Well, there’s only one game left, and with only the best two teams remaining in the college football season, there’s not much point in delaying the Cobs. (I suppose if we have a craptastic title game, we might have to do another...but the chances seem pretty low to get much suckage in the big game.) For those of you new to CornNation, each week we honor the worst of college football with the Cob of the Week. Or in this situation, Cobs of the Bowl Season.
So what sucked?
Minnesota’s offense was pretty inept in the Holiday Bowl (skipping practices has a tendency to do that to you), so it fell to Washington State cornerback Marcellus Pippens to save the day. On third and eight, Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner threw an errant pass on third and eight into the end zone that no Minnesota player could catch. Pippens leaped to try and intercept the pass, but instead batted the ball to Gopher running back Shannon Brooks for a touchdown.
Senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was suspended just prior to the Belk Bowl for shoplifting.
At a Belk Department Store.
Yes. You heard it right. Players in this year’s Belk Bowl each got to go on a shopping spree at the bowl sponsor’s store with a $450 gift card. Sprinkle decided to go over the limit. That would seem Cob-worthy by itself, but then the game occurred (without Sprinkle). Arkansas sprinted out to a 24-0 halftime lead over Virginia Tech, and then, well, stopped. Offense, defense, special teams...nada after halftime. The Hokies scored 35 in the second half as the Razorbacks completely collapsed.
Nebraska’s Offensive Line
Going into the Music City Bowl, Tennessee’s rush defense was one of the worst in the country (111th nationally) and had given up over 350 yards in four of the previous seven games. So you figured Nebraska would "Run The Dadgummed Ball" - right?
Well, Nebraska tried. And couldn’t. The Huskers rushed for just 61 yards, which was one more than Tennessee Tech, a sub-.500 1-AA team that only averaged 121 yards a game on the ground. Some might argue that this was a talent gap on Nebraska’s offensive line, but that doesn’t even come close to explaining this level of incompetence. Not all the way to the mid-levels of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Not when Vandy and Appalachian State rushed for three times that number of yards.
Initially, the Outback Bowl was the game nobody really wanted to win. Florida threw interceptions on their first two series, and the Hawkeyes stormed out to a 3-0 lead. Then Florida decided that since Iowa wasn’t interested, they’d just claim the Bloomin’ Onion. Florida won 30-3, with C.J. Beathard finishing his Iowa career throwing 25 passes, with Hawkeyes catching seven passes for 55 yards and the Gators catching three Beathard passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Yes, the leading receiver when Iowa had the ball was Florida’s Chauncey Gardner, who caught two Beathard passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.
The Big Ten
Nebraska and Iowa weren’t the only Big Ten teams to drop a turd in the holiday party punchbowl. Ohio State was shut out by Clemson in the playoff semifinal, while Michigan looked inept against Florida State and Penn State blew a two touchdown fourth quarter lead to Southern Cal in the Rose Bowel. Overall, the Big Ten went 3-7, though it’s not quite as bad as it might seem. Vegas had the Big Ten as underdogs in seven of the games, and four of the matchups were in the opponents home state (Michigan and Iowa in Florida, Nebraska in Tennessee and Penn State in California). To some extent, that’s just an excuse because the scoreboard doesn’t lie.