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Saints-Eagles WRAPUP
Watching channels like the NFL Network and ESPN, I notice that it's popular for commentators to pick the Eagles to upset the Saints.
  • The idea of Nick Foles coming off the bench near the end of the season to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl for a second year in a row fires the imagination. Revenge for the 48-7 drubbing in November in the Superdome - the worst thrashing ever for a defending champion team - is also given as a reason why Philly will pull the upset. Many Eagles accused the Saints of running up the score.
  • One commentator predicted Eagle S Malcolm Jenkins will have an outstanding game. Jenkins was a rookie on the Saints Super Bowl team in 2009. After four more years with the Black and Gold, he moved to the Eagles as a free agent. Sean Payton has admitted that letting Jenkins go was "one of the bigger mistakes we've made." For his part, Jenkins hasn't whined about the 48-7 score like some of his teammates. "I've been on teams that tried to put up 50. We tried to put up 50 as much as we can. I'm one of those guys who didn't think they ran it up on us. I'm one of those people that if you think that the other team is running up points on you, then stop them. It's as easy as that. Stop them. ... This is the NFL. It's not Pop Warner, where they have mercy rules and stuff like that and they're trying to teach sportsmanship. The NFL is different. If you don't want them to put up 50, then stop them."
  • A prominent Saint has been relatively silent and forgotten, just taking it all in. I bet Drew Brees is motivated by all the talk of Foles leading Philly to victory. He's ready to show that the first game was no fluke. He knows the Saints won't score 48 again but they don't have to. They just have to score one more point than the visitors.
    Making the competition more intriguing is the fact that Foles went to the same high school in Austin TX as Brees. Drew remembers seeing Foles play when he returned to Westlake HS for the 10th anniversary of the 1996 state championship - still the only one in school history. Brees watched the game in which Foles continued his quest to take down Drew's old records.
  • The key for the Saints is having their original starting O-line intact. In the November game, Jermon Bushrod, Max Unger, and Ryan Ramczyk played 100% of the snaps. Larry Warford played 74% and Andrus Peat 66%. The Saints' offensive "slump" the last five games, including just ten points against Dallas and 12 in a win road win over the Panthers (ignore the second game against Carolina because the Saints played the second string), was due in large measure to the fact that the O-line was not in good shape. Even some who played were not fully healthy.
  • Those predicting an upset Sunday focus on the 48 from the first game and say there's no way the Saints will score that many again. But more attention should be paid to the 7 when Philly's starting QB, Carson Wentz, was healthy. The reason the Saints secured the #1 seed in the NFC is that the defense is greatly improved from last year. Their stats are skewed by the 48 points they gave up to Tampa Bay in the opener (Sean, please come up with a better preseason plan!) and the 37 against the Falcons in Week 3. But the Saints have allowed 20 or fewer points in ten games. IT'S NOW ELEVEN.
  • Much is made about the Eagles being a different team now than they were in November, playing with more confidence. But Sean Payton is excellent at concocting game plans and the Saints will be a different team from the first meeting also, with plenty of surprises for the Eagles.
  • And you can't put a price tag on the rest the Saints have gotten the last three weeks. Oh, but they'll be rusty, you say. No way!X Remember the hand wringing in '09 when the Saints lost their last three games to supposedly forfeit all their momentum after starting 13-0. No team that lost their last three games had ever made the Super Bowl - until they did it. THE SAINTS STARTED SLOWLY, FALLING INTO A 14-0 HOLE.
  • Bottom line: The Saints won't score 48 points this time and the Eagles will score more than 7. But they won't tilt the scales enough to win. The Philly offense will probably start strong, but the Saints defense will adjust. In the meantime, Brees & Company will start strong too X and outscore the visitors. Let's try this for a prediction: Saints 31 Eagles 20 DEFENSES WERE EVEN BETTER THAN I THOUGHT THEY'D BE.
Wrapping up '18, Looking Ahead to '19
I usually root for the SEC team in the playoff, especially in the finals.
  • I was all Crimson Tide for the semifinal against Oklahoma.
  • If Alabama had played Ohio State, Notre Dame, or Washington in the final, I would have rooted for the Tide.
  • But against an ACC team with a coach I like very much, I enjoyed watching Saban frown on the sidelines as his team lost by the biggest margin since he's been in Tuscalusa. Dabo Swinney proves you can be a #1 coach without being a sourpuss.
  • Actually, the signs that this Alabama team was lacking something were evident in the previous two games.
    • Georgia led 28-14 late in Q3 of the SEC Championship Game before Tua and Jalen Hurts led the comeback. The Bulldogs outgained Bama 454-403.
    • In the semifinal, Bama jumped out to a 28-0 lead over Oklahoma before losing focus with false starts, late hits, blown coverages, etc. The Sooners outscored the Sabanites 34-17 the rest of the way.

Looking to next year, it's good news for LSU that both DT Breiden Fehoko and LB Michael Divinity will return for their senior year rather than turn pro.

  • Did the vulnerability Bama showed Monday night have anything to do with their decisions?
  • Finishing 6th/7th in the final polls for 2018 whets your appetite for more. Commentators are already projecting LSU as a Top Ten pick in the initial 2019 poll.
  • If Rashard Lawrence and Devin White catch the fever and return, the Tigers can win 10+ games again next year.
Golden Final College Rankings for 2018-19
New leader - only temporary? NO
Team Avg. Points Win Loss Opp
Wins
Opp
Losses
Score
Value
Opp
Opps
Road
Win
Home
Loss
Reg.
Sea.
1 Clemson 19.08 286.2 15 0 110 0 25.69 574 2.5 0.0 2
2 Alabama 18.08 271.1 14 1 95 0 22.31 508 1.0 0.0 1
3 Notre Dame 17.53 227.9 12 1 81 0 13.27 416 1.5 0.0 3
4 Ohio State 16.78 235.0 13 1 83 7 10.51 424 1.5 0.0 8
5 Oklahoma 16.64 233.0 12 2 79 5 11.24 382 1.5 0.0 6
6 Georgia 16.52 231.2 11 3 73 8 15.07 341 2.0 0.0 4
7 Central Florida 16.34 212.4 12 1 66 3 12.65 297 1.0 0.0 5
8 Michigan 15.97 207.6 10 3 60 5 11.32 283 1.5 0.0 7
9 LSU 15.71 204.2 10 3 63 8 8.58 290 0.5 0.0 10
10 Fresno State 15.53 217.5 12 2 64 9 10.89 239 1.5 0.0 9
  • "Opps. wins" is the number of victories by the teams the ranked team defeated.
  • "Opps. losses" is the number of losses by the teams that defeated the ranked team.
  • "Opp. opps". is the number of victories by the teams the defeated teams beat.
  • "Score value" is a measure of the margin of victory in relation to the defeated team's number of wins coupled with the margin of defeat in relation to the victorious team's number of losses.
  • "Road win" and "Home Loss" haven't kicked in yet because opponents have to win at least six games to earn a bonus for beating them on the road and opponents have to have six losses before you loss points when they defeat you at home.

Toughest schedule: Georgia
Easiest schedule: North Texas
Biggest jump this week from regular season: Louisiana Tech
Biggest drop this week from regular season: Arizona State

Conference Rankings
  Conference Avg. Reg.
Sea.
1 SEC 13.828 1
2 Big 12 12.800 3
3 ACC 12.751 2
4 Big 10 12.696 4
5 PAC 12 12.247 5
6 Mountain West 11.752 7
7 America Ath. Conf. 11.675 6
8 Sun Belt 11.394 8
9 CUSA 10.653 10
10 MAC 10.595 9

Avg. means the average score of the teams in the conference (with 12 being the starting point for each game and going up/down depending on whether the team wins/loses).

View complete Golden Rankings from regular season ...

Bowl Bulletin #4

Here's the conference standings with one game remaining.

Conference Bowl Teams Wins Losses
ACC 11 6 5
American 7 2 5
Big Ten 9 5 4
Big 12 7 5 2
C-USA 6 4 2
Independents 3 2 1
Mid-American 6 1 5
Mountain West 6 3 2
Pac-12 7 3 5
SEC 11 6 6
Sun Belt 5 3 2
  • Best/Worst Predictions of Our Gang of Experts
    Best: 41 of 44 participants chose Texas A&M to defeat North Carolina State in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl.  
    Worst: Only 5 of us picked Texas to upset Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
  • Expand the Playoff?
    After the four teams were chosen for this year's College Football Playoff, there was much talk about doubling the number of teams to eight. Big Ten Commission­er Jim Delany, his nose bent out of joint by his champion, Ohio State, being snubbed for the second straight year, stated publicly that a "conversation" should be begun about expanding the number of participants. His mind change was interesting because he had opposed expanding the BCS  beyond two teams for 15 years until the LSU-Alabama rematch after the 2011 season caused him to change his tune. Once he agreed to explore a four-team playoff, the Big Ten's lapdog, the Pac-12, joined in.
    Then the two semifinal games were played. #1 Alabama jumped out to a 28-0 lead against #4 Oklahoma and coasted while #2 Clemson steamrolled #3 Notre Dame. TV ratings for the two games dropped considerably in the second half.
    So imagine what would have happened if Alabama had played #8 Central Florida and Clemson had played #7 Michigan. (LSU, with a depleted defense, defeated UCF 40-32 in the Fiesta Bowl and Alabama beat the Tigers 29-0 in November. Would Michigan have had four NFL-bound starters elect not to play in the game if it had been a playoff matchup?)
    Critics of the eight-team idea also pointed out that you'd remove four Top Ten teams from the bowl games, which are already stretched thin for excitement now. Also, the regular season would be diminished even more. For example, the SEC Championship Game wouldn't have meant as much if it was clear that both Ala­bama and Georgia would make the playoff no matter which team won and Ala­bama would have to win three games to defend its championship even if it won.
    Others pointed out that you did have more than four teams in the playoff. Michi­gan-Ohio State was a playoff game in the sense that the loser was eliminated from consideration. The Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12 championship games were play­off games in that Ohio State and Oklahoma had to win to stay in the running as did Georgia.
    After the semifinals December 29 and the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls January 1, many who jumped on the eight-team bandwagon are backing off. Maybe six is enough, as in the two NFL conferences. Most of the wailing about missing the playoff came from #5 Georgia, especially after Notre Dame and Oklahoma didn't compete well against Clemson and Bama. Some writers championed UCF because of their 25-game winning streak. But that buzz died after the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls. UCF's loss to LSU and Georgia's rotten egg performance killed any sympathy for them.
    If you had had six this year, the playoff would have gone like this.
    Two Saturdays after the conference championship games:
    #6 Ohio State at #3 Notre Dame               #5 Georgia at #4 Oklahoma
    The winners would then have met Clemson and Alabama in the Cotton and Orange Bowls as happened this year.
    The problem is that contracts have been signed with ESPN and the sites of the semifinal and final games through 2023-24. It will be interesting to see what happens

  • INTRIGUING NUMBERS
1977
Last year Kentucky won ten games before this year
2014
Last year Texas A&M won a bowl game before this year
28 Points scored by Northwestern in Q3, turning a 20-3 deficit into a 31-20 lead
4
Turnovers by Utah in Q3 against Northwestern
3
Consecutive bowl wins by Northwestern and Duke, both school records
121-2
Utah coach Kyle Wittingham's record in bowl games after the loss
0 Touchdowns by Michigan State in three of its final four games, including the 7-6 loss to Oregon in the Redbox Bowl
11
Wins by Cincinnati this season after eight wins the previous two seasons
38
Games won by Jim Harbaugh during his four seasons at Michigan, for which he was paid a total of $30 million.
2012 Last time Florida won a New Year's Six bowl game before this season
2011
Last time Virginia had an eight-win season
4,776 Passing yds by Wash. St. QB Gardner Minshew, a Pac-12 season record
141-3
Yards by Minnesota and Ga.Tech in first 18 minutes of the Quick Lane Bowl
507 Rushing yards by Army in its 70-14 rout of Houston
4 Number of full times coaches for Utah State in its bowl game after head coach Matt Wells left for Texas Tech; Aggies won 52-13 anyway
  • Best/Worst Bowl Performances
    One of the ways to determined which teams put forth the worst effort is to com­pare the point spread to the actual score. This is a two-sided coin, because if a team exceeded the point spread by the most points, the opponent underachieved by the most points.
    Using this method, this is what I came up with. “Point Spread” is from the point of view of the winning team. So “-3” means the team that won was favored by 3. +3 means the team that won was the underdog by 3.
Bowl Winner Bowl Loser Point Spread Actual Margin Difference
Army Houston -3 56 53
Auburn Purdue -4 49 45
Wisconsin Miami +4 32 36
Texas A&M N. C. State -5 39 34
Duke Temple -3 29 32
What game came closest to its spread and had the favorite winning?
LSU was favored by 7.5 over UCF and won by eight, a 0.5 difference.s
  • Quiz
Match each bowl team with its conference. A conference may be matched more than once.
  • Alabama-Birmingham
  • Arkansas State
  • Army
  • Boise State
  • Cougars BYU
  • Central Florida
  • Georgia Southern
  • Louisiana Tech
  • Nevada
  • Northern Illinois
  • Pittsburgh
  • Temple
  • Western Michigan
  • Atlantic Coast
  • American Athletic
  • C-USA
  • Mid-American
  • Mountain West
  • Sun Belt
  • None (independent)
Did You Notice? NFL Week 17
Intriguing Numbers - Week 17
6-1 Baltimore's record in QB Lamar Jackson's starts to end the regular season
8 Super Bowl appearances by the Patriots under Bill Belichick
8 Super Bowl appearances by the Patriots after earning a first round bye
119 Total yards by the Jaguars in their 20-3 loss to the Texans
439 Rushing yards by Leonard Fournette after gaining 1040 last year as a rookie
2028 Total yards by Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley
67 Total yards by the Packers in the first half of their 31-0 loss to the Lions
49 Total yards by the Vikings at home in the first half of their loss to the Bears, whom they had to beat to make the playoffs
4-12 Record of each of the Bay Area teams, 49ers and Raiders, this season
3 Consecutive possessions by the 49ers to start their game against the Rams that ended in turnovers
7 Takeaways by the 49ers, the fewest in an NFL season since 1960 when the league began charting turnovers
8 Takaways by the Rams in their two games against the 49ers in 2018-19
9 Games missed by QB Marcus Mariota in his four years with the Titans
25 Consecutive completions by Eagles backup QB Nick Foles during the game against the Redskins
9-1 Foles's record as a starter in meaningful games the past two seasons
13 Seasons that retiring DT Kyle Williams (LSU) played for the Buffalo Bills - his entire career
1377 Receiving yards this season by 49ers TE George Kittle, breaking the record for TEs held by Rob Grankowski since 2011
40 Minutes that Chiefs TE Travis Kelce held the record before Kittle topped his 1336y
2 TD receptions by QBs Sunday on a play known as "Philly Special" since the Eagles' Nick Fowles did it in last year's Super Bowl - Falcons' Matt Ryan and Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill
3 TD catches by Cowboys rookie TE Blake Jarwin Sunday - his first three in the NFL
7-1 Record of coach Doug Marrone in replay challenges in an otherwise dreadful season for the Jaguars
1 Scoring drives of over 20y by the Chargers offense the last two weeks
Golden NFL Rankings - Final Regular Season
Saints stay on top despite the loss.

# Team Avg. Total Win Loss Opp.
Wins
Opp.
Losses
Margin
Value
Last
Week
1 New Orleans 19.00 304.06 13 3 100 26 10.56 1
2 Los Angeles 18.81 300.95 13 3 88 14 6.95 2
3 Kansas City 18.03 288.50 75 17 75 17 8.25 3
4 Chicago 18.00 288.07 12 4 79 34 8.57 5
5 LA Chargers 17.97 287.50 12 4 80 23 5.57 4
6 Seattle 17.72 283.52 11 5 74 33 6.02 6
7 New England 17.47 279.50 11 5 86 43 6.32 7
8 Houston 17.25 276.00 11 5 76 36 5.61 8
9 Baltimore 17.19 275.00 10 6 71 40 6.67 9
10 Dallas 17.02 272.30 10 6 71 41 0.80 10
"Opp. wins" means the total number of wins by the teams the ranked team defeated.
"Opp. losses" means the total number of losses by the teams that defeated the ranked team.

Complete Golden NFL rankings

Division Rankings
Rank Division Average Last Week
1 AFC West 16.375 1
2 AFC South 16.336 2
3 AFC North 16.297 3
4 NFC South 16.081 4
5 NFC North 15.962 5
6 NFC East 15.696 6
7 NFC West 15.438 7
8 AFC East 15.367 8

Overall: NFC 15.795 AFC 16.094
Bowl Bulletin #3

Here's the conference standings through December 29.

Conference Bowl Teams Wins Losses
ACC 11 5 2
American 7 1 4
Big Ten 9 2 2
Big 12 7 2 2
C-USA 6 4 2
Independents 3 2 1
Mid-American 6 1 5
Mountain West 6 3 2
Pac-12 7 1 3
SEC 11 3 2
Sun Belt 5 3 2
  • Best/Worst Predictions of Our Gang of Experts
    Best: 40 of 44 participants chose Alabama to defeat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.  
    Worst: Only 12 of us chose Wake Forest to beat Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl and the same number went with Minnesota over Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl.

  • INTRIGUING NUMBERS
1
Bowl games all time that have been cancelled after starting (2018 First Responder Bowl)
4-0
David Cutcliffe's record in Independence Bowl games – three wins at Ole Miss and now one with Duke
56
Points Auburn scored in the first half of the Franklin Music City Bowl
6
Bowl games with less than 15,000 attendance (list below)
0
Penalties committed by Ohio in their 27-0 victory in the Frisco Bowl
12
Penalties by Hawai'i on their home field during their 31-14 loss to Louisiana Tech
2001
Last year Syracuse won 10 games before doing so this year
1-11
Fresno State's record two years ago
22-6
Fresno's record the last two seasons under new coach Jeff Tedford, including a program record 12 wins in 2018
  • Some Observations
    Cheesiest Bowl: The TCU-California "clash" in the Cheez-It Bowl provided com­pelling evidence to those who claim there are too many bowls. The game set offensive football back ten years. (And TCU is from the supposedly offense-crazy Big 12.) With the score 7-7 heading into Q4, the announcers amused themselves (and their audience) by wondering if the total points scored would exceed the number of Cheez-It flavors, 16. The game went into OT. TCU stopped Cal on its possession, then kicked a FG on theirs to top the Cheez-It number by one. Nei­ther team gained 300 yards. The winners gained only 28y passing. The two teams combined for nine interceptions, including picks on four straight possessions.
    Bowl announcers have proclaimed so many players a first-round NFL draft choice that each pro team would have to have two first round picks to accommodate them all.
  • Tidbits
    With the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl in Dallas becoming the first bowl game to be called because of inclement weather, maybe we should have an extra pick in our future bowl pools. Which game is the likeliest to be cancelled?
    Purdue was expected to be excited for its bowl game against Auburn after their second-year coach, Jeff Brohm, turned down Louisville, his alma mater, to re­main with the Boilermakers. After the 63-14 drubbing, how many Purdue fans now wish he had made the move?
    In the Camping World Bowl, West Virginia and Syracuse renewed their five-year rivalry in their time together in the Big East (1991-95) and all the way back to 1950 as East independents.
    So far, the team hurt the most by a player skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL is West Virginia. After their star QB Will Grier announced he wouldn't play, the Mountaineers went from five-point favorites over Washington State to three-point underdogs. With backup Jack Allison completing just 17 of 35 passes with 0 TDs and 1 INT, WVU lost by 16.
  • Bowl Attendance
    So far, the worst attendance at a bowl has been 11,029 at the Frisco Bowl in Texas.
    Four other bowls have failed to top 15,000:
    Bahamas Bowl (Nassau): 13,510
    Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg): 14,135
    Camellia Bowl (Montgomery): 17,710
    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise): 18,711
    All were early bowls before the holidays.
  • Statistical Anomalies
    R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Middle Tennessee had 24 first downs to Appala­chian State's 23 but lost 45-13. Also App State outgained MTU only 448-392.
    Boca Raton Bowl: Northern Illinois had 21 first downs to UAB's 20 but were outgained 476-287 and lost 37-13. The victors had 10 penalties to only four for NIU.
  • More lines that should have been used in bowl broadcasts if they weren't
    Franklin Music City Bowl – "Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham is leading this offense like a symphony conductor. So far he's orchestrated three TD drives."
    Camping World Bowl – "West Virginia has pitched its tent in Syracuse territory most of the first half."
    Valero Alamo Bowl – "The Iowa State defense has dug in at the 5y line for a last-ditch stand against the Washington State invaders."
  • Quiz
    Match each bowl team with its coach.
  1. Alabama-Birmingham
  2. Arizona State
  3. Boise State
  4. Central Florida
  5. Georgia Southern
  6. Iowa State
  7. Louisiana Tech
  8. Miami
  9. Northwestern
  10. Vanderbilt
  • Matt Campbell
  • Bill Clark
  • Herm Edwards
  • Pat Fitzgerald
  • Bryan Harsin
  • Josh Heupel
  • Skip Holtz
  • Chad Lunsford
  • Derek Mason
  • Mark Richt

Bowl Bulletin #2

Here's the conference standings after 14 bowl games.

Conference Bowl Teams Wins Losses
ACC 11 1 0
American 7 1 3
Big Ten 9 0 0
Big 12 7 0 0
C-USA 6 4 2
Independents 3 2 0
Mid-American 6 1 5
Mountain West 6 2 2
Pac-12 7 0 1
SEC 11 0 0
Sun Belt 5 3 1
  • Best/Worst Predictions of Our Gang of Experts
    In the 15 bowls played so far (counting the Celebration Bowl), the prediction that the most entries got right was Brigham Young over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. All but five of the 44 entries got it right.
    Our worst performance was the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, with only 13 of us picking Florida International over Toledo. That was also one of the two bowls where the oddsmakers' favorite didn't win, the other being Louisiana Tech upending Hawai'i.

  • How are the coachless teams doing?
    So far, the teams (underlined) whose coach was either retired or left for a better job have done fine.
    Appalachian State 45 Middle Tennessee 13
    Utah State 53 North Texas 13
    Still to come:
    Georgia TechMinnesota (Tech retiring coach Paul Johnson is coaching the bowl.)
    Temple - Duke
    Ohio StateWashington (Buckeyes' Urban Meyer handling the team one last time.)

  • Teams that didn't show up
    Looking at the final result of the New Mexico Bowl, Utah State 52 North Texas 13, it looks like NTSU had little interest in the bowl. But further examination reveals that North Texas's star QB Mason Fine (over 3600y passing this season) pulled a hamstring in the first quarter. Three subs tried to replace him with dismal results.
    San Diego State wasn't excited about traveling to Frisco TX to play Ohio. The Aztecs didn't score a point and lost by 27. (It's Fake News that the SDSU players thought when they got word they would play in the Frisco Bowl that they were traveling to the city in Northern California.)
    It's hard to tell if Houston's heart was in it in Fort Worth TX because Army blitzed them to the tune of 70-14. It looked like the injury-plagued Cougars, coached by Catholic High grad Major Applewhite, just weren't prepared for the Cadets triple option attack. (Late-breaking news: After the game, Houston announced that Coach Applewhite has been demoted and will now be referred to as Captain Applewhite.)

  • Tidbits
    Tulane, with Brother Martin's Rod Teamer at safety, won its first postseason game in 16 years, 41-24 over ULL.
    Georgia Southern completed the biggest turnaround in FBS history, going from 10 losses in 2017 to 10 wins this year.
    Fresno State also topped off a big comeback, finishing this season 12-2 after going 1-11 two years ago.
    Army's 70-14 romp over Houston was the largest margin of victory in bowl game history. Cadet QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. scored five rushing TDs to help West Point complete the first 11-win season in its history. Even the great Army teams of 1945-46 with Glenn Davis and St. Stanislaus grad Doc Blanchard didn't do that because (a) they played only ten games and (b) Army didn't go to bowl games.
    The only one of the six MAC teams that won its bowl game was Ohio.
  • Lines that should have been used in bowl broadcasts if they weren't
    Bahamas Bowl: "The cornerback is on an  island out there with the receiver."
    New Mexico Bowl: "Utah State built a wall across their goal line that North Texas can't cross."
    R+L Carriers Bowl: You can make this one up yourself it's so obvious.
    Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: "The tackler mowed down the interference and cut the legs out from under the ball carrier."
    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Too bad neither team had a player nicknamed "Spud." That should be a requirement for teams to play in this bowl.
    Jared Birmingham: "The offensive line has formed a ring around the quarterback to protect him. … The jewel of the offense is the all-conference running back."
    Lockheed Armed Forces Bowl: "Led by their field general, the Cadets marched into enemy territory with guns blazing and stormed the defenses to shoot down the Houston defenders."
    Dollar General Bowl: "I wish I had a dollar for every penalty committed in this game."
    Sofi Hawaii Bowl: "I'd mortgage the house to bet Louisiana Tech will go for it on fourth down."
    (More to come in our next bulletin for the remaining bowls. A little of this goes a long way.)
  • Quiz
  1. What bowl game pitted two teams with the same nickname?
  2. List the nine 2018-19 bowl teams that have a nickname that doesn't end in "s".

Bowl Bulletin #1
I'm running the bowl pool at my school again this year. Here's the first bulletin that I sent to the participants.

Here's some facts and musings about this year's bowls.

  • We have 40 bowls this year, the same number as last year.
  • 80 slots were not enough. Five teams with .500 or better records were not selected for a bowl:
    • Southern Miss (6-5)
    • Miami (OH) (6-6)
    • Wyoming (6-6)
    • Louisiana-Monroe (6-6)
    • Liberty (6-6)
  • Below is the tally of bowl participants by conference.
Conference
Teams
ACC
11
American
7
Big Ten
9
Big 12
7
C-USA
6
Independents
3
Mid-American
6
Mountain West
6
Pac-12
7
SEC
11
Sun Belt
5
  • With my Florida State Seminoles not in a bowl for the first time in 36 years, here are the longest bowl streaks.
    1. Virginia Tech (26)
    2. Georgia (22)
    3. Oklahoma (20)
    4. LSU (19)
    5. Boise State, Wisconsin (17)
  1. Alabama (15)
  2. Clemson (14)
  3. Oklahoma State (13)
  4. Stanford, Texas A&M (10)
  • One of the subplots of every bowl season is bowl teams losing their head coaches. The following five bowl teams are undergoing coaching changes for 2018 – three less than last year. Did you take any of these changes into account in making your predictions?
    Appalachian StateScott Satterfield was one of the hottest coaches not at a Power Five school after going 51-24 at App State in six years. Louisville snatched him to replace Bobby Petrino (a scumbag who hopefully will never coach again). Eli Drinkwitz, the North Carolina State offensive coordinator, will take over the Mountaineers next year but not coach the bowl game (which App State won without him). (Eli Drinkwitz must be a good coach to drink with.)
    Georgia Tech
    Paul Johnson is retiring after the bowl game after compiling a 51-37 record over 11 years. The new coach, Geoff Collins from Temple, will undoubtedly ditch the triple option that Johnson ran in favor of a modern spread pass-heavy offense.
    Temple
    – With Collins going to Tech, the private school in Philadelphia hired Miami (FL) D-coordinator Manny Diaz, who will stay with the Hurricanes for the bowl game before heading north.
    Ohio State – Confirming rumors that had circulated all season, Urban Meyer announced he would retire after the Rose Bowl because of health issues. The replacement is assistant Ryan Day, who ran the team on game days the first four weeks when Meyer was suspended by the school, will take over. It would seem to be a good move since the 2018 Buckeyes are much better on offense, which Day coordinated, than defense.
    Utah State
    – After going 30-18 at Utah State, Matt Wells was hired by Texas Tech for 2019 to replace Tech alumnus Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired after a 5-7 season and a mark of 35-40 and a conference record of only 19-35 in six years. Gary Anderson returns to Utah State for the second time after a stint at Wisconsin.
  • These 2017 bowls no longer exist because of a change in sponsor.
    Old Name                                          New Name
    Zaxby's Heart of Dallas                     SERVPRO First Responder
    Cactus                                              Cheez-It
    Foster Farms                                     Redbox         
  • Last year I inaugurated an award. The Belch Bowl trophy goes to the bowl pairing the two worst teams, as determined by the Golden College Football Rankings. This year's winner is … (drum roll, please) … the SoFi Hawai'I Bowl matching #67 Hawai'i against  #85 Louisiana Tech. (The prize is the Director of the Bowl becomes President Trump's Chief of Staff.)
  • QUIZ: Match each bowl with the stadium in which it is played.
  1. Belk
  2. Cheez-It
  3. Dollar General
  4. Frisco
  5. Quick Lane
  6. Redbox
  1. Bank of America Stadium
  2. Chase Field
  3. Ford Field
  4. Ladd Memorial Stadium
  5. Levi's Stadium
  6. Toyota Stadium

About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

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