I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend and had the opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones. As we move towards the New Year and 2013 we begin a week of bowl action with just a few interesting match ups. The SEC still won't play the first of its nine bowl games until New Year's Eve, so here are the "must see three non- sec bowl games of the week.
1. Texas vs. Oregon State - Alamo Bowl. The Beavers were having a special season under Mike Riley until the last month and they ran into the teeth of their schedule when two of their three losses came by less than four points. However they did beat Wisconsin and UCLA and have a solid defense. Texas was underwhelming this season with their best win by six over Baylor. The offense continues to lack consistent quarterback play.
2. UCLA vs. Baylor - Holiday Bowl. These two teams lost to the Alamo Bowl participants but may provide more fireworks in one of the traditional fun bowl games. Jim Mora Jr. Has revitalized the Bruins behind freshman quarterback Brett Hundley and has wins over USC and Nebraska. Baylor stunned Kansas State costing the Wildcats a shot at the National title. Baylors offense is worth the price of admission.
3. Syracuse vs. West Virginia - Pinstripe Bowl. This is a renewal of the old Big East Football conference. Last year in the Mountaineers 10 win conference championship season they got throttled at the Carrier Dome by the Orangemen. Geno Smith will be playing his final game for WVU and looks to light up an Orange pass defense that allowed 236 td's per game. Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib is a pretty accomplished passer himself; he led the Big East at 301yards per game.
Could Chip Kelly bolt for the NFL? The rumors of college coaches to the NFL will continue until the end of the regular season with pro football. Greg Schiano at Tampa Bay proved you can win with a college coach and the league may be looking back to the ranks for more openings. The three names you hear the most are Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Chip Kelly. The NFL is different in a lot of ways than the college game, but it is still a personnel player driven league. These three guys have not only won big in college but they have done it by accumulating great players. Here's my Ack Index" ratings for possible moves of these three.
Les Miles, LSU - The index says no chance this year with the new deal he has received from LSU. Miles believes next year's team can win it all so he stays put. The rumor is Miles to Dallas and with Garrett getting one more year at least, this keeps Miles in Baton Rouge. Don't be surprised if he goes next year should theCowboys make a move following 2013. The index says 0 this year but keep an eye out for the future.
Nick Saban, Alabama - The index believes Nick is happy in Tuscaloosa and would love to see him finish his career at Alabama. However, Saban may not be able to resist one more shot to prove himself in the NFL. Since the coach began his career as a full time assistant with Kent State in 1975 he has made 13 moves during his coaching career. The rumor is that the Browns are going to come after him following the title game. The index thinks there is a 40 chance he goes to the NFL.
Chip Kelly, Oregon - This is an interesting possibility, especially if Kelly brought his up tempo style with him in full force to the NFL. He is a players coach and has won big at Oregon. With the success of Washington and its pistol attack the Eagles are rumored to be interested in Kelly. I think there is a real shot he heads to the NFL. The index thinks there is better than a 50 chance that he ends up in Philadelphia
Here is my schedule for the next week. I will be on CSS for SEC Tonight this week then New Year's Day I will head to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. January 3 rd I will head to Miami for the BCS title game and will be blogging daily coverage on the Alabama Crimson Tide. I will also be filing special reports daily for CSS and SEC tonight including pre and post game on Monday January 7th.