The Tulsa Golden Hurricane blew away the Ball State Cardinals 45-13 in the GMAC Bowl for the first 11-win season (11-3) in school history. Ball State remained winless (0-5) in major college bowl games. In Stan Parrish's first game as head coach, the Cardinals generated just 225 yards of offense. Ball State's second half consisted of five 3-and-outs, and a single first down which came via penalty. Tulsa rolled up 632 yards as QB David Johnson threw for 193 yards and 3 TD's, and Tarrion Adams became the school's career leading rusher with a 207-yard, 2-TD performance. The Tulsa victory gave CUSA a 4-2 bowl record and left the MAC 0-5.
Colt McCoy's 26-yard hook-up with Quan Cosby with 16 seconds left in the game gave Texas a 24-21 win over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. The score came just 1:54 after the Buckeye had taken a 21-17 lead on Daniel Herron's 15-yard run. After back-to-back BCS title game losses to LSU and Florida, it looked like a bit of the BCS monkey might be ready to get off of Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's back. Then, McCoy stepped into the spotlight. He completed 7-of-10 passes on the drive for 77 yards, and scrambled for 2 yards on another. It was the fifth straight bowl win for Texas, and seventh in the last eight tries.
Donald Brown rushed 29 times for 261 yards and a touchdown to help Connecticut overcome a sloppy first half and defeat Buffalo 38-20 in the International Bowl. The Big East has won all three International Bowls which matches the conference against a team from the MAC. Buffalo was the first MAC champion to play in this game as it made its first bowl appearance. The Huskies muffed two punts and a kickoff in the first half, and even Brown got into the act with one of UConn's two lost fumbles.
Utah broke out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and went on to defeat Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl to finish 13-0. The Utes were the only team in 2008 to make it through the regular season and bowl season with an unblemished record. Utah also became the only non-BCS conference school to go to two BCS bowl games, and the Utes are 2-0 in those games. Playing without Andre Smith, the Tide's offensive guard that won the Outland Trophy, the Utes registered 8 sacks on John Parker Wilson. Utah QB Brian Johnson threw for 333 yards and 3 TD's while the Alabama offense managed just 212 total yards.
285-pound defensive tackle Ventrell Jenkins lumbered 56 yards with a recovered fumble to score the game-winning touchdown with 3:02 left in the game as Kentucky rallied for a 25-19 win over East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl. The Wildcats trailed 16-3 at halftime but David Jones returned the second half kickoff 99 yards to begin the comeback. Lones Seiber's PAT's were blocked after each of those scores, but he made two field goals from 21 and 34 yards to help his team's cause. ECU's Ben Hartman also had a PAT blocked.
Ole Miss completed a turnaround from 3-9 to 9-4 under first-year head coach Houston Nutt with a 47-34 Cotton Bowl win over favored Texas Tech. The 81 combined points set a Cotton Bowl record in the 73rd annual game and the last to be played at Cotton Bowl stadium. The game will move to the new home of the Dallas Cowboys next season. The Rebels finished the year with straight victories while the Red Raiders lost two of its last three to go 11-2.
Virginia Tech surrendered a touchdown to Cincinnati in the first 1:46 of the Orange Bowl, then scored 20 unanswered points in a 20-7 win. The victory was the first for the Hokies in a BCS game after losing a pair of Sugar Bowls and last season's Orange Bowl. It was also the first BCS victory for an ACC team since Florida State beat Virginia Tech to win the 1999 national title. The Hokies intercepted Bearcat QB Tony Pike 4 times. Virginia Tech freshman running back Darren Evans had 153 yards and a touchdown as the Hokies hit the 10-win mark for the fifth straight season.
Mark Sanchez threw for 413 yards and 4 TD's, and set a Rose Bowl record with 80 percent completions, as USC beat Penn State 38-24. In the process, the Trojans became the first team to win three consecutive Rose Bowls. The Nittany Lions saw their three-game bowl winning streak come to an end. USC led 31-7 at halftime after a 24-point outburst in the 2nd quarter.
Nebraska stormed back from a 14-3 halftime deficit with a 21-point barrage in the 3rd quarter as the Cornhuskers beat Clemson 26-21 in the Gator Bowl. The Tigers marched to the 'Husker 10-yard line with under two minutes left in the game but came away empty. Nebraska QB Joe Ganz threw two TD passes to atone for his first quarter fumble that was returned for a Clemson touchdown, and Alex Henery kicked four field goals. The Tigers were held to just 4 net yards rushing and 210 yards of total offense.
Georgia beat Michigan State 24-12 in the Capital One Bowl as Matthew Stafford threw 3 touchdown passes in the final 18 minutes. Knowshon Moreno caught the 21-yard game-clincher with 3:43 left to play as the Bulldogs notched their third straight bowl win, and the 6th in their last 7 tries.
Iowa junior running back Shonn Greene announced he would make an early exit to the NFL after rushing for 121 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 31-10 win over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. The victory snapped a two-bowl losing streak for the Hawkeyes while the Gamecocks fell to 4-10 in bowl games. The Hawkeyes finished the season strong with six wins in their last seven games. South Carolina will enter the 2009 season on a 3-game losing streak. Stephen Garcia had a nightmare start at QB for the Gamecocks as he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in his first four series.
LSU loves the Chick-fil-A Bowl. In 2005, the Tigers pounded Miami (Fla.) 40-3 in this game. This year, LSU rolled over Georgia Tech 38-3. The Tigers ended the regular season with losses in 3 of its last four games but took control of the Yellow Jackets with a 28-point second quarter. After Charles Scott's second TD put the Tigers up 14-3, LSU converted an onside kick. Though they were forced to punt, the Ramblin' Wreck fumbled the return and LSU soon took a 21-3 lead on Scott's third TD run. Georgia Tech also tried a fake punt from its own 22 and was stuffed well short, leading to another LSU score two plays later when freshman QB Jordan Jefferson teamed with Richard Dickson on a 25-yard touchdown.
Kansas spotted Minnesota a 14-7 lead, then reeled off 28 unanswered points en route to a 42-21 Insight Bowl win. The game marked the first time the Jayhawks made bowl appearances in consecutive seasons and they took advantage of the opportunity by claiming their third straight bowl win. Todd Reesing threw 4 TD passes for Kansas.
Boston College had its 8-game bowl winning streak snapped in a 16-14 loss to Vanderbilt at the Music City Bowl. It was Vandy's first bowl appearance since 1982 and first bowl win since 1955. The bowl victory also gave Vanderbilt a 7-6 record for its first winning season 1982. Bryant Hahnfeldt kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining to provide the game-winning points. The Eagles had two possessions afterward but went 3-and-out on the first effort, and were intercepted on the final try.
Oregon State won its fifth straight bowl game in a 3-0 defensive battle over Pitt in the Sun Bowl. It was the lowest score for a bowl game in 50 seasons - Air Force and TCU battled to a scoreless tie in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 1958 campaign. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers and receiver James Rodgers (brothers) both missed the game with shoulder injuries for the Beavers. During the regular season, the duo provided 22 touchdowns, 2,107 yards of offense, and 2,925 all-purpose yards. The bowl loss was the third straight for Pitt.
Houston avenged a regular season loss to Air Force with a 34-28 victory in the Armed Forces Bowl. It was the first bowl win for the Cougars since 1980, snapping an 8-game bowl losing streak, and it came in Kevin Sumlin's first season as head coach. Air Force never led but the contest was tied twice, at 7-7 and 17-17, as the Cougars managed to keep the Falcons at arms length. Case Keenum threw for 252 yards and 2 TD's for Houston. The Falcons lost this game to California last year and are winless in their last three bowl appearances.
Oregon pulled away from Oklahoma State late in the game to win the Holiday Bowl 42-31. The Cowboys built a 17-7 lead in the first half, but the second half turned into a see-saw battle with five lead changes until the Ducks scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter. Jeremiah Masoli, a JUCO transfer QB, ran for 106 yards and 3 TD's and passed for 258 yards and another touchdown. But it was LeGarrette Blount's determined 29-yard touchdown run that put the game away with 3:01 to play. Blunt leaped one diving defender and plowed through several others on his way to the end zone. The two teams accounted for 1,034 yards as the Ducks outgained the Cowboys 565-469. Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson threw for 329 and a score, and ran for 54 yards and a TD.
Rice beat Western Michigan 38-14 in the Texas Bowl for its first bowl win since the 1953 season. The Broncos remain winless in four bowl efforts. Rice led 38-0 before Western Michigan scored two fourth quarter touchdowns. The Owls' stellar QB Chase Clement threw 3 TD passes, and ran for 72 yards and another score. He also caught a TD pass from Jarett Dillard in a reversal of roles - Dillard caught 60 TD passes in his career to smash the NCAA record by 10. Clement has thrown 51 TD passes to Dillard to set an NCAA career record for most touchdown passes by a duo.
Maryland scored a season-high 42 points - and needed it - to turn back Nevada 42-35 in the Humanitarian Bowl at Boise, Idaho. Playing on Boise State's blue "smurf turf" field, the Terrapins' Da’Rel Scott ran 14 times for 174 yards and two crucial touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Scott was held out for the first 2-1/2 quarters to serve as punishment for being one of seven players, including four starters, who broke curfew during the bowl trip.
Missouri beat Northwestern 30-23 in the Alamo Bowl on a 7-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin in overtime. The Wildcats overtime possession ended with an incomplete pass on a desperation heave from the 32-yard line after QB C.J. Bacher was sacked and fumbled for a 24-yard loss on 3rd down. Missouri's Jeff Wolfert kicked a 37-yard field goal to tie it with 2:49 left, but missed a 44-yarder that would have won it on the final play of regulation. Three interceptions by Daniel, and a 303-yard, 3 TD passing performance by Bacher kept Northwestern in the lead for much of the game.
Rutgers rallied from a 17-6 halftime deficit to beat N.C. State 29-23 in the PapaJohns.com Bowl. The Scarlet Knights pocketed their third straight bowl win, all with Mike Teel behind center. The Scarlet Knights had never won a bowl game until the 2006 Texas Bowl and made just two bowl appearances prior to 2006. N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien had his personal 7-game bowl winning streak snapped as he suffered just his second-ever bowl loss (7-2).
Louisiana Tech beat Northern Illinois 17-10 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana for its first bowl victory since a 1977 appearance in the same game. This year's edition was waged between a pair of at-large selections after neither the SEC or Big 12 could supply an eligible team. The Huskies scored first, but the Bulldogs answered with a 97-yard kickoff return by Phillip Livas. Daniel Porter's 11-yard run in the 2nd quarter proved to be the winning points as the teams combined for just 575 yards of offense. Defensive back Weldon Brown had 14 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery for Louisiana Tech.
California LB Zach Follet forced a fumble by Miami QB Jacory Harris with 3:28 left and Nate Longshore's pass to Anthony Miller two plays later gave the Bears a 24-17 Emerald Bowl win. LB Charles Johnson recovered the fumble at the 9-yard line and returned it to Miami's 2 to set up the winning score.
Florida State beat Wisconsin 42-13 in the Champs Sports Bowl. It's the worst loss in a bowl game for the Badgers since they were blistered 44-8 by Washington in the 1959 season Rose Bowl. It was FSU's largest margin of victory ever in a bowl game. The 'Noles improved to 21-14-2 in bowl games, including a 13-0-1 mark from 1982-1995.
Pat White threw 3 TD passes to lead West Virginia to a 4th straight bowl win and became the first QB to start four bowl games and go 4-0 in bowls. The 31-30 victory over North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl also raised Bill Stewart's bowl record to 2-0 as the Mountaineers' head coach and his inaugural season record to 9-4 (Stewart was the interim head coach in last year's Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma). North Carolina fell to 8-5.
Howard Schnellenberger improved to 6-0 lifetime, and 2-0 at FAU, as a head coach in college football games as his Owls beat Central Michigan 24-21 in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit. The win gave FAU a 7-6 record overall. Central Michigan fell to 8-5 and completed the season with three consecutive losses.
Notre Dame jumped on Hawaii early and routed the homestanding Warriors 49-21 in the Hawaii Bowl to end a bowl game losing streak that extended back to the 1993 season. In winning their first bowl game after nine failed attempts, the Irish averted their first consecutive losing seasons since 1985-1986. Those seasons bridged Gerry Faust's last campaign and Lou Holtz' first. Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen was 22-of-26 for 406 yards and 5 TD's. Hawaii went 7-7 under first-year head coach Greg McMackin, the defensive coordinator under June Jones. McMackin was promoted when Jones left for SMU after guiding Hawaii to a 12-0 regular season and a loss to Georgia in last year's Sugar Bowl.
TCU defeated Boise State 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl for its 4th straight bowl win, and secured a double-digit win total for the fifth time in the last seven seasons. The Horned Frogs (11-2) trailed 13-0 in the second quarter before Aaron Brown scored on a 16-yard run with just 24 seconds remaining in the half. TCU took the lead on a 22-yard run by Joseph Turner with 8:59 left in the game. The loss was the first for Boise State (12-1) since it fell 41-38 to East Carolina in last year's Hawaii Bowl.
Britt Barefoot kicked the tying field goal from 46 yards out with 2:50 left in regulation, then banked in a 39-yarder off the left upright in overtime to lift Southern Miss past Troy 30-27 in the New Orleans Bowl. Troy's 28-yard field goal attempt in overtime was blocked to secure the fifth straight victory for Southern Miss who trailed 27-17 halfway through the 4th quarter. The Golden Eagles are used to comebacks - after starting the season 2-6, they rebounded with four straight victories to reach this game.
Arizona ended a nine-year absence from the postseason with a 31-21 Las Vegas Bowl victory over BYU. The Wildcats scored 21 straight points after BYU had taken a 14-10 lead early in the 3rd quarter. QB Willie Tuitama threw 2 TD passes and ran for another score, and WR Mike Thomas set a new PAC-10 record with his 259th career reception.
USF outscored Memphis 17-0 in the second half to pull away for a 41-14 win in the inaugural St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field. Matt Grothe threw for 236 yards and 3 scores, and added 82 yards rushing as he joined West Virginia QB Pat White as the Big East's only players to surpass 10,000 yards in total offense.
Colorado State snapped a three-game bowl losing streak with a come-from-behind 40-35 win over Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl. The Rams scored 20 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to overcome a 28-20 deficit. Gartrell Johnson ran for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, and caught 6 passes for 89 yards, as the Rams racked up 618 yards of offense.
Wake Forest avenged a regular season 24-17 loss to Navy by rallying for a 29-19 win in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl. The Midshipmen scored the first 13 points of the game on a touchdown and two field goals, but the Deacons scored the final 15 points of the game, securing the win on Rich Belton's 35-yard run with 1:02 remaining.
Still, the computer has picked at least one of the national title game contestants 11 times in its 16-year history (1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007). The team it picked to win the title has played in the title game seven times (1993, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005), and won the title three times (1993, 1998, 1999).
For 2008, it projected the exact regular season record of 22 teams, doubling the total of 11 from a year ago. It came within one victory on 26 others.
The computer correctly picked the winner in 75.1% of all games played in 2008 while beating the spread in 51.7% of the games.
During the season, the computer went 11-1 or better on the weekly picks of 25 teams, including unbeaten marks with Akron, Baylor, Iowa State, Michigan State, and SMU.
Against the spread, the computer was 10-1 with Ohio and Troy. It was 9-2 with Miami (Ohio) and 8-2 with Texas Tech. It missed just three times with Bowling Green, Clemson, Marshall, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, San Diego State, and South Carolina.
The computer had an .875 winning percentage straight up on Big 12 teams, and .860 on PAC-10 teams. It was 64-8 with Big 12 North teams.
The computer hit 71.6% against the spread on MAC games, and 58.9 percent on Big East games. It was .500 or better with 87 of the 120 teams.
The computer's preseason rankings correctly tabbed the winners of five conferences - ACC, Big Ten, Mountain West, PAC-10, and WAC. It also nailed the division winners of the ACC Coastal and CUSA West. Nine more conferences or divisions were won by teams that the computer picked to finish second.
First time in a long time
Bowl Appearance Streak
Bowl Winning Streak
Bowl Losing Streak
Bowl Winless (at least 1 appearance)
Best Bowl Winning Percentage
Most Bowl Wins
This was Boise State's third undefeated regular season in the last five years. Utah went undefeated in 2004 and beat Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. This year, the Utes defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Only Hawaii made it through the 2007 regular season unscathed, and the Warriors were blown out 41-10 by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. It was the first season since 2002 that no team recorded a perfect record through the bowl season.
Boise State was the only team to finish the entire 2006 season undefeated, while Texas did it in 2005. Auburn, USC and Utah all had unblemished records in 2004.
Last season, FIU beat North Texas in its final regular season game to avoid being the only winless team. FIU was one of two schools to go winless in 2006 (Duke was the other).
WINLESS AGAINST FBS:
FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 85-2 (.977) against FCS teams this season, and are 375-37 (.910) since 2003.
Here are the losses by the FBS this season:
This year, 82 different FBS teams participated in a total of 87 games that pit the FCS against the FBS. Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Western Kentucky each played two such games.
ACC teams played more games versus FCS schools than any other conference.
Number of FCS games for each conference:
Boise State had its 12-game winning streak snapped in a 17-16 loss to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Broncos have still won 19 consecutive home games, 49 straight regular season home games, and have never lost at home to a fellow WAC conference member (32-0). Overall, Boise State has won 38 straight conference home games since losing to Idaho in the final game of the 1998 season when it was a member of the Big West.
Florida has won 10 straight. Beat Oklahoma 24-14 in the BCS Championship game.
USC has won 10 straight. Beat Penn State 38-24 in the Rose Bowl.
Oklahoma has won 23 straight home games. Lost 24-14 to Florida in the BCS Championship game.
BYU has won 18 consecutive home games. Lost 31-21 to Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Washington has the longest losing streak in the nation at 14 games, and has lost 8 straight home games. Season complete.
SMU has lost 10 straight overall, 17 straight conference games, 15 consecutive road games, and 21 straight to FBS teams. Season complete.
Iowa State has lost 10 straight overall, and 17 consecutive road games. Season complete.
NEW COACHES: The 2007 season featured 24 new head coaches. Nine led their team to a bowl game. This year began with 18 2008 coaching changes, and grew to 19 when Tommy Bowden stepped down from Clemson on October 13.
Only one team with a new coach failed to defeat an FBS school - SMU.
COACHES WHO WON'T BE BACK:
As of today's date, there will be 21 new college football coaches in the FBS ranks next season.
The 21st became available when Boston College fired Jeff Jagodzinksi on January 7th after he met with the NFL's New York Jets about their head coaching vacancy.
20 positions were filled by December 30 with the announcement on that date by New Mexico State that the Aggies had hired UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker.
Only 3 of the new hires have served previously as a FBS head coach - Gene Chizik, Brady Hoke, who switched from Ball State to San Diego State; and Bill Snyder, who returned to Kansas State for a second stint.
Of the remaining 17:
5 were defensive coordinators - Gary Andersen (Utah); Tim Beckman (Oklahoma State); Paul Rhoads (Auburn); Ron English (Louisville); and DeWayne Walker (UCLA).
1 was a wide receivers coach - Dabo Swinney (Clemson), who took over as interim coach when Tommy Bowden steeped down in midseason.
1 was an NFL head coach - Lane Kiffin (Oakland Raiders).
2 were FCS head coaches - Danny Hope (Eastern Kentucky. Spent this season as OC at Purdue); Rich Ellerson (Cal Poly).
Army - Stan Brock out. Rich Ellerson in.
WON'T BE BACK, BUT POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED: