Monday TV - Bears at Cowboys
If you enjoyed yesterday's cold weather games, tonight's game in Chicago should be right up your alley.
Eastern time listed.
Dallas at Chicago - 8:40 - ESPN
No games until Saturday when Army vs. Navy and the FCS, D-II, and D-III playoffs take place on ESPN3
The Top Ten Most Intriguing Matchups of the Bowl Season
1. BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn (Jan. 6) - This one's obvious. The final BCS National Championship, played at the grand old house in Pasadena. The SEC looking for eight straight crystal balls at the expense of a team built like the very best SEC squads, coached by a guy who made his name in the SEC, who sits inside SEC country. It's Auburn's avalanche offense against a Florida State team that hasn't trailed since September.
2. Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan State (Jan. 1) - This may be the most #GrownManFootball game of the entire season, college or pro. It's a Granddaddy of Them All that your granddaddy can appreciate - a meeting of Big Ten and Pac-12 champions, No. 4 vs. No. 5 and, most importantly, a meeting of the first and third-ranked rush defenses in college football. Every single yard gained in this game will have to be earned.
3. Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson (Jan. 3) - Twenty-two combined wins for these teams, and exactly two of them came against a team that finished in the top 25. Each team was beaten soundly the last time we saw them, Ohio State in a 34-24 stunner to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game and Clemson in a 31-17 setback to South Carolina. This game is about validating the 2013 season for each of these teams.
4. Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma (Jan. 2) - Truth be told, this could easily turn into a blowout. But it's a rare meeting of programs that claim a combined 21 national championships, 70 conference championships, 1,679 wins, 61 bowl wins and 172 weeks at No. 1 in the AP poll. When these two shades of crimson get on the same field, you need to watch.
5. Advocare V100 Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College (Dec. 31) - The powers that be finagled the bowl system and give us a meeting of the two leading rushers in college football. BC's Andre Williams and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey have combined to rush 651 times for 3,818 yards and 34 touchdowns this season.
6. Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville vs. Miami (Dec. 28) - Real world consequences ride on this game. Louisville recruits the heck out of Florida - franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is from Miami and validated Charlie Strong's program when he committed to the Cardinals over the hometown Hurricanes. This is also Louisville's unofficial first game as an ACC member, the conference they join next season. Miami should review tape of last year's Sugar Bowl to see the type of game Strong can produce against a Sunshine State power.
7. Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State vs. USC (Dec. 21) - USC's long, strange saga of a season comes to a close on the opening day of bowl season. Fresno State blew its chance at the Fiesta Bowl, but a win over a cornerstone program in college football history and the alpha dog of California programs would be a neat consolation prize.
8. Cotton Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State (Jan. 3) - A funny thing happened when the Cotton Bowl got left out of the BCS - it became a BCS bowl anyway. A primetime, network television broadcast spot, sellout crowds and top 10 match-ups are more a regular occurrence these days in Dallas than Miami or New Orleans. This year is no different. Former Big 12 foes that can play with anyone in the country when they're firing on all cylinders.
9. Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Texas (Dec. 30) - This has all the makings of turning into another green and gold track meet, with the Ducks taking a month to heel and re-tool, playing indoors against a defense that hasn't exactly solved the spread option running game. And there's a greater than zero chance this is the last game Mack Brown will ever coach at Texas.
10. Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Central Florida (Jan. 1) - The only game with a better combined record (22-2) is the national championship. Baylor's offense slowed down over the season's final month, but still finished the regular season with the national lead in scoring offense and total offense. UCF offers the stiffest test yet for Baylor and if it's close, watch out. UCF is 7-1 this season in games decided by a touchdown or less.
The Scoop on Stats: Everything you ever wanted to know about the BCS
The BCS is on its way to a quick - but long-awaited - demise, and with it will go a horde of soon-to-be obsolete statistics. It's time to use 'em or lose 'em.
Like, for instance, this one: did you know that every single national champion in the BCS era played its home games on natural grass?
Here are a few more:
- Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and Oklahoma are the winners of BCS Bingo - the only programs to play at all four bowl sites.
- Florida (Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp), Ohio State (John Cooper, Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer), Stanford (Tyrone Willingham, Jim Harbaugh, David Shaw), Auburn (Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Gus Malzahn) and Notre Dame (Bob Davie, Charlie Weis, Brian Kelly) are the only schools to appear in BCS games under three different head coaches.
- Oregon (Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly), Michigan (Lloyd Carr, Brady Hoke), Wisconsin (Barry Alvarez, Bret Bielema), Illinois (Ron Turner, Ron Zook), LSU (Nick Saban, Les Miles), Florida State (Bobby Bowden, Jimbo Fisher), Miami (Butch Davis, Larry Coker) and West Virginia (Rich Rodriguez, Dana Holgorsen) were guided to BCS games by two different head coaches.
- Urban Meyer the only coach to take three programs (Utah, Florida, Ohio State) to a BCS game. Brian Kelly (Cincinnati, Notre Dame), Nick Saban (Alabama, LSU) and Bobby Petrino (Louisville, Arkansas) join Meyer as the only other coaches to take two programs to a BCS game.
With the 2014 BCS slate announced on Sunday night, we now know the 16th and final lineup of the BCS era. With 72 BCS matchups now in the books, I tallied up the number of appearances for each program, organized by the current conference lineup.
In all, a total of 50 programs occupied the 144 available slots in college football's most high-profile bowl games. The most frequent appearances:
1. Ohio State - 10
2. Oklahoma - 9
3. Florida State - 8
4. Florida - 7
USC - 7
6. Alabama - 6
Virginia Tech - 6
8. LSU - 5
Michigan - 5
Stanford - 5
Wisconsin - 5
Total appearances by conference:
1. Big Ten - 30
2. SEC - 28
3. ACC - 25
4. Pac-12 - 25
5. Big 12 - 23
1. Florida State - 8
2. Virginia Tech - 6
3. Miami - 4
4. Clemson - 2
5. Georgia Tech - 1
Maryland - 1
Pittsburgh - 1
Syracuse - 1
Wake Forest - 1
No shows: Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia
1. Ohio State - 10
2. Michigan - 5
Wisconsin - 5
4. Illinois - 2
Iowa - 2
Nebraska - 2
Penn State - 2
8. Michigan State - 1
Purdue - 1
No shows: Minnesota, Northwestern
1. Oklahoma - 9
2. Texas - 4
3. West Virginia - 3
4. Kansas State - 2
TCU - 2
5. Baylor - 1
Kansas - 1
Oklahoma State - 1
No shows: Iowa State, Texas Tech
1. USC - 7
2. Oregon - 6
3. Stanford - 5
4. Utah - 2
5. Colorado - 1
Oregon State - 1
UCLA - 1
Washington - 1
Washington State - 1
No shows: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal
1. Florida - 7
2. Alabama - 6
3. LSU - 5
4. Auburn - 3
Georgia - 3
6. Tennessee - 2
7. Arkansas - 1
Texas A&M - 1
No shows: Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
1. Cincinnati - 2
Louisville - 2
3. Central Florida - 1
Connecticut - 1
No shows: Houston, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, South Florida, Temple
1. Notre Dame - 4
2. Boise State - 2
3. Hawaii - 1
Northern Illinois - 1
Full 2013-14 bowl lineup - all 35 games
All games on ESPN unless noted otherwise. All times Eastern.
BCS National Championship (Jan. 6, 8:30 p.m.): Florida State vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl (Jan. 1, 5 p.m.): Stanford vs. Michigan State
Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m.): Baylor vs. Central Florida
Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m.): Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Orange Bowl (Jan. 3, TBD): Ohio State vs. Clemson
New Mexico (Dec. 21, 2 p.m.): Colorado State vs. Washington State
Las Vegas (Dec. 21, 3:30 p.m., ABC): Fresno State vs. USC
Potato (Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m.): San Diego State vs. Buffalo
New Orleans (Dec. 21, 9 p.m.): Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Beef 'O' Brady's (Dec. 23, 2 p.m.): East Carolina vs. Ohio
Hawaii (Dec. 24, 8 p.m.): Boise State vs. Oregon State
Pizza (Dec. 26, 6 p.m.): Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh
Poinsettia (Dec. 26, 9:30 p.m.): Utah State vs. Northern Illinois
Military (Dec. 27, 2:30 p.m.): Marshall vs. Maryland
Texas (Dec. 27, 6 p.m.): Syracuse vs. Minnesota
Fight Hunger (Dec. 27, 9:30 p.m.): Washington vs. BYU
Pinstripe (Dec. 28, noon): Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Belk (Dec. 28, 3:20 p.m.): North Carolina vs. Cincinnati
Russell Athletic (Dec. 28, 6:45 p.m.): Louisville vs. Miami
Buffalo Wild Wings (Dec. 28, 10:15 p.m.): Michigan vs. Kansas State
Armed Forces (Dec. 30, 11:45 a.m.): Navy vs. Middle Tennessee
Music City (Dec. 30, 3:15 p.m.): Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Alamo (Dec. 30, 6:45 p.m.): Oregon vs. Texas
Holiday (Dec. 30, 10:15 p.m.): Texas Tech vs. Arizona State
AdvoCare V100 (Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m.): Arizona vs. Boston College
Sun (Dec. 31, 2 p.m., CBS): Virginia Tech vs. UCLA
Liberty (Dec. 31, 4 p.m.): Rice vs. Mississippi State
Chick-fil-A (Dec. 31, 8 p.m.): Duke vs. Georgia
Gator (Jan. 1, noon, ESPN2): Georgia vs. Nebraska
Heart of Dallas (Jan. 1, noon, ESPNU): North Texas vs. UNLV
Capital One (Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ABC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
Outback (Jan. 1, 1 p.m.): Iowa vs. LSU
Cotton (Jan. 3, 7:30 p.m., FOX): Oklahoma State vs. Missouri
BBVA Compass (Jan. 4, 1 p.m.): Houston vs. Vanderbilt
GoDaddy (Jan. 5, 9 p.m.): Arkansas State vs. Ball State
Ever see a coach get kidnapped at practice?
Earlier this year we wrote article wondering if Jake Zweig is the most interesting coach in the country, and Sunday night you're about to find out why.
A graduate of the US Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL and the owner of an MBA from the University of Michigan, Zweig is in his second year as the special teams coordinator at the University of Incarnate Word (FCS) in San Antonio, Texas. And he's about to be screwed.
Or, more specifically, he's about to appear on the Discovery Channel reality show "Dude, You're Screwed". Here's the gist of it: Zweig was kidnapped from a UIW practice and flown to an undetermined location - in this case it's on top of a mountain in the middle of Iceland- and given 100 hours to make his way back to civilization.
In addition to helping lead Incarnate Word to its second winning season in school history and hitting the road recruiting, Zweig is working with a production company on creating "Boys of Fall", a television program that would mirror HBO's "Hard Knocks". Oh, and he wants to be a head coach someday.
The show premiers Sunday night at 10 p.m./9 p.m. CT on Discovery Channel.
See how every coach ranked the top 25
Thanks to USA Today, who publishes how every coach in country votes in the final coaches poll, we now get a look at how every coach in the country views the top 25.
Among the more notable rankings (and we'll update):
- Florida State was voted #1 by all 125 FBS head coaches.
- Mark Dantonio and Dana Holgorsen both ranked the Spartans #2
- Kliff Kingsbury voted Alabama 6th
- Bret Bielema ranked Louisville #6, Ohio State #12, Central Florida #15, and Iowa #25
- Mike Gundy ranked his Cowboys #10 and Oklahoma #12 despite losing the head to head matchup Saturday 33-24.
- Art Briles (#10) and Bret Bielema (#12) were the only two coaches to rank the Buckeyes worse than 9th nationally.
- Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey had his Huskies ranked 13th overall, and the team they lost the MAC title to (Bowling Green) barely in the poll at #25. BGSU head coach Dave Clawson did not have Northern Illinois in his top 25.
- Bo Pelini ranked Nebraska #25 on his poll. He was the only coach to rank the Huskers.
.....And then there was one
Numbers have a way of working themselves out, of maneuvering their way into the comfortable little boxes they're used to calling home. Trends become trends for a reason.
All season we worried there would be too many undefeated teams for the system to accommodate. There were simply too many good teams, too many teams that surely would not be beaten. Just like on the flip side of this case study, where all but two teams somehow found a way to win at least one game, six likely undefeated teams managed to whittle their way down to just one.
After games were complete on November 16, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Baylor, Fresno State and Northern Illinois held a combined record of 58-0. That group finished the year 13-5.
As it turned out, the week-in, week-out most dominant team in college football was the only team to finish the regular season unbeaten. Florida State won its 13 games by margins of 28, 55, 48, 14, 63, 37, 32, 27, 56, 56, 66, 30 and 38 points. They'll enter the BCS National Championship against Auburn as the favorite, and deservedly so.
Where does this season's one undefeated team fit in historically? Here's a list of teams to make it through the first week of December unscathed over the last 10 seasons:
2013: Florida State
2012: Notre Dame, Ohio State
2010: Auburn, Oregon, TCU
2009: Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU, Boise State
2006: Ohio State, Boise State
2005: USC, Texas
2004: USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah
Of the roughly 1,200 FBS seasons played over the last decade, 22 teams managed to make it this far undefeated. That's less than two percent.
And since it's never too early to look ahead to 2014, only 2004-05 USC and 2009-10 TCU managed to go undefeated over back-to-back regular seasons.
Good luck, Seminoles.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Week Awards - Championship Edition
Head Coach of the Week - Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
This space was supposed to belong to Urban Meyer. After receiving zero Coach of the Week honors through Ohio State's streak of 24 consecutive wins, win No. 25 felt like the right time to finally give the top Buckeye the nod.
Add this to the list of things Dantonio robbed of Meyer.
In beating No. 2 Ohio State 34-24, Dantonio becomes the first Michigan State head coach to take the Spartans to the Rose Bowl since the 1987 season, and the first Spartans coach to ever win 12 games in a season. Dantonio prepared his team like it was the superior squad and the Spartans played that way on Saturday night, jumping out to a 17-0 lead and then closing the game on a 17-0 run after falling into a seven-point hole.
His reward? After spending bowl season in Orlando, Tampa, San Antonio and Tempe, Dantonio will finally get his first taste of Pasadena.
Honorable Mention: Art Briles, Baylor; David Shaw, Stanford; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; George O'Leary, Central Florida; Dave Clawson, Bowling Green; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma.
Offensive Staff of the Week - Auburn
Just the facts here, because that's all that's really necessary. Auburn set an SEC championship record with 59 points, 677 yards of total offense and 545 rushing yards. The Tigers rushed 74 times, averaged 7.4 yards a pop, and scored seven touchdowns on the ground. Tre Mason smashed SEC Championship records with 46 carries for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Nick Marshall added 101 yards and a score on 16 carries, plus an ultra-efficient 9-of-11 passing for 132 yards and another touchdown.
Gus Malzahn and company have to wish they could get their shot at Florida State right now, because this machine is running on every single cylinder it has.
Honorable Mention: Bowling Green, Stanford, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Florida State, Bowling Green.
Defensive Staff of the Week - Michigan State
Want to know the most famous elevator ride in Michigan State football history? The one defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi took from the press box to the field on Saturday night. When things got tight for the Spartans, falling behind 24-17 after staking a 17-0 lead to open the game, Narduzzi reportedly hopped in an elevator to provide face-to-face expertise to his players.
Michigan State shutout the Buckeyes over the final frame, holding Ohio State to 46 yards on 17 plays over its final four possessions. Those possessions ended in two punts and two turnovers on downs. Ohio State's second-ranked rushing attack got its yards - rushing 40 times for 273 yards and two touchdowns - but Michigan State arrested the Buckeyes' passing game all night, holding Braxton Miller to 8-of-21 passing for just 101 yards.
Honorable Mention: Stanford, Florida State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Bowling Green, SMU.
Special Teams Staff of the Week - Auburn
The Kick Six magic continued to Atlanta, as Auburn successfully executed an onside kick and downed all three of its punts inside the Missouri 10-yard line. After the game this unit had a week ago, this is clearly the most charmed unit on the most charmed team in college football.