Bowls, bowls, and more bowls! Four more bowl games are being played today as we work our way toward the new year and the big money bowls. Here is the schedule:
|Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy||8:45 a.m.||ESPN (HD) / WatchESPN|
|Music City Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss||12:15 p.m.||ESPN (HD) / WatchESPN|
|Alamo Bowl: (10) Oregon vs. Texas||3:45 p.m.||ESPN (HD) / WatchESPN / LHN|
|Holiday Bowl: (14) Arizona State vs. Texas Tech||7:15 p.m.||ESPN (HD) / WatchESPN|
The headliner of the day is Oregon (10-2) vs. Texas (8-4), where the Longhorns will try to win for Mack Brown in his last game as Texas head coach. The Oregon Ducks once had national championship hopes dancing in their heads before losses to Stanford and Arizona put a damper on those thoughts. Instead of a BCS bowl, the Ducks fell to the Alamo Bowl, where they will try to end the season on a high note. Our friends at Addicted To Quack looked at this game with numbers and stuff.
Oregon's offense vs Texas' defense
There is nothing that indicates Texas will be able to stop or remotely slow down Oregon here. Oregon has a 36 point differential at rushing, and with Byron Marshall back that will only be more accurate. They have a 27 point differential on passing and on standard downs. And on passing downs, Oregon is incredibly good compared to the rest of the world; they have a 34 point advantage there. The biggest flaw in Oregon's offense is Oregon finishing drives, which we've talked about elsewhere. Texas is average here as they are everywhere; they don't cause a ton of turnovers or get a lot of stops on drives. If Oregon can manage to finish drives and not blow 4th down chances Oregon should be doing exceedingly well.
Oregon's defense vs Texas' offense
In theory this should also be a small advantage for Oregon. Despite Texas running the ball often they're only 65th in the nation at running the ball. They have a slight advantage passing and are otherwise dead even across the board. Oregon's advantages at causing turnovers combined with Texas' proclivity for losing them should give some advantage here as well. Of course, that is the average of all the games the Oregon D has played - the good ones against Washington and UCLA and the horrible ones against Arizona and Stanford and Oregon State. We'll get a better idea of what to expect if good D/bad D show up in the FEI section.
Arizona State (10-3) also plays its bowl game tonight, taking on Texas Tech (7-5) in the Holiday Bowl. (Texas Tech...Holiday Bowl...ack!) The Sun Devils had Rose Bowl hopes dashed when Stanford beat them for the second time this season in the Pac-12 championship game. Still, Arizona State has had a fine season and will try to end it with a flourish. We Cal fans can speak from personal experience: losing to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl can leave a bad taste after an otherwise good season.
Apparently, Texas Tech fans have some very grave concerns about the program. Viva the Matadors talks about the controversy that erupted after a recent Holiday Bowl press conference. It's pretty controversial.
Q. Coach, the pregame is a big part of what you guys do, the masked rider won't be here, traveling with your fans. Why happened with that? Why won't you be riding?
COACH KINGSBURY: I don't know, that's news to me. Tough question.
I mean, why even show up, right? And why won't Kingsbury be riding (why isn't photoshop experts all over this)?
And maybe more importantly, why doesn't Kingsbury know why the Masked Rider isn't riding? Isn't he a football coach that's supposed to know everything about this team? Sounds like a coach that doesn't know what's going on with his program.
Nothing like a masked rider controversy to overshadow the bowl game.
This is your open thread for today's bowl games. Talk about them here. And enjoy the games.