Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1/2: Happy New Year!

Greetings everyone! Took yesterday off due to holiday, but there is a ton to get to this morning, so let's dive right in... First? The New Year's Day bowl slate!
  • Rose Bowl - Stanford outlasted Wisconsin by a 20-14 score in the Granddaddy of them all. It was an ugly second half where both teams combined for just 3 points, but the Cardinal hung on thanks to a stout defense, and the fact that they didn't turn the ball over all game. It was a valiant effort from a 5-loss Wisconsin team that probably shouldn't have been there, but overall, it's always fun to see Pasadena.
  • Orange Bowl - Florida State cruised over an over-matched opponent in Northern Illinois by a 31-10 score. The Noles ran up 534 yards of total offense, while holding NIU to under 300 on the other end, and after two touchdowns in the opening 5 minutes of the 2nd half, it was virtually over. Vaunted QB Jordan Lynch was just 15-41 passing for the Huskies, and the FSU defense is scary when it gets going. Not a shocking result, but I'm still not looking forward to listening to the pundits kill NIU for even being there. 
  • Capital One Bowl - Overall, the Capital One Bowl is usually considered to be the "best" of the non-BCS bowl slate and they didn't disappoint during a 45-31 Georgia victory over Nebraska. The Cornhuskers actually led by a point entering the half, but the UGA offense took over, hanging 22 efficient points in the second half, and the Dawgs were able to clamp down on the Nebraska rushing attack. Aaron Murray went for 5 touchdowns and 427 yards on just 18 completions, which is absolutely insane, and UGA also got 120+ yards from Todd Gurley on the ground. Nebraska was very competitive, but the big play bit them in the end.
  • Outback Bowl - I pretty much don't want to talk about this one. South Carolina beat Michigan on a late passing touchdown that was far more wide-open than it should have been. Clowney is a monster, Michigan doesn't have a single NCAA running back, and big plays victimized Michigan from the jump. Sigh.
  • Gator Bowl - Northwestern got its first Bowl win since 1949 in beating Mississippi State by a 34-20 margin. In what could've been a stellar day for the Big 10, Northwestern was the only team to actually hang on and win, and they did so in convincing fashion. Enjoyed it.
  • Heart of Dallas Bowl - I have no idea why the Heart of Dallas Bowl exists. Purdue had no business (as a 6-6 team) playing on January 1st, and Oklahoma State showed us why, as they hung 58 points on the Boilermakers, and it could've been worse. Not much else to say about that one.
In non-bowl news..
  • Andy Reid to the Arizona Cardinals? This was reported as a virtual done deal in some places, but it is backed off a bit. I think that's a decent move for Arizona, as Reid has probably been unfairly criticized in Philly this year, but he's still a horrible game-manager and they have no quarterback. Good luck!
  • NBA Roundup - The LA Clippers have begun January 0-1 after completing an absolutely insane 16-0 record in December. Denver was the team that broke the streak, with a 92-78 victory at home over the Clips. 6 players scored in double-digits for Denver, and they managed to hold the electric LAC offense to just 38.5% from the field. Impressive win. Portland went into MSG and knocked off the Knicks 105-100. This would be a mild upset under any circumstance, but since Carmelo Anthony had 45 points and A'mare returned for NYK, it was even bigger news. Stoudemire was a -9 in 17 minutes and looked wildly rusty, but the key to the loss for NY was allowing 51% shooting to the Blazers and getting killed on the glass. And finally, my Atlanta Hawks came from behind in defeating the Hornets in New Orleans by a 95-86 final. A 28-14 advantage in the 3rd period keyed the win for the Hawks, and they were led by a ridiculous line from Josh Smith that included 23 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks, and 3 steals. The last time that line was matched in the NBA? Tim Duncan in 2008. Yep. On the positive side for NO, Greivis Vasquez almost had a triple-double with 17 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds.
  • In a random MLB note, Cleveland has reportedly inked a 1-year deal with former Astros pitcher Brett Myers. All signs to Myers starting for Cleveland, and at worst, he's an innings-eater a team with a need in that area. Not a bad deal for both sides.
What to watch for on Wednesday (chronological order)...
  • 7:00 - NCAAB - #1 Duke vs. Davidson (ESPN2) - This isn't Stephen Curry's Davidson team, but it's a chance to see Seth Curry and company.
  • 7:30 - NBA - Grizzlies @ Celtics (NBATV) - Boston is 14-16 and no one seems to realize that they are really scuffling. Usually, Memphis isn't the cure for anyone's ills, but it's a chance for Boston to get a momentum-building home win.
  • 8:30 - NCAAF - Sugar Bowl - #21 Louisville vs. #3 Florida (ESPN) - On paper, this looks like a complete mismatch and it probably is. That said, Florida is a defense-first team with an offense that scares no one, so if Louisville can score 20+ they'll have a chance, and Teddy Bridgewater is a big-time QB.
  • 10:00 - NCAAB - San Francisco @ Santa Clara (ESPNU) - My first chance to tout a WCC game! Tune in!

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