College Football Overtime (cont.)
There's just something about June Jones and Hawaii. His new team, SMU, made the most of its first bowl trip in 25 years, smashing Nevada 45-10 in the Hawaii Bowl. The Mustangs hadn't topped 35 points in the regular season, and quarterback Kyle Padron's 460 yards topped his previous high by more than 100.
Air Force showed why it's ranked first in the country in pass defense, intercepting Cougars star Case Keenum six times and holding him to a season-low 222 yards in a 47-20 Armed Forces Bowl rout. The Falcons' win coupled with Navy's upset of Missouri in the Texas Bowl makes this the first time since 1985 that two service academies won bowls in the same year.
A TCU victory Monday would give the Mountain West its first 5-0 bowl season. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the MAC really needs Central Michigan to beat Troy on Wednesday -- the league has now lost 14 straight bowl games (including four this season) dating to 2006.
People sometimes wonder why I gush so often about the Rose Bowl. Here's why.
People sometimes wonder why I complain about there being too many bowls. Here's why.
Smaller Story, But I'm Sure You're Following It
Bowl-week festivities have led to all manner of infamous incidents at various games over the years, from Miami players' staged walkout of a Fiesta Bowl steak-fry in 1986 to Virginia Tech linebacker Vince Hall's jet ski injury prior to last year's Orange Bowl.
This year's East Carolina Liberty Bowl dessert fracas may take the cake (hah!).
Coach Skip Holtz suspended junior running back Jonathan Williams and redshirt freshman running back Leonard Paulk for Saturday's game after the two brawled in front of a banquet room full of people at the Liberty Bowl's annual awards luncheon last Thursday. One player had the other in a headlock, nearly turned over a table and had to be separated by assistant coaches, according to reports.
The cause of their dispute? A dessert. Seriously.
Williams and Paulk weren't the only Pirates who will leave Memphis with a bad taste (hah again!) Kicker Ben Hartman missed a pair of potential game-winning 39-yard field goal attempts in the final 69 seconds of regulation, then missed another try from 35 yards on the first possession of overtime. Arkansas' Alex Tejada --- whose own late-game misfires helped cost the Razorbacks games against Florida and LSU -- redeemed himself with a 37-yarder to win the bowl, 20-17.
Mike Leach and Urban Meyer: What's Next?
We know how Texas Tech fans feel about their coach's controversial dismissal: They're not happy. A Facebook group called "Team" Leach had drawn 46,000 members as of Sunday night. Pro-Leach signs filled the Alamodome for Saturday night's Red Raiders win over Michigan State, including the obvious "Bring Back Leach" sentiment, but as running back Baron Batch said: "Leach ain't coming back."
The only connection between the school and The Pirate in the months and (possibly) years ahead is a sure-to-be contentious wrongful termination suit that's sure to bring out even more dirt-slinging by both sides. In the meantime, Leach may have to sit out of coaching next season while waiting for the smoke to clear. If and when it does, look for him to latch on with a mid-major or possibly a low-profile BCS school (here's looking at you, Washington State).
Florida's two-time national champion coach may not be on the sideline next fall, either, but if so, it will be of his own volition. While rumors run wild about the possible length of Meyer's forthcoming leave absence, it seems clear even Meyer himself doesn't know. He's yet to figure out how exactly what steps he plans to take to improve his mental health. He's continues to stick with the "In my gut, I'll be back next season" line, but that seems solely for recruiting purposes. As Florida president Bernie Machen -- who originally proposed the idea -- told SI.com's Andy Staples: "It could be six months, it could be a year, or it could be never."
Florida is expected to announce some of the details of Meyer's sabbatical soon (when he's leaving; what if any decision-making role he'll have while Steve Addazio is in charge), but Florida is facing a highly unusual situation. Its 2010 recruiting class remains largely in place at this point (it even picked up commitments over the weekend from Under Armour All-Americans Chris Dunkley and game MVP Dominique Easley), but the 2011 class figures to suffer the longer Meyer's status remains in limbo.
Kashif Moore: Is That Sticky Glue?
We knew Connecticut's Maya Moore has good hands. But check out her football counterpart's amazing one-handed grab in the Pizza Bowl South.
Akeem Ayers: Same question
The UCLA linebacker makes it into this space for the second time this season for a leaping interception that turned into the game-winning score of the EagleBank Bowl.
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