SEC Championship Highlight Game of the Season: Rarely does a big game live up to the hype, but Saturday afternoon's SEC title game certainly did. Not only was the game close throughout, it went down to the last snap. Unfortunately, someone had to lose. I feel for Georgia's Mark Richt. His team played well enough to win, denied by an outstanding squad from Alabama. As I stated immediately following the game, Notre Dame doesn't stand a chance against the Crimson Tide. I know the Irish have found a way to get it done all season, but they better find some more playmakers on offense between now and January 7 if they are to have any hope of unseating Alabama.
Did Nebraska Miss the Bus? What happened to the Cornhuskers between Lincoln and Indianapolis? Wisconsin, third place in the Probation Division of the Big Ten, put up 70 points on a team ranked twelfth in the nation. Can we really take this conference seriously? I mean really now. Penn State ends up going 8-4 despite sanctions and player defections. Ohio State runs the table, but how strong is that schedule at the end of the day. Sorry, but just because you play in the Big House, the Horseshoe and Camp Randall doesn't mean it's quality football. And now we find out that Bret Bielema is moving on from Wisconsin to Arkansas of the SEC.
Speaking of Quality: The SEC ended up with six of the top ten teams in the final regular season BCS standings. Let me make sure you understand the significance of this. Fully half of one conference comprised 60% of the top ten teams in the nation. What makes it more intriguing is that they play each other, so all of their losses are within the league. Number 9 Texas A&M beat number 2 Alabama, who beat number 7 Georgia, who beat number 3 Florida, who beat number 8 LSU...well, you get the picture. With six consecutive national championships and counting, the SEC just continues to dominate the college football landscape. Another reason Bielema made the jump from Big Ten to the SEC.
Bowl Game Feasts: There is no question that the national championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama is an intriguing match up. However, there are a few others that should be interesting. Going chronologically, let's start with
UCLA and Baylor in the Holiday Bowl. The Bruins had a big turn around under coach of the year candidate Jim Mora and Baylor came up with two big upsets against Kansas State and Oklahoma State late in the season. One year after losing RGIII to the Redskins, the Bears rebounded nicely. This game could be a barn burner.
LSU and Clemson in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. Is the ACC in for another butt kicking at the hands of the SEC? This is a compelling matchup, both of whom play in Death Valley. I'm picking the Tigers.
Georgia and Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Both of these teams had hoped for a better bowl game than this one. Can Nebraska rebound from the Wisconsin drubbing? Can Georgia play with a chip on its shoulder after getting nudged out of the Suger Bowl by a team it beat in the regular season?
Northern Illinois and Florida State in the Orange Bowl. This is a first for the MAC, a BCS bowl appearance. That's the good news. The bad news is that Northern Illinois' coach is leaving for greener pastures. We'll see if NIU can legitimize its appearance with a win over the most underrated team in the BCS.
Oregon and Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Let's see, was it just a couple of weeks ago where we had this one as the possible national championship matchup? Yes, it was.