Dec 17 Games: Breaking Records and Failed Bits
Failed bit alert: The live chat/blog of the bowl games, high school football playoffs, soccer, Spurs basketball, and Cowboys game was a non-good.
The games were good, especially the high school stuff and I found myself watching those more than the bowl games. I missed some good stuff by doing so. Such is the problem with new media: There are more ways to watch sporting events but still only 24 hours in which to do it.
High School Games:
Aledo and future Longhorn Jonathan Gray, won. I am not the guy to talk to when it comes to evaluating his game. I’ve only seen the highlights and hadn’t seen him play until yesterday. It is obvious that he has speed and shiftiness that makes him stand out from the rest of the kids he plays with. Insert Man Among Boys Cliche Here.
Kenny Hill led Southlake-Carroll with a Cam Newton-like performance down the stretch. Putting your best athlete at quarterback, where they touch the ball every offensive play, is pretty standard football strategy dating back to the birth of the game. Fort Bend Hightower did the same with future Aggie Bralon Addison. If you like watching run-spread quarterbacks, then this was an awesome game. It was a tight, close game that Carroll closed out by running Kenny Hill every play on the last drive to ice the game.
Steele HS lost in their bid for a back-to-back state title. I’m torn on this. I lived in Schertz-Cibolo during high school and went to Clemens. My little brother and sister went to Steele. Schertz isn’t the same as when I lived there — there is a Starbucks within the city-limits now — you don’t need to drive to the Forum anymore. As such I’m glad that my former neighborhood got there … but I wish it was Clemens that was hoisting state titles, ya know?
Temple and Wyoming played a pretty unexciting game compared to the high school stuff that was going on at the same time. I mean, the SLC-FBH title game had 42,800+ while two of the three bowls had mid-twenty thousand attend (the New Orleans Bowl had 42K).
Watching Temple destroy anyone, let alone in a bowl game is ultra weird. Remember they got booted from the Big East for being terrible? Al Golden resurrected them and now Steve Addazio has continued that tradition. I doubt the bowls will be denying Temple a bid next time they go 8-4 (like last year). They have a punishing run game, racking up 255 yards on FIFTY ONE carries. There is a lot of scheming involved in even the most physical of running attacks but football often does come down to one big guy shoving another big guy out of the way. It is something to behold. I’m happy for them up there.
Ohio and Utah State finished a point apart. Hurm, unsurprising :
Utah State is WAC brethren and had the craziest 2-5 start ever. They lost to Auburn in a game they had one multiple times, lost in OT to Colorado State (where they tried to go for the win in a ballsy move) by one, lost to BYU the following week by a field goal, then to Fresno State by ten and La Tech by one touchdown. They then ripped off five wins by equally razor-thin margins (an average of 3.8 points including an OT win). I’m sure this will be a close, exciting game. Go Aggies.
I’m interested to see what Utah State does next year. These kinds of seasons can either demoralize a team or energize them during the off-season. It is easy motivation for everyone. They were already a good team. Look for them to get better results next season.
Ah the New Orleans Bowl. This is probably the best non-BCS bowl to go to aside from the Vegas one. An excuse to go to The Big Easy with a bunch of college buddies? Awesome. Admittedly, I checked out while this was on. I was watching the Spurs play a pre-season game while doing fiddling around with my budget (such an adult now). I’m going to try and find some time to watch the fourth quarter. ULL quarterback Blaine Gautier tossed three TDs and threw for 470 yards, setting a school record for yards and scores (surpassing fellow Cajun Jake Delhomme) and a bowl record for yardage (passed Troy’s Corey Robinson’s 387).
It has become a cliche to rag on the number of bowls and the mediocrity of the participants. While the casual fan may scoff at the lack of star-power at these things they do serve a purpose and when done right, they can be awesome. UTSA wasn’t eligible (and won’t be for a couple more seasons) for a bowl this season. Imagine, if you will, that we got into the Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise) or the Hawai’i Bowl (Duh)? It remains to be seen how well the UTSA base will travel, but that realities aside, how awesome would that be right now? It is December in SA, wet and rainy and fairly miserable — wouldn’t it be awesome to be planning your trip to San Diego or Hawai’i right now?
For the bigger schools who have Rose Bowl aspirations and the fan bases that are used to seeing their squads play in huge national television games every weekend, the Potato Bowl is lame. For smaller programs it is much more appreciated. There are very valid arguments for abolishing the whole thing but old reasons for the system’s genesis –money for the organizers and a cool trip for the participants — still hold up for the other bowls.
North Texas, my alma mater hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2004. I’ve yet to experience one as a student nor an alumnus. I am totally down for going to a “crappy, no-name” bowl with a 6-4 record.
Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter