Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 12:16 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
If bowl games actually followed their conference affiliations the way they're drawn up, then at the moment there isn't much question that Kansas State would be on its way to the Cotton Bowl since Oklahoma State is currently in position to play for the BCS title and Oklahoma is likely to end up at the Fiesta Bowl. Of course, bowl games don't actually work that way and look at a whole bunch of other factors besides where a team finished in the standings.
So while Kansas State is in position to end up in the Cotton Bowl, the bowl game has its eyes on other Big 12 schools as well. Including Texas. Though according to the Cotton Bowl's President Rick Baker, the Longhorns won't be going to Dallas if they lose to Kansas State again on Saturday.
"If Kansas State beats Texas, then Texas will most likely fall off our radar screen," Baker told GoPowercat.com. "I think they'll probably drop from the rankings, too.
"If Texas beat Kansas State, Kansas State could still end up 9-3 and Texas could lose their last two and end up 7-5. If Kansas State wins, it eliminates Texas, but if Texas wins, we'll still have to wait."
Last season the Cotton Bowl chose Texas A&M over Missouri even though the Tigers finished ahead of the Aggies in the Big 12. Baker said the selection was because A&M had won 6 in a row and it had the opportunity to match them up with rival LSU. This year Baker says the Cotton Bowl is looking at Kansas State, Texas and Baylor from the Big 12, and Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina from the SEC.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 12:25 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Posted on: April 21, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 4:29 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
First of all, if you're like me, you have no idea what the Belk Bowl is. So let's clear that up right away. If you weren't aware, what was formerly known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl has now become the Belk Bowl. Though that's not the only change going on with the Belk Bowl, as it was announced on Thursday that the inaugural version of the Belk Bowl will be held in primetime for the first time in the game's decade long history.
“We are excited to announce that we will be playing the Belk Bowl in primetime for the first time,” said the bowl's executive director Will Webb in a release. “The bowl has been a tremendous success, both on the field and off. With this being the first year of Belk’s title sponsorship, we are looking forward to our best year ever. Playing the game at night for the first time will be a great opportunity to expand the reach of the game, both in the Charlotte community and nationally on ESPN. We are very proud that we have been chosen to kick off a week of primetime bowl action.”
Which is great news, I suppose, but if you're like me the only thing you're trying to figure out right now is what the heck Belk is. Do not fear, for I did the research for you. Belk is a Charlotte-based department store company, and their sponsorship of the game runs through 2013.
The Belk Bowl annually matches up a team from the ACC and Big East, with USF defeating Clemson 31-26 in the game's final year of being known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Posted on: March 4, 2011 1:12 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Earlier this week we wrote about the $1.8 million that UConn lost with its trip to the Fiesta Bowl. The largest portion of UConn's loss came from the number of tickets the school wasn't able to sell. Of course, UConn only lost money because it's a smaller school without a great football tradition, and just didn't have the same number of fans available to buy up tickets. Surely a larger school wouldn't have such a problem with the BCS system, right?
Wrong. Not even Auburn and Oregon, the two teams playing for a national championship, could escape their postseason trips with a profit.
According to the Birmingham News, Auburn returned home from Glendale short over $600,000, while Oregon lost $261,132. Combined, the two schools ended up paying $875,238, with the biggest culprit once again being ticket sales. Auburn had to eat $781,825 in tickets, while Oregon took a $555,575 hit.
Granted, I'm pretty sure if you told Auburn it could win a national championship every year for $600,000 -- insert Cam Newton joke here -- it would take the deal in a heartbeat. Besides, the odds are that Auburn will make that money back through the sale of merchandise related to its BCS title. That being said, the fact that even the teams playing in the biggest college football game of the year are losing money to do so tells you an awful lot about the BCS system.
Sure, the BCS is around to help both the schools and the student-athletes. Just as long as you replace "schools and student-athletes" with "BCS" anyway.
Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:12 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Today is a good day to be a college football fan as we're all blessed with the chance to watch not just one, but two bowl games this evening, the first time we've had multiple games on the same day since the first three bowl games were played on December 18th. The games provide a couple of decent matchups as well, as all four teams come from BCS conferences with West Virginia taking on N.C. State and Iowa facing Missouri. Though if recent television ratings have taught us one thing, not many eyes will be on N.C. State and West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.
The Wall Street Journal published a story on the top television draws in bowl games since 1998 based on how ratings performed against expectations. The usual suspects sit atop the list of teams who draw more viewers. Teams like USC (+28.7%), Florida State (+22.6%), Notre Dame (+20.8%), Miami (+15.7%) and Michigan (+12%) all draw in more eyeballs than expected. Of course, when you look at the bottom of the list, you find that outside of Florida State, not many people seem to care about ACC teams in bowl games.
Four of the bottom five teams are from the ACC, including N.C. State. In dead last we have Virginia (-18.3%) followed by N.C. State (-17%), Georgia Tech (-14.7%), LSU (-8.9%) and Clemson (-7.9%). As you can see, LSU is the only non-ACC team in the bottom five, and honestly, I'm a bit surprised to find them there.
You'll also notice that there are no SEC teams in the top five, so I guess everyone must hate the SEC too. Or, you can explain it by the fact that the SEC tends to play in a lot of national championships and other BCS bowls, which are expected to get higher ratings and skew the numbers a bit. Still, even if that's the case, feel free to use the "Nobody watches the SEC!" argument next time you're dealing with an SEC-homer. They won't care, but you'll need as much ammo as you can get.
Posted on: December 23, 2010 11:49 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 11:50 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
San Diego State proved to be too much for Navy in a 35-14 victory.
San Diego State
Offense: Aside from the third quarter, the only quarter in which the Aztecs failed to score, there really wasn't much to complain about on offense. The Aztecs used a balanced attack against an overwhelmed Navy defense, and the trio of Ryan Lindley, Ronnie Hillman and Vincent Brown proved to be way too much for Navy to handle. Brown had 7 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter. He'd finish the night with 8 catches and 165 yards, though he could have had over 200 yards and another touchdown had he not let a pass slip through his hands in the fourth quarter. Lindley completed 18 of his 23 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns, and also displayed an excellent ball fake on play-action passes. Some of the best I've ever seen, to be honest. Still, the star of the show was Hillman, who rushed for 228 yards and 3 scores, and even caught a touchdown pass that helped put the game away. All in all it was a very impressive performance. Grade: A
Defense: I had some concerns about how the SDSU defense would hold up against Navy's option attack, but like the offense, the defense was also impressive. They showed strong discipline all night in stopping Navy, and though they allowed two touchdowns in the second quarter, did not allow a single point in the other three. Yes, the Aztecs gave up some deep passes, but holding a Navy offense that averaged 31 points a game this season to only 14 points is a remarkable feat. Grade: A
Coaching: Brady Hoke and his staff came into this game knowing where Navy's weaknesses were and attacked them out of the gate. Navy simply could not stop Lindley and Brown in the first quarter and became so determined to keep that passing game in check that the Aztecs had no problem opening up big holes for Hillman up front. It was also obvious that the coaching staff spent a lot of time preparing the defense for Navy's option attack, and while they didn't have a perfect game on defense, the Aztecs played better than expected. Grade: A
Offense: While you can't really tell by looking at the final score, Navy didn't play all that bad on offense. Ricky Dobbs rushed for over 100 yards and a score, and threw for 147 more and another touchdown. The sole Navy turnover came late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. The problem was that Navy's offense couldn't sustain its offense long enough on drives, and stalled a few times at midfield and in the red zone. In fact, Navy's chances of winning basically died when, trailing 21-14 on its first drive after halftime, the Middies failed to convert on a fourth and goal. it was probably the best drive of the game that Navy had, and it couldn't muster any points out of it. You don't win a lot of games when that happens. Grade: C+
Defense: Here is where the problems really came for Navy. As good as this team has been this season, the fact is that talent wise, the Midshipmen just couldn't match up with the Aztecs on defense. Without a secondary strong enough to line up and play man-to-man on a regular basis, the Aztecs picked apart the zone defenses. Up front the Aztec offensive line just proved too much for Navy's front four, as the defensive line never pressured Lindley much and were gashed by Hillman. Grade: D-
Coaching: It's pretty hard to blame Ken Niamutulolo and his coaching staff for anything that happened in this game. it's not as if Navy played an undisciplined game or had a bad game plan. The fact of the matter was San Diego State had a better plan and executed it to near perfection on the night. Some nights you just get beat no matter what you do, and this was one of those nights. Grade: B-
Final Grade: Going into this game I was expecting a bit of a shootout. I wasn't sure that the Navy defense would be able to stop the Aztecs, and I questioned whether or not SDSU could stop Navy's option. As we've gone over, San Diego State did stop Navy. Still, even though the final margin was 21 points, this game wasn't that big of a blowout. That being said, there wasn't a whole lot of drama in the fourth quarter either, so it's hard to give this game much higher than an average score. Final Grade: C+
Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:48 am
Edited on: December 7, 2010 11:59 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Coaches and players love going to a bowl game. For coaches it's always nice to have a bowl appearance on the resume, even if there are 400 of them, plus it gives them the chance to hold a few more practices with their team, and there's nothing coaches like more than practice time. For the players, bowl games are a reward for a hard season, and though some destinations are better than others -- oh boy! Detroit in December! -- at least those players know that wherever they go, they're going to get some free stuff.
Everybody loves free stuff. I have t-shirts in my closet that I never wear, but I keep them because I got them for free. You never know when you'll have to paint your house or apartment, and it's always nice to have one of those free shirts around for such an occasion.
Nice as free shirts are, though, going to a bowl game gets you a lot better swag than just a shirt, and thanks to the Sports Business Journal, we can see what every bowl is giving to the players. I perused the list and came up with some of the best that each game has to offer.
Unfortunately, a lot of the bowl games list "gift suite" as something they're giving to the players, which isn't very specific. Essentially what it means is that players are taken into a suite filled with all sorts of cool stuff, and they're allowed to pick and choose what they'd like. All the BCS bowls list these gift suites, and since those bowls make a ton of money, I would think that they're pretty good.
As for the bowls that list exactly what they're giving away, you could do a lot worse than going to the Alamo Bowl.
This year Oklahoma State and Arizona players will be going home with an XBox 360 Kinect, a giftcard to Gamestop, some headphones, an iPod shuffle, Fossil watch -- if you watch Jersey Shore, you know what happens when somebody gives you a Fossil watch -- a mini helmet and a panoramic team photo. All that and you get to see the Alamo and pretend you're Davy Crockett.
Other bowls, like the Capital One Bowl, aren't quite sure what the players will want, as it knows that differnet people have different tastes. That's why instead of specific gifts, Alabama and Michigan State players will all get a watch from the Timely Watch Co. and a $420 gift certificate to Best Buy.
All in all, just about every bowl game is going to give you a watch and some free clothes, so no matter where you end up, odds are you'll be leaving with something nice.
Still, some are worse than others. Which bowls would I least like to end up in? Well, the R+L Carrier New Orleans Bowl only gives you an iPod touch and a Balfour ring. Well, I already have an iPod, and I don't wear jewelry, so I appreciate the sentiment, but step your game up. The New Mexico Bowl gives away some nice stuff, though I'm not sure what I want with the "pen in box" or the Christmas ornament.
As for the Sun Bowl giving Notre Dame and Miami players a Helen of Troy hair dryer, well, I'm sure that will come in handy.
Then there are the bowl games who won't play along, and like to keep their gifts a secret. This means one of two things, the gifts either suck, or they're really awesome. One of these bowls is the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which I'm guessing will feature either a fitted Yankees hat, or $100 million dollars.
Of course, these are just my tastes, I have no idea what you're in to. Feel free to peruse the entire list and let us know in the comments which bowls you'd like to play in.
Posted on: December 3, 2010 5:44 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Following an exciting double-overtime victory over in-state rival Arizona on Thursday night, Arizona State finished the regular season with a record of 6-6, and hoped that it wouldn't be the last game the team played this season. While six wins is enough to make a team bowl eligible, two of Arizona State's wins came against FCS schools, which didn't leave the Sun Devils with enough wins against the FBS to qualify.
So they appealed to the NCAA in hopes that they'd get a shot to go bowling this season, and pick up some extra practices. Well, some one once told me to hope in one hand, and something else I'm not allowed to type here in the other. Guess which hand the NCAA chose!
I'll admit, I did find this decision to be a little bit of a surprise. I figured that the NCAA would allow Arizona State to go bowling because I thought that a six-win Arizona State team would be more attractive team for a bowl game than a six-win Troy team.