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2010 Bowl Season Recap

Byrum's 19-Yard FG As Time Expires Lifts Auburn Over Oregon

by Dave Congrove
January 11, 2011

Wes Byrum's 19-yard field goal as time expired lifted Auburn to a 22-19 win over Oregon in the BCS Championship Game on Monday, January 10 in Glendale, Arizona. Oregon had tied the game just 2:33 earlier on Darron Thomas' 2-yard pass to LaMichael James, followed by a 2-point conversion toss to Jeff Maehl. The second play of Auburn's ensuing possession appeared to be stopped after a 6 or 7-yard gain, but RB Michael Dyer actually rolled over the defender's body without touching the ground. For a second, everyone stood still before Dyer was implored by players on his sideline to run. And run he did, all the way to the Oregon 23-yard line for a 37-yard gain. Three plays later, Dyer broke off a 16-yard run to the 1-yard line and Byrum was set up for the chip shot game winner.

Auburn finished the season 14-0 and gave the SEC a 5th straight BCS title, adding to Florida's wins in 2006 and 2008, LSU's 2007 title, and Alabama's victory last year. SEC teams also won in 2003 (LSU) and 1998 (Tennessee) and are 7-0 all-time in BCS title games. In fact, the SEC has won all five games since the BCS Championship game was established as a separate affair in 2006.

TCU, which finished 13-0 with a 21-19 Rose Bowl over Wisconsin, was ranked No. 1 in the final Congrove Computer Rankings with Auburn 2nd, Boise State 3rd and Oregon 4th.It is the second time since the inception of the BCS that the computer has disagreed which team was No. 1 at the end of a season. The last occurrence came in 2003 when the computer took USC over BCS Champion LSU.

Auburn's win dropped the computer's (Congrove Computer Rankings) record to 21-14 with its outright win-loss predictions during the bowl season. It slipped to 20-15 against the spread. The computer missed on 18 confidence points for a final total of 431 collected points vs. 199 missed.

Conference Bowl Records
Conference W-L Games Pct.
Mountain West 4-1 5 .800
Big East 4-2 6 .667
Independents 2-1 3 .667
Sun Belt 2-1 3 .667
MAC 2-2 4 .500
PAC-10 2-2 4 .500
WAC 2-2 4 .500
SEC 5-5 10 .500
ACC 4-5 9 .444
Big 10 3-5 8 .375
Big 12 3-5 8 .375
CUSA 2-4 6 .333
Through games of 1/10

Nevada snapped a 4-bowl losing streak and finished with a 13-1 record with its 20-13 win over Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Sunday, January 9th. The Eagles came into the game with the nation's top-ranked rushing defense and held the Wolf Pack to just one offensive touchdown. Nevada was 2nd in the nation in total offense. Both teams scored their only touchdowns in the first quarter. B.C. struck first on Andre Williams' 30-yard run, one play after Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick fumble was recovered at the Wolf Pack's 30-yard line. Nevada answered with a 27-yard TD pass from Kaepernick to Rishard Matthews, and later took a 14-7 lead on Matthews' 72-yard punt return. Each team was held to a pair of field goals for the rest of the game which took place at converted AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants. The stadium began hosting a bowl game in 2002 as the San Francisco Bowl. It operated as the Emerald Bowl from 2004-2009.

Pittsburgh clobbered Kentucky 27-10 in the BBVA Compass Bowl, formerly the Bowl, in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, January 8th. The victory gave interim head coaches a 3-1 record for the 2010 bowl season as defensive coordinator, and former SMU head coach, Phil Bennett acted as the head coach for the Panthers. Pitt finished the season 8-5, but head coach Dave Wannstedt was forced out at the end of the regular season. The Panthers hired Miami (Ohio) head coach Michael Haywood on December 16th, but he was subsequently fired on January 1st after he was arrested on New Year's on a domestic violence charge against a woman with whom he had a child.

Miami (Fla.), Miami (Ohio) and Northern Illinois also played their bowl games under the direction of interim head coaches. The Hurricanes were the only loser among that group.

LSU downed Texas A&M 41-24 in the Cotton Bowl on Friday, January 7th to hand the Aggies their 5th straight bowl loss. Four turnovers were the eventual undoing of A&M which jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but was outscored 41-14 the rest of the way. The Tigers were up 28-17 by halftime and 35-17 entering the final frame. LSU QB Jordan Jefferson threw 3 TD passes and rushed for another score. Uzoma Nwachukwu caught 2 passes, both for touchdowns. Aggie QB Ryan Tannehill's interception just before halftime set up a 1st-and-goal for LSU at the Texas A&M 2-yard line and Jefferson's pass to Terrence Toliver three plays later opened up an 11-point lead at the break for the Bayou Bengals. The Aggies have lost 9 of their last 10 bowl games and 12 of their last 14. Conversely, LSU has won 5 of its last 6 and 11 of its last 14.

Even without departed head coach Michael Haywood, the Miami RedHawks won their 10th game of the season (10-4), downing Middle Tennessee 35-21 (6-7) in the Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on January 6th. It was the Sun Belt Conference's lone loss (2-1) of the bowl season while the MAC went 2-2. Lance Guidry stepped in as interim head coach for the RedHawks after Haywood was hired by Pittsburgh on December 16. But Haywood was subsequently fired from Pitt on January 1st after he was arrested and jailed on New Year's Eve on a domestic violence charge against a woman with whom he has a child. Haywood engineered a dramatic one-season turnaround at Miami, from 1-11 in 2009 to 9-4 in 2010 (Guidry gets the 10th win).

Arkansas recovered a blocked punt at the Ohio State 18-yard line with 1:09 left in the game, but the Buckeyes intercepted a pass two plays later to preserve a 31-26 Sugar Bowl win on January 4th. The Hogs trailed 31-13 late into the third quarter before staging their rally and would have taken the lead had any of the five Arkansas players that surrounded the football picked simply picked it up and ran into the endzone. Instead, the Buckeyes intercepted Ryan Mallett two plays later to secure their first bowl win in history over an SEC team. The Buckeyes had lost 9 straight postseason games to SEC games, dating back to the 1977 season. Terrelle Pryor threw for 221 yards and 2 TD's, and added 115 yards on the ground. Mallett threw for 277 yards and 2 TD's and the one untimely interception.

On January 3rd in Miami, Stanford outscored Virginia Tech 27-0 after intermission to run away with a 40-12 win the Orange Bowl in the first-ever BCS bowl appearance for the Cardinal. Stanford claimed its first 12-win season in history while Virginia Tech was prevented from doing the same. In the process, the Hokies' 11-game winning streak came to a crashing halt and the Cardinal pocketed their 8th straight win. Cardinal QB Andrew Luck preyed on blown defensive assignments and picked Virginia Tech apart in the second half when he threw 3 TD passes and completed 9-of-10 attempts. He completed his last 8 passes in-a-row to finish 18-of-23 for 287 yards with 4 TD's and 1 INT.

In the last of six New Year's Day bowl games, Oklahoma kept UConn from scoring a single offensive touchdown and pulled away in the 4th quarter for a 48-20 Fiesta Bowl victory that ended a string of five BCS bowl losses. The Sooners (12-2) scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and, in between, held UConn on downs at the Oklahoma 19 to open a 14-0 lead. Afterward, the Huskies (8-5) never got closer than 10 points. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones threw for 429 yards and 3 TD's as part of a 524-yard onslaught. Connecticut's scores came on a 46-yard interception return, a 95-yard kick-off return and a pair of field goals, but Oklahoma also had a pair of pick-6's of 55 and 22 yards.

Earlier at the Rose Bowl, Scott Tolzien's 2-point conversion pass was batted down after Montee Ball's 4-yard touchdown run with 1:59 left to play and TCU recovered the onside kick to hold on for a 21-19 win over Wisconsin (11-2). The Horned Frogs completed their 2010 season 13-0 and became the first non-automatic qualifying BCS team to play in, and win, the Rose Bowl. TCU also became the third non-AQ team to win a BCS bowl. The Mountain West Conference, which TCU will represent for one more year before moving to the Big East in 2012, finished the bowl season 4-1.

Wisconsin's loss put a punctuation mark on a bad New Year's Day for Big Ten teams which went 0-5 in their bowl games. Michigan and Michigan State lost their games by a combined 101-21. Altogether, the Big Ten was outscored by 102 points in the five losses. Three of the Big Ten's defeats came at the hands of the SEC which entered the day 0-3 in this year's bowl games.

TCU entered the bowl season as the No. 1 team in the Congrove Computer Rankings (a.k.a. CCR Top 120).

Alabama (10-3) destroyed Michigan State 49-7 in the Capital One Bowl as Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy each rushed for 2 scores, Trent Richardson and Julio Jones each ran for 1 TD, and Greg McElroy tossed a TD pass Marquis Maze. It was 49-0 before the Spartans (11-2) got on the board with under 6 minutes left in the game that resulted in their worst-ever bowl loss. Alabama's 33rd bowl win broke a tie with USC for most bowl victories by any school in the country.

Michigan also suffered the worst bowl loss in its history with a 52-14 drubbing by Mississippi State (9-4) in the Gator Bowl. The 38-point difference was 10 points more than the 45-17 Citrus Bowl loss to Tennessee in 2001. The Maize and Blue led 14-10 after one period, but never scored again as the Bulldogs held Michigan's vaunted offense to 341 total yards. The Wolverines (7-6) lost their last three games of the season to Wisconsin, Ohio State and Mississippi State by an average of 29 points.

Florida sent head coach Urban Meyer out as a winner with a 37-24 Outback Bowl win over Joe Paterno and Penn State. The Gators needed a late interception return for a touchdown to secure the win over the coach with the most bowl appearances (37), bowl victories (24) and NCAA wins (401). Meyer's 6-year tenure in Gainesville brought the school two BCS national titles.

In the first college football game of 2011, Texas Tech staved off Northwestern's frantic rally from a 31-9 deficit and held on to win 45-38 in the inaugural TicketCity Bowl. The Wildcats cut the Red Raider lead to 38-31 with 10:33 left but Taylor Potts' 4th TD pass (he also ran for a score) made it 45-31 just 3:20 later. A 39-yard interception return for a touchdown got Northwestern back to within 7 with 5-and-half minutes still left to play, but only 25 seconds remained when it got the ball back again on its own 24-yard line. The loss extended the nation's longest bowl losing streak to 8 games for the Wildcats who last won a bowl game in 1948.

All four New Year's Eve games involved Florida schools and Miami was the only Sunshine State team that didn't win. The Sunshine State's directional schools - South Florida and Central Florida were winners over Clemson and Georgia. Meanwhile, Florida State topped South Carolina and the Hurricanes were routed by Notre Dame.

South Carolina dropped to 4-12 all-time in bowl games with its third consecutive bowl loss, a 26-17 setback 26-17 to Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in the last college football game of 2010. The win boosted Florida State to its first 10-win season (10-4) since 2003 and Jimbo Fisher secured the best record of any coach with a new school in 2010. The Gamecocks (9-5) failed in their bid to reach 10 wins for just the second time in school history, though this season's 9 wins were the most since Lou Holtz' 2001 team also won 9.

UCF won its first bowl game ever (1-3) and Georgia's 4-bowl winning streak came to an end as the Golden Knights upset the Bulldogs 10-6 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Georgia had the nation's 5th-best bowl winning percentage (.611) coming into the 2010 bowl season and the 4th-most wins (26). The Golden Knights finished 11-3 for their first 11-win season at any level by winning for the 9th time in their last 10 games. Georgia fell to 6-7 for its first losing record since 1996.

The Sun Bowl was rather bleak for Miami as it got ran over 33-17 by Notre Dame. The Irish opened a 30-3 lead before the Hurricanes got off the bus and scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to make the score look more respectable. Jeff Stoutland served as interim head coach for Miami who fired Randy Shannon after the regular season finale loss at home to USF. Temple head coach Al Golden was subsequently hired to replace Shannon. It was Miami's third consecutive loss in a bowl game, dropping it to 16-18 in postseason classics and 7-6 for the season. The Irish won consecutive bowls after losing 9 in-a-row and finished their first season under Brian Kelly at 8-5. Notre Dame improved its overall bowl record to 15-15.

New Year's Eve bowl games began with the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte where USF ran its bowl winning streak to three with a 31-26 win over Clemson. The final score wasn't indicative of the beatdown administered by the Bulls who led 31-13 until the Tigers added two touchdowns in the final two minutes. It would have been an extremely interesting finish, however, if Clemson hadn't touched the ball on the last onside kick attempt 1/2-yard before it became legal. USF quarterback B.J. Daniels threw 2 TD passes and ran for another score as it finished 8-5 for the 3rd straight season and improved its bowl record to 4-2. Clemson finished 6-7 with the loss for its first losing record since 1998.

After enduring a bowl season noted for its blowouts, Thursday, December 30th finally gave fans a reason to stay glued to the TV with three games decided by 3 points or less and one huge upset.

The biggest surprise of the bowl season, thus far, capped the four-game slate of December 30 when Washington upset Nebraska 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl. The Huskies were 16-point underdogs by the Congrove Computer Rankings after being destroyed 56-21 in a regular season match with the Cornhuskers. This time, Washington held Nebraska to 49 fewer points and 344 fewer yards. The Huskies converted a fumble on Nebraska's first drive into a 7-0 lead and never trailed. Washington QB Jake Locker was 4-for-20 for 71 yards in the first encounter and only 5-for-16 for 56 yards in the rematch, but he didn't repeat his 2-interception performance and did manage 83 yards rushing and a touchdown that gave his team a 17-7 lead.

Casey Barth's 23-yard field goal in the second overtime gave North Carolina a 30-27 Music City Bowl win over Tennessee. The win snapped the Tar Heels' 3-bowl losing streak and gave Butch Davis his first bowl win with the Tar Heels (1-2) after going 4-0 with Miami. Tennessee fans will long blame the officials for this loss. Time appeared to have expired when the Tar Heels attempted a running play from the Volunteer 25-yard line with 16 seconds on the clock and no time outs left. After a 7-yard gain on the play and the clock ticking, chaos ensued and QB T.J. Yates finally spiked the ball as the clock ran out. But officials opted to review the play and determined 1 second was left and North Carolina was guilty of having too many players on the field. The rulings allowed Barth to kick a 39-yard field goal and force overtime with a 20-20 tie. The teams exchanged TD's in the first extra period, but the Vols opening possession of the 2nd OT ended on an interception and Barth kicked the game-winner three plays later.

Earlier in the day on Thursday (December 30th), Syracuse survived a late rally by Kansas State for a 36-34 win at the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. Two crucial mistakes foiled the Wildcats' chances at overtaking the Orange. First, a fake field goal attempt failed with 4:49 left in the game when a successful kick would have brought Kansas State to within 33-31. Instead, the Orange drove for a field goal to make it 36-28 with 3:07 left. The Wildcats scored a TD to make it 36-34 with 1:13 to go, but an extremely questionable excessive celebration penalty pushed the 2-point conversion try back to the 18-yard line and a incomplete pass sealed its fate.

In Thursday's first game, SMU missed two field goals and QB Kyle Padron turned the ball over three times as Army beat the Mustangs 16-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl. Padron was sacked and fumbled on the third play of the opening drive and Josh McNary returned it 55 yards for a 7-0 Army lead 1:27 into the game. Matt Szymanski missed a 35-yard field goal on SMU's next possession and Padron threw interceptions to end the next two drives.

Wednesday, December 29th produced another trio of bowl blowouts as Oklahoma State, Illinois and Maryland were all big winners.

Oklahoma State strolled to a 36-10 win over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl. CFP All-American WR Justin Blackmon had 9 catches for 117 yards and 2 TD's for the Cowboys who put together an 11-win season (11-2) for the first time in school history. Oklahoma State improved their all-time bowl record to 13-8 while the Wildcats dropped 6-9-1.

Illinois routed Baylor 38-14 in the Texas Bowl to claim just its 7th bowl victory. The Bears were making their first bowl appearance since 1994 and searching for their first postseason win since 1992.

Ralph Friedgen was a winner in his last game as head coach of Maryland as the Terps rolled over East Carolina 51-20 in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Da'rel Scott ran for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 13 carries for the Terps. East Carolina committed four turnovers.

A 72-yard interception return by Micah Hyde with 5:32 left in the game lifted Iowa to a 27-24 Insight Bowl win over Missouri on Tuesday, December 28th. The Hawkeyes squandered a 17-3 second quarter lead and the Tigers took a 24-20 lead heading into the final frame. Iowa freshman Marcus Coker ran for 217 yards and 2 TD's in place of suspended leading rusher Adam Robinson. The win gave Iowa its first 3-bowl winning streak and allowed the Big Ten to snap a 4-game losing streak to Big 12 schools in this bowl game.

Earlier Tuesday, West Virginia turned the ball over five times on four fumbles and an interception, allowing N.C. State to gradually pull away for a 23-7 win in the Champs Sports Bowl. The first of three Josh Czajkowski field goals (45, 38 and 40) broke a 7-7 tie just before halftime and the Wolfpack never looked back. ACC teams have won this bowl 7 of the last 8 seasons.

Air Force defeated Georgia Tech 14-7 in the Independence Bowl on Monday, December 27th. A muffed punt return on the final play of the 3rd quarter set Air Force up on the Georgia Tech 14-yard line and they scored four plays later to take the 14-7 lead after adding a 2-point conversion. It was Georgia Tech's 6th consecutive bowl loss and the 2nd straight bowl victory for the Falcons.

On Sunday, December 26th, FIU kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to win the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl 34-32 over Toledo in its very first bowl appearance. The Golden Panthers used a hook and lateral play they call "Boise" to sustain the final drive and complete their comeback from a 24-7 3rd quarter deficit. The final minutes of the game saw FIU take its first lead of the game with 3:18 remaining, only to see the Rockets respond with a touchdown drive and 2-point conversion to go back in front 32-31 with 1:14 left on the clock.

Tulsa broke open the game with 3 TD's in less than 4 minutes in the 3rd quarter to hand Hawaii a 62-35 home loss in the Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Eve. The Warriors turned the ball over 6 times in the first half as QB Bryant Moniz was intercepted four times, backup Shane Austin was picked-off once and Greg Salas fumbled on a punt return. Austin and Moniz threw picks on back-to-back possessions in the 2nd quarter, both of which were returned for 54-yard touchdowns less than 1-1/2 minutes apart as Tulsa took a 24-7 lead. Tulsa turned the ball over once in each half, the last occurring at the tail-end of a Demaris Johnson run that gave him a new FBS career record all-purpose yards. His raised his career total to 7,796 yards with 326 in the game (98 rushing, 101 receiving, and 127 on returns).

The Mountain West conference captured a 5th straight Poinsettia Bowl with San Diego State's 35-14 win over Navy on December 23rd. Freshman Ronnie Hillman ran for 228 yards and scored four touchdowns (1 receiving) as the Aztecs broke open a tight game by outscoring the Midshipmen 14-0 in the final quarter. It was San Diego State's first bowl win since 1969 and only its second in history. It was also head coach Brady Hoke's first chance to coach a bowl game since he skipped out on Ball State prior to the Cardinals' 2008 GMAC Bowl when he accepted the SDSU job.

Utah failed to capitalize on early scoring opportunities which allowed Boise State time to wake up and then methodically cakewalk to a 26-3 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas victory on December 22nd. Even though they committed four turnovers, the Broncos outgained Utah 543-200 and limited the Utes to just 8 first downs. In the process, Utah's 9-bowl winning streak came to a crashing halt. Boise State finished the season 12-1, with its only loss coming at Nevada in its next-to-last regular season game. Utah finished 10-3 but all three losses were ugly shellackings administered by TCU (47-7 at home), Notre Dame (28-3, road) and Boise State. Boise State and Utah are the only members of non-BCS automatic qualifying conferences to win a BCS bowl game, and each has won a pair - the Broncos snared Fiesta wins in the 2006 (Oklahoma) and 2009 (TCU) seasons while Utah won the 2004 season Fiesta (Pitt) and 2008 season Sugar Bowl (Alabama). This was Boise State's final game as a WAC member as it moves to the Mountain West next year, just as Utah exits the Mountain West to join the PAC-10.

Charlie Strong became a bowl winner in his first season as head coach at Louisville when the Cardinals edged Southern Miss 31-28 in a battle of former Conference USA rivals in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl on December 21st at the Tampa Bay Ray's Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Cardinals overcame a 14-0 first-quarter deficit by outscoring the Golden Eagles 31-14 the rest of the way. When Southern Miss retook the lead at 28-21 in the 4th quarter, Jeremy Wright answered with a 95-yard kickoff return. Chris Philpott booted the eventual game-winning 36-yard field goal with 6:30 remaining amid some controversy. Earlier in the drive, an apparent Louisville fumble was ruled otherwise, even after the play was reviewed. Southern Miss QB Austin Davis threw his 52nd and 53rd career TD passes to break the previous school record of 52 set by Brett Favre and Lee Roberts. Big East teams have won all three Beef 'O' Brady's Bowls (formerly called the St. Petersburg Bowl) ever played. Louisville has claimed the last five meetings with Southern Miss.

A trio of opening day bowl games on December 18th became blowouts as BYU, Northern Illinois and Troy each won their respective games by 23 to 28 points.

The New Mexico Bowl kicked off the bowl season with a 52-24 rout by BYU over UTEP. The loss sent the Miners to their 5th straight bowl defeat and they closed the 2010 season by winning just 1 of their last 7 games. Meanwhile, the Cougars chalked up their fourth victory in their last five bowl trips, improving their overall postseason record to 11-17-1. BYU is 4-2 in bowl games since Bronco Mendenhall became head coach in 2005. UTEP hasn't won a bowl game since 1967.

Northern Illinois snapped a 3-bowl losing streak with a 40-17 smackdown of Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl on the blue smurf turf of Boise State's Bronco Stadium. The Huskies played the game under interim head coach Tom Matukewicz. Matukewicz served as the linebackers coach for Jerry Kill who was hired away by Minnesota. Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren was hired as NIU's official head coach five days before the bowl game. Fresno State took its 3rd straight bowl loss and fell to 10-10 all-time in bowl games. Northern Illinois overall bowl record is now 3-3.

Troy scored the first outright upset of the bowl season in the New Orleans Bowl. Ohio opened as a 2-1/2-point favorite over the Trojans, but got lambasted 48-21 as it fell to 0-5 all-time in bowl games.

Miami (Ohio) was 1-11 a year ago in Mike Haywood's first season as head coach and was projected by the Congrove Computer Rankings to improve to 3-9 this year. Instead, the MAC title win and a Bowl win earned the RedHawks a 10-4 record to become the first FBS team in history to make a 1-year improvement from double-digit losses to double-digit wins.

Haywood was hired on December 7th to replace Dave Wannstedt at Pittsburgh. He was subsequently fired when he was arrested on domestic violence charges on New Year's Eve after an alleged altercation at his South Bend, Indiana home that allegedly involved a woman with whom he has a child. Lance Guidry coached the RedHawks to their bowl victory as interim head coach.

NOT-SO-AMAZING TURNAROUNDS Cincinnati went from 12-1 in 2009 to 4-8 this season. The Bearcats were 12-0 last season when Brian Kelly left to take the head coaching job with Notre Dame. Jeff Quinn served as interim coach in the Sugar Bowl loss. Butch Jones was just 4-8 this year as the head coach with Cincinnati, representing an 8-win drop for the school in one season. The Bearcats went from conference champs to a 7th-place finish in the 8-team Big East.

Central Michigan was 11-2 in 2009 under Butch Jones when he left to take the Cincinnati job. CMU went on to defeat Troy 44-41 in the GMAC Bowl with Steve Stripling serving as interim head coach. Under first-year head coach Dan Enos, the Chippewas went 3-9 this year. The 8-win drop gave Central Michigan a 5th-place finish in the 6-team MAC West after it had won three conference championships in the previous four years.

Texas went from 13-1 in 2009 to 5-7 this year for an 8-win decrease. The Longhorns were 13-0 in 2009 before losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship game. Since then, with Mack Brown still as head coach, the Longhorns are just 5-8.

With a 35-game bowl schedule this year, 70 teams needed to reach at least 6 wins to avoid the possibility of having multiple teams with losing record in bowl games. 75 teams achieved 6 wins, but three of those schools were ineligible for various reasons - USC at 8-5 is on postseason probation; Idaho was 6-7 and needed to be 7-6 since it played a 13th game; Arizona State was 6-6 and needed to be 7-5 since it had two wins against FCS schools and only 1 can be counted toward qualification

That left a cushion of just two teams - Western Michigan and Temple. Due to bowl affiliation agreements with the various conferences, there were simply not enough slots available to fall to more than 4 MAC teams. As a result, the bids went to MAC East and conference champ Miami (9-4), MAC East runner-up Ohio (8-4), MAC West champ Northern Illinois (10-3) and MAC West runner-up Toledo (8-4). Western Michigan (6-6) and Temple (8-4) were the only bowl eligible teams left out.

TCU (Mountain West) wrapped up an unbeaten season with a 21-19 Rose Bowl over Wisconsin. Auburn (SEC) finished 14-0 with a 22-19 win over previously undefeated Oregon in the BCS Championship Game.

No team finished the season winless. However, four teams finished with just 1 victory - Akron, Memphis, New Mexico and San Jose State. Of those schools, SJSU is the only one that notched its lone win over a Football Championship Subdivision school and the only one that played last week. The Spartans lost 26-23 in overtime at Idaho.

Bowl First-Timers
FIU was the only school to make its very first bowl appearance and the Golden Panthers took advantage of the opportunity by beating Toledo 34-32 on a field goal as time expired. FIU has only been playing football since 2002 and rose to the FBS ranks in 2005.

The proliferation of bowl games has, no doubt, made it easier for more teams to achieve bowl eligibility status and recent seasons have seen several teams attain their first bowl bid. Buffalo did so in 2008 (International Bowl), FAU in 2007 (Motor City Bowl), and Middle Tennessee in 2006 (New Orleans Bowl).

3 Who Have Never Been
These teams have never played in a major college bowl game:
Western Kentucky

First Time In A Long Time
Of the teams that made it this year, these had the longest wait to get back to a bowl game (last previous season of a bowl appearance in parenthesis):
Baylor (1994) - Still hasn't won a bowl game since 1992 after losing 38-14 to Illinois in this season's Texas Bowl
Army (1996) - Defeated SMU 16-14 in this season's Armed Forces Bowl for first bowl win since 1985.
San Diego State (1998) - Defeated Navy 35-14 in this season's Poinsettia Bowl for first bowl win since 1969.

Waiting To Return
These teams have the longest continuing current streaks of bowl absence (last season of a bowl appearance in parenthesis):
New Mexico State (1960)
Kent State (1972)
Eastern Michigan (1987)
Duke (1995)
Utah State (1997)

Bowl Appearance Streak
These teams have the longest continuing current streaks of bowl appearances:
Florida State, 29
Florida, 20
Virginia Tech, 18
Georgia, 14
Georgia Tech, 14

Bowl Winning Streak
These teams have the most consecutive bowl victories (last season of a bowl loss in parenthesis):
Auburn, 4 (2005) - Joined this group with a 22-19 win over Oregon in this season's BCS Championship game.
Mississippi, 4 (2000)
Mississippi State, 4 (1998) - Joined this group with a 52-14 win over Michigan in this season's Gator Bowl.
Rutgers, 4 (2005)
USC, 4 (2005)

Note: Utah had its 9-bowl winning streak snapped with a 26-3 loss to Boise State in this season's MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. That was the longest such streak in the nation entering the bowl season.
Georgia had its 4-bowl winning streak snapped with a 10-6 loss to UCF in this season's Liberty Bowl.

Last season, a half-dozen teams saw bowl winning streaks of four or more games come to an end:

Oregon State had its 5-bowl winning streak snapped in a 44-20 loss to BYU in the MACCO Bowl Las Vegas.
Texas had its 5-bowl winning streak snapped in a 37-21 loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship game.
Cal had its 4-bowl winning streak snapped in a 37-27 loss to Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl.
LSU had its 4-bowl winning streak snapped in a 19-17 loss to Penn State in the Capital One Bowl.
TCU had its 4-bowl winning streak snapped in a 17-10 loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.
West Virginia had its 4-bowl winning streak snapped in a 33-21 loss to Florida State in the Gator Bowl.

The top three teams on that list didn't make it back to a bowl game this year. Their absences ended bowl appearance streaks of 4 years for the Beavers, 7 years for the Golden Bears, and 12 years for the Longhorns.

Bowl Losing Streak
These teams have the most consecutive bowl losses (last season of a bowl win in parenthesis):
Northwestern, 8 (1948) - Includes 45-38 loss to Texas Tech in this season's TicketCity Bowl.
Georgia Tech, 6 (2004) - Includes 14-7 loss to Air Force in this season's Independence Bowl.
Ball State, 5 (Never)
Michigan State, 5 (2001) - Includes 49-7 loss to Alabama in this season's Capital One Bowl.
Ohio, 5 (Never) - Includes 48-21 loss to Troy in this season's New Orleans Bowl.
Texas A&M, 5 (2001) - Includes 41-24 loss to LSU in this season's Cotton Bowl.
UTEP, 5 (1967) - Includes 52-24 loss to BYU in this season's New Orleans Bowl.
Minnesota, 4 (2004)
Western Michigan, 4 (Never)

Note: Nevada snapped its 4-bowl losing streak with a 20-13 win over Boston College in this season's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. It was Nevada's first bowl win since 2005. The Wolf Pack was the only team this season to snap a bowl losing streak of 4 games or longer.

Bowl Winless (at least 1 appearance)
Ball State, 0-5
Ohio, 0-5 - Includes 48-21 loss to Troy in this season's New Orleans Bowl.
Western Michigan, 0-4
Akron, 0-1
Arkansas State, 0-1
Buffalo, 0-1
Kent State, 0-1
UAB, 0-1

Note: UCF was 0-3 before defeating Georgia 10-6 in this season's Liberty Bowl.

Best Bowl Winning Percentage
(Minimum 20 appearances. Source: College Football Data Warehouse)

USC, .667 (32-16)
Penn State, .651 (27-14-2) - Includes 37-24 loss to Florida in this season's Outback Bowl.
Mississippi, .636 (21-12)
Oklahoma State, .619 (13-8) - Includes 36-10 win over Arizona in this season's Alamo Bowl.
Florida State, .615 (23-14-2) - Includes 26-17 win over South Carolina in this season's Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Auburn, .611 (21-13-2) - Includes 22-19 win over Oregon in this season's BCS Championship Game.
Oklahoma, .602 (26-17-1) - Includes 48-20 win over UConn in this season's Fiesta Bowl.
Georgia, .598 (26-17-3) - Includes 10-6 loss to UCF in this season's Liberty Bowl.
Alabama, .595 (33-22-3) - Includes 49-7 win over Michigan State in this season's Capital One Bowl.
Boston College, .591 (13-9) - Includes 20-13 loss to Nevada in this season's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Most Bowl Wins
Alabama, 33 - includes 49-7 win over Michigan State in this season's Capital One Bowl.
Southern Cal, 32
Penn State, 27 - Includes 37-24 loss to Florida in this season's Outback Bowl.
Georgia, 26 - Includes 10-6 loss to UCF in this season's Liberty Bowl.
Oklahoma, 26 - Includes 48-20 win over UConn in this season's Fiesta Bowl.
Tennessee, 25 - Includes 30-27 2 OT loss to NOrth Caroli9na in this season's Music City Bowl.
Texas, 25
Nebraska, 24 - Includes 19-7 loss to Washington in this season's Holiday Bowl.
Florida State, 23 - Includes 26-17 win over South Carolina in this season's Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Georgia Tech, 22 - Includes 14-7 loss to Air Force in this season's Independence Bowl.
LSU, 22 - Includes 41-24 win over Texas A&M in this season's Cotton Bowl.
Auburn, 21 - Includes 22-19 win over Oregon in this season's BCS Championship Game.
Mississippi, 21

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 83-7 (.922) vs. FCS schools this season and are 547-49 (.918) in such games since 2003.

Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/4: Jacksonville State 49, Mississippi 48 (2 OT's)
9/4: North Dakota State 6, Kansas 3
9/11: Gardner-Webb 38, Akron 37
9/11: Liberty 27, Ball State 23
9/11: South Dakota 41, Minnesota 38
9/11: James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16
10/2: Cal-Davis 14, San Jose State 13

This year, 85 FBS teams played a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools played two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.

Boise State - 32 home wins, 62 regular season home wins, and 46 straight conference home victories. BSU joins the Mountain West next season and leaves the WAC having never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (40-0). The Broncos' last home loss to a conference foe occurred in 1998 when they were a member of the Big West and fell to Idaho in the final regular season game. The Broncos are 6-1 in their last seven matches against BCS conference schools. (Last: beat Utah 26-3 at MAACO Bowl Las Vegas).

Auburn - 15 straight wins overall. (Last: Beat Oregon 22-19 in the BCS Championship Game).

TCU - 13 straight wins overall, 25 straight regular season wins, 20 straight home wins and 17 straight conference wins. (Last: Beat Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl).

Oregon saw its 12-game winning streak end with a 22-19 loss to Auburn in the BCS Championship Game. Still owns a 12-game regular season winning streak.

Virginia Tech saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end with a 40-12 loss to Stanford in the Orange Bowl. Still owns a 10-game regular season winning streak (Excludes ACC Championship game win).

Oklahoma - 36 straight home victories. (Last: Beat UConn 48-20 in the Fiesta Bowl).

San Jose State - 10 straight losses overall.

Memphis - 9 straight losses overall.

New Mexico - 16 straight road losses.

01/11: 2010 Bowl Season Recap
12/12: Week 15 Recap: Navy Beats Army Again
12/05: Auburn, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, UCF and Miami (Ohio) Win Conference Title Games
11/28: Week 13 Recap: Boise State 'Blue' It; Oregon and Auburn Didn't
11/21: 3 Highly-Ranked Teams Avoid Upsets
11/14: So. Carolina, Auburn Clinch SEC Divisions; 6 Teams In BCS Top 25 Lose
11/07: 8 Teams In BCS Top 25 Lose
10/31: Two Unbeatens Fall, As Expected
10/24: BCS No. 1 Oklahoma Falls; LSU and Okie State Go Down, Too
10/17: Ohio State, Nebraska and South Carolina Fall
10/10: 'Bama Falls at South Carolina; Unbeaten List Shrinks from 18 to 13
10/03: Oklahoma beats Texas; Oregon shakes Off Stanford
09/26: Longhorns Lassoed; Alabama Survives
09/19: Notre Dame Faked 'n' Baked
09/12: Disastrous Day For ACC
09/07: Week 1 Recap: Boise State-Virginia Tech Was Worth the Wait
09/06: Game Recap: Boise State Pulls Out 33-30 Win

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