Happy New Year everyone! The Stack is here with the first blog of the 2014 and there are a few stories to talk about not to mention six bowl games to pick today so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, New Year's Day, January 1, 2014:
Bill O'Brien lands at Houston
The Houston Texans were the first team to fire their head coach and now they are the first team to hire a new head coach. The Texans last night came to an agreement with Penn State head Bill O'Brien. O'Brien leaves Penn State after two years on the job. Given the state of Penn State football with the sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky fallout, O'Brien did a great job at the school, but you could tell support wasn't 100 percent, especially on gameday. Folks wanted him to be like the late Joe Paterno. O'Brien was never going to be Paterno. The opportunity the Texans give O'Brien was too much to pass up. Houston is a team that has a lot of talent. The Texans are bringing in O'Brien to turn things around quickly. Based on what he did in his two years at Penn State, I wouldn't bet against him. One down, five head coaching openings remain.
Johnny Football puts on a show
If it was his last game in an A&M uniform, it was certainly spectacular. Johnny Manziel helped will his team to a 52-48 win over Duke in the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl. Duke came out guns-a-blazing. Texas A&M could not slow down Duke's offense. A&M's defense is bad to begin with, but this was awful. Yet in the second half, Manziel made play after play and got A&M back within 3 points, trailing 48-45. That's when the defense made the play of the game when Toney Hurd Jr. jumped the route and got an interception, returning it all the way and giving the Aggies a 52-48 lead that would stand at the end of the game. Manziel finished 30-38 for 382 yards and 4 TDs plus another 73 yards rushing and a touchdown. What a marvelous game by Manziel and what a great and brief career at A&M. I assume he'll be entering the NFL draft.
College Bowl Game Picks
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL)
Nebraska vs. #22 Georgia
Why?: No Aaron Murray for Georgia at quarterback. I think Nebraska can sneak away with an upset.
Heat of Dallas Bowl (Dallas, TX)
UNLV vs. North Texas
Pick: North Texas
Why?: Pretty much a toss up, but North Texas has played a little better this season.
Outback Bowl (Tampa, FL)
Iowa vs. #16 LSU
Why?: Assuming LSU comes in focused, they are far superior to Iowa from the Big Ten.
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, FL)
#19 Wisconsin vs. #9 South Carolina
Pick: South Carolina
Why?: Close call. Wisconsin has been a pleasant surprise this year and they have a good ground game, but going against Jadaveon Clowney, I feel South Carolina just has a little more talent.
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
#5 Michigan State vs. #4 Stanford
Why?: Both teams have tremendous defenses, but Michigan State will be without starting linebacker Max Bullough who was suspended for a violation of team rules. That hurts Michigan State and Stanford will be able to get by.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ)
#15 UCF vs. #6 Baylor
Why?: Have you seen Baylor's offense? That's why.
Enjoy all of the bowl games today and the NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor today between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. What a great day to sit back and watch sports. Happy New Year everyone.
Coming up tomorrow: Reaction to top stories from New Years Day