January 1 thoughts

The SEC didn’t exactly cover itself in glory yesterday. Houston Nutt again showed me why he’s overrated as a head coach. Fulmer again showed me that he can’t motivate his team to play in a non-BCS bowl game. Tommy Tuberville got lucky by going up against a coach who’s willing to take even stupider risks than he’s ever thought about (a reverse on a fake punt?).

Stewart Mandel notwithstanding, the Fiesta Bowl was one of the most entertaining college football games I’ve ever watched. Stoops can’t blame the outcome on the officiating, either.

And how ’bout them Jackets? I figured going in that the Gator Bowl was a win-win proposition, as either Bennett would have a fabulous game leading GT to a win and have every Jacket fan question Chan’s loyalty to “Dog”, or Bennett would demonstrate that there was a reason he was on the bench as Georgia Tech took it on the chin. Instead, I got the best of both worlds: Bennett started out hot and led Tech out to a big lead and then got defensed well by a mediocre D-1 pass defense as the Jackets blew the game and lost. Georgia will finish ranked. Tech will not. All that’s left to finish the trifecta is for Calvin Johnson to declare for the NFL. Do it, CJ!

So far, the most impressive looking team in the bowl season has been Southern California, which flat out demolished Michigan, much to the surprise of the pundits at ABC/ESPN (and Herbstreit needs to get off his blogger hatin’ shtick, by the way). I loved the way Pete Carroll went for the jugular with the playcalling on offense to put the game away late. I’m not prepared to read anything into the Rose Bowl result in terms of whether it lessens Ohio State’s standing going into the BCS title game, but USC sure looks to be a powerhouse going into next season.

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