Iowa vs. No. 19 Oklahoma
Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Tempe, Ariz.
Remember when the Sooners were the preseason No. 1? That lasted in the coaches’ poll through Week 7. During that portion of the year, who would have thought Oklahoma (9-3) would be spending the postseason alongside a middle-of-the-road Big Ten team?
That’s what happens when a team such as Texas Tech racks you up as its only victory since Oct. 1. The mood changes. Injuries aren’t overcome. You slide down the bowl pole.
Along with the shocking nature of the 44-10 final score of Bedlam (we stupidly went for the Sooner upset), Oklahoma surprisingly allowed Oklahoma State to rush for 278 yards on just 33 carries (8.4 yards per attempt).
That’s an ominous sign for the Sooners, who have to deal with Hawkeye sophomore running back Marcus Coker. He’s rushed for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, and bolted for 219 yards in last season’s Insight Bowl, a 27-24 victory over then-No. 12 ranked Missouri.
We’re not sure why our friends in the desert have so little respect for Iowa (7-5) and Kirk Ferentz, who have won their last three bowl games (Insight, Orange and Outback), but we’ll gladly accept the free points.
Opening point spread: Oklahoma by 15 1/2
The pick: Oklahoma 31-26
Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.
Turns out Steve Spurrier isn’t the only iconic college football figure to retire this week.
Texas announced Tuesday evening Bevo XIV has been diagnosed with bovine leukemia and has been retired to his pasture, effective immediately.
Bevo XIV missed Saturday’s stunning upset of then-No. 10 Oklahoma with what the school called a “life threatening” illness, and rumors circulated around the internet this week he had passed away.
Bevo XIV officially hangs up his horns with a 106-41 record with two national championship appearances.
There is no word at press time on a possible debut of Bevo XV.
Urban Dictionary defines “Clemsoning” as “the act of an inexplicably disappointing performance, usually within the context of a college football season.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about the phenomenon following the Tigers’ destruction of Georgia Tech Saturday and promptly went off. The question, asked by ESPN’s David Hale, was in reference to Swinney’s program shaking the label – Saturday marked Clemson’s 34th straight win over an unranked opponent – but Swinney didn’t see it that way.
Armed with some new facts (Clemson SID Tim Bourret noted 50 teams have fallen as ranked opponents to unranked foes since the Tigers last did so on Nov. 19, 2011), Swinney again targeted the “Clemsoning” label.
“I think it’s an agenda. It’s just bias,” Swinney told the Charleston (S.C.) Post & Courier Tuesday. “People are uneducated. They’re just ignorant and lazy because they’re not looking at the facts. If they did, they’d be focused on other schools and not Clemson. They’d be dialed in on what Clemson has done. There aren’t three other schools in the country as consistent as Clemson, in all aspects.”
I hate to break it to you, Dabo: you are absolutely correct, but the term, as they say, has been coined.
Just go beat Florida State, beat South Carolina, win the ACC and win a national title and maybe Urban Dictionary will delete that pesky page out of a sign of respect.
Also, No. 5 Clemson hosts unranked Boston College on Saturday. This would be a very, very unfortunate time for the Tigers to suffer an upset.