Monday, December 7, 2009

December 6, 2009 - snow!!!! and bowls!!!!

well, as advertised, 30-40 cm of snow fell today. i went outside for a short run during the early stages of the storm. it was very windy too, so the snow was blowing all over the place, making it hard to see. i felt very sad and depressed. i'm not one of these people who enjoys winter! then again, i'm usually pretty good at making the best of things. since moving here, i have enjoyed winter activities that i haven't done since i was very young, such as building snow men and skating on ponds! the ponds are not frozen yet, but the temp is scheduled to be below freezing for most of the next 7 days, so i'm sure ice will start to form. the poor duckies looked so cold and hungry when i visited them today. it's very cute when they get snow on their beaks though!

oh well, the city is very good about plowing the streets (not so good about side walks though), but with careful planning, i should be able to map out some good running routes on the side streets to give myself plenty of challenging runs this winter. i also might finally find myself over at the pool more often. i missed most of this week as the flu shot left my arm sore for a couple of days, so i am anxious to get back in the pool.

i ran 100k this past week, the first 100k week in a while. nice to be back at it in full swing after a 6 weeks slow-down.

well, the 5 major college football bowl games were scheduled tonight, and 32 of the remaining 33 bowl games were scheduled as well (the last one will be decided next week as there is still one more regular season game to be contested that has bowl implications). of course there is always controversy when you have polls determining which top 2 teams will play in the so-called 'championship game'. this year, there were 5 undefeated teams, so in the end, we all knew that 3 of them would get screwed out of the big game. in the end, they decided to match up 2 sets of undefeated teams, while scheduling the 5th undefeated against the 6th ranked 1 loss team. the rest of the bowls will feature teams with 2 losses or more. in all bowl games, it will feature teams from different conferences playing each other, which will be a great way to attempt to prove which conferences are the best.

here's some brief thoughts on the big games (with Associated Press rankings)

Rose Bowl: #7 Oregon vs #8 Ohio State. i can't say that i am really excited to watch 7 vs 8. basically a meaningless game from that stand point. but on the positive side, this is another edition of the storied rivalry between the PAC-10 Conference winner vs the Big 10 Conference winner. we've got 2 high profile schools that are sure to bring their best on game day.

Fiesta Bowl: #6 Boise State vs #3 Texas Christian. well, we've got 2 teams from non Bowl Championship Series conferences in the Bowl Championship Series, a first! sadly, they have these two undefeated teams matched against each other, rather than give them a chance to prove their worth by playing against, and beating, teams from BCS conferences. given these two school's status as being non BCS conference teams, the tv coverage for them has been limited. i was lucky enough to catch 5 of Boise's 13 games, and they looked awesome, especially on their dominant win over Oregon. Not even 1 TCU game televised here in Eastern Canada, even with the Super Sports Package. ultimately, there will be many who have never watched either, and this game is a great chance for both schools to get some exposure in front of a national audience.
and for the winner, a chance to lay claim to being the 'real' champions, having gone undefeated and winning a major bowl.

Orange Bowl: #9 Georgia Tech vs #10 Iowa. i really hate to say this, but this is a meaningless game. you've got the ACC winner against the Big 10 runner up. the two weakest conferences out of the big 6. i would have much preferred to see both of these schools matched up separately against the undefeated Boise and TCU, so that both Boise and TCU could prove their worthiness and both finish undefeated. on the positive side, Georgia Tech did win their conference and they had a great year. Iowa had an amazing run in the first half but stumbled a few times down the stretch.

Sugar Bowl: #4 Cincy vs #5 Florida. Ok, i totally don't agree with Florida dropping to #5 after losing one game this year, which was to the #2 ranked team, who is now ranked #1. I also don't like Cincy being here either. Cincy is the #2 in the country as far as i am concerned, and it's sad that they won't get a chance to win the official championship. but at the very least, this is the game with the most implications. a chance for the often-mocked Big East conference to make a statement by beating the #2 SEC team, and the team that was ranked #1 for the entire regular season. It will be very interesting to see how Florida does. Last year, the SEC runner up was so disappointed at losing their conference and missing out on the title game, that they gave no effort in the Sugar Bowl and got pounded by yet another non BCS team. Tim Tebow is a great leader and i suspect he will not let this happen to Florida. This is certain to be one heck of an offensive shoot out, the type of game Cincy is very comfortable with.

So-Called National Championship game: #1 Alabama vs #2 Texas. ok, Texas really shouldn't be here. they should have lost the conference championship game when the final play of the game was an incomplete pass. inexplicably, the ref decided to put one second back on the clock and give texas one more free play, which they used to kick a field goal to squeek by the much lower-ranked Nebraska. Sure, a win is a win, and texas is 13-0, which is awesome, but they struggled to get by a couple of weak teams. their strength of victory does not compare to that of any of the other undefeateds, and their strength of schedule is no tougher than Cincy's was. Alabama is also 13-0 and they did so against one of the toughest schedules in the league. they dominated almost all of their opponents, including 3 teams who were ranked in the top 10 at the time they played.
ultimately, on the positive side, if Texas can pull this one off, then they will earn my respect and will certainly deserve to call themselves co-champions along with any other undefeated team that wins their bowl. i can only hope, for the sake of the league, that this turns out to be one heck of a game, and not a one-sided blowout win for Alabama.. but quite frankly, i have my doubts.

in the end, here is how i would have ranked the top teams:

1 alabama
2 cincy
3 texas
4 florida
5 boise
6 tcu
7 oregon
8 georgia tech
9 ohio state
10 louisiana state
11 iowa
12 penn state

and here's what i would have done with the BCS bowls to make them more meaningful:

so-called championship - alabama vs cincy (the 2 teams i think are the best)

fiesta - tcu vs texas (talk about bragging rights in the state of texas!)

rose - ohio state vs oregon (keep the tradition alive, big 10 vs pac 10)

sugar - florida vs boise (let's see how good boise really is!)

orange - lsu vs georgia tech (sorry folks, but i think that a 3 loss SEC team is better than any big 10 team, LSU deserves to be here. if they didn't have to play FL and AL, they would only be a 1 loss team, talk about a tough schedule! yes i know, no conference is allowed to have 3 reps here, but this is my fictitious BCS so i can change the rules if i want).

oh well, if we can't have this, at least we've got what we've got. 34 great bowl games ahead, and i will be glued to the TV for each and every one of them! let the games begin!


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