Happy New Year, everyone! I'm going to take some questions and make some general comments as these games go on. If you're not able to be in front of a TV with a remote, I'll try to keep you updated on the action.
Big day for both the Big Ten and the SEC. Three head-to-head games between them, and the Big Ten has two other games, as well. Probably the first time a conference has ever had five bowl games on one day.
Penn State and Bama in the end zone early. Tide took the opening drive right down the field, and Mark Ingram bulldozed a would-be tackler on 3rd and goal. PSU picked off John Brantley on the first possession and took it down the field. Matt McGloin hits Derek Moye for the early score.
Is today's game vs. Miss State a must win for Rich Rod?
I'd be surprised if this game has any bearing one way or the other. I'm sure the decision has already been made. He's either coming back, or Michigan was just waiting for 2011 to fire him. Rodriguez's contract states he'd get a $4 million buyout for being terminated during the first three years. The third year ended at midnight. Starting today, it'll cost $2.5 million to buy him out.
Do you think Penn State will start Rob Bolden at QB next year? This guy McGloin looks like he should be pumping gas.
He may look like he should be pumping gas, but McGloin has played better than Bolden this year. Part of that is because the whole offense has gotten better with experience, but you have to give McGloin credit. Should make for an interesting spring and fall, though. As I write this, McGloin forces a ball into coverage across the middle, and Florida picks it and returns inside the 20.
Is Jim Harbaugh out at Stanford, win or lose?
I don't think win or lose has anything to do with it. Harbaugh will have offers from bigger programs (maybe Michigan), and probably the NFL, too. It all depends whether he's ready to make a move now. He must keep a tight circle, because I haven't heard anything on which way he's leaning.
Game updates: Florida's Trey Burton fumbled at the 1 and PSU recovered in the end zone for a touchback ... Bama picked off Kirk Cousins around the 20 and has driven back inside MSU territory ... Michigan has taken the opening kickoff and marched down for a quick TD (Robinson pass to Roundtree) ... Texas Tech takes a 24-6 lead on Northwestern into the half
Denard Robinson is at it again: 46 rushing yards on the opening drive and also went 3-3 for 27 yards and the TD
what's up with the celebration rule and do you think it will change thanks to K-state?
After the Jake Locker debacle a few years ago against BYU, the officials were asked to be more judicious with celebration calls, distinguishing between celebration and self-glorification. What K-State did was definitely not celebration, but was it really self-glorification? Probably not. I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion about it.
Bama just scored again. Trent Richardson running over defenders this time. 14-0 about 30 seconds into the 2nd quarter.
Hey Brad, was wondering if Muschamp is going to run-n-gun at Florida and if you have a nickname we can use in chats to ask you?
I don't have a nickname, and if I did, it wouldn't be Juggs. Muschamp has indicated that he'll run more of a pro-style offense, which is certainly consistent with the Charlie Weis rumors. It remains to be seen whether John Brantley will stick around to be a part of it. Most people thought Jordan Reed would've been the starter next year had Meyer stayed, but we'll have to see what happens to him, too.
Game updates: Mississippi State answers with a long drive and TD pass from Chris Relf (5-5 on the drive) to Arceto Clark ... Tide defense forced a fumble and returned for a TD but replay showed the receiver never had possession of the catch. Still 14-0.
How do you think Oklahoma's defense will do against Uconn's rushing attack?
I think Connecticut can have some success running the ball if they're able to wear down Oklahoma's defense. Problem is that UConn's defense will have to get enough stops on the OU offense. If the Huskies fall behind and have to start throwing, it could get ugly.
Game updates: Mississippi State holds Michigan and blocks a punt, then settles for a FG. Bulldogs lead 10-7 ... McGloin throws a pick inside his own 20, and Florida converts it into a TD run by on Omarius Hines on an end-around. Game tied at 7 ... Bama sacks Cousins on 3rd and goal, he fumbles, the ball gets kicked back to almost the 40, where MSU recovers and has to punt on 4th and goal. You don't see that very often. Tide up 14-0.
Northwestern marched down to open the 2nd half and got stuffed on 3rd and goal from the 1. Settled for a FG. 24-9, Texas Tech leads.
Big Ten is playing four games right now. It's still very early, but they're losing three of them and tied in the other.
Just as I write that, Michigan scores to take a 14-10 lead. Another TD pass by Robinson. This time to Martavious Odoms. Robinson is 7-7 for 99 yards and has 51 yards rushing. Still 1st quarter.
Texas Tech has already responded with an 86-yard TD run by Eric Stephens. Northwestern in big trouble, down 31-9.
Mark Ingram is playing like a man possessed. He's from Michigan, and both of his parents went to Michigan State. He was going to play there before Nick Saban swooped in late in the recruiting process. Ingram just scored again to put the Tide up 21-0. He has 32 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving to go with his two touchdowns.
Who do you think will win the rose bowl and sugar bowl
I have TCU in the Rose, but I don't know anyone else who does. I've seen them play in person three times in the last two seasons, and they are really impressive! I'm torn on the Sugar after the OSU controversy, but I'm sticking with the Buckeyes to end their 0-for-9 drought against the SEC in bowls.
What do you think about Julio and Ingram relevant to next season?
Alabama stands to lose a lot of talent early to the NFL, and I expect Julio Jones, Mark Ingram and Marcel Dareus all to leave. Not sure about Donta Hightower. I think Mark Barron will be back. If the NFL labor situation causes those guys to stick around for another year, Bama could be preseason No. 1 again.
Will Texas be back in a BCS bowl next year?
Texas has such a long way to go, and with new coordinators on both sides, it's hard to see them turning things around that much so soon. Of course, Texas still has as much talent as anyone in the country. It's just a matter of developing that offensive line and finding a difference maker at RB.
Game updates: The Big Ten now trails in all four of its games in progress. Florida blocked a punt and returned it for TD to take a 14-7 lead ... Mississippi State just responded with a 2-yard run by Vick Ballard to go up 17-14 ... And Alabama tacks on another score on an end-around by Julio Jones (great block by McElroy) to go up 28-0.
Good news for Michigan State: Alabama has shown it can blow a big lead after a dominant 1st half.Bad news for Michigan State: Cam Newton plays for Auburn.
After the weak effort yesterday, is Mark Richt in trouble?
I haven't heard anything from a knowledgeable source all season to indicate that Richt might be in trouble. Georgia probably played its best defensive game of the season yesterday, which is encouraging for next year, even though the offense probably played its worst game. Aaron Murray going to be a stud.
Do u think the gators will be a solid contender next season with out meyer?
Will be interesting to see how quickly Florida can adapt to a change of offensive scheme. The Gators have plenty of athletes but lack a running back I've seen that can excel in a pro-style attack. I'll be surprised if the Gators aren't really good on defense, though.
Do you think Ohio state should sit the 5 players?
As long as they all come back, I think sitting the five games next season is potentially a bigger penalty than missing the Sugar Bowl. I know it's a BCS game, and OSU wants to end the drought against the SEC, but those 5-game suspensions could cost them a shot at next year's BCS title. They have a tough early game at Miami.
Game updates: Texas Tech up 38-24 on Northwestern, late in the 3rd ... Alabama leads 28-0 at half ... Penn State just tied Florida on a short run by Michael Zordich after a long pass from McGloin to Moye down to the 1 ... Mississippi State just finished its third TD drive of double-digit plays with a 1-yard run by Relf to go up 24-14. That came after the Bulldogs picked off Denard Robinson.
How much Respect does TCU get from a win today and will it be considered an upset?
In case you haven't noticed, TCU is the favorite in Vegas, although it'll probably be treated like a mild upset by the media if TCU wins. I think it'll be more interesting to see/hear the commentary if Wisconsin wins big. You might hear a lot of people say it was proof that teams like TCU and Boise State never should've been considered national title contenders.
Game update: Penn State had goal-to-go but settled for a short FG to take a 17-14 lead into halftime.
Mississippi State did it again. Another double-digit play TD drive. This one 11 plays, capped off by a 15-yard pass from Relf to Ricco Sanders. Bulldogs lead 31-14 with seconds remaining in the 1st half.
Don't look now, but Northwestern has cut it to 38-31 with 10:33 remaining. Evan Watkins 18 yards to Demetrius Fields on 4th and 4.
Why isn't Bama running the ball like we did last year when did we turn to a passig team more that a power running we got the best backs in the country
Alabama tried to run but just didn't get the same play out of its offensive line this season. That was compounded by the fact that it put them in a lot of obvious passing situations, and that same line couldn't pass protect very well either. As much was made of the youth in the Alabama secondary this year, I think the offensive line is the reason Bama isn't playing for the BCS title next week.
If there were any questions about whether the Tide would be motivated for this game, they have been answered. McElroy to Marquis Maze for another TD ... Bama up 35-0. Not what you'd expect from the Big Ten co-champ against the team that finished 4th in the SEC West. Okay, just joking about that. Alabama was a heavy favorite for a reason.
Do you think tcu will able to match up with wisconsin size in this matchup?
TCU can't match Wisconsin's size, but I think they'll be able to neutralize that running game by overloading the box. My best guess is that Scott Tolzien will be the MVP if Wisconsin wins, because TCU will try to make him throw.
would you say the big ten needs a win against the SEC to stay among the top confencenes.
The Big Ten came into today 2-0 in bowls, and the SEC was 0-3, but if the SEC wins all three of these games today, nobody will remember that. I'd say the Big Ten needs to win one of these games, or there will be a lot of pressure on Ohio State to save face for the conference.
Do you think Terrelle Pryor will leave for the NFL next season? Win or lose?
According to Jim Tressel, Pryor has said he's coming back, and I don't think he'd be drafted very high as a QB anyway. He might have 1st-round talent as a receiver, but I can't imagine him coming out early for that. For whatever it's worth, Pryor told us on ESPN Radio after the Michigan game that he really wants to win a national title.
How bad is the Florida offense? First half total yards: Penn State 202, Florida 86
How many times will there be a reference to the 2006 Boise State Broncos during tonight's Fiesta Bowl broadcast? Over/Under set at 15?
Gotta go under ... Boise State will only be relevant to tonight as long as UConn is hanging around. I talked to Ryan Broyles a few weeks ago in Orlando and asked him if he was disappointed to play an unranked team. He said they (Oklahoma) are really dialed in on what they need to do and not worried about the opponent, because they've been reminded all too often about past upsets in the Fiesta Bowl.
Texas Tech tacked on another TD, by the way, to go up 45-31 and just got the ball back with 6 minutes to play.
Don't you think that TCU talking all this stuff about gaining respect for non-AQ schools is now seen as happenstance when they join a big conference? It sounds so fake to me.
The funny thing is that with Utah and TCU both joining AQ conferences, Boise State is the only remaining non-AQ that has any type of national respect. Barring the perfect non-conference schedule (beating two or three ranked teams), I can't imagine a non-AQ being in the national title discussion again anytime soon.
Game update: Northwestern looked done a few minutes ago but just returned an interception for TD to make it 45-38 with 5:30 to go.
Game updates: Florida makes a FG to tie the game at 17 ... Michigan misses a FG and still trails 31-14.
Hey man, I don't think Penn State's secondary can hold this. Big Ten teams NEVER beat fast SEC teams. You know this Brad. Time to own up.
Penn State is 7-2 in its last nine bowls against the SEC. The game is tied, but PSU looks like the better team right now. Don't forget, this is a pretty lame Florida offense, even with all that speed.
What are your thoughts of Dana Holgorsen and WVU in 2011 ?
I think it's a great offensive coordinator hire for next season. WVU was one of the most underachieving offenses in the nation this year, and this will make a big difference. Not sure how he'll be as a head coach, but at least he's in the Big East.
Do they have a mercy rule in the Capital One Bowl? Alabama up 42-0 after a long 3rd-quarter drive with a lot of backups.
Game updates: Mississippi State with yet another double-digit play TD drive (that's five of them if you're scoring at home) to take a 38-14 lead ... McGloin with a short TD run to put Penn State up 24-17 ... Texas Tech finishes off Northwestern, 45-38.
So, the Big Ten has lost one game today, is down 42 in the Cap One Bowl and down 24 in the Gator. They need Penn State to come through in a bad way.
Keep up the live updates! I'm in a bar with no cable TV! Brad Edwards keeps the people together!
What kind of bar doesn't have the games on? Are you sure you're not drinking in your basement?
How come everyone loves to bring up Ohio States struggles in recent bowls, particularly against the SEC, but you never hear anything about Oklahomas struggles? They have unquestionably been worse.
Oklahoma caught a lucky break with the draw in this year's bowl game. Everyone assumes the Sooners will beat UConn, so we're not hearing a lot about OU having lost five straight BCS games. But I can assure you the next time Oklahoma reaches the BCS title game, you'll hear plenty about them having lost three of those in a row.
Do you think Texas A&M will beat LSU?
No. Texas A&M had a lot of momentum to end the regular season, but after five weeks off, I think they come back to earth. Plus, as everyone in the Lone Star State knows, all A
Game updates: Florida kicked a FG to make it 24-20, then got the ball back on an interception and is in FG territory again ... Alabama just scored again to go up 49-0, and Mississippi State scored again to go up 45-14. The state of Michigan has now allowed 84 unanswered points to the SEC. (Michigan was up 14-10)
Is Georgia a bottom lvl team in the sec with that loss last night
Georgia is a lower half of the SEC team because its record is 6-7. The SEC East is going to get interesting. South Carolina has improved, Tennessee will be much better next year, and Florida has a coaching change. Which direction will Georgia go?
Michigan State has scored!
Not sure if you like Hall and Oates as much as I do, but their song "Out of Touch" clearly describes the play of both McGloin and Brantley in this PSU-Florida game. Are you watching this?
That was too funny. I had to post it, even though I have nothing to add.
Game update: Florida punches it in from the 1 with Mike Gillislee to take a 27-24 lead. The Big Ten is on the verge of being 0-4 on the day and 0-3 against the SEC.
Is rich rod out at Michigan?
I don't believe this game was going to decide his fate, but it sure doesn't help his case. In fact, I think a lot of Michigan fans will be upset if Rodriguez comes back after this performance. My guess is that he's done, whether Jim Harbaugh is available or not.
Do you think the loss of Marcus Lattimore early ultimately decided the outcome for South Carolina
South Carolina ran the ball okay without him. I think the bigger deal was that Stephen Garcia was just really shaky in the first half. They never recovered from that.
How good do you think the U will be next year with their new coach?
If you understand how bad Temple was before Al Golden took over, you probably believe he's a pretty good coach (as I do). Miami has a lot of talent on that roster! They just need better QB play and some senior leadership, and they could have a very good season next year.
Mississippi State tacks on another TD to make it 52-14. The Detroit papers will have a field day with the headline ideas tonight after these performances by U-M and MSU.
Game update: Penn State defense holds inside the 10 and forces a Florida FG to stay within one score. It's 30-24 Gators with 8:00 to go.
Rich rod lose his job today w/immenent loss?
Michigan AD Dave Brandon is a former Michigan player, and my belief is that he has too much respect for the Big Ten to pull the trigger on the same day as the Rose Bowl. I think it'll happen next week. I also think Rodriguez will get another good job before the 2012 season. He's a good coach who was just a bad fit at Michigan.
When commenting on the SEC this year, yhere is a huge disparity between the sec west teams and the sec east teams. With Urban Meyer leaving, do you see that trend continuing in the future?
There are six programs in the SEC that should never be down for too long: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. So the divisional strength in the conference usually shifts based on the performance of teams like Arkansas, South Carolina and the Mississippi schools. Who knows which way it'll go next. Might depend on how long guys like Spurrier, Petrino and Mullen stay at their respective schools.
Brad what is your bowl record so far? From what I can tell I hope you didn't pick my Aggies, now that we see the SEC is not as good as we thought what is your new prediction on the cotton bowl?
I knew my bowl record when it was 9-2, and I intentionally stopped counting after the last three days. I've bounced back today, though. Not sure if you want me on your side, but I'm on the Tigers in the Cotton Bowl.
What's going on with the Big Ten today?
They are losing a lot of games to the SEC, but Penn State's not done yet. Even if PSU doesn't come back, the Big Ten can erase a lot of this by just going 2-0 in the BCS games.
Do you think the mountain west conference will ever become an automatic qualifier
Not after the departures of Utah, BYU and TCU. With those schools, along with Boise State, the MWC would've easily gained an automatic bid.
Game updates: Mississippi State wins 52-14 ... Penn State just got the ball back on its own 20 with 3:00 left, down 30-24. Lions need a TD.
Penn State put together a few first downs before McGloin throws his fourth pick of the day, and Ahmad Black takes it back 80 yards for the TD. Gators lead 37-24 and put a bow on the SEC's 3-0 day against the Big Ten.
Big Ten is 0-4 on the day. If Wisconsin loses the Rose Bowl, this might be the worst single day in Big Ten history.
Florida is a final. Enjoy the Rose Bowl, everyone. Happy New Year! I'm signing off for the day.