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THE GAZETTE - SERVING CENTRE COUNTY

2011-2012 NCAA Football Bowl Guide 1/2

5pm on ESPN

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio 1/6 Wisconsin (11-2) v. Oregon (11-2)

brought to you by JABCO-MAGGI

8pm on FOX

Conferences: Big Ten v. Pac-12

Location: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California

1/2 8:30pm on ESPN

If you like high octane offenses, tune into ESPN on January 2nd at 5pm. The Oregon Ducks run a no-huddle spread offense, feature athletes out the wazoo, and score 46 points per game. Their two loses came at the hands of LSU in Week 1, and to USC in a three-point contest in mid-November, killing any hope they had at a shot at a second consecutive birth in the BCS National Championship game. Don’t blink, or you will miss the Ducks explosive offensive playmakers in LaMichael James, Darron Thomas, De’Anthony Thomas (no relation) and Kenjon Barner. Head coach Chip Kelly rarely

punts and loves going for two following a score. All run sub 4.4 second at a blistering pace. forty yard dash times, and look like race horses running up and down the field Needless to say, Special Teams aren’t his forte. Wisconsin won the inaugural Big Ten Championship, defeating Michigan State 42-39. The Badgers score 44 points per game behind the play of Monte Ball, who is one touchdown shy of breaking Barry Sanders single-season record for touchdowns in a season. Russell Wilson made a great decision coming to Wisconsin, getting an chance to play in the “Grand Daddy of em’ all”.

Location: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

1/7

1pm on ESPN

1/3 8:30pm on ESPN

Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama

Oklahoma State (11-1) v. Stanford (11-1) of the BCS this year, after losing heartbreaker to Iowa State following the tragedy on campus where they saw their woman’s basketball coach and an assistant killed in a plane crash. The Cowboys will be playing angry on January 2nd, and have taken on the personality of their Coach, Mike Gundy. For those who don’t know who he is, Youtube his name; he’s a man, he’s 40 (he is actually a little older than 40 right now, as the sound bite is a couple of years old).

1/4 8:30pm on ESPN

Kansas State ended their season with three straight wins while being lead by their do-everything QB Collin Klein. He leads the offense in both rushing and passing but truth be told, they are a running team (29th in nation) while having one of the most inept passing attack (ranked 109th). Arkansas, on the other hand, hasn’t seen a

down in which it couldn’t pass. They field the 13th ranked passing attack and can put points on the board. Their only two losses came to LSU and Alabama. Kansas State lost to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Both teams have “quality” losses and should provide football fans an interesting matchup.

BBVA Compass Bowl

Pittsburgh (6-6) v. SMU (7-5)

1/8

9pm on ESPN

Pitt will be in the Compass Bowl for the second consecutive year, despite the struggles of picking up firstyear coach Todd Graham’s spread offense; they ranked 84th in the nation in yards per game. SMU Head Coach June Jones appeared to be heading to Arizona State before deciding to stay at SMU. Pitt will be without the services of running back

Ray Graham, who was lost for the season with a leg injury. At the time, Graham led the country in rushing yards. J.J. McDermott has thrown for 3,200 yards in June Jones pass happy offense, throwing to the likes of Darius Thomas and Cole Beasley, who are both on the cusp of cracking the 1,000 yard receiving mark.

GoDaddy.com Bowl

Arkansas State (10-2) v. Northern Illinois (10-3) Conferences: Sun Belt v. MAC

Location: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

Fun fact; only two quarterbacks accounted for more yards of total offense than Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, who threw for 2,942 yards and ran for an additional 1,382 yards. Those two quarterbacks were Davey O’Brien and Heisman award winner Robert Griffin III

from Baylor and Houston’s Case Keenum, who threw for 5,100 yards. Arkansas State’s quarterback Ryan Aplin gained 3,840, not trailing those three by much. If you like points, tune into this game that will precede the BCS National Championship game by a day, where points will be at a premium.

Michigan (10-2) v. Virginia Tech (11-2) Credit Michigan Coach Brady Hoke for the turnaround at Michigan; playing with Rich Rodriguez’s recruits, he turned around a program that was thought to be the doormat of the Big Ten a year ago. Quarterback Denard Robinson has thrown for 2,056 yards this season, while rushing for an additional 1,163 and totaling 44 touchdowns, leading the

Wolverines back to respectability. The Hookies also have a duel threat quarterback in Logan Thomas, who this season, combined for over 3,200 yards of total offense and 29 touchdowns. The Hokies were knocked off by the Clemson Tigers in the ACC title game, and will be licking their chops in this coin-flip game.

Discover Orange Bowl

Clemson (10-3) v. West Virginia (9-3) Conferences: ACC v. Big East

Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

Arkansas (10-2) v. Kansas State (10-2)

Allstate Sugar Bowl Conferences: Big Ten v. ACC

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Cotton Bowl

Conferences: Big East v. C-USA

Conferences: Pac-12 V. Big 12

Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

MOTORS, INC

Conferences: SEC v. Big 12

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl The likely number one overall pick in this year’s draft will be Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who has won the Maxell, Walter Camp, and Johnny Unitas awards this offseason, who will see his collegiate career come to an end in the Fiesta Bowl. Cowboy wide receiver Justin Blackmon won the Biletnikoff award for the second consecutive season, and has declared himself eligible for the upcoming draft. Blackmon will likely be the first wide receiver off the board in April. The Cowboys felt the wrath

DECEMBER 16, 2011

How did the West Virginia Mountaineers get to a BCS bowl game? Granted, one of their three loses came to LSU, but their other two loses came at the hands of Syracuse and Louisville, not exactly football powerhouses. The Mountaineers feature a pair of elite receivers in Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, who combined for 15 touchdowns this past year, with

each posting 1,000 yard plus seasons. Quarterback Tajh Boyd leads the Tiger attack for Coach Dabo Swinney, who has one of the coolest coaching names of all-time. The Tigers knocked off the Virginia Tech Hokies 38-10 in the ACC Title game, and at one point, we considered a sleeper to have a shot at the BCS title.

1/9 8:30pm on ESPN

BCS National Championship Game Alabama (11-1) v. LSU (13-0) Conferences: SEC v. SEC

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

For the sixth year in a row, the SEC will crown a National Champion. This game is a rematch from the regular season when Alabama’s three missed field goals proved to be the difference in their 9-6 overtime loss. Both teams have plenty of star power on both sides of the ball and whether the offenses struggle to move the ball again as they did in November may determine whether this is the best game or just a result of the

flawed BCS system. Outside of the SEC and ESPN, this game isnt making the nation lay awake at night dreaming of another game filled with trash talking, field position and missed field goals. The nations’ two best defenses will square off again with the pressure of living up expectations of a National Title. That pressure has made a difference in many games leading up to this one.

12-16-11 Centre County Gazette  

December 16, 2011 issue - Centre County Gazette