Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | December 31, 2011

Bowling Life

After an extended holiday hiatus with family and traveling, it is important to first address NCAA football.  Here’s hoping everyone in TOC Nation had a blessed Christmas and/or a happy Chanukah (even if you were celebrating it out of step with the Candle-Lighter in Chief).  I second the wish of Darkness at Noon (intrepid reader and commenter) that we all have a happy New Year as well.

I know, I know.  Iran.  The Hawkeye Cauci.  The Boehner Cave.  We’ll get to all that (well, maybe not to the Boehner Cave, which is pretty self-explanatory; basically, we needn’t expect to have a budget again before 2103, and the Speaker has probably guaranteed that the Republicans will, in fact, have no momentum of their own on budget and domestic matters for the next year, and will fill the role of spoilers.  Which is not a bad thing given Obama’s penchant for “honest graft” and overspending, but it’s harder to cast as a positive thing).

The important games

At any rate, we’ll get to the other stuff.  Meanwhile, we are saddened to report that Tulsa lost the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to BYU, 24-21.  The Cougars pretty well had Tulsa’s offensive number, but then, Tulsa had BYU’s too.  Both teams brought their defenses, and BYU’s came out on the long end.  (Believe me, if you haven’t been watching them:  a game in which Tulsa and BYU hold each other to a 24-21 final is a low-scoring game.)  It wasn’t a real exciting bowl, as bowls go, but who could not want to be in Fort Worth on a nice day in December?

The worthless Sooners proved themselves a few points better than Iowa in the Insight Bowl in Tempe.  It’s hard to say what motivates the Sooners to their bursts of effort.  Just once, I’d like to see them charge the field with mayhem in their eyes, and dance around on the sideline like they just can’t wait to get back on the field.  Their depth of talent is such that they can lose half a dozen marquee players over the season and still come out 10-3.  But who knows what they could do if they played like they cared?

I do like to mention that I-40 was crowded with OU fans headed to the Insight Bowl on the 28th. Saw a few Hawkeyes too, but I think they mostly had to fly.  I also observed a car with a Texas special plate, inscribed “OSU” and festooned with orange doodads, apparently headed early to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  With the Cowboy fans’ penchant for rioting after winning big games, we’ll need to check and see if Glendale is still there on 3 January.  The oddsquad has OSU giving Stanford 4 on the 2nd, and that may be about right.  Here at TOC, we predict a Cowboy win.  The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl should be a good game, if not the scoring fest we saw in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Thursday, in which Baylor overcame Washington’s 56 points by eventually posting 67.  No believers in defense, they.  At any rate, go Cowboys!  Neither bend nor break!  End Stanford’s Luck!

The service academies sang their last on the 28th, with Air Force’s painful 42-41 loss to Toledo in the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman.  Didn’t get to see or hear this game while on the road.  But the game recap indicates that it was every bit as close and hard-fought as the score suggests.  Congrats to the Rockets; condolences to Big Blue.

Virginia Tech will meet Michigan in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on the 3rd.  Besides being the Hokies’ fourth BCS bowl appearance in the last five years, it’s also their first meeting ever with the Wolverines.  (VT doesn’t play much Big 10.)  The oddscritters have Michigan giving 2, but we predict the Hokies will take ‘em down, as long as the special teams show up.  Tech needs to keep the turnovers – their Achilles heel – to a minimum in New Orleans, and they’ll be fine.  Go Hokies!

We are extremely sorry to record that Nevada lost to Southern Miss 24-17 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.  The Wolf Pack couldn’t settle on a QB and had some sloppiness issues on both sides of the ball, but the game was very evenly matched in terms of stats.  Minus the blocked-punt TD by the Golden Eagles in the 2Q, the game would have been 17-17 at the end of regulation.  But, of course, blocked-punt TDs and other such oddities are what evenly-matched games turn on.

The unimportant games

In today’s exciting Booger Bowl action, Texas A&M is up 17-7 on Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas as the first half winds down.  This in spite of Northwestern toting a stuffed monkey around with them to represent the “monkey on their back” (years without a bowl win).  Gig ‘em, Aggies!  The monkey looks good on ‘em.  (And it’s still there as this goes to the blog; final 33-22, A&M, after a wild 4Q.)

Also on tap in the Full-Frontal Booger Bowl category are the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, featuring Illinois and UCLA (TOC: Illinois), and the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, in which Virginia meets Auburn (TOC:  Auburn).

In the Oblique Only-sort-of Booger Bowl category, Georgia Tech and Utah collide in the Hyundai Sun Bowl this afternoon (TOC: Georgia Tech), and Cincinnati and Vanderbilt in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl (TOC: Cincy).  The Sun and Liberty Bowls have long and distinguished histories; it appears that the Memphis-based Liberty Bowl has decided to go with teams that will bring in a short-drive crowd, rather than hosting teams from all points NSE&W whose fans have to travel long distances to get there.

Meanwhile, we note that technically, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl used to be the Emerald Bowl, and could also claim to have a long and distinguished history that might excuse it from Full-Frontal Boogerdom.  But come on:  you name something the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, you’re automatically and firmly in the Booger category.  We’ll be watching the stands closely to make sure they’re fighting hunger today.

A few other bowls past seem worth mentioning.  We note that Ohio edged past Utah State 24-23 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise on the 17th.  We like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl because it used to be the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, and before that the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl, and before that the MPC Computers Humanitarian Bowl, and before that the Humanitarian Bowl.  So when it comes to Booger Chic, you’d have to cut off fingers to count the number of bowls that have as much as this one.  Tulsa played in the Humanitarian Bowl at the end of the 2003 season, losing to GA Tech 52-10.

In another Booger favorite, we regret to report that Rutgers downed Iowa State 27-13 yesterday in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium.  This is a deeply silly bowl, and we’re darn glad they started it.

In other Booger news, Texas topped Cal 21-10 in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl in San Diego on the 27th.  Technically, again, the Holiday Bowl enjoys Oblique Only-sort-of Booger status, as opposed to Full-Frontal, due to its long and distinguished history.  As a human-interest aside, TOC personally observed the actual Bridgepoint Education headquarters building decked out in its enormous, 5-story Holiday Bowl banner, while heading north on the 163 expressway in San Diego on Thursday.  This trip could have been better timed, but the Xterra’s old DOD sticker expired at the end of this month, and had to be updated.

BCS #7 Boise State played in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (formerly the Las Vegas Bowl) again, which is the kind of thing that gets Bronco fans riled up (i.e., when they see lower-ranked teams go to BCS face-offs in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO).  We could get into a whole big “thing” about whether BSU “plays anyone,” as opposed to whomever else you want to argue about.  To no one’s surprise, the Broncos stomped Arizona State 56-24.  The 24 points from the Sun Devils are worth a quizzical eyebrow, however.

Finally, we would be remiss not to mention the Belk Bowl (motto:  “Who knew?”) held in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday.  The home-crowd favorite, North Carolina State (motto:  “They have a football team?”), defeated Louisville 31-24.

We could go on and on about already-played Booger Bowls, of which there can never be enough, but we do need to preview 2 January’s offerings.  Houston and Penn State will meet in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for the second annual TicketCity Bowl, another bowl that has Booger written all over it.  TOC:  Houston.  Fabulous weather is predicted for game time, 50 and sunny.

The Gator Bowl (God bless America!) will feature a meet between Ohio State and Florida in Jacksonville.  TOC:  too close to call.  The oddsdudes have Florida giving 2.

In the Capital One Bowl (formerly the Florida Citrus Bowl, formerly the Tangerine Bowl) in Orlando, multiple-time Capital One Bowl teams Nebraska and South Carolina (motto:  The Other USC) will duke it out.  Oddspuppies have the Gamecocks giving 2.  TOC concurs.

Michigan State and Georgia will meet in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, with Georgia giving 3.  TOC thinks the Spartans will bag this one, however.

In BCS action, The Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO will kick off under sunny skies with a balmy 82F on the Pasadena thermometer, which is actually 10-15 degrees warmer than normal.  Oregon and Wisconsin clash in the Tournament of Roses, and TOC predicts the Ducks will tote off the trophy.  But it won’t be a pushover game.  Ducks will want to actually start “playing” sometime in the 1Q, against the erratic but often brilliant Badger offense.

It all leads up to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, previewed above.  Go Cowboys!

Some miscellaneous football notes

The FCS championship game will be played 7 January between Sam Houston State and North Dakota State at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX.

In Div II, Pittsburg State beat Wayne State (MI) 35-21 on the 17th for the title.  Congrats to all the finalists.

In Div III, Wisconsin-Whitewater took the honors with a 13-10 win over Mount Union in the Stagg Bowl on 16 December.  Congrats to all!

Up in the stratosphere, NFL football is back on track with a slate of Sunday games to requite the football-hungry.  The worthless 8-7 Dallas Cowboys will meet the 8-7 Giants one last time, and probably lose.  Their playoff fate comes down to this game, as well (potentially) as games being played elsewhere in the NFC.  So, being the Pokes, they’ll play “stupidly” (especially if Romo isn’t fully good to go after last week’s bang-up).  Sigh.  The AFC West is also still up for grabs, with the Broncos and Raiders both 8-7.  Denver should have less trouble with KC than Oakland will have with San Diego, although the 7-8 Chargers’ wild card hopes are basically dead.  (The Titans and Jets would both have to lose.)  The Detroit-Green Bay game should be a good one.

We also note, for serious football fans, that the unstoppable Israeli Football League has its season underway.  TOC’s team, the Haifa Underdogs, are 2-0 and second in the North Division to the 3-1 Tel Aviv-Jaffa Sabres.  Not much video from the IFL makes it Stateside, but you can check out some clips from the Chanukah Bowl, played between the Rebels and the Kings earlier this month, at the IFL website.  The Underdogs meet the Tel Aviv Pioneers today (31 December), and we’re pulling for them. The playoffs are in March, and the championship Israel Bowl will be played 30 March.  Unless they have improved dramatically over previous seasons, the Underdogs won’t be in it.

For sports history buffs, a last-call factoid.  The year 2011 has passed without an NCAA bowl played in a foreign country; the International Bowl – held for some reason in Toronto (they couldn’t have had it in, like, Vancouver??) – played its last in January 2010.  Who knows why someone thought Canadian football fans would flock to a game played by Yank also-rans in a city where the average high on game day hovers around 30F and snow is virtually guaranteed.  In 2010, South Florida beat Northern Illinois 27-3 in front of a whopping 22,185 fans, which frankly says a lot for Canadians’ love of football.

At any rate, this melancholy reflection sparks a reminder of a storied bowl history from yesteryear:  that of the Bacardi Bowl.  Played in Cuba eight times between 1907 and 1946, the Bacardi Bowl almost always matched a Cuban team with a US NCAA football squad.  Louisiana State played in the first game on Christmas Day, 1907, against Havana U.  (LA State won 56-0.)  In the one game featuring two NCAA teams, Auburn tied Villanova 7-7, on 1 January 1937. The last Bacardi Bowl was played in 1946, with Southern Miss edging Havana U 55-0.

We here at TOC miss the Bacardi Bowl.  We hope for a speedy end to the Castro regime, and a resumption of bowl match-ups between US and Cuban football teams.


  1. Welcome back. I got a little excited at the title, thinkin that you were going to give us some tips on “How to Carry the Five Pin, Even on Light Hits.” But football is good, too. Rest assured that here at La Casa Vinnie, we will fight hunger with intensity, bringing the very best weaponry to the battle. At the slightest pang we will bolt to the fridge or the pantry for bowl-eligible comestibles. We will, therefore, get some enjoyment out of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, matching Illinois, which achieved a perfectly balanced 6-6 season, with the last six games being losses, against the UCLA Bruins, who clawed their way to a 6-7 record and a 50-0 loss to a certain cross-town rival that will be namelss and bowl-less.

  2. Merry Christmas, and now a very Happy New Year to you to JE..

    Lemme see… Son #2 is 1 hour and quarter or so from celebrating the new year in London. Supposedly the parade is being played on FOX, and maybe some other channels. There are quite a few American Bands from various colleges and high schools so it looks to be interesting. The Internet is an amazing thing so far 2 video calls over Bill Gates’s dreaded MSN Messenger video call feature. Very clear, and very cool to pay $0 for a video phone call to London.

    If you get a chance to TiVo the parade look for the Tuba section…

    Meanwhile the chili is on, the wife and daughter are out doing wife and daughter sort of stuff… so eldest son and I are weeding through the various bowl games and watching our Yahoo NCAA picks slowly degrade into various levels of joke…

    Screwed by Chair Farce… Disappointed by Tulsa… (the bud pick didn’t work out so well there… but I tried…) I might be lucky to be at .500 by the end of the Bowl season.

    It is a contest of month stale teams so the lack of pick accuracy shows.

    Hokies will be a pick ’em. If they do show up, they have a very good shot at winning. Go Hokies!!!!!

    Cheers and to Auld Lang Sine…


  3. Best of the holidays to all! Looks like Utah has fodded up TOC’s prediction record by pulling it out against GA Tech in OT in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

    Illinois is holding a precarious 10-7 lead over UCLA in the 4Q, and Cincy and Vandy are tied 14-all in Memphis. From what we can tell, the crowd is definitely fighting hunger in San Francisco.

    I’ll keep an eye out for the tubas in London. In other tuba news, we had a weird rash of tuba thefts from LA-area high schools this month. The thieves only stole tubas — they made off with at least a half dozen of them — leading local commentators to express utter cluelessness as to why anyone would steal a bunch of tubas.

    Since I know everyone is going to be glued to the tube on Monday watching the Tournament of Roses parade, I will warn you now that Occupy LA has obtained permission to march in protest at the end of the parade. The Occupiers have been rehearsing whatever it is they’re going to do. Non-stop fun.

    Illinois now up 13-7 over UCLA.

  4. I was watching that Air Force-Toledo game. I was thinking that it would be great if AF went for a 2-pt conversion at the end of the game, and sure enough they did! They ran an option play, but the QB got the ball knocked loose from his insufficient grip and the ball ended up out of bounds. The tragedy is that if he pitched the ball to the RB, they would have scored the 2 points and won the game! The play was there for the taking.

    Happy New Year to everyone. We’re less than 5 hours away from midnight here on the east coast.

  5. Frohes Weichnacten und Neues Jahr to OC and the whole gang.

    Sooners are quite thoroughly contemptible. Really should be 12-1 even if a mediocre 12-1 but whatever.

    And I mean the Alamo was rather entertaining and fortunately no work Friday so watched till end. Oddly enough, the entire defensive staff was fired after the game. Thats accountability for you!!! (They were 107th going into the game so not THAT much of surprise). No chance of getting that for the Golf-Playing One (90 rounds and counting) in the White House I suppose.

    A&M somewhat impressive and yes, a fun 4th quarter. Entertaining and valiant (in going for 2) effort by the Air Force. (And their going to have to be valiant flying those 40 year old tin cans since it doesn’t appear any upgrades are in the offing).

    I rather fancy a high scoring game in Tempe. Generally speaking OSU has played a much tougher schedule and I like them to win, but the Stanford win at USC looks better in retrospect.

    There’s been much discussion about the Hokies in the Sugar, suggestions they have no business being there and going only because they “travel well”. Of course the Wolves’ case isn’t exactly air-tight either. Be all that as it may I certainly hope the former give the latter a thorough thrashing. Should probably watch Caucus result but am inclined to have the Sugar.

    Some really impressive performances in the NFL. Packers limping into the playoffs a bit, a fantastic season by Drew Brees and a surprisingly fabulous first year for Cam Newton with very little preparation. (Very entertaining if meaningless game today.)

    Must confess am not as tempted as perhaps I should be by the Boys/Giants tonight. There’s a FNC Iowa preview and the annual New Year’s Concert from Wien. Its a bit old hat but the Twitter says it was an impressive effort. Should watch any available football this time of year of course but my annoyance with Cowboys induces me to not doing so.

  6. Don’t want to be the one that rains on the Rose Bowl parade but even if you’re the most dedicated college football fan it behooves you to read this:

  7. Not bowl or NCAA related.. but football still…

    Boots stub toes, Giants pull ten gallon over Romo’s ears… which has gotta hurt…

    No views of Jerry Jones from the fluff coverage by NBC, after the 4th quarter, it isn’t good TV to show an doddering old man need medical attention to help ablate the onset of a stroke.

    The Boots have smelled like toe-jam and horse dung in a can since Barry Switzer took Jimmy Johnson’s team to that last Super Bowl in ’96. They have competed with their arch rival Washington Redskins for the worst records and ownership in the NFL for an administration short of 20 years.

    Tomorrow is “Black Monday” – I wonder how many Boots head off to the “Goodwill Box”. Maybe Jerry will hire Norv Turner back, sounds like he’s going to need a job come midnight tomorrow.

    It is hard to believe that the regular season of both College and Pro Football are over… And college will be all wrapped up for the year by next weekend. Wowsers… Into the doldrums of trying to find something fun to watch and talk about.

    We are reduced to the pathetic anticipation of the NFL Draft, and College Spring games… :-/ sigh


  8. Happy New Year Everyone !!!
    So, how bad is Iowa? Oklahoma played its’ brand new style of Lava Football and looked quicker than the Hawkeyes. The #1 Haweye receiver was open all night on the post, but the Hawkeye QB has little bitty arms. I waited all game for the Iowa reciever to simply stop and catch the ball and run by the weak side safety and corner as they celebrated in the end zone.
    The play with Oklahoma having 10 defensive men on the field was heart warming. Jefferson was obviously off sides when he finally ran on the field. Did anyone notice the coaches didn’t catch it. It simply dawned on him. Hello
    If Jones leaves, we will become Kansas State Junior. I wouldn’t say that too many players have left the team, but I got a post card asking if I would consider playing on the scout team. (No) My wife checked yes on her card.
    Whether we like it or not, the team is in complete disarray.
    The Israeli football league plays until May. That will get us to within
    60 days of two a days.

  9. An Addendum please:
    Hats off to the Cal Smarty Pants Defense for making David Ash look like a good QB. Talent wise the shorthorns are in worse shape than OU.
    No Bowl games on New Years Day????? The Rose Bowl Parade with no Rose Bowl. Nothing-NaDa.
    Did Obama appoint a college football czar? This is superior top down planning.
    Here is to Wisconsin suffocating the Arena-Popcorn-Little Guys Running a sweep over and over again-sparklers on their helmets team from the Northwest.
    I will check the LSU-Tide game with 3:00 to go in the 4th.
    Final Score: Tigers 2 Alabama 0

  10. I dunno, the announcers were taking the Horns up for next year. Young team, lots of talent, yadda, yadda, yadda. The QB situation does leave a tad to be desired though.

    It was a Sunday and the bonus is we get two consecutive days of football. Am very excited for today’s games. Kinda like the Badgers. I don’t necessarily think they’ll stop the Enten but the latter have been contained with some success in these games with long layoffs and lots of preparation and the heavy and occasionally dynamic Wiscy O should outscore them.

    The OSU D is pathetic. One can hardly have been impressed with their showings against TAMY, KSU at home, et. all. I’d pencil Luck in for 28 to 38 to points. On the other hand, the (shorthanded, to be sure) Stanford D got obliterated on the Farm by Oregon and while OSU is a whole different kettle of fish (or posse of Cowboy – but you know what I mean) they’re fast and prolific fish so I’m guessing anywhere between 38 and 55 for the Pokes.

    • Oregon is killing themselves with these quick scores. Wisconsin had a 3-1 TOP advantage and its only growing. Wiscy isn’t containing them at all (they don’t have the speed of Ohio State, Auburn or LSU) but they are wearing their defense down. Not like the Duckies are stopping them now but they’ll be going through that defense like Obama through assertions of greatness, tax payer $ and rounds of golf by late in the 3rd quarter.

      • Lemme See… if the Badgers want to win this silly shoot out they are going to need to do:

        1. Blitz… Their fixed inflexible 4 man rush is po-thetic… the blitzes need to alternate, be random, come from anywhere and nowhere in particular, and aim at the ball.

        2. Assign specific players specific keys. “your guy doesn’t go anywhere without you being able to comment on the strength of his BO.”

        3. Stop dancing with Offensive linemen, and freaking tackle the ball carrier! This means actually being aware of where the ball is, and getting disengaged from blocks, especially if the ball carrier is behind you… why when the ball passes are they still dancing with each other I will never know.

        4. Get aggressive…. shift… do more than just sit back on their heels as things develop…

        Comment on the Michigan/Virginia Tech game tomorrow… need to cogitate on it a bit more…

        Shootouts are boring… sorry to the brainless defenseless football sports commentary crowd.. but football played like basketball gets relentlessly dull after a while.


  11. And the offseason is very promising. The Luck/Manning saga in Indianapolis should prove quite entertaining.

    • If Manning can still play, Luck will be playing in DC

  12. play for about 15 or so…..

    and you’re swirling down the bowl

    • Jerry has impeccable choppers !!!!!

      • I think of him more as being an unchompable something-or-other

  13. I wonder if the Stanford kicker is walking back to Palo Alto.

    • How did it finish – just too late for this eastern time zone guy.

  14. Well, tonight is the big TEST of Virginia Tech’s viability in the BCS; or so says the sports media types and the win-at-all-costs fanboys. The Hokies will take the field against the Big Blue Machine of the Michigan Wolverines; and then tomorrow in some part of the country the crickets will be chirping. Virginia Tech is unlikely to make it beyond that frustrating #20 to #10 ratings doldrums that it has languished in since the 2000-2001 season. Once the Vick magic wore off, the cold hard reality of 2 star recruits, O and D lines manned by players who were just a shade too small, and unimaginative play calling just will not allow the team to rise much farther than a regular shot at the ACC Championship Game.
    The sentiment that this is a “key” game might be important, if it wasn’t so obviously silly.

    The Bowl games have become a substitute playoff for the Sports Fanboy Club. The reality that these are invitational exhibition contests in excess of a month after the regular college season, and championship weekend, seems to go flying right by the limited “vision” of the sports media. The unpredictability of the bowl wins and losses to date is testimony to the fact that these games should mean absolutely nothing in the grander scheme of things. They are spectacle/exhibition only, and should be treated as such.

    Enough with the situation; until the NCAA adopts a full 32 team playoff system all of this silliness will continue and sports writers, who probably secretly never really want it solved, will make money off of the griping, complaining, and “opinionating”.

    So on to some, admittedly homer analysis of this evening’s game. The contest is between to very old, but very different football programs. Virgina Tech first fielded a collegiate football team in the early 1890’s. It’s first year was the last year that the college was named Virginia AMC, and football was a very different sport. What hasn’t changed much between the 1890’s and the present is that Virginia Tech has never been a “powerhouse” football team. Up until the Beamer era, Tech was barely a Division 1A school, whose main cross state rivals were VMI and William and Mary. Both of those teams are now solidly FCS/1-AA schools with little intention to rise any further. When I graduated in 1981, our greatest accomplishment was the 1980 31-0 blanking of sometime cross state opponent UVa. In fact for a period of a very extended period, from the early 1900’s until the mid 20’s or so Tech and UVa refused to play each other over some scholarship tiff.

    The issue is that until 1995 and the Sugar Bowl win over Fexas, Virginia Tech was a football backbencher, and wanted it that way. Scholarships were limited, Lane stadium was a tiny venue of less than 35,000 seats (my freshman year, we had no stands in the North or South endzones, and the East side stands were 1/3 of what they are now. There were no luxury boxes on the West side, and the Corps of Cadets sat on the 50 yard line in the East Stands. My how times have changed.

    So my feelings toward the doomsday attitude that Virginia Tech is gravely wounded by its Bowl record, is formed by a certain perspective. It is just a game, and though now there is too much money involved in the effort (a great corrupting influence on collegiate sports), should be enjoyed for what it is; non consequential spectacle. That spectacle will fade into memory, and new players with new hopes will step up to fill the need for entertainment.

    Will Tech win tonight? I certainly hope so. The team does have a good chance of winning this. But what is absolutely assured is the lure of the big money and the greed of small minds will strip it of players in the off-season. Young men with too little education and too much ego will try their hand at professional sports, and almost none of them will succeed. They will be left with not enough education to even coach a high school football team, and certainly not enough to keep them out of lives of “glory days”. College and pro sports are currently broken, and that is a set of topics for another day.

    What is for today, broken system and all is for the Hokies to drop the woofing, the ego, and the self-importance for one last game. They will need that energy and elan for a few hours this evening.
    I think that the CAN and SHOULD win. It is up to them to believe it.

    GO HOKIES!!!!!

    Regards… TMF

  15. Treasured reader/commenters — as you will see in the new post, I am currently trying to operate through a thick fog of malware on the good computer and slowness on the old one — such slowness that suicide is coming to seem like a viable option. I’ll be back when trying to do anything on the computer is not a matter of typing one letter and then waitingg for it to show up so I can type the next one.

    Go Cowboys!!!!! Go Hokies!!!!!

  16. I type and text like that all the time. I thought it was normal. I would say stay off all those porn sites, but only Fuster would think that is funny so I am not going to say it.

    • somehow I can’t summon a smile for the image of JED pulling up on porn sites.

      finding a likelihood of that happening might fry some of my young, tender circuits.

      Old italian gladiator movies maybe, but no further!

      • Steve Reeves call your office.

  17. TMF’s harangue against shootouts apparently brought the such to a (virtually) grinding halt in the 2nd half of the Rose Bowl and bled into the 1st quarter of the Fiesta.

    TMF will be pleased with the lack of offensive output in New Orleans, and especially on the part of the “exciting” and “explosive” Dunard Robinson. 40 yards TO with 2 minutes gone in the 2nd. Of course the “explosions” have tended to be rather tame against minimally competent Ds and the Hookies can certainly claim to have such.

  18. Well, one thing we can say: VT and Michigan aren’t having a shootout.

    Or maybe it’s a shootout with a lot of bullets flying and nothing being hit.

  19. I hate that Tech has done so much to give this game away but as its as tied as Iowa in there.

  20. The end of the Sugar Bowl was unfortunate, with a highly questionable overturned TD call. I thought the officials did a terrible job with that one. VT was robbed.

    Of course, Michigan could have come back with a TD in the first OT and pushed it to 2OT or beyond — there’s no guarantee that Tech would have won. But the lousy overturned call leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

    Incidentally, WHO said VT’s special teams had to show up? Huh? Huh?? And they didn’t! Who was that squad of imposters that handed Michigan 13 points? Kind of the alternate-universe opposite of Beamer Ball.

    Meanwhile, props to the Cowboys!!!!!!!! Awesome, awesome win. I haven’t hollered so much for a long time. I believe the Stanford kicker is still making his way back to Palo Alto. Taking whacks at himself with a cat-o’-nine-tails. Had to feel for the kid, for sure. If Stanford had a kicker as limited as Oregon’s (max range: 32 yards), the outcome might have been more predictable.

    Discover Orange Bowl tonight, featuring West Virginia and Clemson. Clemson gives 3, which is probably about right, although we ave a sneaking suspicion the Tigers will take it by more than that.

    Yes, the computer woes have been adjusted. It took forever. Bookmark my Iran, etc post or save the first link in it, if you should ever encounter the “System Check” malware. The Malwarebytes removal instructions work as indicated. You don’t get your desktop back the way you left it, but everything’s still there. “System Check” is a scam to get alarmed PC users to pay $70 or so to have their computers “fixed” remotely. The “fix” amounts to nothing more than the deactivation of “System Check” — but it’s still there, and apparently can revive itself and attack again down the road.

    • The officials at the Sugar Bowl don’t understand the burden of proof when reviewing the play. They are supposed to see conclusive, incontrovertible proof that the on-field call was wrong in order to reverse it. The replay I saw was ambiguous. You could argue it either way, but you couldn’t say it was incontrovertible evidence that the TD call was wrong.

      Kind of a tough year for kickers, no?

      Boys Estate just rehired their coach for another five years. They will probably go about 50-10 over that period. Whether they play for a national championship is questionable.

  21. I guess if Boys Estate joins the Big East (is that a done deal?), there may be an outside chance of playing for a national title. It makes my head hurt just to think of the conference shake-ups, so I try not to.

    Clemson looking sloppy and weird in the Discover Orange Bowl. Silly, outdated muscial entertainment at the half. Mountaineers capitalizing on every Tiger boo-boo. They have to be on the way to setting a bowl scoring record. Just another meaningless BCS bowl game.

  22. Meaningless indeed!!! No Bowls on News Years Day. Other major bowls strung out in a very isolated manner on weeknights with so so teams. Only one bowl matters. The ESPN dictatorship has again primed the masses for a major Div I play-off. The fans will beg for it
    NFL junior.
    Every major bowl game used to have meaning for conferences and fans. Traditional foes. Excitement.
    Now through top down planning, we have team 1c playing team 3b somewhere, sometime on Tuesday night in the middle of the work week.
    The West Virginia QB will not make it through the season in the Big 12 (10)( whatever) running around like that.
    Jones coming back for senior season.

  23. Bowl fare getting thin as another season draws to a close. Arkansas did as nature intended beating Kansas State this evening in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Saturday will be enlivened by the BBVA Compass Bowl, in which SMU will meet Pittsburgh. We expect Pitt to tote off the trophy, and we’ll be pleased and proud to see what a BBVA Compass Bowl trophy looks like.

    Basically, it’s an All-Booger line-up until the championship defense-off in New Orleans. Sunday will bring the Bowl, with Arkansas State taking on Northern Illinois. We’re too dispirited tonight to figure out if they’ve ever played each other before.

    An FBS bowl featuring Arkie State and Northern Illinois hardly makes a hair’s worth of difference from the FCS Championship game between Sam Houston State and North Dakota State on Saturday. We’ll be rooting for the SH St Bearkats because they’re from Texas, although we think ND St’s Bison have a way cooler team name.

    wreed – agreed, the WVU QB will be carted off the field with a broken this or pulled that in his first game, if he tries to gallop around on Big 12 defenses as he did in the Clemson game. What a ridiculous rout.

    I’m sure you’re right about the lack of “heart” in the NCAA bowl season these days, but I still have a sneaking affection for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Maybe the Sooners can play in that one next year.

    • LOL!!!!! Tator Tots, here we come!!!!!
      The Cotton Bowl should be played in THE COTTON BOWL on the fair grounds in the daytime. The whole domed stadium thing gives me gas.
      Prediction: (Everyone here knows it) The OU/Texas game will one day be played at Jerry’s place. Book it.
      No State Fair atmosphere. No Cotton Bowl. No sunshine. No nothing.
      It will start on Saturday afternoons with away shots of the fair
      for the surreal pretend dimension. A pacifier for the true fans.
      It will end up in the years to come as a Thursday night ESPN
      game with daytime file shots of the Texas State Fair and canned crowd noise.

      J.E, I would like to read your take on Sarah McKinley. Chickasha Bank and Trust, Blanchard,OK 73010 has set up a fund for her and her baby.

      • Sarah McKinley’s a stud. What a tragedy that she just lost her husband. But she acted with a cool head and certainty of her priorities to defend her child. She can be my wingman any day.

    • Oh, c’mon OC, a bit more optimism please. Landry Jones coming back is obviously a positive development (even though this is because NFL stock – understandably dropped). If the Sooners weren’t so worthless an undefeated season wouldn’t be out of the question, especially with the depleted Big 12 and a drop of for OSU.

      And you can to look forward to tonight’s shootout in the Superdome.

  24. Well, that was a real short overtime. (Denver and Pittsburgh.) What incredible athleticism by Demaryius Thomas on that TD reception and scamper.

    ND State upset Sam Houston State in the FCS championship game yesterday. It was frankly a much better game than the BBVA Compass Bowl. Congrats to the Bison.

    Only 45 minutes to the Bowl!

  25. if you’re reading Howard, accept my condolences for an awful sudden death suffered by the Steelers.

    • It was a sweet passing.

      • twas passing strange;
        twas pitiful. ’twas wondrous pitiful,

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