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.


Oklahoma State Baseball accused of major rules violation

Exhibit #319 of how the NCAA has lost its mind.

Officials at Oklahoma State said Thursday that a former baseball player accepted a used car as a gift while he was in a summer league in what the NCAA contends was a major rules violation that could cost the program.

A letter sent May 28 from the NCAA to Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis asks university officials to meet Aug. 7-8 with the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis.

Oklahoma State spokesman Gary Shutt said the player received a 10-year-old car from an out-of-state family he stayed with while playing in the summer league. He said the university contends it was not a major violation, in part because the family had no prior connection with Oklahoma State athletics.

He said the player did not appear in any games for the Cowboys after receiving the car.

“The facts do not support the ‘failure to monitor’ allegation made by the NCAA Enforcement Staff,” Oklahoma State said in its response to the letter from David Price, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement. It said the violation was “isolated and inadvertent” and not an attempt to break NCAA rules “but an innocent and charitable act.”

The player didn’t play for OSU, the rules violation happened outside the school’s area of oversight, then why should it be punished? This is more idiotic than making Florida State forfeit football games because of an academic cheating. Tell me how the penalty suits the crime done? How do you undo history and why do you punish a program for something out of its control?


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #20- Detroit Lions- TE Brandon Pettigrew

The first Tight End chosen. #1 selection Matthew Stafford has someone to throw the ball to.

ESPN writes- Pettigrew is the most complete tight end prospect in this class. At 263 pounds he’s an effective drive-blocker who can hold his own working against NFL defensive ends. Although he lacks elite speed and isn’t going to stretch the field as much as some other prospects in this class, Pettigrew is a reliable possession receiver who does an excellent job throwing his weight around and using his frame to shield defenders from the ball.


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.


Broncos CB Darrent Williams Killed in Drive-By

Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed this morning in a drive-by shooting.

Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in downtown Denver early Monday morning, police said.

Team spokesman Jim Saccomano said police called him about 3 a.m. Mountain Time from the scene of the shooting and told him three people had been shot and that Williams had been killed. Saccomano said he spoke with coach Mike Shanahan and others in the organization.

“Complete shock. We’re speechless. It takes words away. A terrible tragedy,” Saccomano said.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said that a little after 2 a.m., the white Hummer limousine that Williams and two others were traveling in was sprayed with bullets from a vehicle that came up along its side. Three people in the limousine were hit. They were taken to area hospitals, where Williams was pronounced dead. The other victims, a male and a female, were not identified. Hours before the shooting, the Broncos lost to San Francisco 26-23 in overtime, eliminating them from the playoff race.

Williams, a second-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Oklahoma State, started nine games as a rookie due to injuries. This season, he took over as the starter for Lenny Walls alongside Champ Bailey, and was second on the team with four interceptions and tied for third with 86 tackles.

A tragic start to the New Year.


College Bowl Game Overload’s John Walters has an amusing column entitled “The Spirit of 7-6” on last night’s Emerald Bowl matchup between FSU and UCLA.

When did college football’s postseason become a walk-a-thon? When did two programs walking the .500 tightrope and with almost no chance of sniffing the final AP top 25 poll become worthy of a post-game podium and a trophy nearly as heavy as a female cheerleader?

Florida State (your ACC Atlantic Division 5th-place finisher) defeated UCLA (your Pacific-10 4th-place squad) 44-27 in the fifth annual Emerald Bowl this evening, thereby sending both teams home for the 2006 season with 7-6 records. There are 32 bowl games dotting your television listings between December 19th and January 8th, and the Emerald Bowl is definitely… one of them.


[T]he great drama in this evening’s game was whether Seminole head coach Bobby Bowden, now in his 31st season in Tallahassee, would finish the year sub-500 for the first time since his first season in Tallahassee. There’s more than one way to make history in a bowl game.

Indeed. I have, so far, watched zero of the bowl games. The college football season seemingly ended months ago and they’re still playing consolation games. Eventually, they will get around to playing the BCS Championship game, featuring teams that have been idle for weeks.

My Alabama Crimson Tide plays this afternoon in the Independence Bowl against Oklahoma State. Both teams had pathetic 6-6 seasons. Indeed, Alabama’s coach was fired seemingly ages ago and the Tide will be led by Interim Coach for Life Joe Kines.

Birmingham News writer Jon Solomon provides some statistics:

Seven 6-6 teams advanced to bowls this year, and four teams – including Oklahoma State – had only five victories against Division I-A opponents. Alabama and Miami added to their resumes with two victories each against winless teams.

Fifty-four percent of the 119 I-A teams are now in bowls. Television ratings and bowl payouts show there is interest.

One argument made for bowl games is they provide a reward to players for their season. Yet six-win seasons by Alabama and Miami rewarded their coaches with pink slips. “If we come out (today) with a win, I think it will be a mark for this team because we’ve been through it all,” Alabama running back Kenneth Darby said. “This season wasn’t perfect, but at least we come out with a 7-6 record. That would be a winning record, as far as I’m concerned.”

Bear Bryant wouldn’t agree, methinks. I suppose I’ll watch the game but, frankly, who really cares? Finishing 7-6 is hardly anything to cheer about.


Eddie Sutton Retires, Replaced by Son, Sean

Eddie Sutton is retiring from coaching and turning the reins at Oklahoma State over to his son, Sean.

Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton, 70, will announce his retirement this afternoon at a 3 p.m. ET press conference in Stillwater, ESPN has learned.

He will be replaced by his son, Sean Sutton, who has been head coach designate for the past several seasons.

Eddie Sutton coached OSU for 16 seasons. He also coached at Creighton, Arkansas and Kentucky. He was the first coach to take four different schools to the NCAA Tournament. He has coached in three Final Fours.

Sutton pleaded no contest May 5 to drunken driving charges for a traffic accident in which his SUV swerved, collided with another vehicle and then hit a tree.

Sutton, who underwent treatment for alcoholism at the Betty Ford Center in 1987 while he was coach at Kentucky, has said lingering back pain was a factor in his relapse.

“The pain at times literally has been unbearable. … The pain was so bad that I took a lot of pain pills, but that didn’t seem to work, so I succumbed to temptation and went and bought a bottle,” Sutton said in a news conference five days after the accident.

A lousy way to end a legendary career.


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