Last night's snozzzzzzer capped the 2011-12 College Football post season. Over the span of nearly three weeks, teams seized the opportunity to close the season on a high note while others squandered their chance, some seemed to even give it away. Various teams showed up to play, others sleep-walked through 60 minuets of football. In my mind, this was the most entertaining bowl season in recent memory. Typically, the early bowl games can be duds. That was not the case this season, as some of the early games were among the best of the bunch. I'll recap my picks first, then give out some highly coveted awards...I see you moving to the edge of your seat.
My record for the 2011-12 Bowl Season finished at..... 25-10! Thank you! Thank you! Much improved over last seasons 20-15 record. What can I say? The games just seemed easier to pick. I actually took part in a cash pool that required selecting winners based on point spreads and over/under total points. I won that pool, and finished with a record of 24-11 in that pool. I never referenced my blog pick when choosing winners for the pool, the near-similar records were just coincidence.
Let's breakdown the gauntlet of games:
Most Exciting Game: This is a tough decision, so many good contenders. A great finish to the SDSU/Louisiana-Lafayette New Orleans Bowl which was decided by a last-second field goal. Toldeo-Air Force Military Bowl was a doozie, Air Force failed to score on a two-point conversion and lost by just one point in a high scoring affair. Utah mounted a ferocious comeback to beat Georgia Tech in overtime at the Sun Bowl. Michigan State and Georgia both proved there was no hangover from losing their conference championship games as it took 3 overtimes to settle the Outback Bowl. The Rose Bowl was an action-packed, high-scoring, record-breaking affair. Only to be followed by the Fiesta Bowl in which Oklahoma State and Stanford traded blows before the Cardinal's kicking game blew it. If you think points are exciting, then these last two games made you one happy sports fan! West Virginia racked up a all-time bowl record 70 points in their rout of Clemson. But hands down the most exciting game of the season was Baylor and Washington as the defenses basically stepped out of the way of each offense and let a track meet break out on a football field. 123 combined points, 1,397 combined total yards made the Alamo Bowl the most exciting bowl game of this season!
Most Boring Game: This is a tough one because the early bowls typically take this category but this year the early games were unusually entertaining. The BBVA Compass Bowl qualifies, as the game was all but over after three 1st quarter touchdowns by SMU. Oklahoma steamrolled Iowa in the Insight Bowl that really wasn't all that competitive. I'm trying not to let a bias get involved here, but the National Championship game was pretty dull. 21 total points, all scored by Alabama. But only one touchdown. It was another "field goal-palooza" of all intents and purposes. LSU didn't really play like they wanted to win. 92 total yards on offense? Georgia Southern put up more yards on Alabama than LSU did! I understand Alabama has a beast defense, but it isn't IMPOSSIBLE to score on them. And for the National Championship Game being a shut-out, congrats, you are the most boring game of the bowl season!
Best Bowl Win: I think West Virginia's win in the Orange Bowl was as big as it gets. Not only on the field, but off it too. The Mountaineers sent a statement to Clemson and to the Big East Conference by putting up 70 points in a dominant BCS performance. West Virginia is headed to the Big 12 Conference next season (at least THEY think so), and destroying their ACC opponent while headed out the pathetic Big East door give them a ton of credit and momentum heading into next season. Look out for the Mountaineers next season.
Worst Bowl Loss: Washington surrendered 777 yards of offense, including 482 of those rushing. Hands down the worst performance of this bowl season. It cost the Huskies Defensive coordinator his job.
Most Ironic Loser: Air Force in the Military Bowl
Most Deserving Winner: Florida Gators in the Gator Bowl
Dumbest Moment: Towards the end of the third quarter in the Capital One Bowl, star wide receiver Alshon Jeffery threw a punch at a Nebraska defender. Both players were ejected. At the end of the game, Jeffery was named Player of the Game. How can you give an award to a player who was KICKED OUT of the game! Doesn't matter that he caught a Hail Mary pass at the end of the 1st half for a touchdown.
The 2011-12 College football season was a great one! A lot of late-season drama spilled over into the bowl season. Can't wait for next year! As usual, too early to look ahead. Well, not really but I won't get into that.