Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Non archaeology post So just skip ahead if you're uninterested.

If there's anything we here at ArchaeoBlog like more than archaeology it's. . .college football. And this time of year, the deadly sin of gluttony gets tossed out the window in favor of an orgy of the stuff. True, I miss the days of the old bowl system, when the Big 10 and Pac 10 met in the Rose Bowl (note: let's have a moratorium of at least 10 years on calling it 'the grand-daddy of them all', okay?), the Southworst Southwest got beat in the Cotton Bowl, the Big 8 got beat in the Orange Bowl, the Holiday Bowl was a big high-scoring whopper of a game (still mostly is actually), and there actually were bowls named after a thing or place, rather than a company. I can take or leave the BCS, but unless you're going to go for a playoff system, don't even bother (and I personally don't care Who's Number 1).

Be all that as it may, I must take time to spread the love for my alma mater, Wisconsin, got pretty convincingly, though the score didn't show it, beat Arkansas in the Florida Citrus Capital One bowl. They haven't changed much since Alvarez left: still strong on defense (Alvarez was defensive coordinator at Notre Dame during their last really strong era under Lou Holtz) and a disciplined, if pretty vanilla, offense. Go Wisconsin!

Admittedly, the Rose Bowl was pretty traditional: A highly ranked Big 10 team came out and got spanked by a lower-ranked Pac 10 team. That's mostly what I remember from my youth. We'd all look forward to the Rose Bowl, the first half would go well for the Big 10, and then in the second half they'd fall apart and whatever otherwise mediocre Pac 10 team they played would run away with it. That changed in the 1990s, but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth all these years later.

Could the Fiesta Bowl have been any better? Unless you're an Oklahoma fan, that is. Amazing finish. I thought Boise State kinda blew it through most of the 4th when they seemed to back off and played not to lose rather than to win, but they made up for it at the end. I admit I have never seen a Statue of Liberty play before and that one was run to perfection.

I make no predictions for the remaining three. I wish Notre Dame to lose, not because I feel an intense dislike for ND which others seem to feel most acutely (like my Dad, the Alabaman), but because they dumped Tyrone Willingham so abruptly. Good for us, since he came to Washington, but that was still classless on their part. I will also root for Wake Forest; I saw them dismantle Oregon in the short-lived Seattle bowl a few years ago. And, obviously, go Buckeyes.

UPDATE: Various entities have listed last year's Rose Bowl as the Best Game Ever (Texas over USC). I humbly submit the 1987 Fiesta Bowl where #2 Penn State beat #1 Miami as possibly the best game in recent years. That's a good article at the link, by the way.