Sports Outside the Beltway

Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


Ship wreck- Navy beats Notre Dame 23-21

The last time the Midshipmen won back to back games in South Bend was when I was two years old. From AP-

Navy did it to Notre Dame again — and this loss to the Midshipmen is even more costly.

Craig Schaefer sacked Jimmy Clausen in the end zone with 60 seconds left Saturday and Navy held on for a 23-21 victory, its second straight at Notre Dame Stadium.

No. 19 Notre Dame (6-3) scored with 24 seconds left on a 31-yard pass from Jimmy Clausen to Golden Tate to cut the lead to two, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds.

The win sends Navy into the Texas Bowl and effectively ends any hope Notre Dame (6-3) had for a Bowl Championship Series berth.

Notre Dame last went to a BCS Bowl game in 2006 and this year’s team I didn’t think was worthy of that high a game before today’s loss. Losing to Navy is nothing to be ashamed of, but a top college football team shouldn’t be defeated by a service academy.


Navy runs by Wake Forest 13-10

Navy did not throw a single pass in the rain drenched game.

Backup quarterback Kriss Proctor ran 40 yards for a third-quarter touchdown, and Navy beat Wake Forest 13-10 in a driving rain Saturday for its fifth straight victory.

Subbing for injured Ricky Dobbs (left knee), Proctor carried 23 times for 89 yards in his first college start. Coming in, Proctor’s lone experience over two seasons was playing the mop-up role in a 63-14 win over Rice.

The Midshipmen (6-2) did not throw a pass. Last year, against SMU in similar conditions, Navy became the first FBS team since Ohio in 1997 not to attempt a single throw.

Fullback Vince Murray ran for a career-high 175 yards – his second straight 100-yard game – and Joe Buckley kicked two field goals for the Midshipmen, whose winning streak is their longest since a 5-0 start in 2004.

Wake Forest and Navy played in last year’s Eaglebank Bowl. The only 2008-09 colleage bowl game I watched the whole way through. I served in the Navy from 79-89.

It is difficult to pass in bad weather, but I always thought a football team needs to mix it up. A defense will otherwise always key on the run.


Navy agrees to play in 2013 Bowl game

So we’re going to start scheduling the college football post season four years in advance? From AP-

Navy has signed an agreement to appear in the 2013 Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Tex.

The Armed Forces Bowl has featured a military theme since 2006. Air Force has appeared in the past two games held at Amon G. Carter Stadium. This year’s game, slated for Dec. 31, will match teams from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference.

As an independent, Navy has no bowl ties but has earned six straight bowl berths. The Midshipmen played in the Houston Bowl (2003), Emerald Bowl (2004), Meineke Car Care Bowl (2004), Poinsettia Bowl (2005, 2007) and EagleBank Bowl (2008).

While I served in the Navy for 10 years, and was a fan of the football program when George Welsh was its head coach, the 2013 Armed Forces Bowl isn’t serving to me as a bowl game any more but an extension of the regular season. What if Navy has a losing record, or even go winless. Will they still play?

Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk has already signed an agreement for the Midshipmen to appear in the Texas Bowl in Houston this year.

See what I mean and a Annapolis Gazette blog says Navy has committed to playing in bowl games for 2010 and 2011 also. The Service academies have many loyal alumni and that makes them attractive for a bowl game but I still can’t understand this scheduling.


Former Kansas City Head coach Frank Gansz dead at 70

He had a long career as a college and pro football assistant coach in addition to the two years he spent running the Chiefs. Gansz started coaching at Air Force in the 60′s, did a stint with his alma mater Navy for four years, and worked for six college teams in all before making his way to the NFL. In addition to his stint in Kansas City, Gansz was on the staff of the St. Louis Rams the year they won Super Bowl XXXIV.

Gansz retired from coaching in 2001 but in 2008 June Jones persuaded him to return as an assistant coach at SMU. Some people called Gansz the best Special Teams coach in the NFL. RIP.

Former Kansas City Chiefs coach Frank Gansz has died in a Dallas hospital.

SMU spokesman Brad Sutton said Gansz, who was special teams coach for the Mustangs last year, developed complications after undergoing knee replacement surgery last week. He said Gansz died Monday afternoon.

Gansz, who was 70, coached for 38 years, 24 in the NFL. He was head coach of the Chiefs from 1987-88. Other stops included special teams coordinator for Jacksonville, Atlanta, St. Louis and Detroit, and well as stints at Philadelphia, Cincinnati and San Francisco. He was on the Rams’ staff for their 2000 Super Bowl win.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


Navy defeats Army for the 7th straight time

The annual meeting between the two service academies was fought yesterday.

With President George W. Bush in attendance, Shun White ran for 148 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead bowl-bound Navy over Army 34-0 Saturday for its seventh straight win in the storied rivalry between service academies.

“We know what those guys go through. They go through the same things we do,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “For this one game, we’re trying to beat each other’s brains in. After it’s all said and done, we know we’ll be standing shoulder-to-shoulder to serve our country.”

Army (3-9) debuted camouflage helmets, pants and uniform numbers, and the backs of their jerseys had the words “Duty. Honor. Country.”

The Black Knights’ makeover was sharper than their play. Navy (8-4) got a 65-yard TD run from White on the third play of the game and improved to 53-49-7 overall against Army for its biggest lead in a series that began in 1890.

With Army bowlless since 1996 and without a winning season for almost as long, Navy looks likely to dominate this series for some time to come.


Navy promotes Ken Niumatalolo to head football coach

His first game as head coach, in place of the recently departed Paul Johnson, will be against Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl. From AP-

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy wasted little time finding a new football coach, promoting assistant Ken Niumatalolo on Saturday to replace Paul Johnson, who left Friday to take over at Georgia Tech.

The 42-year-old Niumatalolo is believed to be the NCAA’s first Polynesian head coach.


Niumatalolo had two coaching stints at the Naval Academy for a total of 10 seasons, including the last six, when he was assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

The Midshipmen went 45-29 in six seasons under Johnson, including 43-19 over the last five years, and became the first Navy team to record six straight wins over Army.

Niumatalolo played a major role in installing the triple option attack that enabled Navy to set the school’s single-season scoring record this year. He will coach the Midshipmen against Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named head football coach at the Naval Academy,” Niumatalolo said. “I am in the process of putting together a coaching staff that will give us every opportunity to continue the winning tradition at the Naval Academy.”

Niumatalolo’s work with the offense helped the Midshipmen lead the nation in rushing in four of the last five years, including each of the past three seasons, a first in NCAA history. Navy is averaging a school-record 351.5 yards rushing per game this year.

A 1989 graduate of Hawaii, he lettered three years as a quarterback and led the Rainbow Warriors to their first postseason bowl appearance in 1989. He was hired as a full-time assistant by his alma mater in 1992 and spent three seasons as an offensive assistant coach.

For Navy and Niumatalolo, I hope this isn’t George Welsh II. Welsh took over a Navy team in 1973 that had fallen on hard times and then led them to three bowl games in his last four years before departing for ACC school Virginia. Welsh was Navy’s only winning coach between 1965 and 2007 other than Johnson.

Johnson like Welsh left for a ACC school, in his case Georgia Tech. Will history repeat itself all over again at the Navy Academy? Coaching at service schools has to be some of college sports toughest assignments.

Note- I watched college football even more in the last years of Welsh’s time at Navy(78-81) than I do today. That and my serving in the Navy beginning in 1979 makes me recall Navy football from that era very well.


Navy’s Paul Johnson Takes Georgia Tech Job

Paul Johnson, who turned Georgia Southern and then Navy into respectable football teams, has been hired to restore Georgia Tech to prominence.

Navy’s Paul Johnson Takes Georgia Tech Job James Lang/US Presswire After turning Navy into a regular bowl contender, Paul Johnson is leaving for ACC country. Navy coach Paul Johnson, who turned one of the country’s worst teams into an annual bowl participant, has agreed to become Georgia Tech’s next football coach, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk confirmed Friday morning. Johnson, who had a 45-39 record in six seasons at Navy, replaces Chan Gailey, who was fired as Georgia Tech’s coach Nov. 26.

After turning Navy into a regular bowl contender, Paul Johnson is leaving for ACC country.

“Paul is fixated on what Paul wants to do and that’s the next step and new challenges at Georgia Tech,” Gladchuck said. “We appreciate what Paul has done and we’ll always remember him as one of the great coaches in Navy history. But we’re very respectful of his wishes for new challenges at Georgia Tech.”

Johnson informed the team at an 11:45 a.m. meeting at the Navy’s Ricketts Hall, where the football offices are located, said Scott Strasemeier, Navy’s associate athletic director for sports information.

Georgia Tech has scheduled a 5:30 p.m. ET news conference to announce the hiring of Johnson.

Johnson, who is perhaps best known for his potent triple-option spread offense, led the Midshipmen to unprecedented success during his tenure at the academy. Under his watch, Navy was 11-1 against Army and Air Force and won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy five consecutive seasons. Navy went 8-4 this season and beat Notre Dame 46-44 in triple overtime, ending an NCAA-record 43-game losing streak to the Fighting Irish.

Navy plays Utah in the Dec. 20 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Gladchuk said Johnson will not coach in the bowl game.

Johnson previously worked at Division I-AA Georgia Southern, where he led the Eagles to a 62-10 record and two consecutive I-AA national championships.

Johnson was also considered a candidate for vacancies at Duke and SMU but informed both of those schools Friday morning that he wasn’t taking either job.

Georgia Tech also considered former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel, former Auburn coach Terry Bowden, Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher and Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. Connecticut coach Randy Edsall also interviewed for the job but quickly removed himself from consideration.

A great hire by Tech. I’m surprised Johnson lasted as long as he did at Navy, honestly. Indeed, he was reportedly on Alabama’s short list last year before they ultimately lured Nick Saban away from the Miami Dolphins.

Photo credit: James Lang/US Presswire


Navy, North Texas combine for 94 1st-half points

Did the Navy Defense miss the flight to Texas? From AP-

DENTON, Texas – Navy and North Texas combined to score 94 points in the first half Saturday and 63 in the second quarter to break two major college football records.

North Texas led 49-45 at the half. The previous record for points in a half of a major college game was 76, set by Houston and Tulsa in 1968.

North Texas led 21-10 after the first quarter, but Navy outscored the Mean Green 35-28 in the second. The Midshipmen had 325 yards of total offense in the second quarter, while North Texas gained 265.

The old mark for points in a quarter was set Nov. 6, 1999, when San Jose State and Hawaii combined to score 61 points in the fourth quarter. Hawaii won the game 62-41.

Note that the AP article doesn’t even mention the final score of the game. I went here to find it out. Navy won 74-62.


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