Monday, December 8, 2014

Pac-12 Wraps Up, Bowl Games Next

OK, so I predicted the Ducks would win the 2014 Pac-12 Title Game. I was right.

I predicted the score would be 45-28 - a difference of 17 points. Well, I was 20 points off on that as it ended up being UO by 37 with a final score of 51-13 - with six of UA's total of 13 coming on the last play of the game.

To summarize how the game went:
  • Oregon stopped UA's offense cold - the exact opposite of when they met in Oct.
  • UA's defense played well in the first half, but conceded points...then fell apart.
  • Mariota and the Ducks O took a bit to get on track, but when they did...whoosh!
  • Blowout.  
And with that, the Pac-12 season is over. Oregon is league champ - making it four titles over the past six seasons. Elsewhere, the league finished with six of its 12 teams ranked: Oregon #2, Arizona #10, UCLA #14, Arizona State #15, #22 Utah and USC #24. There were two other teams with winning records: UW (8-4) and Stanford (7-5).

What's Next
For the Pac-12 there are two big things left for this season:

Will Oregon QB Marcus Mariota win the Heisman Trophy? We'll only know the answer next weekend. Speculation is that he will, but there has not been a league player outside of USC who has won the award since 1970 (Jim Plunkett, Stanford) and nobody from a school outside of the state of California since 1962 (Terry Baker, Oregon State). So, one wonders.

Bowl Games
Eight league teams are going bowling, some with very interesting match ups, others not so much. Below is who is playing in what games along with some quick thoughts. I'll likely post some predictions for these games at some point in December and FOR SURE on the Rose Bowl.

#22 Utah vs. Colorado State
Las Vegas Bowl - Dec. 20
Decent match up. Could be a good game. The Vegas bowl is a blast and one of the better small bowl games.

#24 USC vs. Nebraska
Holiday Bowl - Dec. 27
I like this one. Nebraska showing their coach out with one last game. USC trying to set up hopes for next season. 

#15 Arizona State vs. Duke
Sun Bowl - Dec. 27
Meh, not much to root for or care about unless you support one of the two schools.

Stanford vs. Maryland
Foster Farms Bowl - Dec. 30
Double meh. Same reasons. Plus, it's the "Foster Farms Bowl."

#10 Arizona vs. #20 Boise State
Fiesta Bowl - Dec. 31
Another good one. New Years Eve day to boot. While I'm no Arizona fan, I'll be rooting for them to represent the league against the likes of BSU.

#2 Oregon vs. #3 Florida State
Rose Bowl - Jan. 1
This is the biggie! This will be a gooooood game I think. Close, hard fought with turnovers being a huge factor. I'll predict it soon.

#14 UCLA vs. #11 Kansas State
Alamo Bowl - Jan. 2
A battle of talented teams, but "also ran" status for both. 

Washington vs. Oklahoma State
Cactus Bowl - Jan. 2

Which team is on the rise and which one still has big question marks going into the offseason. The winner of this one will feel pretty good and the loser awful.

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