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Ranking the college football bowl games: Which are the ones to watch?

College football has 40 scheduled FBS Bowl Games this year, with a National Championship Game to follow them all. Additionally, starting last year, ESPN put together a “HBCU National Championship” called the Celebration Bowl, to be contested between the champions of the two HBCU conferences. It’s not an FBS Bowl, though, so it won’t be ranked […]

Bowl coaching case studies: Mark Helfrich

Mark Helfrich is not a bad coach because his Oregon Ducks blew a 31-0 halftime lead to the TCU Horned Frogs in this past Saturday’s Alamo Bowl. Helfrich isn’t a bad coach, period. He helped rescue Oregon’s season, which appeared to be headed off a cliff at one point but became (in its regular-season incarnation) […]

Bowl Season: Quick Verdicts On All 38 Games

Sometimes, the winning team represents the major story in a sporting event. Sometimes, the losing team becomes the central story. Sometimes, the margin of victory rightly grabs a banner headline. Sometimes, the flow of the game — accompanied by a deceiving final score — earns extra notice. How did the 38 bowls shape the storylines […]

Bowl Season: 10 Teams That Made The Strongest Impressions

Before the bowls, we explored the idea of which games meant more to each team; which games mattered to one team in particular; and which games were going to be more central as revealers of conference strength. Now that the bowls are over, though, there’s another exercise to engage in — judging the bowls based […]

Alamo Bowl: Jim Mora, Bill Snyder, And HandshakeGate — The Images You Need To See

You’ve probably heard something about the Jim Mora-Bill Snyder episode at the end of the Alamo Bowl on Friday, won by UCLA over Kansas State. Here are the three relevant images from that larger drama. The play which angered Mora: The first blow-by handshake from Mora: Then, the circle-back reunion with Snyder, involving a longer […]

Conference Strength And The Bowl Games: Separating Fact From Fiction

Linking conference strength to bowl results is always a tenuous, risky thing to do — it can be done, but it requires great care and an awareness of limitations. The reasons for being cautious about touting — or downgrading — a conference based on bowl performance are obvious. They do, however, demand some care and […]

The 10 Worst Officiating Mistakes Of The 2013 Season

Officiating college football is a much tougher job than it used to be. The speed and power of the athletes have increased, but the speed of the game has increased as well. Faster athletes running hurry-up-no-huddle offenses with spread formations and more downfield passes make life a lot harder for the on-field arbiters of college […]