intercepted, his second of the game.

Overall a good game, and the Fresno State crowd was much bigger than I thought would make the trip to beautiful, clean and crime free Memphis. I know this was a tough loss for the Bulldogs.

Dang Miami got BLOWN OUT ! LSU 40 - Miami 3


<-----FSU fan

Dang Miami got BLOWN OUT ! LSU 40 - Miami 3


<-----LSU fan

Liberty Bowl - Tulsa 31, Fresno State 24

Boy was this one sad to watch. Fresno was dominant most of the game, but giving up 3 big shouldn't-have-happened plays on defense (two quick hit handoffs for TDs? A bomb where the safety just forgets his assignment is to stay on top of all receivers?) and an inability to kick field goals (team's real kicker is out hurt, replacement is a walk-on soccer player who isn't good for much more than booting kickoffs) helped keep Fresno from posting enough points and from keeping Tulsa's score down. The kicker especially hurt - a missed 27 yard field goal showed exactly why Fresno went for a 4th down in field goal range on their 1st drive. Normally both of those drives should've racked up 3 points.

But alas, Fresno had plenty of opportunity to win the game in the end, but good ol' Paul Pinegar came through with his turnovers. 2 INTs on the team's last 2 drives gave Tulsa the ball for both their game-winning drive and for their victory clock-bleed possession.

In term of prospects, one guy was worth his billing - Fresno State center Kyle Young. He's probably the top center prospect in this year's draft, and it's well deserved. Tulsa had no penetration up the middle against Fresno, and Young helped move the line of scrimmage foward on running plays. A great performance.

Tulsa TE Garrett Mills is supposed to be a star. And he probably could have been. But Tulsa's QB was unable to get him the ball nearly enough. Fresno did a pretty decent job covering him, but it falls on the QB as much as it does Mills or the defense. I was disappointed - I want to see this guy in action. Senior Bowl, hopefully.

Tulsa's lack of a strong passing game means there wasn't much to see from Fresno State CB Richard Marshall. He made some good tackles away from his area in zone coverage, so that's nice.

Paul Pinegar should have erased himself from draft boards. He does have a good arm and is mobile, but he is maddeningly inconsistant and makes bad decisions at the worst possible times. Someone will probably invite him to camp as an undrafted free agent.

Fresno RBs Wendell Mathis and Bryson Sumlin are both probably 2nd day choices. Mathis ran well against USC, so maybe if he puts on a show at the Senior Bowl or whatever scouting game he plays in, maybe he can sneak into a late 1st day pick.

Fresno DE Garrett McIntyre is probably a 2nd day pick as well.

Bama just blocked a TT FG w/3 seconds left in the half.. with the way their defense has been playing this game, that could've been the gamebreaker. ROLL TIDE!

Yikes ND allowed 600+ yards to Ohio State in that game....

I guess Auburn thought they could just phone it in against the Badgers. I hope they learned something today, or else the trip was a complete waste.

Emerald Bowl - Utah 38, Georgia Tech 10

Well, this super Georgia Tech defense with all these pro prospects got punked up and down the field by Utah's spread offense.

WR Travis LaTendresse was kind of a borderline pro prospect going into this game. Well, after catching 4 TDs against a top NCAA defense, I wonder if perhaps that has changed. LaTendresse has the size at 6'1", 190 lbs, and his 4.51 40 won't scare anyone off (though if he can improve that number at the Combine or workouts, he can help his case).

Tech DE Eric Henderson, where were you? No sacks, not much pressure, pretty invisible. None of Tech's defense prospects did anything to help their draft stock.

Tech RB P.J. Daniels was about the only consistant offense Tech had. Not a performance that raises scouts eyebrows, though.

Utah's CB/S Eric Weddle showed himself to be a hell of an athlete, coming in on offense for 3 runs for 23 yards. A little smallish, but an athlete that will get some looks.

LB Spencer Toone tackled well and has outstanding speed for a linebacker. He could stand to gain from putting on more weight, as he had problems on the blitz against big linemen. You have to love linebackers with 4.5 speed though.

Laura Quinn = teh hot, and persona non grata in the Quinn house, I bet.

Laura Quinn = teh hot, and persona non grata in the Quinn house, I bet.


I doubt many non fans of the two schools watched the whole Sugar bowl, but what a show. WVU is the real deal and with 9 of 11 starters back on offense, If Slaton and White stay healthy, they might find themselves in next years BCS title game.

I am sad for my Dawgs, but after spotting the Mountainers 28 points, they played with heart and toughness to make it a very close game. The Dawgs probablly wont win the SEC next year, but with a stable full of talented young QBs and RBs, I think they are two years away from another run at the title.

Is it just me, or did one of the Orange Bowl bands play the theme from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

The sad part is that the Orange Bowl will probably be a better football game than the Rose Bowl.

Am I the only person who didn't think the Orange Bowl was really a "Classic?" Two offenses stifled by great Ds, atrocious kicking, and not much else.

Well, damn kicker!

At least FSu played a great game even with a depleted offensive line and freshman QB. I mean if they could have done anything they would have won the game!

Glad I didn't stay up. I have had my fill of wide- kicks from FSU.

WVU is the real deal and with 9 of 11 starters back on offense, If Slaton and White stay healthy, they might find themselves in next years BCS title game.

I watched White when he was playing in high school. Even though his passes were ducks, the raw talent was impressive. You knew he was going to progress leaps and bounds in college. I think he out-Vicks Marcus at Va Tech.

Rat Boy wrote:

Laura Quinn = teh hot, and persona non grata in the Quinn house, I bet.


There are much hotter college students out there that this

Okay, since everyone's been giving a lot more credit to Texas lately, I'll say it: USC in a big win.

We'll see RB. 23-17 Texas right now in 3rd quarter.

And is it just me or has White looked a lot better in this game than Bush?

Rat Boy wrote:
Laura Quinn = teh hot, and persona non grata in the Quinn house, I bet.


There are much hotter college students out there that this

Laura Quinn or Rebecca Lobo?