Army's Loss Puts UCLA In Bowl
by Dave Congrove
December 12, 2009
It was closer than expected, but Navy grabbed its 8th straight win over Army on Saturday. The 17-3 victory extends the longest winning streak by either team in the history of their 110 meetings. It also means the Black Knights (5-7) are not eligible to accept their automatic EagleBank Bowl bid which required 6 wins. Instead, UCLA (6-6) will go as the bowl's replacement pick.
The United States Naval Academy improved its overall lead in the historic rivalry to 54-49-7 by outscoring the United States Military Academy 17-0 in the 2nd half. Navy QB Ricky Dobbs set a new NCAA record for touchdowns scored by a quarterback (24) with his 1-yard run in the 4th quarter that proved to be the final points of the game. Dobbs also threw just his 5th TD pass of the season - a 25-yard toss to Marcus Curry - to give the Midshipmen their first lead of the day with 8:55 left in the 3rd quarter.
Army limited the nation's 3rd-ranked rushing attack to 186 yards after Navy entered the game averaging 280 per game. Navy returned the favor by holding the Black Knights to 110 yards on the ground, well below their 194 per game average.
Next week, the bowls begin. However, we'll have to wait until January 7 for this year's BCS title game participants - Alabama and Texas - to settle who is No. 1. By then, it will have been 33 days since either team played their last game.
Politicians in Washington, D.C. still keep trying to insert themselves in the BCS vs. playoff argument, despite the multitude of larger issues they should be dealing with. They claim they can walk and chew gum at the same time, but most Americans agree they are are constantly tripping over their own feet.
From my perspective - and I know I speak for the majority on this subject - TCU and Boise State both got BCS bowl invitations and still managed to get screwed. They should have have been placed in separate games against schools from one of the "Big 6" conferences, and not pitted against each other for the third time in seven years. We could have had two extremely interesting BCS bowl games instead of one that nobody can get excited about.
UCLA's matchup with Temple becomes the third game of the bowl season to have a computer-projected margin of less than a point. There are 12 other games with forecasted margins of 4 points or less.
The largest predicted victory margin belongs to Nevada, a 19.03-point favorite over SMU. That game will feature the return to Hawaii of former Warriors' head coach June Jones. Jones loved Hawaii, but grew weary of the school's lack of commitment to improving its football facilities. He left for SMU after taking the 2007 Hawaii team to unprecedented heights that included an undefeated regular season (12-0) and a loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. It took Jones just two years to lift the Mustangs to their first bowl game since 1984.
The slimmest predicted victory margins belongs to Ohio State and Oregon State, both of which are favored by 0.43. Ironically, the Buckeyes are favored over Oregon in the Rose Bowl by that margin, while Oregon State is favored over BYU by that same margin in the Las Vegas Bowl. Temple is a 0.80-point favorite over UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl.
Can We Go Somewhere Else For Vacation Next Year? Please????
BYU is playing in the Las Vegas Bowl for the fifth straight season.
Minnesota's last four bowl appearances have been in the Insight Bowl. Three of their previous four bowl trips were to the Music City Bowl.
Four of Kentucky's last five bowl appearances have been in the Music City Bowl.
Air Force has played in three straight Armed Forces Bowls. The Falcons are meeting Houston in that game for the second straight season.
Mississippi's last seven bowl destinations have been Independence, Independence, Music City, Independence, Cotton, Cotton, Cotton.
North Carolina's last three bowl appearances have been in Charlotte.
Southern Miss has played in the New Orleans Bowl four times in its last six bowl games.
TCU and Boise State face each other for the second straight year, although they have upgraded from the Poinsettia Bowl to the Fiesta Bowl.
Wisconsin has played six straight bowl games in the state of Florida with two visits to Tampa (Outback) and four to Orlando (Champs Sports and Capital One).
None of this year's bowl teams fit into this category. The explosion of bowl games has allowed three teams to become first-time participants over the past three years. Last year, it was Buffalo in the International Bowl. In 2007, it was FAU in the Motor City Bowl. In 2006, it was Middle Tennessee in the New Orleans Bowl.
4 Who Have Never Been:
These teams have never played in a major college bowl game:
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:
Waiting To Return
These teams have the longest continuing current streaks of bowl absence:
New Mexico State, 1960
Kent State, 1972
Eastern Michigan, 1987
Utah State, 1997
San Diego State, 1998
Bowl Appearance Streak
These teams have the longest continuing current streaks of bowl appearances:
Florida State, 28
Virginia Tech, 17
Georgia Tech, 13
Bowl Winning Streak
These teams have the most consecutive bowl victories (last season of a bowl loss in parenthesis):
Utah, 8 (1996)
Oregon State, 5 (2002)
Texas, 5 (2003)
California, 4 (2004)
LSU, 4 (2004)
TCU, 4 (2003)
West Virginia, 4 (2004)
Note: Boston College had its' 8-bowl winning streak snapped with a 16-14 loss to Vanderbilt in last year's Music City Bowl.
Bowl Losing Streak
These teams have the most consecutive bowl losses (last season of a bowl win in parenthesis):
Northwestern, 6 (1948)
Ball State, 5 (Never)
Georgia Tech, 4 (2004)
Western Michigan, 4 (Never)
UTEP, 4 (1967)
Note: Notre Dame snapped its 9-bowl losing streak with a 49-21 win at Hawaii in last year's Hawaii Bowl. It was the first Irish bowl victory since 1993. Houston ended an 8-bowl losing streak with a 34-28 win over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. It was the first bowl victory for the Cougars since 1980. And finally, Rice snapped a 4-bowl losing streak with its first bowl win since 1953 when it defeated Western Michigan 38-14 in the Texas Bowl.
Bowl Winless (at least 1 appearance)
Ball State, 0-5
Western Michigan, 0-4
Central Florida, 0-2
Arkansas State, 0-1
Kent State, 0-1
Middle Tennessee, 0-1
Best Bowl Winning Percentage
(Minimum 20 appearances. Source: College Football Data Warehouse).
USC, .660 (31-16)
Penn State, .659 (26-13-2)
Boston College, .650 (13-7)
Mississippi, .625 (20-12)
Georgia, .602 (25-16-3
Florida State, .595 (21-14-2)
Georgia Tech, .595 (22-15)
Auburn, .588 (19-13-2)
Oklahoma, .583 (24-17-1)
Alabama, .580 31-22-3
Most Bowl Wins
Southern Cal, 31
Penn State, 26
Georgia Tech, 22
Florida State, 21
5 teams have unblemished records heading into the bowl season - Alabama (13-0), Boise State (13-0), Cincinnati (12-0), Texas (13-0) and TCU (12-0).
Eastern Michigan and Western Kentucky each finished the year at 0-12. The computer's preseason forecast projected Miami (Ohio) as the only winless team, but the RedHawks went 1-11. Eastern Michigan was projected to 2-10 and Western Kentucky was forecasted to go 1-11.
FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 89-5 vs. FCS teams this year (.947), and are now 464-42 (.917) since 2003.
Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/19: Central Arkansas 28, Western Kentucky 7
9/12: New Hampshire 23, Ball State 16. New Hampshire also has wins at Army in 2008 (28-10), Marshall in 2007 (48-35), and Northwestern in 2006 (34-17)
9/5: Richmond 24, Duke 16; William & Mary 26, Virginia 14
9/3: Villanova 27, Temple 24
This year, 87 FBS teams played a total of 94 games against FCS foes. Duke, Kansas State, Mississippi, North Carolina, N.C. State, Rutgers and USF each played two FCS teams.
Texas has 17 straight victories. The Longhorns play Alabama for the BCS title on Jan. 7 in Pasadena.
TCU has 14 straight victories. The Horned Frogs play Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 4.
Alabama has 13 straight wins overall and 24 straight regular season wins. The Tide plays Texas for the BCS title on Jan. 7 in Pasadena.
Boise State has streaks of 13 straight wins overall, 25 consecutive regular season wins, 26 consecutive home wins, 56 consecutive regular season home wins, and 42 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (36-0). 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 4-1 in their last five matches against BCS conference schools. The Broncos play TCU in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 4.
Cincinnati has 12 straight wins overall and 18 straight regular season wins. The Bearcats play Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
Oklahoma has 29 straight home victories. The Sooners play Stanford in the Sun Bowl on December 31.
Utah has 17 straight home wins. Regular season complete. The Utes play California in the Poinsettia Bowl on December 23.
Western Kentucky has lost 20 straight overall and 25 straight to FBS teams. Season complete.
Eastern Michigan has lost 12 straight overall. Season complete.
Washington State has lost 9 straight. Season complete.
Colorado State has lost 9 straight. Season complete.
22 teams had a new college football coach in the FBS ranks this season. Only Eastern Michigan went winless. 17 teams saw a first-year improvement under their new regime.
||1/1 - Northwestern (Outback Bowl)
||12/26 - USC (Emerald Bowl)
||12/30 - Bowling Green (Humanitarian Bowl)
||12/27 - Kentucky (Music City Bowl)
||12/31 - Minnesota (Insight Bowl)
|New Mexico State
||1/1 - Ohio State (Rose Bowl)
|San Diego State
||12/31 - Virginia Tech (Chick-fil-A Bowl)
||12/19 - Fresno State (New Mexico Bowl)
|*-Dabo Swinney took over halfway through last season when Tommy Bowden stepped down after a 3-3 start. Swinney was 4-3 over the last 7 games of the season.