I think I need a cigarette after this weekend in college football, good lord. This was a weekend that fans dream of because we got the privilege to watch good teams go head to head and put on a show.
Let’s start off with the first CFB Playoff semifinal game, Alabama vs Cincinnati.
Well, thank you to the Bearcats. Now the committee knows not to put a Group of Five team in the playoffs because when you do, you get this as a result.
I think that the whole nation saw two things. One, Alabama is back and that loss to Texas A&M means absolutely nothing. And two, Cincinnati was not nearly as disciplined and daring to win this game.
The Bearcats play calling was dismal and way to conservative if they wanted any chance to win the game and I think that was the most disappointing part of this game.
It’s all nice and cool that Cincinnati went undefeated and had a nice year, but it’s good now that the committee knows to keep the JV teams out of the varsity bracket.
For Alabama, there isn’t much to say other than the fact that they are firing on all cylinders. The Crimson Tide dominated on all three phases of the game and just extinguished any thought of winning that Cincinnati had early on.
The other semifinal game was between Georgia and Michigan and following Georgias loss in the SEC Championship, many people thought that the B1G Ten Champs were going to beat the Bulldogs. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Wolverines strolled into the Orange Bowl with big dick swagger and that was quickly deflated.
The boys were not ready. The nations top offensive line was absolutely dominated by Georgia front seven led by Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. It turned out that Michigan was bigger frauds than Cincinnati which is a difficult thing to do. Jesus.
Stetson Bennett the Mailman went to work and shredded Michigans secondary as he passed for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. His top targets were receiver James Cook who caught 3 balls for 99 yards and a score and freshman tight end Brock Powers who reeled in 6 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
I am pumped up for this rematch of the SEC Championship between Alabama and Georgia. My pick is Georgia over Alabama with Nakobe Dean being named the game MVP.
While my New Years Eve was filled with the SEC dominating, it was a bit of a different story on both New Years Day and December 30th.
On December 30th, the Michigan State Spartans and Pittsburgh Panthers squared off in the least anticipated Peach Bowl of all time because both teams best players opted out.
Heisman finalist quarterback Kenny Pickett and running back Kenneth Walker III decided to not play so they could prepare for the NFL Draft.
With Pickett out, Pitt turned to Davis Beville to start and he played okay. He passed for 149 yards with a pick and a touchdown. But he received massive help from Pitts defense who really showed up and picked up the offenses slack.
Cam Bright had 4 tackles with a fumble recovery and touchdown while Bam Brina, Tyler Bentley, and Devin Danielson tallied 3 sacks and 6 tackles.
Pitt held a 21-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Sparty clawed and fought back to score 21 unanswered points including a Cal Hadly pick six with no time left.
With Walker III out of the game, Michigan State wasn’t able to establish a solid run game, but Payton Thorne stepped up. He passed for 354 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one pick. His top target was Jalen Nailor who caught 6 passes for 108 yards.
Thorne was instrumental in MSU’s comeback win without their best player.
To kickoff New Years Day, Notre Dame faced off against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl and there were fireworks from start to finish. This was Notre Dames first game in the Marcus Freeman era and they started off scorching hot.
In the first half, Notre Dame led 28-14 behind the efforts of Jack Coan who was shredding the Cowboys secondary as he passed for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns.
That quickly turned south.
In the second half, the Cowboys made adjustments and Spencer Sanders started to ball out. He rushed for 125 yards and passed for 371 yards with 4 touchdowns. Sanders received help on defense from linebacker Malcom Rodriguez who tallied 11 tackles and a pick.
What a lot of people are forgetting is Notre Dames two best players didn’t play in the game. Kyren Williams and Kyle Hamilton opted out due to the draft and this hurt both the Irish offense and secondary.
All in all, as a Notre Dame fan, even with this loss it is a promising start to the Marcus Freeman era.
At 5 p.m. the Rose Bowl kicked off and I slept right through the game. Lucky me though, I was able to watch a replay after the Sugar Bowl. This Rose Bowl will live in the same space as Penn State vs USC and Oklahoma vs Georgia. It was that good.
Utah senior Britain Covey had the play of the game early on when he took an Ohio State kickoff 97 yards to the crib. The first return touchdown of Coveys career in red and white for the Utes.
Heading into the fourth, the Utes were hanging onto a 38-31 lead which CJ Stroud quickly erased. He had an outstanding performance and proved why he was a Heisman finalist. He passed for 573 yards, 6 touchdowns, and a pick.
While Stroud had an unreal performance, fans got to watch one of the greatest receiving performances of all time. Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught 15 passes for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. WILD.
As the game began to close, Ohio State held a seven point lead when freshman walk on quarterback Bryson Barnes came in to replace Cameron Rising. He completed two passes, one being a 15 yard touchdown to tie the game.
While it was an amazing play, the Utes unfortunately left way too much time on the clock for CJ Stroud and the Ohio State high powered offense. The Buckeyes drove down and Noah Ruggles knocked down the game winning field goal with no time left.
Ohio State won the Rose Bowl 48-45.
The final game of the night was the Sugar Bowl between the Baylor Bears and Ole Miss Rebels. And in the moment I thought it was kind of boring, but it was actually a pretty good game.
Baylors offense revolved around senior running back Abram Smith who carried the ball 26 time for 177 yards. With that stat line, Smith broke the Baylor Bears single season rushing record with 1,547 yards.
Outside of Smith on offense, Baylor didn’t have much. But their defense showed up. Linebacker Terrel Bernard won the game MVP and tallied 17 tackles and 2 sacks while safety JT Woods made 4 tackles and had 2 interceptions.
A scary moment occurred early on when Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral went down with a lower body injury. The Rebels had to tap in freshman quarterback Luke Altmyer and he wasn’t able to perform. He passed for 174 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 picks.
Ole Miss got dominated from the first snap to the last whistle. Baylor took home the Sugar Bowl win 21-7.