I have never been superstitious or bought in to the notions of bringing in the new year correctly. That being said I have somehow always ended up eating black eyed peas, collard greens, and other assorted comfort foods. The superstition states that this represents the fortune you can make in the coming year. That something that happens on the first of january has implications for the coming year. I kind of hope that is the case with football. January 1st offered quite a few exciting games that came down to the wire that ended with an upset. That kind of excitement is exactly what we need for 2019. Let’s see how it affected our predictions as a camp.
Monday’s first game, the Outback Bowl, was the first upset of the day. Iowa started off the new year right by beating a ranked Mississippi State team, even if their offense sputtered. The Hawkeyes totaled -15 rushing yards throughout this game. A statistical worst in the bowls history. Thats an average loss of 27 inches per rush for Iowa. They don’t seem to care though as their defense converted 3 turnovers into points. Including a late game interception by Safety Jake Gervase in the endzone to keep the bulldogs from taking the lead. Maybe it is true that defense wins championships or at least defense wins Outback Bowls.
The second game of 2019 pitted cat vs. cat. To see who could be the most fierce. Turns out it was the Wildcats of Kentucky who would outplay the Nittany Lions ( I don’t know what that is either). The first half was a defensive showdown as Kentucky barely held on to their early lead. However in the second Benny Snell came alive rushing for two touchdowns and ending the day with 144 yards on the ground and the all time Kentucky career rushing leader. However, Trace McSorley, or should I say Mc-sore-ly……… sorry about that terrible joke pretend it didn’t happen. Playing on what is thought to be a broken foot put together a bit of a comeback deep in the game but just came up short in the fourth quarter as the Kentucky Wildcats held on to cap their great season with a big win. It could be the start of an upturn for a traditionally bad football team if Kentucky can keep with this momentum.
The third game and third upset of the year came as the LSU swamp people defeated the UCF Knights of the L-shaped table. UCF boasting to be the national champs and having an undefeated streak that is admittedly impressive, came in with vengeance in their eyes. That was seen in their 14 penalties for 145 yards. With three ejections in the first half alone this was a scrappy game and you could tell by how back and forth the scoring went. What it came down to was that even though LSU was playing a mostly new defense, because of players choosing to sit out, they pressured QB Darriel Mack Jr. into rushing many throws. Not to mention the impressive showing from LSU QB Joe Burrow who threw for 394 yards and 4 touchdowns after recovering from a rough blindside hit early in the game. In a gritty and dirty game LSU came out the champ. To be expected from a team from the swamplands.
As the Rose Bowl parade ran around California Urban Meyer was giving his last few interviews as Ohio State’s coach. Claiming it has to do with the added stress of his job we now fully understand, as his team almost lost a 25 point lead in the fourth quarter and had to recover an onside kick in order to end with a W. This game took the form of a blowout as we Ohio State approached the fourth quarter with a 28-3 lead. But RB from Washington Myles Haskin, had a different plan as he scored three touchdowns in the quarter 2 rushing and even passing for another. However, it was too little too late as the 2 point conversion was intercepted and then a failed onside kick led to Urban Meyer finishing his career with the victory formation. Not only that but ending it at Ohio State with a career record of 83-9, a national Championship, and now his first Rose Bowl victory. Have a career Urban.
The last game of the first day of the new year wasn’t a pretty one. Remember when I said upsets happened on Monday. Well this is the biggest, as far as our competition goes. Only 1 person picked this game correctly…… 1. They chose the Longhorns over the, number 5 team who were, “the best team in the league who got passed up.” They definitely didn’t play like they were that good. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger ran all over the defense for 64 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile the Bulldog offense couldn’t find any sort of rhythm. Making a push late in the fourth quarter that just wasn’t enough to make it happen. The usually dominant rushing game of the bulldogs was stifled and turned on its head with turnovers. They must have still been shaken up by the Bevo Bull attack on Uga that happened before the game. No one was injured except for the Bulldogs pride. Texas is hoping this turns around their bad fortune and bad football history and puts them back closer to the top.
The leaders going into the Championship game of the season as far as the office stands is still Trip. With none of us having a chance to beat her out.
1st Trip: 28-12
2nd Stride and Sprinkles: 25-15
4th Rambo: 24-16
5th Scoot and Leo: 22-18
However Stride will pick up a loss on the 7th having picked his favorite team the Sooners who are not even playing in the championship. Poor guy, just couldn’t stay unbiased.
The rest of the pack of the Strong Rock family is as follows.
1st Mike Barnhouse: 28-12
2nd Michael Barre and Zach Godfrey 27-13
4th Doug Markott and Brande Grantham 26-14
Mike is the only person who still has a chance at beating Trip, he has picked Clemson in the National Championship and she has picked Alabama. It will all come down to this. Also Zach Godfrey does have an opportunity to tie Trip and Possibly beat her with a tie Breaker. As he too picked Clemson. So everyone here in the office is cheering for Alabama as much as we may hate that. Another great year of Bowls and this year it comes down to the very end. Who will take it all?
1. The Georgia game has the biggest percentage of losses ever in Strong Rock Bowl Bonanza history of 98.1%
2. The only person who guessed correctly was Sara Moseley. Congrats Sara!
3. No matter what happens in the Championship over 85% of the competitors this year will end with a winning record. Also one of our highest percentages ever.
Peter “Leo” Gunnin