The Bowl season was nuts, and some of the games were really good. Some shockers, and some teams really rose, while others fell. Without further adeu....
1. Florida- LW 1- The Gators held off a very game Oklahoma team. The Florida defense is downright nasty. The scariest part? They don’t have a single senior on the two deep defensive roster (although Spikes is definitely gone imo). Congrats to the National Champs.
2. University of Southern California- LW 5- The Trojans are extremely talented, and rolled Penn State. Their defense is superior, and Sanchez appears to be a little better than I initially suspected. Damien Williams is the real key to their offense.
3. Utah- LW 7- Utah played very well against a very good Alabama team. Their lines did more than hold up, but controlled the game. Brian Johnson is a very good QB, and this team was a little underrated throughout the year.
4. Texas- LW 3- Colt McCoy is very good. The defense played better than expected against Ohio State. They don’t have a great run game, but Colt can complete the short passes to substitute. The Horns would have loved a shot in the NC game.
5. Oklahoma- LW 2- Obviously the best two loss team in the country. Their offense is really good and the defense played much better than expected. The DL is what really helped their defense in the NC game. A nice showing for Stoops and the Sooners.
6. Alabama- LW 4- The loss has a sting, but their turnaround and future is very impressive. Alabama didn’t play well up front, and JPW paid the price. Their running game wasn’t like it was all year. This team however is still very dangerous.
7. Pennsylvania State University- LW 6 Joe Pa and co went out to the west coast and got handled by the Trojans. They have a couple of good wins, and although they didn’t play great against So Cal they are a very solid team.
8. Ohio State- LW 10- Even with a loss the Bucks are able to move up. Their defense proved to be pretty impressive, mostly because of an aggressive blitz scheme. The offense was not explosive, but Pryor shows a lot of promise. Laurinaitis, Jenkins, Wells, and many others did great things at Ohio State.
9. Texas Christian University- LW 14- The Horned Frogs beat a very game Boise State team. The Poinsettia bowl was very good. TCU played very well with their losses being to Utah and Oklahoma. Their defense is electric for sure.
10. Oregon- LW 12- The Ducks played very well offensively and even played some defense. The Holiday is a good bowl, and the victory was very good for the Pac 10 and the Ducks. Their run offense is ridiculously good.
11. Ole Miss- LW 23- Sure they have a couple of losses, but right now they are playing as well as just about everyone. They handled Texas Tech, and they play very well on the lines which keeps them in every game they play. Their win over Florida was impressive. Houston Nutt did a great job this year, and they will be competing in the SEC for a while under Nutt.
12. Boise State- LW 9- The Broncos went through the regular season undefeated, but lost to TCU. They are a good team, but their freshman QB showed up a bit in the bowl game against a really good TCU defense. They could compete with the teams ranked around them though (although I think the Fiesta made the right choice in picking Ohio State).
13. Virginia Tech- LW 16- The Hokies played a pretty good Cincinnati team and shut down their offense after the first drive. Their offense is still not their strong point, but this is a solid team. They notched the first win in a bowl game for the ACC since 1999! (When FSU beat VT).
14. Georgia- LW 20- The Dawgs finally put some of that talent together on the field. Their defense is aggressive and fast, and their offense can be really good with Moreno and Stafford. The future for Georgia is a little shaky losing Moreno and Stafford (however they have Cox and King in the wings). A nice win over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl.
15. Texas Tech- LW 8- The Red Raiders have a prolific pass offense, and their defense was their Achilles heal all year. They lost to a very good Ole Miss team who is playing very well right now. Harrell will leave with a lot of records, but not with a victory in the Cotton Bowl.
16. Cincinnati- LW 11- The Bearcats had struggles throughout the year, most of them had to deal with finding a QB. Their defense is pretty good, but their offense struggled against VT. A really great season for Brian Kelly and the Bearcats with 11 wins, and a Big East title.
17. Oklahoma State- LW 15- The Pokes couldn’t stoop the Oregon offense, but few could. Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant are a great combo and Kendall Hunter is a really underrated running back. This team surprised a lot of people, and their coach Mike Gundy is really good (and he’s a man!).
18. Missouri- LW 22- The Tigers had a lot of trouble with Northwestern, who took them to overtime. Chase Daniel did not play very well, but Maclin is outstanding. Not the season Daniel was looking for, will he get drafted?
19. Iowa- LW 24- The Hawkeyes looked pretty good in dominating South Carolina. Shonn Greene is a great RB and he wills his team on offense. He got 100 yards in every game this season (the only RB to do so). Stanzi was serviceable at QB, and this was good for the Big Ten’s only bowl win.
20. Florida State- LW UR- The Seminoles are a really talented team, and their defense is fast and opportunistic. The real reason the Seminoles are ranked here is the improvement of Ponder throughout the year, and the big WR’s who can dominate DBs.
21. West Virginia- LW UR- Pat White went out in style, and won another bowl game. Their offense is good with White, even throwing the ball a little, and Devine. Their defense has improved and they had an impressive win over UNC.
22. Georgia Tech- LW 13- GT got embarrassed by LSU, but that doesn’t diminish their season. 9 wins for Paul Johnson is really good, and this offense should get more dynamic since he can recruit more athletes and mix the pass in more often with the option.
23. California- LW UR- Cal is a solid football team and Jhavid Best is a really good RB. Their QB situation with Longshore/Riley is tough to figure, but good enough. The defense plays pretty well, and they had a pretty good win against Miami in the Nut Bowl.
24. Michigan State- LW 17- This team outdid what many expected them. They finished with 9 wins, a great improvement over their 6 last year. Now they just have to play better against the best teams (that is how you have to build a program, and Dantonio is doing a great job).
25. Oregon State- LW UR- The Beavers won one of the most scintillating Bowl games in the entire bowl season (ok not!). Their offense is solid, and their defense slowed down Pitt to a near crawl.
Dropped: Ball State (18), BYU (19), Pittsburgh (21), Northwestern (24)