The bowl season is off to a flying start! Typically most folks aren’t watching many of these early games, unless their alma mater is playing or they are real college football junkies. (No confessions, please.) We were treated to some good football in most cases, so regardless of your interest in the early games, it has been good sports entertainment so far. Now off to our first game recaps of this year.
I must confess (oops), we had a busy Saturday at camp with our staff reunion and Christmas party, therefore I did not get to watch any of the games. I did keep tabs on them (read “my picks”) through the night. I was certainly pleased with the outcomes of most of the games.
As I suspected, Tarik Cohen of the NC A&T Aggies was the biggest difference in the first game. with 295 total yards and three huge touchdown runs, he was just about impossible to stop. After trading punt returns for touchdowns, the Aggies jumped out to a big lead, mostly on Cohen’s back, 24-6. The Alcorn State Braves methodically worked their way back into it, tying the game at 34- 34. Cohen put them away for good just two plays later. The Braves would squander 4 downs to end the game with first-and-goal on the 9. The picks for this game were fairly evenly split, with the minority actually picking correctly.
The picks for our second game were much more lopsided, with 88% of you picking Arizona. That turned out to be a good choice, giving almost everyone a win. A few key take aways and their best players healthy, Arizona was able to maintain the lead and hold of the Lobos.
In the Las Vegas Bowl, we were back to a fairly even picks split, with Utah holding a bit of an edge. Once again, the majority picked correctly, as the Utes took advantage of 5 turnovers, staking a HUGE 35 point first quarter lead. BYU finally got going and pulled within a touchdown, but couldn’t find enough points to overcome such a terrible start. Kudos to Cougars for regaining composure and not giving up. BYU had almost double the yards of the Utes.
Appalachian State satisfied the majority of our pickers by rallying with a field goal on the last play of the Camellia Bowl. Both teams had great defensive stops and each had a big scoring quarter. The Mountaineers just happened to strike last. Apparently it was a pretty wacky game.
The fifth game up was the Cure Bowl, showcasing the 6-6 Georgia State Panthers against the 5-7 San Jose State Spartans. I am not a fan of the honor of playing in bowl games going to teams with .500 records, so I am definitely not a fan of teams with losing records getting to play. Nonetheless, I had to pick the team I thought would win. A few of you made the right choice and decided to join me. The Panthers had a hard time gaining yards with only 231 total for the game and giving up 4 sacks. The greatest winner of the game was the Breast Cancer Research Foundation who received a $1 million donation from the game sponsor AutoNation.
The last game on the 19th was the New Orleans Bowl. Once again the minority picked correctly with La Tech beating out Arkansas State. Running back Kenneth Dixon set two NCAA records finishing with 87 career touchdowns and 522 career points. His play, along with QB Jeff Driskel’s 458 passing yards dominated the game. The game was tied at the half, but that was about all the Red Wolves could really do.
The only game on Monday the 21st was a battle between a dynamic running game and a powerful air attack. Strangely enough, the WKU quarterback, Brandon Doughty, was playing his last game against the coach he played for in his first collegiate game! Crazy! He did prove to be the man of the hour, leading the Hilltoppers back from a deficit to beat the Bulls and his old coach.
I was able to hold strong through the first two days, while two other staffers suffered a rough patch. Unfortunately for me I was not strong enough to hold off two guys who went undefeated. There are a lot of games to be played so I am sure we will see a lot of shuffling around as time goes on. Although some of you are off to a tough start, I am sure things will get better. Here are the standings so far:
Rambo: 6-1, Trip: 5-2, T-Bone: 2-5, Sprinkles:2-5
1st place: (7-0) David Maggiore and staff member Joel “Vision” Fangmann
2nd place: (6-1) Charles Bond and Jeff Esping
3rd place: (5-2) Brice Dollar, Martin Pierce, Pace Horstmeyer, Amy Sims, Erin Esping, Curran Watters, Peter Hudson, Carolyn Hickerson, Dan Kiener, Lydia Davidson, Lisa Adams, Dan Jimenez, Laura Jeffers, Hannah “Canon” Phillips, and Bekah “Swift” James
I was surprised to see some of the names near the bottom of the list thus far. One camper, who plays sports almost daley, normally has me beaten already. I will try to take it easy on him, since he will likely stage a comeback. A few of our faithful nurses find themselves in a (Dill) pickle near the lower ranks as well. One more staff member must have drawn a Blank while making his picks.
Hopefully more game recaps tomorrow and certainly more shake ups with the leader board. It is sure to be exciting!
Please remember, if you joined us late, after a game was started, in fairness to others your picks for that game cannot count. Any games that still had not kicked off at the time of your completion were allowed. The survey is now officially closed.