As I sit back at my house, yet again being deprived of a bowl game with my Stanford Cardinal riding a 5-7 record (although my Warriors and Fighting Irish did meet in the Hawaii Bowl) , I was able to watch many other bowl games that to be honest, I could care less about. I found many interesting things out about college football, primarily about the Pac-10 and Big 12.
First off, let me say this, I may be a bit biased as a Pac-10 fan, however, I truly believe that this is absolutely not coming from the homer in me at all, in fact you will find that I "dis" the Pac-10 a few times in this blog myself. Anyways, here we go...
The first bowl game that I sat down and watched from nearly start to end was the Alamo Bowl, between Missouri and Northwestern. Personally, I felt like Northwestern had no shot, even though they were an underrated team. I felt this way because even I at the time thought that the Big 12 was making its own case as the "best conference in college football". However as I watched this game, I saw something. I saw an extremely OVERRATED Big 12 team barely beat an extremely UNDERRATED Big 10 team in Northwestern. I mean honestly, should Big 12 fans be even slightly proud of this win? Nope. Should they feel embarassed? Yes.
The next game I watched, was by far my favorite of the bowl season, the Holliday Bowl between Oregon and Oklahoma State. Once again, I thought this would be a good game, but in the end I thought it was obvious that OSU would prevail... WRONG! Oregon came back after trailing by 10 at the half to win by 11, essentially beating OSU by 21 in the 2nd half of the game! To me, this is game was truly the epitime of what I am writing about, however let me continue.
This next game, I did not watch by I did read about, was Ne.braska and Clemson in the Gator Bowl. Wow, impressive huh? Nebraska won by 5 and this time, it wasn't an OT win for the Big 12. Oops, oh wait, that's right, I nearly forgot! It only took them a 23 point second half to barely come out on top and beat a Clemson team who disappointed not just the ACC, but many fans who simply wanted to see a new "great" team immerge. Congrats to you Big 12 fans, you beat a 7-6 Clemson team... by 5.
Ahh, now comes the real embarassing one, I think you all should know which game I'm talking about. Yes, the Cotton Bowl, where highly favored Big 12 "powerhouse" Texas Tech (87% of America picked them to win this game) was utterly embarassed by Ole Miss, a team who was a huge underdog. Not only did Texas Tech blow an early 14-0 lead, but they also lost by a pretty decent margin of 13 points. Nice going Big 12, another great showing here.
Now even though the Big 12 did win this one, lets face it, this game should have been a blowout. Texas and Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl of course s the game I'm talking about. Now for those of you who watched, or will soo read about it, we all saw a Texas team collapse for 13 minutes of the 4th quarter. They squandered away a 17-9 lead in around 7 minutes. After those 7 minutes were up, they found themselves down 21-17 with 1:58 on the clock. And of course, leave it to Ohio State to choke in this type of situation and practically lead the way for Texas to drive down the field and win, 24-21. Both these teams were, and still are disgustingly overrated in my opinion and I believe this game proves why Texas is. They barely beat a team that USC crushed by 32. It took Texas, a last minute drive by their Heisman candidate QB, followed by a Senior receiver's career game, with a side order of choking by the OSU defense to barely squeeze out this win. Good Job Big 12.
And even though this game has yet to be played, let's face it, I believe that the National Championship game between Oklahoma and Florida will only expose the weak Big 12 even more. I know that the underdogs have dominated somewhat this Bowl season however I honestly would not be surprised if Florida won by more than 30 points.
Anyways, by now you probably have caught my drift, the Big 12 is overrated, and I'd like to see anyone prove me wrong. This to me, is what the Big 12's regular season consists of:
1. By far the EASIEST Non-Conference Schedule of ANY Conference in all of college football. Take a look at some of the team's they played this season: South Dakota State, Washington State, Chattanooga, Florida Atlantic (twice!), Eastern Washington (twice!), Western Michigan, Arkansas State, North Texas, Southeast Missouri State, Kent State, Northwestern State, Montana State, Washington State (Again! and yes, I know this is a Pac-10 team, but they suck), Missouri State, and Sam Houston State. This Non-Conference schedule honestly makes me sick. For such a "Big Time" college football Conference to play this bad of a Non-Conference schedule isn't just disgraceful to them, its disgraceful to the NCAA and the sport of college football.
2. Here is the second part of a typical Big 12 "Powerhouses" schedule. They literally feed off of each other. For example, this year Texas beat Oklahoma, but Oklahoma beat Texas Tech who beat Texas, and the cycle goes on throughout the Big 12. Now I know that this is completely unintentional, however this is truly the sole reason why so many Big 12 team's were in the top 25 and top 10 this season. They all help to keep each other afloat.
Now I know that the majority of comment will be from idiots in Texas and Oklahoma and all the other states that have teams in the Big 12, but I will simply disregard them as coming from the southern part of the United States they don't have a clue what there talking about. But hey, at least I will have united Texas and Oklahoma fans in some way.
Now for the Pac 10. It was really a pretty damn bad year for the Pac 10, but I think we can all agree that going 5-0 in the bowl season is pretty impressive including wins over Miami, 20th ranked Pitt, 16th ranked BYU, 13th ranked Oklahoma State (who should be more like 25th ranked), and 8th ranked Penn State. This bowl season saved the Pac 10's reputation, and it sure didn't hurt that the Big 12 fell flat on their faces, even if they did have a few unimpressive wins here and there.
However, even with such a great bowl season, I am still very disapointed with the Pac 10 as a fan with high expectations. USC should have won the National Championship, or at least been in the game, Arizona State should have been a top 25 team, and personally, I believe my Stanford Cardinal should have won 6 games and secured themselves a bowl bid for the first time since the 2000 Rose Bowl.
None the less though, I was very entertained by this Bowl season, and still have a few more games to come to watch and read about.