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Big 12 Bowls - Stamina Wins, Finishing Too Soon Loses Edition

Oklahoma State over Alabama - I chose Oklahoma State

I got canned ham for Christmas. Jealous, aren't you?

Oklahoma State did their best to choke, but then good triumphed evil when their offense held on for the win, as everyone with a soul expected. Good news for the Big 12 was a good win, bad news is that Mike Gundy is slowly building a decent program at Okie State. Now we all await to see what spawn of Satan that chooses to be Alabama's next head coach.

Texas A&M gets destroyed versus California - I chose the Aggies

Given the history of close finishes in the Holiday, I figured on another close game, and due to that I chose the Aggies. Silly me.

I was surprised at how well Cal played defense, and how poorly Texas A&M got off the ball. I think this is a good example of a game where the offense is too complex to serve the ultimate goal of winning the game. The Aggies would have been better off running a simple single-wing from 1932 that featured the quarterback, halfback, running straight into the line to block for 923 pound Javorskie Lane. Make the Cal boys tackle him play after play after play, and then worry about getting all fancy with that throwin' the ball stuff.

How did this game turn out like it did? I'm not 100% sure, being all stoned out on cold medicine, but bottom line was that Cal scored, and the Aggies couldn't keep up. Instead of sticking to a game plan that included possessing the ball, the Aggies let themselves get drawn into a shoot-out, and it failed miserably because that isn't what they do. On top of that, the defense formerly known as the 'Wrecking Crew' reverted to it's 2005 crappy form of itself.

Aggie fans - let's keep the "formerly known as Wrecking Crew" moniker until your defense can play consistently throughout a season. Say... not get destroyed in the last game of the season. Maybe rank in the top 30 in overall defense. Stuff like that.

What a disappointment. Did I mention I nearly died several times helping build Kyle Field? Perhaps a story for another time. Yet you embarrass the Big 12 like this?

Kansas State chunks it up against Rutgers - I chose Kansas State

I really thought that KSU would play better in this game, especially Josh Freeman. I figured that with a year under his belt, the guy would be settled into his position, and KSU could hang with Rutgers and pull it out. I didn't get to see this game, even though we have the Dish Network at home because we were sitting in a hotel slightly west of Des Moines, escaping the winter storm that strapped Colorado and Western Nebraska. Instead, I followed it on CNNSI live.

KSU was held to six first downs and Rutgers made Josh Freeman look like the young pup he is, throwing three interceptions. Stupid me for not recognizing the fact that the Scarlet Knights might be a bit fired up to get their first win in a bowl game.

Mizzou chokes against Oregon State - I chose Oregon State.

With the *exact* reasons as to why I didn't choose Missouri. I'd have rather been wrong and watch a decent Big 12 North team win this game than watch the game end the way it did. Missouri collapsed, ahead by 14, and losing in the final minutes. Choke, choke CHOKE!

I don't know how you can continue to lose like this (ahem: Iowa State game?). Maybe it's a problem that Missouri has with finishing too soon. They're all ready to roll over and have a cigarette while the other team is still playing. Maybe there's a pharmaceutical that'll take care of the problem.

And then there's Gary Pinkel. The guy could have taken a timeout before the two point conversion if for no other reason than to tell his team to get their crap together - that the two point conversion was their chance to win the game. But he didn't. Good thing he got a contract extension so we can count on beating their butts for years to come. Good grief, what a disappointing end to the season, unless you thought the end occurred about two and a half minutes earlier.

Minnesota beats the living snot out of Texas Tech then ultimately loses - I chose Texas Tech

Look at all the betting that occurs in college football, and what the point spread was for this game. It must make you realize that whomever controls this crap made all of their loot off this game because everyone saw a seven-point spread, Texas Tech's top-ten ranked passing offense against Minnesota's 115th-ranked pass defense and thought they were laughing themselves to the bank.

You know anyone who put real money on the game was dying when Minnesota lead 38-7, not remembering how badly Minnesota had collapsed against Michigan only a couple years ago at the Metrodome (a game which Mrs Corn Nation and I attended to celebrate our wedding anniversary that year- what a gal). The poor bastards gained hope as the game moved on and on and on and on, as Minnesota did the same thing it did in that horrible loss to Michigan. They failed to stop Tech's offense - not much of a shock there. But worse yet, they failed to gain first downs on offense when they had torn up the Tech defense in the first half, averaging 9.2 yards per play.

I live in Minnesota. It's a place devoid of college football passion. Minnesotans can't help (assisted by a cynical media) but see the Gophers as perennial jokes. This game won't help the Gophers much. It's a bittersweet feeling for me for the Big 12, because I like Tech, have for a long time (except for that 70-10 day - arrgh!), and especially Mike Leach. It would have been better for the Gophers to lose 45-17 than to lose this way. Why? Because the Gophers did something unforgivable - they raised the hopes and blood pressure of these steadfast Minnesota Scandihoovian usually non-feeling Gophers fans for nearly three hours, then let them down.

Bad Gophers! Bad Gophers! Get our hopes up, then let us down. You heart-breaking vermin! Only the Vikings can be perenially forgiven for being heartbreakers. Not the Gophers (I don't have a NBA blog or I'd mention the waste of Kevin Garnett's career). I have yet to figure this out - how the Gophers can be so damned but the Vikings forgiven.. unless we go back to that whole lack of passion concept that exists in Minnesota. Maybe there's a reason that so many self-help groups have started here.

BTW, check the game thread at Double T Nation to relive the game.

So, right now the Big 12 stands 2-3 in bowl games.

Texas should beat the hell out of Iowa.
Nebraska is going to be a in helluva game with Auburn.
Oklahoma vs Boise State? Certainly not an easy game for the Sooners.