Bowls offer up interesting matchups

As usualy, the BCS provided plenty of drama leading up to the final weekend of college football before the bowl season. Supporters of the BCS have always pointed to this weekly drama as the reason we should keep this ridiculously flawed system that only let the top two teams in the country play for the National Championship. In some years this has worked out great with epic matchups between Ohio State and Miami and then USC and Texas. Those games made the BCS system a significant improvement over the old system, where #1 rarely played #2 in the bowl games. But the imprved system made most of us want more, as it further exposed the arbitrary nature of college football and the silly notion that losing one game could disqualify you from playing for a championship. It also highlighted on a weekly basis the absurd notion that opinions and style points should somehow determine the fate of a football team, as opposed to winning a game on the field in a playoff.

Next year we will finally move to a more rational system. But for this year, with some lucky breaks at the end, including the resolution of the Jameis Winston drama, we got a game with Florida State and Auburn that most people can support. With that we also got some more games that football fans and betters can enjoy, and there will be plenty of people researching odds and free bets in order to enjoy an interesting slate of games.

The title game will get a ton of attention as usual, as the incredibly talented Florida State team seems poised to put an end to the SEC dominance of this game. Auburn is a 7.5 to 8.5 underdog with the various sports books, which is a pretty big spread considering Auburn won the SEC. Of cours ethe miracle finishes need to be considered as well. But this game is often ripe for upsets, as the break between the end of the season and the game can stretch out over a month. We’ll see if Florida State is really that good, or if they just ran up the score against mediocre competition.

One of the best bowl matchups has Ohio State roughly as a 2 or 2.5 point favorite over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Ohio State opened as a 5 point favorite in some books and over a field goal in others, so money is definitely coming in on Clemson. Both teams have issues on defense, as it will be difficult for Clemson to stop Ohio State’s running game while the Ohio State defense often gets carved up by good quarterbacks like Tajh Boyd.

The worst game looks like Baylor vs Central Florida, where Baylor is favored by over two touchdowns. Of course the spread will make this interesting for betters, but it’s hardly the type of game fans look forward to. Perhaps UCF can spring the upset. Enjoy!

  

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College football is back

Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly (C) leaves field after his team’s 22-19 loss to the Auburn Tigers in the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in Glendale, Arizona, January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Will Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly have the same sour look on his face tonight after his Ducks face LSU, or will Oregon get off to another fast start. After that, will Kelly even survive the Willie Lyles scandal?

It’s been a brutal off-season for college football, as the very structure of the sport is coming under attack. Perhaps nobody is to blame, as this system has evolved over the years into a multibillion dollar business while trying to keep the myth of amateur athletics. So you end up with ridiculous rules, and big programs in trouble with tattoo scandals and potential suit scandals as college kids deal with instant fame and boosters who want to spend time with them and give them money. Then you end up with absurd results where champions like USC have to pretend they didn’t win a BCS title because one player broke the rules.

At the same time we have an absurd BCS system that is anything but fair, making a mockery of the whole season, while universities jump around from conference to conference looking for the biggest payday.

With all that, most of us are excited to have the season begin because it’s such a great sport. We love football, and we love the tradition and pageantry associated with the sport. College fans are intense and loyal. We also love our weekly office football pools and friendly wagers with friends.

Tonight we have two great games, with Oregon as a 3.5-point favorite against LSU and Boise State as a 3-point favorite against Georgia. Check out all of the college football lines for today’s games.

  

Nike is going to pimp your college football team

Before their fight songs ring throughout the stadiums and they storm the fields, nine of the top college football programs in the country will lace their cleats and buckle their chin straps while donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms for at least one game during the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Of course, we’re still not entirely sure why Nike is turning this into such a big event. It seems like a whole lot of hoo-hah for only one game, and unless fans have the opportunity to buy their own version of these exclusive uniforms and gear, it’s hard to imagine many of them caring what their favorite teams are wearing as long as they win.

Still, the players themselves have to be pretty excited, as the Nike Pro Combat uniforms not only integrate the latest in performance innovation and design, but have been created using elements from each school’s rich history to capture their unique character. Long story short, it’s going to improve their overall game and make them look really cool doing it.

The teams selected for the honor of donning these one-of-a-kind uniforms include the United States Military Academy, Boise State University, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, the United States Naval Academy, Ohio State University, University of Oregon, and Stanford University.

The uniforms will hit the field on opening day of the 2011-12 college football season and throughout the year during some of the fiercest rivalries in the NCAA, with match-ups like Oregon vs. LSU on September 3rd, Michigan State vs. Michigan on October 15th, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin on October 29th, Stanford vs. Notre Dame on November 27th, and the annual service academy matchup between two of the nation’s most prestigious football programs – Army vs. Navy – on December 10th.

  

Smack talk for the college bowl games


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Who’s going to win the National Championship? Alabama or Texas?

Check out the smack talk threads over at The Scores Report and let us know who you think will win the BCS bowl games, and feel free to offer up some smack talk as well. Also, don’t let your gripes with the BCS ruin yur fun on New Year’s Day. There are some pretty good matchups this year, like Ohio State vs. Oregon. So far it looks like more people think the Ducks are going to win.

As for a playoff, here’s John Paulsen’s take on what an eight-team playoff would have looked like this year.

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