Bowl column wasn’t too far off base
Published 9:01 am Friday, January 8, 2016
With No. 2 Alabama playing No. 1 Clemson in Monday night’s College Football Playoff Championship in Glendale, Ariz., it’s time to go back and review how I did during the bowl season.
I picked a total of 12 games and picked nine games correctly for 75 percent.
However, a big loss before it was even played was picking Oklahoma to defeat Alabama for the national championship. Of course, Clemson defeated No. 4 Oklahoma 37-17 in the Orange Bowl semifinal. In the other semifinal, Alabama demolished No. 3 Michigan State 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl. I saw Alabama beating Michigan State 31-21, and OU topping Clemson 27-24.
Both Clemson and Bama looked good in their games. Allow me to make an adjustment and say Clemson will defeat Alabama 27-20, but I’m pulling for an SEC and Alabama victory.
Speaking of the SEC, the league was more than outstanding in its bowl games. The conference went 8-2 with the lone losses suffered by Texas A&M and Florida. A&M dropped a 27-21 loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl and Florida was spanked 41-7 by Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. In my predictions, I had Louisville winning 24-13, and Michigan winning handily, 42-17.
I saw Auburn losing to Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl and Georgia falling to Penn State in the TaxSlayer. Auburn won 31-10, while Georgia won 24-17.
I did predict Ole Miss to win 37-20 in the Sugar over Oklahoma State. The Rebs actually won 48-20.
What about LSU running back Leonard Fournette? He had a whale of a game against Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl. The sophomore running back accounted for 212 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in a 56-27 win. Fournette’s five touchdowns tied a bowl game record. His touchdown runs came from 2, 2, 43 and 4 yards out. He also had a 44-yard touchdown reception.
I think it’s a shame folks in this part of the country didn’t have the opportunity to watch Stanford do-everything player Christian McCaffrey play more during the season. He is so slippery.
Saying he was impressive in his club’s 45-16 victory over Iowa in the Rose Bowl is a vast understatement. Iowa had no clue at how to stop the sophomore speedster.
McCaffrey accounted for 368 all-purpose yards, which are the fourth most in bowl game history. On the first play from scrimmage, he took a pass 75 yards for a score. He rushed for 172 yards on 18 carries, an average of 9.6 yards per attempt. He also scored on a 66-yard punt return. He will be fun to watch next season.
How do you lose a game when you’re leading 31-0 at halftime? Oregon managed to do just that when its quarterback had to leave the game against TCU in the Alamo Bowl. TCU won 47-41 in three overtimes. TCU also played with a reserve quarterback and he got hot late.
There were more blowouts than tight games during this bowl season. Maybe the powers that be can tweak the system a little more to prevent that from happening next season. Here’s hoping.
Randy Hammons is a staff writer with the Daily News. He can be reached by calling 985-732-2565 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.