With only five bowl games today, I actually was looking more for hockey than football. I expected Florida to blow out Cincinnati...and it was even worse than I expected. So with the Gators trouncing the Bearcats, I switched over to FSN to watch UNO play Denver, only to be greeted by a rerun of "The Top 50 Emotional Moments in Sports" Yep, that's right: FSN televised the UNO-Denver game, but only to the Denver area, leaving Omaha to get filler broadcasts. Turns out I didn't miss much, as the Pioneers shut out the Mavericks 7-0. Still, I'm not sure what FSN's excuse could possibly be.
The other hockey game was everything I expected and more. This year's NHL Winter Classic was at Fenway, with Boston playing Philadelphia. Like the previous New Years' games, this game had the buzz the bowl games lack. And when Boston tied it with 2 minutes left, it ranked up there with the LSU/Penn State soup bowl in terms of excitement. (I'll pass on the Northwestern/Auburn bumblefest, thank you...) The overtime was off the charts with the Flyers missing a great chance to win on a breakaway before the Bruins got the win. Football is still America's game, and college football is perhaps the most passionate version of it, but the bowls seem to making a mockery of it. Only 5 games? New Years Day is becoming a shadow of it's former self --- and the NHL is taking full advantage of it.
I had predicted Oregon to wipe the field with Ohio State, so I was surprised how much I was wrong there. But maybe not; judging by Arizona's performance on Wednesday night and UCLA's struggle with Temple, perhaps the Pac-10 is the new overrated conference. Or maybe it's the Big East, judging from Cincinnati and West Virginia.
I'm not sure what to make out about the whole Mike Leach saga down at Texas Tech. Yes, I think Adam James had his share of problems, and daddy probably didn't help things either. But let's not forget that Leach had his own issues with the administration at Texas Tech. He almost got fired last spring; the idea that Craig James got Leach fired is rather simplistic. If anything, I'd suggest that Craig James is wondering how this situation blew up far larger than he ever thought it would when he complained about Leach. If anything, I think Craig James might be the only person involved in this who has any regret over what happened. I don't think Mike Leach does, and I don't think the Texas Tech administration does either. Not that I'm a fan of James; I remember some of the tripe he used to spew on ESPN GameDay in the early 90's before leaving for CBS. If anything, he's continued a trend of not engaging his brain before opening his mouth.