Monday, January 12, 2015

College Football Playoff Title Game: Oregon vs. Ohio State

Game is on ESPN between Oregon vs Ohio State in the first College Football Playoff Title Game from Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium.

It's not a Rose Bowl, but the final on College Football Game for the 2014 season is a Pac 12 vs. Big Ten matchup.

Go Buckeyes!

Friday, January 2, 2015

One more time: B1G vs. SEC in the TaxSlayer Bowl from Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL - - The New Year arrived in B1G style in 2015, with the Big Ten Conference winning three of four bowl games, including the top three match-ups.

Ohio State defeated Alabama 42-35 in the Sugar Bowl in the nightcap game to join Oregon, winner of the Rose Bowl, in the first CFP Championship Game on January 12th.

The Big Ten won two of three games against SEC opponents on New Year's Day to take a 5-4 record into the final B1G bowl game. The SEC is now 5-5.

The Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) and Tennessee Volunteers (6-6) meet in the TaxSlayer Bowl today at 2:20 p.m. (CT) at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The game is televised on ESPN, in the final bowl match-up for each conference, in another B1G vs. SEC game.

For Tennessee it's like taking a trip down memory lane. For Iowa it has become very familiar. But neither school is taking it for granted.

The Hawkeyes are making their 12 bowl game appearance in the last 14 years under head coach Kirk Ferentz. They won games this season, the sixth time in the last seven seasons they've done so, and they're competing in January for the 12th time in program history.

"(Any bowl game) is a great experience," said Ferentz. "It's a chance to be together as a team for another four or five weeks, and to me it's all great."

Even greater has been Iowa's success in bowl games. Since Ferentz defeated Texas Tech at the 2001 Alamo Bowl, no Big Ten team has more bowl wins than Iowa.

"To me it's really about how you approach the month, or in some cases six weeks," said Ferentz. "You have to have a plan, execute that, and communicate that (plan) with your players."

Standing in Iowa's way of its seventh bowl win since 2001 is a Tennessee team that won three of its last four games to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2010.

The Volunteers are playing in their 50th bowl game in program history -- only Alabama, Texas, and Georgia have appeared in as many -- but they are playing today in the postseason for the first time since a double overtime loss to North Carolina at 2010 Music City Bowl.

That's four years and three days between bowl appearances for a school that is tied with Florida State for sixth all-time with 25 bowl wins.

"Right now these individuals have never played in December or January, nor practiced," said second year Tennessee head coach Butch Jones.

"Being a part of this bowl game is very, very special."

Tennessee does not have a player on its roster with bowl experience, a detail that includes 17 seniors. Jones said he has talked to that group about today's chance to leave a legacy, but he's also reminded them it will not come easy.

Tennessee has 24 freshman playing, seven starting for the Volunteers today. Iowa has had some success against younger teams in 2014, with wins at Pittsburgh and at Purdue, two of the younger teams in College Football in 2014.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach (Ferentz) and the entire (Iowa) football program," said Jones. "This is going to be a great challenge for us. They do a great job running the football, play-action, and they can beat you with the deep ball.

"Defensively they are very sound in what they do and their players execute. At the end of the day it's all about consistency and performance, and execution by performance, and they have that."

The Hawkeyes also have a hunger for a bowl win. Iowa's 16 seniors (10 starters) are playing in their third bowl game, but they are yet to win the final game of the season, and today is their only chance to win the final game of a career.

As true freshmen, the current Iowa fifth-year seniors saw their Iowa teammates finish 8-5, with a bowl win over Missouri to cap off the 2010 season. A win today would leave Iowa with a similar record and finish in a bowl.

"It will be emotional after," said senior Mark Weisman, "but right now it just feels like another game. We'll see how it goes and reflect on it later. Right now we're just trying to get a win against a good Tennessee team."

Iowa has had trouble in trophy games in 2014 though, with four of Iowa's five losses involving a trophy. A bowl trophy will be on the line for Iowa today.

"We have one game left and we want to win it very badly, it’s as simple as that,” Iowa coach Ferentz said. “To me it’s not so much about next year. It’s about finishing for our 16 seniors. It’s important that we play well this game.”

Ferentz teams are seeking their seventh bowl trophy, since 2001. A young Tennessee team stands in the Hawkeyes way in Jacksonville. 

How will the B1G vs. SEC showdown finish the 2014-15 bowl season for each conference?

Iowa vs. Tennessee TaxSlayer Bowl Preview

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year's as B1G plays in four of five Bowls to welcome in 2015!

Cedar Rapids, IA - - The new College Football Playoff officially kicks off today in 2015, with the Sugar and Rose Bowls, serving as semi-final match ups. In addition, three other bowl games will feature Big Ten teams, as College Football welcomes in 2015!

Who will win the first CFP National Championship?

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Ohio State

The Rose Bowl will field Oregon vs. Florida State, while the night cap in the Sugar Bowl features Alabama vs. Ohio State. The winners will play Monday, January 12th in the Championship Game.

“Every great team has a routine,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. “It's our job not to disrupt the routine. We do that the best we can when we're on the road, whether it be State College or East Lansing or New Orleans for a bowl game. So we're a real stickler about that, our routine is best Fridays in football and it starts today. … Our players enjoy the routine on Friday. The most important thing, task at hand, is we get our meetings done quickly. We have a run through, walk through, and then we have to make sure they sleep.”

How will 2015 be for these football programs, along with us all?

Will it be routine, special, up or down?

The season is done for most College Football programs.

The Big Ten has four games to celebrate the New Year today and one final bowl game on Friday, featuring the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Preview of Iowa vs. Tennessee in the TaxSlayer Bowl on 1/2.

First up:
11 a.m. from Tampa on ESPN2 is the Outback Bowl:
Wisconsin vs. Auburn, as the Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez (0-1 in '12) leads UW into another bowl game serving as interim coach.

Auburn vs. Wisconsin Outback Bowl Preview

At 11:30 a.m. from Dallas on EPSN is the Cotton Bowl:
Michigan State vs. Baylor, as the Spartans face the Big 12's co-champion, who won the head to head match-up, with TCU.

Baylor vs. Michigan State Cotton Bowl Preview

At Noon from Orlando on ABC is the Citrus Bowl:
Minnesota vs. Missouri, as the Golden Gophers enjoy a rare New Year's Day on the gridiron against a SEC opponent. It has been over 50 years for the Golden Gophers ...

Minnesota vs. Missouri Citrus Bowl Preview

The Big Ten vs. SEC in the final four of five bowl match ups for the respective conferences. There will be some big time bragging rights on the line.

The SEC West has witnessed LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State all fall thus far during the 2014-15 bowl season. What happens today?

The first semi-final comes from the Granddaddy of all bowl games from Pasadena, California. It will be a 4 p.m. kickoff on ESPN as the ACC champ faces the traditional entry from the Pac 12 in the Rose Bowl.

Rose Bowl:
4 p.m. on ESPN
Florida State vs. Oregon
The undefeated, defending BCS champion Seminoles travel across the country to face the Ducks in the Granddaddy!

The final game of the New Year's Day will take place in New Orleans as the SEC champion takes on the Big Ten champion in the Heart of the SEC, the Sugar Bowl.

Sugar Bowl:
7:30 p.m. on ESPN
Alabama vs. Ohio State
Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer

The 2015 New Year's Day bowl line up should make for an exciting day. The new College Football Playoff and bowl lineup has been outstanding thus far in Year 1.

It should only help make 2015 a great year. Happy New Year to all!