Bowled Over On New Year’s – Observations From College Football’s Long Day

Bowled Over On New Year’s – Observations From College Football’s Long Day Once upon a time, the New Year’s Day college football bowl games meant something. Being Rose Bowl...

Bowled Over On New Year’s – Observations From College Football’s Long Day

Once upon a time, the New Year’s Day college football bowl games meant something. Being Rose Bowl champions or Sugar Bowls winners could mean the national championship, as determined by various polls.

Now there’s the College Football Playoff, and the teams taking part in New Year’s Day competitions are those that didn’t reach that four-team pinnacle.

So we get what we get. And Tuesday was a decidedly mixed collection.

• Sugar Bowl: Texas 28, Georgia 21. Georgia was No. 5 in the CFP rankings, sort of like being Miss Congeniality in a pageant. A runner-up. The Bulldogs played as if this game meant nothing. Texas, which hadn’t won a meaningful postseason game in 10 years, attacked from the beginning and proved its program will be one to be reckoned with in the coming years.

• Rose Bowl: Ohio State 28, Washington 23. OSU finished sixth in the CFP poll but came to play in coach Urban Meyer’s final game. Meyer had announced his retirement and reiterated that he doesn’t intend to coach again. Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins played well in what will likely be his final game – the redshirt sophomore has said he plans to enter the NFL draft. The Huskies never got anything going until the second half, and then it was too late.

• Outback Bowl: Kentucky 27, Penn State 24. The Wildcats were once the joke of the Southeastern Conference, but coach Mark Stoops has built a contender (all things considered in a strong conference). Penn State QB Trace McSorley suffered what is believed to be a broken foot in the second quarter, but managed to return and lead a comeback. The three-year starter posted a record of 31-9 and now moves on.

College football’s championship will be decided on Monday night when Alabama and Clemson, ranked 1-2, meet.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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