5-minute guide to the college football bowls
Fox Sports South takes a minutiae-based, five-minute look at the bowl matchups from the 2013 college season.
Here’s another way of viewing the document: 50 Random Factoids To Endure Any Barstool Debate During The Holidays.
1. Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Auburn’s Tre Mason are among the six finalists for this year’s Heisman Trophy. It’s been nine seasons since the top two Heisman vote-getters (USC’s Matt Leinart/Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson) also played in the BCS title game. Winston and Mason could replicate the feat.
Technically, Reggie Bush (USC) and Vince Young (Texas) finished 1-2 for the Heisman in 2005.
2. Alabama has cumulatively trailed the opposition for roughly 20 minutes, 10 seconds of game-time action this season.
3. From Sept. 21-Oct. 26, the Crimson Tide surrendered just 26 points — the program’s second-best defensive output over a six-game span in the last 40 years. The 1975 Tide allowed only 20 points over a six-game stretch.
4. You can bet the house this will be Johnny Manziel’s collegiate swan song. The sophomore quarterback actually eclipsed his 2012 tallies — from his Heisman-winning campaign — in yards passing (3,732), passing efficiency (69 percent) and passing touchdowns (33).
On the flip side, Manziel didn’t come close to replicating last year’s 21 rushing touchdowns.
5. San Diego State is on the short list of bowl teams to suffer three losses of 21 points or more this season — while surrendering at least 40 each time.
6. Ohio State and Clemson haven’t met since the 1978 Gator Bowl, the infamous game when Buckeyes head coach Woody Hayes slugged a Tigers player after an interception. (It was Hayes’ final game on the OSU sidelines.)
7. Florida State hasn’t been challenged in the second half of any game, crushing 12 foes by 27 points or more. In fact, the Seminoles defense allowed the fewest points per game of any FCS club (10.7).
Only Boston College scored more than 18 points against Florida State.
8. Bowling Green tailback Travis Greene rolled for 1,700 total yards (1,555 rushing) and 13 total touchdowns. His running mate, William Houston, impressively notched 11 TDs on only 211 yards from scrimmage.
9. Alabama QB and Heisman finalist AJ McCarron (2,676 yards passing, 26 TDs) only had one game of 22 or more completions all season (against Ole Miss).
10. Michigan State hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since January 1988. The Spartans also don’t own a single victory against a Pac-12 foe this century.
11. Baylor led the country in points this season, racking up 53.3 per game. In terms of point spreads, the Bears posted seven victories of 29 points or more.
12. Clemson surrendered 70 points in its last Orange Bowl appearance (January 2012 against West Virginia).
13. Buffalo’s Khalil Mack could end up being the first linebacker off the board in next spring’s NFL draft (7-12 range). Against Ohio State, Mack tallied a pick-six (out-sprinting QB Braxton Miller to the end zone) and two sacks while lining up as a defensive end.
14. Clemson may have the fastest, straight-line receivers in the nation — Sammy Watkins (85 catches, 1,237 yards, 10 TDs) and Martavis Bryant (39 catches, 800 yards, five TDs).
15. The AdvoCare V100 Bowl’s principals — Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey (1,889 total yards, 18 TDs) and Boston College’s Andre Williams (2,102 rushing yards, 17 TDs) — arguably rate among the nation’s top three tailbacks (along with Auburn’s Tre Mason).
** Carey has accounted for 3,645 rushing yards and 40 rushing TDs in the last two seasons.
**Williams logged five games of 200-plus rushing yards in 2013.
16. Tailback Tyler Gaffney (1,718 total yards, 21 TDs) scored a touchdown in 12 of Stanford’s 13 contests, only coming up empty against Washington State. He also had nine different outings of 100-plus rushing yards.
17. Both of Stanford’s losses came to unranked foes (Utah and USC).
18. The top two quarterbacks in next spring’s NFL draft could hail from the American Athletic Conference — Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and UCF’s Blake Bortles.
19. On the plus side, Auburn’s Tre Mason has rushed for 1,317 yards and 18 touchdowns — strong numbers that include an otherworldly finishing kick of 868 rushing yards and 13 TDs in the final five games (all SEC victories). On the down side, Mason didn’t collect 100 rushing yards in his first three games.
20. Florida State has come full circle in the BCS era, playing for the national title in the first and last BCS championship games (1999, 2014).
21. Oklahoma’s last win over an SEC club came against Alabama 10 years ago (20-13).
22. For their eight victories, Louis Nix and the Fighting Irish surrendered an average of 18 points. For Notre Dame’s four losses, it allowed 33 points per game.
23. Rutgers enters the bowl season as one of the coldest teams, dropping five of its last seven games. Also, the Scarlet Knights were 0-5 against bowl teams during the regular season.
24. Of his last seven games, Michigan wideout Jeremy Gallon (80 catches, 1,284 yards, nine TDs) racked up either 100 yards and/or one touchdown five times, including a 369-yard, two-TD breakout against Indiana.
25. Boston College deserves kudos for giving No. 1 Florida State its greatest challenge, losing 48-34 to the Seminoles back in September.
The Eagles have knocked off just one Pac-12 school this century — a narrow 2001 victory over Stanford.
26. Rutgers QB Gary Nova (2,159 yards passing, 18 TDs) was all over the map during the regular season, posting four games of 300 yards passing and/or three TDs … and six outings of 175 yards-or-less passing and zero or one touchdown.
27. Of Lache Seastrunk’s first seven games, the Baylor tailback rushed for 100-plus yards six times (along with 11 touchdowns). Curiously, Seastrunk didn’t catch a single pass all season.
28. Georgia vs. Nebraska (Gator Bowl) stands as the only bowl rematch, with the Bulldogs thumping the Huskers in last January’s Capital One Bowl (45-31).
**Georgia tailback Todd Gurley (1,247 total yards, 15 TDs) finished his injury-addled campaign on a high note, racking up 158 total yards and four touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ comeback win over Georgia Tech.
**Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah cleanly racked up 1,800 total yards (1,568 rushing) and 10 touchdowns for the year.
29. The Cornhuskers had a wretched 1-4 record against bowl teams. On the flip side, the Bulldogs own rock-solid victories over South Carolina, LSU and Georgia Tech.
30. Fresno State QB Derek Carr (4,866 yards passing, 50 total TDs) enjoyed eight different outings of four or more touchdowns this season.
30b. USC quarterback Cody Kessler (2,623 yards passing) tallied 16 touchdowns on the year … one score more than Carr’s output for August and September.
30c. Technically, the Bulldogs and Trojans only had one common opponent — Hawaii — for which Fresno State and USC both claimed road victories. It would have been two if Fresno’s road clash with Colorado hadn’t been wiped out, due to extensive flooding around Boulder.
31. Michigan State’s defense allowed only 25 points or more twice this season — both victories over Indiana and Nebraska.
32. Oklahoma QB Blake Bell hasn’t thrown for more than 250 yards since Sept. 14 (413 yards, four TDs vs. Tulsa).
33. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller accounted for 32 total touchdowns and 2,893 total yards (1,033 rushing). He might have been a Heisman finalist if he hadn’t missed time in September (knee injury).
34. Pittsburgh (6-6) boasts four playmakers of seven or more touchdowns — Isaac Bennett (eight TDs), James Conner (seven), receiver Devin Street (51 catches, 854 yards, seven TDs) and receiver Tyler Boyd (77 catches, 1,001 yards, seven TDs).
35. Pittsburgh was 2-5 against eventual bowl teams during the regular season, with wins over Duke and Notre Dame.
36. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, who passed for 3,473 yards and 29 touchdowns, could be a first-round pick in the NFL draft. His Tigers scored 30 or more points seven times this season.
37. Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (2,423 yards passing, 20 TDs) didn’t record a 300-yard passing day until Michigan State’s upset of No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.
38. For August, September and October, Baylor QB Bryce Petty (3,844 yards passing, 30 TDs) enjoyed a completion percentage of 60 percent or higher six times. For November, he had zero outings at that rate.
39. Duke earned its first top 25 final ranking in the BCS era.
40. Texas A&M had a 3-4 record against bowl teams; Duke, in turn, enjoyed a 3-2 mark against bowl clubs.
41. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner (2,960 yards passing, 32 total TDs) enjoyed two outings of 450-plus yards passing this season — Indiana and Ohio State.
42. For back-to-back losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor, Kansas State’s Daniel Sams rushed for 317 yards and four scores.
43. Kansas State has beaten only one Big Ten team this century — a 2000 rout of Iowa.
44. Most Travel Miles (one way): Michigan State, Rose Bowl — 2,294 miles.
44b. Fewest Travel Miles (one way): Tulane, New Orleans Bowl — 5 miles.
45. Most Desperate Club For Victory: Oregon State (Hawaii Bowl) has lost five straight games.
46. Lowest Confidence Pick (BCS Game): Michigan State vs. Stanford (Rose Bowl)
46b. Lowest Confidence Pick (non-BCS Game): Miami vs. Louisville (Russell Athletic Bowl)
46c. Highest Confidence Pick (BCS Game): Alabama over Oklahoma (Sugar Bowl)
47. Highest Confidence Pick (non-BCS Game): UCLA over Virginia Tech (Sun Bowl)
47b. Highest Confidence Pick, Part II: Ball State beating Arkansas State
48. Hardest Team To Read: Washington (vs. BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl). The Huskies had four quality losses to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA … but that came before head coach Steve Sarkisian left for USC.
49. For the regular season, both Michigan and Kansas State posted 1-4 records against bowl teams. Ugh.
50. In 110-plus years of football, Virginia Tech has never knocked off a member program from the Pac-12 (or any variation of that league through the years).