The Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State had many innocent victims. First and foremost are the young boys abused by Sandusky, then there are the current and future Penn State players and students who will suffer for years under the weight of the NCAA punishments. And now you can add Neil Diamond to the casualty list.
Second-ranked Alabama avenged its only loss of the season in a big way, shutting out #1 LSU, 21-0, in the Allstate BCS Championship Game Monday night.
Alabama’s defense, which came into the game ranked first nationally in virtually every major category, showed just why it deserves to be national champions, holding the Tigers to just 92 total yards and five first downs while pitching the first shutout in BCS title game history.
While we can argue about whether or not the right teams were playing, it was hard to argue with the excitement of the BCS bowl games so far. Three of the four were decided either in the last seconds of regulation (Rose Bowl) or in overtime (Fiesta and Sugar bowls), while the fourth (Orange Bowl) shattered virtually every bowl game record on the books for offensive statistics.
But the non-BCS games also gave us a lot of close games and great individual performances, as well. Here are the highlights from the final week of bowl season.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck saved the best for last, going 27 for 31 for 347 yards and two touchdowns in what was probably his last college football game.
But his stellar effort wasn’t enough as Cardinal kicker Jordan Williamson missed three field goals — including one at the end of regulation and another in overtime — and opened the door for Oklahoma State’s exciting 41-38 overtime win in Monday’s Fiesta Bowl.
DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL: #23 West Virginia (9-3) vs. #15 Clemson (10-3)
West Virginia closed the season on a three-game winning streak to win the Big East championship. While this may or may not be the Mountaineers’ final year in the Big East (depending on the outcome of two pending lawsuits), West Virginia is more than happy to represent the conference one last time in the Orange Bowl. Clemson, meanwhile, beat Virginia Tech twice this season, including 38-10 in the ACC title game, to clinch its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 1991 and first 10-win season since 1990.
The Rose Bowl between #5 Oregon and #10 Wisconsin was expected to be a shootout, and the two teams lived up to the hype in the highest scoring Rose Bowl in history. Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas had just two carries, but made them count on touchdown runs of 91 and 64 yards and the Ducks scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure a 45-38 victory.
The second week of bowl season usually features some exciting games, and this year was no exception. Many of the games this week gave us wild plays, last-second finishes, great individual performances and, in the case of the Alamo Bowl, the kind of unstoppable offense that would make Bo Jackson in Super Tecmo Bowl proud. Here are all the highlights from the last week in college football.
Although a late-season loss at Iowa State and a handful of poll votes kept Oklahoma State out of the national championship game, the Cowboys can still make their case for national respect, playing on the biggest stage in school history.
Oregon is no stranger to the BCS, having been to the Rose Bowl and the BCS National Championship in each of the last two years. But the Ducks lost both of those two games and are seeking their first BCS win since the 2002 Fiesta Bowl (38-16 over Colorado).
Bowl season is hitting its high point with the biggest games of the year coming up in the next week. While much of the focus is understandably on the BCS games and the national championship, there are a lot of other good games coming up for your viewing pleasure in the next few days. We’ll have previews of the BCS games coming up shortly. But in the meantime, here is what to watch for in all the remaining non-BCS bowl games.
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