Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Bowl Games

First and foremost, today in Las Vegas, Nevada, Andy Contreras turns 36 years of age! We wish we could be with him, but we were happy to enjoy Jenn and Andy's visit over Christmas holiday.




A boy and his Big League Chew


Meanwhile, back in Camarillo, we welcomed in the New Year at Ric's Cafe.

Early New Year's Eve dinner at Ric's

Helen and Rod Fujita in front with Brian and Koreen FitzGerald behind Rod.

Looks like Helen was ready for bed at 8:00 p.m. Laurie and I celebrated at 9:00 p.m. which was really midnight in New York City. Close enough for us!

Besides, we needed a good night's sleep for the upcoming New Year's Day Bowl Mania.

8:00 a.m.
Outback Bowl at Tampa, Florida
Auburn (7-5)
Northwestern (8-4)

Here Northwestrn QB Mike Kafka gets sacked. Mike would suffer a very Kafkaesque day throwing FIVE interceptions while throwing for a career high 532 yards and 4 TDs! Did he lead the Wildcats to their first bowl win since their 1949 Rose Bowl 20-14 victory over California?

No, in probably the wildest game of the day, Auburn prevailed 38-35 in overtime.

10:00 a.m.
Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Florida
No. 13 LSU (9-3)
No. 11 Penn State (10-2)

If you like muddy, torn up fields, you would have LOVED this game.

Things get tricky now as games start both overlapping and competing head on for the rest of the morning. Once the Outback Bowl was finished, I concentrated mostly on this game. The field conditions took center stage and led to a total of 15 punts in the contest!

In the end Joe Paterno got his record 24th bowl game victory as Penn State outlasted LSU 19-17. This also improved Coach Paterno's all-time record to 394-129-3, the best ever by a Division I coach.

10:00 a.m.
Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Florida
Florida State (6-6)
No. 18 West Virginia (9-3)

Bobby Bowden's last game at Florida State. He was being forced out after a splendid career which was sad but he enjoyed the moment to the fullest! As a side note, he had also been the head coach at West Virginia before coming to FSU in 1976.

Here he gets to spike the ceremonial Seminole flaming spear at mid-field during pre-game, AWESOME!

Seminole's on the run

Bowden went out a winner as the Seminoles won 33-21. His post-game media conference was another example of his grace and class. He finishes his career with a record of 389-129-4, second all-time only to Penn State's Joe Paterno.

"The Grandaddy of Them All!"
2:00 p.m.
Rose Bowl at Pasadena, California
No. 8 Ohio State (10-2)
No. 7 Oregon (10-2)

One game, by itself, no conflicts, just what we needed after the wild mornings three games!

A change of venue was in order, so we drove over to the FitzGerald's home to watch the game on one of their Hi-Def contraptions. The Contreras home may be the last bastion of Low-Def TV in the Free World.


Koreen is one of Ventura County's premier chefs and for the Rose Bowl she outdid herself!

Rose Bowl MVP
Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor

If any one school needed a BIG win in a BCS Bowl, it was Ohio State. The Buckeye defense played great against the Oregon offense that was averaging 40.2 points per game over the last 11 games.

Pryor ran for 72 yards and passed for 266 yards and 2 TDs as Ohio State prevailed 26-17.

5:30 p.m.
Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, Louisiana
No. 5 Florida (12-1)
No. 4 Cinncinati (12-0)

On paper, the best game of the day was up last.

The game featured two great, highly ranked teams, Tim Tebow's last game as a Gator, the Bearcats first game without Head Coach Brian Kelly who left them for the Notre Dame job and Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer's career up in the air over health issues.

What did it all mean? Mostly that games are definitely NOT played on paper.

This was a yawner that sent us home early when Florida jumped out to a 30-3 halftime lead.

Tebow made his last collegiate game the best one of his career going 31 for 35 passing for 482 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. He also rushed for 51 yards and a TD. He was the easy pick for the game's MVP award.

Florida Coach Urban Meyer
Florida 51 - Cinncinati 24

Another great man for the game of football, I hope he gets healthy and continues his career.

A great day of bowl game watching, thanks to the Fitz's for hosting the last two games of the day and to Dick Bellman for letting me watch the end of the wacky Outback Bowl at his home on another one of those Hi-Def things.

It's been 36 years. . .
Is that REALLY possible?

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