We begin our tour of the bowl season in Las Vegas, home of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch Bowl, where the Oregon Ducks dropped a heartbreaker that was far closer than the 38-8 final score would indicate.
By the way does it seem like this bowl season lasted longer than Brittany and K-Fed's marriage? The Bunny Bowl was so long ago that the Ducks graduated half the team. I can't tell if the BCS game between Florida and Ohio State is the championship for 06 or the kick off classic for 07.
My unpaid associate, Mallard N. Moore was found to be unqualified to comment on the Oregon loss by Head Man Mike Bellotti, who had several members of the Oregon media rounded up and shot for questioning him on the near win over BYU. Moore is on a long planned water boarding vacation at Camp Bellotti, along with several members of the Oregonian staff. I thought folks went snow boarding at this time of year, but people do odd things in Oregon. As a matter of fact, what happens at embarrassing Duck blow out losses in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.
Bellotti opened his lounge act before the game by boldly proclaiming that BYU could not compete with upper level Pac 10 teams. BYU fans were far too modest to point out that the Cougars were not playing a top Pac 10 team. After the closer than 30 point blow out loss on the scoreboard game, Bellotti reiterated his stance that BYU was a crap team that didn't belong on the same field as the mighty Ducks of Oregon.
At this point the Charmin like Oregon media that has ignored scandal after scandal and major recruiting violations at Oregon, as they continue to cozy up to the state's largest advertiser, Nike, dared to question the odd strategery used by Bellotti in the humiliating defeat. Bellotti, who would not last 30 seconds in a real media market, exploded at the handful of unlucky sods that were forced to cover a back water college team in the middle of nowhere and told them that they were losers and swine for daring to question a great coach like himself. With charm like that Bellotti can expect harsh treatment even from the notorious lap duck press in Oregon.
The Duck players were covered in garish inflammable garb that makes children's pajama's look classy and topped it off with a metallic yellow helmet that served as a nice surrender flag for the lack luster Duck "effort" against BYU. The Ducks compounded their embarrassment by acting like thugs even as they were getting their ass kicked. People could tolerate Miami Swagger when Miami was winning national championships every year. A 7*-6 Ducks team in the process of getting blown out only makes people cringe at the stupidity of it all.
Yes dear reader, we could go on, but the memory of our own lap dog performance at Eugene and the need to insult others across the country force us to move on.
I was forced to cover the Hawaii Bowl watching on TV as my flight through Denver was cancelled at the last moment. - Note to self for 07, fire the Wadsworth Travel Agency. - The ASU Sun Devils did not disappoint as they got hammered by another WAC power, Hawaii. USC may join the WAC to get a bigger test through the conference season. Those who have wondered why UW is recruiting against WAC teams now know the brilliance of the Willingham strategery.
Hawaii was led by Colt Brennon, a grandson of Walter Brennon and it is no brag, just fact to say that the June Jones' offense and Colt's right arm are the talk of the college game. The Devils were playing for fired coach Dirk Koetter - and promptly showed why he was fired.
ASU hired Dennis Erickson to replace Koetter, and Erickson immediately got to work by denying that he was interested in the Alabama job. Erickson took a top recruiter off the Husky staff to join him and then got to work scouring the ranks for top recruits to land a BCS game for the ASU faithful.
The UCLA Bruins built on their big win over USC by collapsing like a cheap tent, or the Oregon Ducks, against Florida State. Bobby Bowden secured another winning season, keeping a streak alive that dates back to 1976. 1976 was also the last year that UW had a losing season before the Dub dropped football to concentrate on lawn darts.
Bowden had never been west of the Mississippi River before this trip to California.
"Dad gummitt, they have roads and electricity and all sorts of stuff out here," commented Bowden as he was roused from his usual slumber.
Cali legend Lorenzo Booker had a great homecoming as he gashed the Bruins by land and by air.
It is back to the drawing board for UCLA and embattled coach Karl Dorrell, who does it the right way and needs to be kept on for the sake of stability.
Just down the road in sunny San Diego, the Cal Bears, co-champs of the Pac 10, were looking for Holiday Bowl redemption as they faced the Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies were looking to build on their big win over Texas, and like UCLA, they got hammered instead.
Jeff Tedford wrapped up his 2nd 10 win season in 5 years after he took over a 1-10 disaster and quickly made them a force in recruiting and on Gameday. And they said it couldn't be done……
Cal will once again be a co-favorite to win the Pac next year with USC. Veteran observers are shocked that both schools could be doing so well even though they lacked the stability to keep Homloe and Hackett for more than three years.
Oregon State Coach Mike (or was that Pat?) Reilly did what no coach in America would do, by going for two at the end of a stirring Sun Bowl comeback. The Beavs scored two late TDs as the Mizzou Tigers collapsed like the Oregon Ducks and cheap lawn furniture, adding to Gary Pinkel's woes at Columbia.
Reilly, who isn't as famous as his more media savvy counterparts, did the job of the year in coaching in the Pac 10. Reilly may be ready to move up to the WAC. It all started when the angry Beavers marched into Husky Stadium and whipped up on the Huskies, sending OSU to the heights and spiraling UW to a 6 game losing jag that has kept them from being covered in this bowl special.
Troy "Cubby" Wadsworth III was stranded at the Denver Airport as he tried to get from his West LA home to Pasadena, leaving it up to me to cover the Rose Bowl all by myself.
The Whining Wolverines of Michigan had spent all season barely beating Big 11 lightweights, and riding the coat tails of Ohio State. After a moral victory at Columbus, Big Blue honks claimed that losing well made them qualified to play for the national championship.
Meanwhile back in reality, everybody knew that USC presented the best chance for a grateful country to see a Buckeye loss in Glendale. An enormous fluke loss to UCLA denied the Trojans their shot, so they just kicked the snot out of Michigan instead.
Florida, enjoy your shot at Ohio State. The Michigan "controversy" died in the Arroyo Seco under the weight of another brilliant Pete Carroll game plan. USC is loaded and ready to do it all again in ‘07 as they bring in their best recruiting class ever to join the studs they will return.
"It's a bunch of one and two star guys that really want to be Trojans," commented Carroll as he thought back to the problems presented by having Heisman winners and all stars at every position. "USC football isn't about glamour or stars, it's about doing it the right way."
In the New Year's night cap the mighty WAC flexed its muscles once again as national champ Boise State whipped Oklahoma in an instant classic that required no cheating by paid off replay refs.
Boise coach Chris Peterson did what no coach in America would do as he went for two in overtime and tricked the Sooners with the old Statue of Liberty play.
Boise got to overtime by tricking the Sooners on the old hook and lateral play on a 4th and 18 with 9 seconds left.
Boise had led most of the game as they came out fired up and inspired and the Sooners didn't. OU ground down Boise in the 4th quarter and looked to have survived when they returned a gift interception for the go ahead TD in the final minute.
The Potato men from Boise will be at Husky Stadium next fall as the Husky fans will see both national champs back to back, assuming Ohio State beats Florida, which may be a premature assumption. This brutal schedule may require adding several years to the rebuilding schedule that Director Turner and Coach Willingham are operating under.
Note to readers (both of you): The bowl season is so long that we need two parts to cover it. Tune in next week as we reconstruct why Notre Dame got blown out by LSU and how Florida shocked the world and won the National championship despite having three coaches in 5 years. And sources report that there will indeed be an Orange Bowl game. As we went to press we were unable to confirm who was playing.
Elsewhere: - Husky basketball got schooled in LA but we believe that youth will prevail and Spencer and the gang will be there peaking in March…UCLA is for real…WSU looks real as well…the whole Pac 10 looks good in basketball…America's Team comes to Quest Field Saturday night to play, uh, Seattle's Team…Cowboy up and out for the Hawks…recruiting is picking up as the Huskies look to sign a large class of top students…a Happy New Year to all and to all a Happy New Year - Race
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