The Swami

Predictions 101 — Bowls

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It’s time to go bowling!

While our record during the season at Predictions 101 was far better than the .500 mark it takes to qualify for the postseason (unless you’re Georgia Tech at 6-7!?) the stakes are raised as the bowl season has arrived.

From the Alamo to the Sun — and some others with really bizarre names in between — we’ve got you covered here at CollegeFootballTalk.com with a look at all 35 (yikes!) bowl games.

BCS BOWLS
Championship (1/7): No. 2 Alabama 42, No. 1 Notre Dame 14 (WIN)
Fiesta (1/3): No. 5 Oregon 35, No. 7 Kansas State 17 (WIN)
Sugar (1/2): No. 22 Louisville 33, No. 4 Florida 23 (LOSS)
Orange (1/1):
No. 13 Florida State 31, No. 16 Northern Illinois 10 (WIN)
Rose (1/1):
No. 8 Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14 (WIN)

OTHER BOWLS
GoDaddy.com (1/6): Arkansas State 17, No. 25 Kent State 13 (LOSS)
BBVA Compass (1/5): Mississippi 38, Pittsburgh 17 (LOSS)
Cotton (1/4): No. 10 Texas A&M 41, No. 12 Oklahoma 13 (WIN)
Capital One (1/1):
No. 6 Georgia 45, No. 23 Nebraska 31 (WIN)
Outback (1/1): No. 11 South Carolina 33, No. 19 Michigan 28 (WIN)
Gator (1/1): No. 21 Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20 (WIN)
Heart of Dallas (1/1): Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14 (WIN)
Chick-fil-A (12/31):  No. 14 Clemson 25, No. 9 LSU 24 (LOSS)
Liberty (12/31): Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17 (WIN)
Sun (12/31): Georgia Tech 21, USC 7 (WIN)
Music City (12/31): Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24 (WIN)
Buffalo Wild Wings (12/29): Michigan State 17, TCU 16 (LOSS)
Alamo (12/29): Texas 31, No. 15 Oregon State 27 (LOSS)
Pinstripe (12/29): Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14 (WIN)
Kraft Fight Hunger (12/29): Arizona State 62, Navy 28 (WIN)
Armed Forces (12/29): Rice 33, Air Force 14 (LOSS)
Meineke Car Care Bowl (12/28): Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31 (WIN)
Russell Athletic (12/28): Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10, OT (WIN)
Independence (12/28): Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe (LOSS)
Holiday (12/27): Baylor 49, No. 17 UCLA 26 (LOSS)
Belk (12/27): Cincinnati 48, Duke 34 (WIN)
Military (12/27): No. 24 San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20 (LOSS)
Little Caesars Pizza (12/26): Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21 (LOSS)
Hawaii (12/24): SMU 43, Fresno State 10 (LOSS)
MAACO Las Vegas (12/22): No. 20 Boise State 28, Washington 26 (WIN)
New Orleans (12/22): Louisiana-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34 (LOSS)
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (12/21): Central Florida 38, Ball State 17 (LOSS)
Poinsettia (12/20): BYU 23, San Diego State 6 (WIN)
Famous Idaho Potato (12/15): No. 18 Utah State 41, Toledo 15 (WIN)
New Mexico (12/15): Arizona 49, Nevada 48 (WIN)

Bowl record (overall): 21-14

Washington State coach Mike Leach fires a shot at the SEC

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Washington State coach Mike Leach is known across the country as one of college football’s most interesting characters, rambling on from time-to-time about everything from pirates to the history of Geronimo. The latest subject the quirky head coach has turned his sights on? The big ol’ SEC.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger spoke to Leach recently as part of a profile on new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo, and let’s just say the Air Raid guru of the Palouse didn’t hold back when discussing the state of offenses in the league widely considered to be the best in the sport.

“I’ve got bad news for all these levels people,” Leach said. “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special. All this different level this, different level that. That’s crazy.

 

“This is a great time to be in the SEC, everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves  and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

Leach, who coached in the league at Kentucky, also added some other, more colorful language to describe his impression of the SEC and the offenses teams run. While he did play at Auburn with the Cougars a few years ago, he clearly hasn’t kept up with the way things are trending down south as even pro-style stalwarts like Alabama and Arkansas are using more and more tempo and spread principles on a weekly basis.

Either way, let’s hope the Washington State athletic director is already making calls to schedule an SEC opponent in the coming years. If nothing else, any future appearance by Leach on the Paul Finebaum Show should be must-see entertainment.

Willie Taggart completes Oregon coaching staff with familiar face from USF

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: South Florida Bulls head coach Willie Taggart during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images)
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It probably took a little longer than most to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, but Willie Taggart has completed his coaching staff at Oregon and the latest addition is a familiar face.

The school announced Thursday afternoon that Raymond Woodie would be taking over as the Ducks’ new special teams coordinator, having previously spent the past four seasons at USF with Taggart and three more before that together at Western Kentucky.

Woodie most recently served as the Bulls’ defensive coordinator this past season but has been a linebackers coach dating back to 2012. He is regarded by many to be a quality recruiter with good ties to the state of Florida in particular and has also coached the defensive line. While his title makes him responsible for the third phase of the game for Oregon, he figures to also help out new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt in some fashion as well.

The announcement is a bit of positive news for Taggart and the Ducks this week after a considerable bit of bad press for the program stemming from the revelation that multiple Oregon players wound up in the hospital following offseason workouts. New strength coach Irele Oderinde (who also came over from USF) was eventually suspended for one month without pay by the school as a result..

Despite Auburn interest, Texas A&M OC Noel Mazzone staying put in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 14:  The Texas A&M Aggies offense huddles against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on October 14, 2006 in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 25-19. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Gus Malzahn’s quest to find a new offensive coordinator has zigged and zagged in the past few days since the surprising departure of Rhett Lashlee to UConn. One place it will not be going however, is to a fellow SEC West school.

Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reports that despite some interest in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, the Aggies’ coach is staying put in College Station.

Mazzone arrived at A&M prior to this past season from UCLA and found early success with the Aggies and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight before a late slide in 2016. Travis Haney of 247Sports reported earlier Thursday that he could be considered the leader in the search to replace Lashlee, but it appears that will not be the case.

The longtime coaching veteran’s name being linked to Auburn isn’t too surprising considering he was the OC there from 1999-2001 but Mazzone’s hefty salary and likely high buyout figure provided some big obstacles if he wanted to reunite with the school.

Instead, it’s on to the next one for Malzahn and company.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coaches ride go-karts with five-star recruit in Georgia

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 27-23.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is just around the corner and that means a flurry of in-home visits by coaches across the country trying to lock up the next class of impact players for their program.

We’ve seen plenty of unique attempts by coaches to impress prospects over the years as a result, from often used cookie cakes to sleepovers and limo rides. When it comes to this subject though, few have been as creative as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. This week, he certainly cemented that reputation.

According to the Detroit News, Harbaugh and several Wolverines coaches took an in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon out of Leesburg, Georgia and went bowling with the recruit’s family before finally racing go-karts together.

And even better, there’s video via ESPN:

Solomon is also strongly considering Alabama and Georgia in addition to Michigan, but something says neither Nick Saban or Kirby Smart will be heading to the race track with the big defensive tackle on their visit. You have to love recruiting either way.