I am slowly coming to terms with seeing my favorite sports team lose in the championship game with 2 seconds to go. What a ride, nonetheless. A great season ended with a great game regardless of the outcome. The National Championship game was a classic, one of the best bowl games of the season. But in my mind, it wasn't the game of the bowl season. I'll talk about which game gets that nod in a bit. First, let's re-visit my bowl picks.
Ultimately wound up with a 20-15 record. Preeeeeety average but I'll take an above .500 season. There were a few surprises, as there usually is. I was surprised how Stanford romped, how Alabama rolled and how Oklahoma didn't get 60 on UCONN. Nebraska choked, Miami fell flat and Ohio State tried but Ryan Mallett tried harder to lose and the Bucks finally beat an SEC team.
Things that went according to plan: TCU and Wisconsin played smash-mouth football, the National Championship game was low-scoring (it always seems when all the talk is about the offense, the defenses step up), Arizona continued it's horrific 2nd half of the season. Michigan was shown by Mississippi State that it didn't belong in a New Year's Day bowl.
The bowl with the most deserving winner: Army in the Military Bowl
The bowl with the most ironic loser: Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl
Most boring bowl game: UCF over Georgia (1 TD, 3 FG's)
Most exciting bowl game: North Carolina over Tennessee- UNC shows that committing a penalty isn't always a bad thing. Last second kick sends game into OT and the Tar Heels steal one in double OT.
Most to gain from bowl win: Stanford. Could have been ever bigger had Harbaugh stuck around. Nonetheless, Stanford will be in the talk for a Pac-12 championship next year and you will hear about them in the National Championship talk as well.
Most to lose from bowl loss: Miami. They were the only Florida school to lose. Schools like South Florida and UCF will definitely benefit from their bowl wins AND Miami's loss.
Too early to look forward to next year. Still digesting the past season, it was one to cherish. Spring ball is not too far off and that's when things will get serious.