Custom Search






Bowling For (fill in the blank)

December 24, 2015

The college football bowl season is upon us. Forty-one games strong. On a side note, can you believe there are 80 schools that are bowl-worthy? I spoke of 80 schools because two fortunate schools will get to play in an extra bowl game to determine the national championship.

Each bowl game means different things for different schools. Obviously, the playoff bowl games have national title implications. Some bowl games mean nothing but an extra month of practice for coaches to continue developing their players. 

Some bowls mark the end for iconic coaches like Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. Others feature minimal coaching staffs with graduate assistants overseeing position groups as head coaches and assistant coaches are already in the midst of location changes. 

Some bowls pair teams with plenty of motivation. Just ask Ohio State. Virtually all football fans know the Buckeyes are one of the top four teams in the country. But a loss at Michigan State, on a rainy night with a wet field, ended their national championship thoughts.

Some bowls feature unexpected teams who get a winter vacation to a tropical-like setting.  Like Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee who will meet in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl. 

Here are some of my thoughts as I review the schedule. 

I believe the SEC has a chance to get some prestige back. An underwhelming bowl performance last season (7-5 overall but only 2-5 by ranked teams) preceded a shaky regular season this fall. The SEC has only one top-10 team and arguably the weakest division (East) among Power 5 conferences. Alabama can end the SEC’s brief national title drought, but a stronger overall showing is key as oddsmakers favors all 10 SEC teams in their bowl matchups. If the SEC stumbles again, its annual claim of being the nation’s top conference will ring hollow entering next season.

Here are some shorter thoughts.

I think the TCU-Oregon game could produce over 100 points in the Alamo Bowl. Look for the Ducks to win their seventh straight game. 

I think Ohio State will take out its frustration on Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. These two programs have hardly ever met on the gridiron despite their geographical proximity to each other.  

I would not rule out Michigan State versus Alabama in their playoff matchup. Spartans’ head coach Mark Dantonio is a protege of Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban. So there is some familiarity there coupled with the fact that Michigan State is 8-2 in its last 10 games against top 10 opponents. 

I think Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M is one head coach who really needs a win. Sumlin and  the Aggies will square off against Louisville in the Music City Bowl. He has found life after Johnny Manziel increasingly difficult and faces significant questions after the recent news of two quarterbacks leaving his program.

I think Houston has a lot to gain in its Peach Bowl game against Florida State. The Cougars won their first conference title since 2006 and would emerge as a top-10 team if they can upset the Seminoles. 

I think UCLA has the most to lose. The Bruins were mentioned all summer as a possible playoff team. Injuries and inconsistent play left them with a 8-4 record. Losing to 5-7 Nebraska in the Foster Farms Bowl would be embarrassing. 

Time for another side note. You know there are too many bowl games when a school with a losing record is still playing football.

Let me close with my playoff projections. Personally, I would love to see Clemson bring home a national title. But I see them falling to Oklahoma and I like Alabama over Michigan State. That leaves me with Alabama winning yet another national championship.

Enjoy the games. 












Rose Still Outside Looking In

College Football Playoff Pairings

Be Careful What You Ask For

Cam Getting Some MVP Play

NFL Thoughts

Who Would Have Thunk It?

Relentless Royals

Another Week, Another Win

Panthers Gain Credibility

Pitfalls For USC

Panthers Got Defensive

Panthers Are Rolling

Panthers Win Again

Panthers Win Ugly

Can Panthers Three-Peat?

College Football Preview

Just What The NFL Needed

UNC Delaying Tactics

Some Refreshing News

Deflate-Gate Revisited

The Smoltz Story

Ty Lawson Needs A Wake Up Call

Florida State Police Blotter

World Cup Win For US Women

Hornets Select Kaminsky

Goodell/Brady Have Their Meeting

LeBron & The Cavs Fall Short

ESPN Taking Heat

NBA Finals

Edwards Back In Winners Circle

NFL To Change Football Rules

Deflate-Gate Hits Pats Hard

NFL Draft News

What’s Up With Deflate-Gate

What? Tebow Again

Get Used To Spieth

Duke Claims Title

The Familiar Four

NCAA Tournament Continues

March Madness

Tark The Shark

Duke Is Gearing Up For March Madness

I Don’t Get It

Yankee Hypocrisy

Honoring Dean Smith

Common Sense

Get Your Mind On The Game

NFL Championship Sunday

Panthers Eliminated

Panthers Move On

Panthers Playoff Bound

Sid’s 2014 Bowl Predictions

Kobe vs. Michael

Where Did That Come From?

Goodell Takes A Hit

Fragile Cavs

RG III Needs To Look In The Mirror

Heels AD Still Has Williams’ Back

Bumgarner Saves The Giants

Optimism Abounds With The Hornets

An Unlikely World Series

Winston Off Field Turmoil Continues

Panthers Rebound

October Baseball

Panthers Facing New Questions

Reality With Rice

Panthers Win, Panthers Win 

Carolina Panthers Preview

College Football Preview

When Will Manziel Show Some Poise?

A Tragic Racing Moment

NCAA Football Talk

Got Off Easy

ACC Football Preseason Poll Is Out

LeBron Changes Image

LeBron Still Undecided

Game Effort By USA

The Decision II

Spurs Claim Dynasty Tag

Sour Grapes

Heat Make NBA Finals Again

Cavs Win Lottery (Again)


Panthers And The Draft

Not So Sterling

NBA Playoff Action

Phelps Diving Back Into It


Final Four Fodder

NCAA Hoop Madness

March Madness, 2014 Style

One and Done

Heels Heating Up

Setting The Record Straight

Martin And Incognito

Bobcats Appear To Be Moving Forward (This Time)

A Super Letdown

Super Bowl Preview

Broncos and Seahawks Reach Super Bowl

Panthers Were Not Ready

Seminoles End SEC Streak

2013 In Review

Sid’s Bowl Picks

Mack Brown Resigns

BCS Gets It Right

Did You See The Classic?

ACC Hoop Preview

NFL Coaching Hot Seats

Panthers Are The Talk Of The NFL

Ravens Not Flying So High These Days

A Jeff Gordon Sighting

World Series Preview

Craziness Within College Football

Dissension In Tar Heel Land

SEC Football Rules

Nickname Controversy

Panthers And Rivera Lose Another Close One


NFL, 2013 Style

Panthers Are Cam’s Team

Heels Sticking With Hairston

NCAA Hypocrisy

Does NASCAR Need Young Talent?

Crash & Burn?

PHIL-thy Good

An All Star Night

Charlotte Signs Jefferson

NBA Free Agency And Charlotte

LeBron vs. Michael

Major Problem For Tiger

Police Blotter Hits Tar Heel Hoop Program

NBA Finals Are Set

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

NBA Final Four

Tiger May Be Having His Best Season Ever

NBA Playoff Action

No Draft Buzz With The Panthers

NBA Playoff Preview

Tiger Should Have Been DQed

Baseball Is Back

Final Four Fodder

Sweet 16 Madness

March Madness

He’s Back

Kelly’s A Hero

Who Said Girls Can’t Race?

Danica Is On The Pole

King James

Flacco & The Ravens Hang On



BannerEventAd-01.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm |

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.