Winners and Losers of Bowl Season

Winners:

1.) The Big Ten-

How about the B1G? The core of the conference did its job and got some impressive victories. Wisconsin was able to get a huge win over an SEC West Auburn team, who many predicted the Tigers to roll over the Badgers. Melvin Gordon was incredible as always, and only ended up being 40-something yards short of Barry Sanders career rushing totals.

Michigan State got another huge win for the conference by rallying from a 20 point deficit to knock off the Big 12 co-champs Baylor. This was a great game overall, and one of the best bowl games of the entire bowl season. Connor Cook probably had one of his worst games of his career, but was still able to make huge plays when necessary. The Spartans proved to the rest of the country that the Big Ten is tough and physical. A great win for the conference and MSU.

By far the best win was Ohio State. Just about everybody counted them out of even having a chance to knock off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Cardale Jones played as best as he possibly could have, and Ezekiel Elliot was able to establish the run on the great Bama rush defense. Ohio State’s defense showed that up front they are just as physical and tough as everyone else. The secondary bent at times, but never broke. Urban Meyer has one special group of resilient Buckeyes. This is great for the Big Ten to have a team in the national championship game, and it will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes handle the explosive Oregon Ducks.

2.) Notre Dame-

The Irish picked up a huge win over LSU in Nashville to finish the season on a much needed positive note. Notre Dame played two quarterbacks all game as Malik Zaire played outstanding in his first ever start. Everett Golson struggled much of the game, but was incredible when it mattered most. Golson lead a late drive down the field in the fourth quarter to set up the Irish for a short field goal as time expired. As bad as Notre Dame’s second half of the season was, this was a good way to end the season on a positive note.

3.) TCU-

The Horned Frogs showed why they probably should have been left in the playoff pool, as they absolutely dismantled Ole Miss 42-3. Trevone Boykin played his best game of his TCU career, and Aaron Green was phenomenal on the ground for the Horned Frogs. TCU will be ranked in the pre-season top three next year, and quite possibly could be ranked number one. I do not think that too many people would argue this.

4.) SEC East-

Who would have ever thought that the SEC East would have gotten the conference 5 of their 7 conference wins? In fact every team in the east won their bowl game giving them a 5-0 record. The main reason that this is so startling is because the SEC East was an absolute anomaly all year. Outside of Georgia, nobody really was an elite team. No, Missouri is not as good as their ranking. Tennessee was electric in their thrashing of Iowa. The Vols could be a sleeper team to win the East next year. South Carolina won, because the Ole ball coach does not do losing seasons. Florida’s defense was awesome yesterday, but their offense is so bad that they still had to hold on for dear life.

5.) Boise State-

The Broncos showed once again that they can compete with some of the nations best teams. A huge win for Boise State heading into next year, as they could be seen as a team that could potentially make the college football playoff.

 

Losers:

1.) SEC West-

For being called the greatest division of all time, they were pretty awful during the bowl season. LSU lost to an average Notre Dame team, Ole Miss got absolutely hammered to TCU. Ole Miss proved that over the course of the year that they were the most overrated team in the nation. Another team who was right there with them was Mississippi State. The Bulldogs could not stop the run all night against a good Georgia Tech team in the Orange Bowl. Auburn proved that they were an average team as well, finishing 8-5 on the year. As good as Auburn’s offense was, their defense was equally atrocious. Alabama’s loss to Ohio State does not show that the Tide were overrated, but it does show that they were not the best team in the country, and had no business being ranked number one in the nation.

2.) Florida State-

Yes, Florida State got absolutely destroyed by Oregon in the Rose Bowl, but the Seminoles did not help themselves with all of the turnovers they had. Dalvin Cook, Travis Rudoolph, and Bobo Wilson were all responsible for fumbling the ball and giving it over to the Ducks. Oregon capitalized on all four of FSU’s fumbles. Still, as bad as Florida State’s loss was, the Seminoles had an accomplished season. Florida State continued to put their streak all the way to 29 games, and capped off another ACC championship. I certainly think that Jameis is gone, but we will see what he ultimately decides.

3.) Baylor-

Yikes. The Bears had the ultimate downfall in the span of one quarter. The Bears lead 41-21 over Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl, and the completely fell apart. You have to credit the Spartans for never giving up and showing character, but you also have to question Baylor’s coaching staff, as they made several head-scratching decisions late in the game. Overall, this game showed that Baylor did not belong in the college football playoff.

4.) Oklahoma-

The Sooners were a pre-season top five team in the nation, and finished the year 8-5. The Sooners got absolutely destroyed by Clemson 40-6 in the Russell Athletic Bowl. This is bad for OU, because they definitely regressed over the year. Bob Stoops may be on the hot seat. This is a bad football team.

5.) North Carolina-

The Tar Heels continued to show that they were an absolute awful football team yet again. UNC got hosed by a horrible Rutgers team.

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