Ugh: With so much talent returning from last season's roster, a lot of people thought Steve Donahue would finally start to put things together in his fourth season. That, however, hasn't been the case; with last night's loss to USC, the Eagles fall to 3-6. But, hey, look, here's some good news: Steve Addazio - in his first season at BC - has lead his Eagles - thank you, #Andre2000 - to the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, where they'll play Arizona.
Tigers had hopes of a national title this season, but even though Dabo Swinney's squad didn't quite reach those lofty preseason goals, they still came out looking pretty good: 10-2, with a date against Ohio State in the Discover Orange Bowl. Here's some additional reaction to what will be Clemson's fifth Orange Bowl: beware of Buckeye QB Braxton Miller - he's very good.
Well, well, well ... what do you know? After winning 10 games - and the Coastal Division crown - Duke was awarded an invitation to take on Texas A&M and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Jahlil Okafor - the crown jewel of Coach K's 2014 recruiting class - made his season debut last night; his team lost, but Okafor was superb: 22 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks.
For the first time since 2001, Florida State is back in the national championship game; the Noles' opponent - Auburn - is led by a dynamic rushing attack on offense. It's early, obviously, but FSU has opened as a seven-point favorite over the Tigers in said game, too. A balanced scoring effort - Okaro White 17 points, Montay Brandon 14 points, and Aaron Thomas 12 points - helped propel Florida State over Jacksonville State yesterday, 77-53.
For the 17th consecutive season - the third longest streak in the nation - the Yellow Jackets will be playing in a bowl game this year: the Music City Bowl against Ole Miss on Dec. 30. The Ole Miss Rebels defensive coordinator Dave Wommack was the DC for Paul Johnson's 2008 and 2009 teams at Georgia Tech.
Despite 16 points from Dez Wells, Mark Turgeon's Terps fell to George Washington yesterday, 77-75; they're now 5-4 on the season. The loss was, well, somewhat of a heartbreaker, too. The Terps are headed to their first bowl game since 2010; they'll play in Annapolis for the first time since 1965, when they square off against Rakeem Cato and Marshall in the Military Bowl.
Al Golden's Hurricanes (9-3, 5-3 ACC) won't have to travel too far for their bowl game, when the face Louisville - set to join the ACC in 2014 - and their star quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Jim Larrañaga's club came up just short in the first conference game of the season, which was a thrilling 61-60 loss to Virginia Tech.
After a 1-5 start to the season, this has got to feel good for the Tar Heels: yesterday, they accepted an invitation to play Cincinnati on Dec. 28 in the Belk Bowl. Former UNC wide receiver Hakeem Nicks had a monster game yesterday - five receptions, 135 yards - but his New York Giants fell to the San Diego Chargers, 37-14.
The Wolfpack has won four straight - after its bizarre loss to N.C. Central. State's improved play can be traced to freshman point guard Cat Barber becoming more and more comfortable in Mark Gottfried's system. On his birthday yesterday, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers - former NCSU QB - threw three touchdown passes in a rout over the Giants. The draft-day swap of Rivers and Eli Manning is still a topic of conversation in NYC.
Senior wing Jerian Grant is off to a terrific start to the season: 19.4 points per game, and shooting 56.7 percent from the field (44.1 percent from deep, too). Brian Kelly talked to the media yesterday on all things related to his team's bowl game invitation - the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
In his first year running things in Pittsburgh, Paul Chryst has gotten his Panthers to a bowl game: Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl Dec. 26 in Detroit against Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green. Pitt is 9-0 and shooting the ball at an impressive clip - 49.2 percent, good for 34th in the country - but head coach Jamie Dixon knows his team has a few things they need to still iron out - primarily, its defense. Four-star defensive back Dravon Henry will announce his college decision today; he's down to Pitt and West Virginia.
What happens when some Orange from Upstate New York run into some Gophers from Minnesota in Houston? Well, a college football bowl game, of course. No. 4 Syracuse - undefeated so far in 2013-14 - needs big man Dajuan Coleman to continue to evolve during his sophomore campaign.
There were a lot of high expectations surrounding Joe Harris and the Cavaliers coming into this season, but things haven't gone so smoothly; despite losing two straight, though, Virginia has time to turn things around. And, hey, they may have lost to Green Bay, but at least they scored above 40 points in the game.
Well, it's set - we'll get one last Logan Thomas performance when he and the Hokies travel to El Paso to take on UCLA, which ended the season ranked at the No. 17 team in the nation, in the Sun Bowl. You can't stop Jarell Eddie; you can only hope to contain him; the senior forward, who's averaging 19.3 points per game on the season (ZOMG ACC POY, YOU GUYS), slapped up 24 points in the Hokies' overtime comeback win over Miami yesterday.
Devin Thomas' game may not always look pretty, but the sophomore big can and will battle you all day in the paint - also, man, get this guy some Windex or something; he needs some more help cleaning the glass. Two men - Pete Lembo (Ball State), Dave Clawson (Bowling Green) - have emerged as the two most likely candidates to replace Jim Grobe in Winston-Salem.