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Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati’

Idaho-Based Bowl History (2011 Edition)

The inaugural Humanitarian Bowl — since renamed five times — matched Cincinnati, then of Conference USA, against Utah State, then of the Big West, and hasn’t been mentioned by anyone over the 14 years since. This is the Humanitarian Bowl, regardless of the sponsor: permanently in your rearview mirror. But the games themselves have often been as unpredictable as the bowl’s seemingly annual search for a sponsor, which has led the bowl through six different incarnations – from a Web site to a computer hardware distributor to a transportation data provider to a potato.

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    The Big East’s Lose-Lose B.C.S. Scenario

    West Virginia waits by the phone – or in front of the TV, actually. Louisville holds its breath. Both have done all they could do: it took overtime, but the Mountaineers sneaked past South Florida to move to 5-2 in conference play, while Louisville has been in the clubhouse since last Friday. Both teams have the same goal, reaching the Orange Bowl, but both have opposite rooting interests this afternoon. West Virginia is rooting for Cincinnati; Louisville is rooting for Connecticut. Something has to give. Someone is going home disappointed. The Big East as a whole might lose either way.

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      Down the Stretch With the B.C.S.

      The main difference is in the bottom line: L.S.U., not Alabama, will be the SEC representative in the B.C.S. national title game. But the basics remain the same: the SEC will have a chance to continue its run atop college football with a team defined by a defense-first mentality and a confidence to go toe-to-toe with any team in the country, whether home or away. It’s just L.S.U., not Alabama, and no, I don’t think we’ll see a rematch. Which is a good thing. At least Alabama will still see its season end in B.C.S. play; you can no longer say the same of Nebraska, which blew its shot at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

      Rose Bowl

      Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. Oregon (At-Large)

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        Ten Themes for Saturday: Week 10

        Ten teams, themes, games and players to watch for Saturday. Pretty straightforward. Here we go:

        Fickell makes his case He inherited an unenviable situation, in a way. Yes, Luke Fickell did get one year to run his dream program, Ohio State, and even if the Buckeyes suffered through a rebuilding year he could always tout his sole season running the show when interviewing for a future head coach position — say, one at Akron, which may soon become available. And through September, it seemed as if Fickell was in over his head. With the move to October came a change in fortune for Fickell and the Buckeyes, even if the record doesn’t necessarily reflect that fact.

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          As if Picking the Teams Isn’t Hard Enough

          I’ve never tried my hand at projecting the entire F.B.S. bowl slate; I have enough trouble with the five B.C.S. games, in my mind. But it’s worth a shot for one week, even if I mess up the various tie-ins, conference affiliations and so forth. Not to mention choose teams that end up staying home during bowl play. Well, here goes. Remember: those numbers signifying which team slots where in its conference are very arbitrary — to a point. The No. 7 team isn’t vaulting the No. 3 team, but No. 6 could be No. 4, No. 5 could be No. 7 and so on. And not every conference can meet its allotted bowl tie-ins; in that case, a substitute team is selected.

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            A Second Take for the B.C.S. Bowls

            From set in stone to all in flux, the B.C.S. has gone from the assumed to the unpredictable after Oklahoma and Wisconsin fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday night. That pair will still head to B.C.S. play should this stumble be their last; here’s guessing that Oklahoma rights the ship, and Wisconsin has the luxury of landing a potential rematch with Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten title game. What does this mean for Stanford, Boise State and the rest? Let’s take a look, remembering that all scenarios to follow are completely and utterly hypothetical.

            Rose Bowl

            Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. Oregon (At-Large)

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              Good, Bad for Big East; B.C.S. Themes

              This is a good thing for the Big East: the conference needs as many contenders as possible — not national contenders, just conference contenders — for its automatic B.C.S. bid, and Pittsburgh’s win over South Florida casts the Panthers right into the upper half of the league. Pittsburgh didn’t just look good; Pittsburgh looked great, illustrating a grasp of Todd Graham’s spread offense that seemed missing for much of the Panthers’ 2-2 start. If the Big East ever needed a win, this was it — ironically, the win came via a program soon, or somewhat soon, heading for greener B.C.S. pastures. Touching on Pittsburgh, South Florida and other B.C.S. conference themes:

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                Clemson’s Young Star; B.C.S. Themes

                Sammy Watkins does it again. And again. And again. Clemson’s true freshman wide receiver had his breakout game two weeks ago, setting a new school record for receptions by a freshman in a single game, and he was back at with force at home against Florida Stat. He made two touchdown grabs, the latter covering 62 yards to give Clemson a commanding 35-23 lead in the fourth quarter. This is how Watkins typically scores: Tajh Boyd finds him for about 15 yards, Watkins makes one or two guys miss and then outruns everyone else to the end zone. Watkins is one of several true freshmen making an impact for the Tigers, who are 4-0 for the first time since 2007. Touching on Watkins and other B.C.S. conference themes:

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.