I've come to think that the best news we heard during this college bowl season was that the NHL had finally settled their pathetic lock-out. Frankly, I can't recall a recent bowl season with so few games that generated any kind of drama or excitement. That said, here are some thoughts.
I had not seen Texas A&M play at all during the regular season. My loss. About halfway through the second quarter of the Cotton Bowl I realized that Johnny Manziel deserved the Heisman Trophy. What a performance! It almost seemed as if he were hovering over his receivers and just dropping the ball into their hands. From tip-toeing down the sideline for his first score to completing throws he had no business even attempting, it was quite an impressive outing. SEC coaches are not dummies; it will be interesting to watch how they scheme for Manziel next year. (And you can be sure that CBS will schedule a boatload of Aggie games for their prime afternoon time slot next year.)
The most entertaining game was probably the Capital One Bowl, Georgia's 45-31 win over Nebraska. Yeah, the fourth quarter was a bit anticlimactic, but both teams came to play, and played hard throughout. Georgia may be just as good again next year, especially since QB Aaron Murray has decided to stay for his final year.
I won't dump on Notre Dame here, even though they may have been the least impressive unbeaten team ever, so the worst team effort goes to USC. Okay, I know Matt Barkley didn't play, but only putting up 7 points against a 6-7 Georgia Tech squad? Methinks their #1 or #2 ranking at the start of the season was a bit high, yes?
For the second year running the worst coaching job goes to LSU's Les Miles. With a 2-point lead late against Clemson, he had a chance to perhaps run out the clock, or at least force Clemson to use all their timeouts. So what happens? He throws on three consecutive plays, failing to get a first down. Clemson then gets the ball with about 1:40 to play and three timeouts, and goes down to kick the winning field goal. You cannot do that to your players.
Locally, Air Force played fifteen good minutes against Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl. That's usually not enough. The 33-14 defeat was quite disheartening. Next year the Falcons may not qualify for a bowl, as the Mountain West will be tougher with the addition of Utah State and San Jose State, both bowl winners this year.
Congrats to Alabama and the SEC. Eight in a row next year? I wouldn't bet against it. The conference will probably have five schools ranked in the top eight in next year's preseason poll. If anyway can come up with another school besides Oregon or Ohio State that could give that league a run, let me know.