Friday, December 28, 2007

Matchup Comparison Rating: the main course

Time to roll up the sleeves and get down to business, tonight we have three football games followed by three tomorrow. Feast on the eye-candy that is college football, friends it's a wonderful thing. Before we break down each game, here is TNL's scientifically compiled MCR for reference.

Champs Sports Bowl

Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan St (7-5)
Dec. 28, 5:00 PM – ESPN

What does BC have to play for? How about the longest bowl winning streak in the nation and an 11-win season, something the Eagles haven't accomplished since 1940. Why BC might be down? The Eagles were once the No. 2 team in the land and after three loses in five games were left out of the big bowls. Still there are 17 fifth-year seniors on the Boston College team and playing in your last college game is motivation enough. Michigan State is just happy to be here, it's their first bowl in four years.

BC quarterback Matt Ryan was the ACC Player of the Year and brings with him the 6th best passing attack in the NCAA. Both these teams average around 440-ish yards per game but get there in completely different ways. Boston College, while 6th in passing, is a horrible 106th in rushing although they could have a thousand yard rusher in Andre Callender (figure that one out). Sparty is one of only 9 teams in the country that average 200 yards a game rushing and receiving and Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick have combined for 2,159 yards and 27 TDs. On the other side of the ball Boston College has the number 1 rush defense in the country but it's safe to say they haven't faced a rushing attack like Sparty's. Michigan State will be playing shorthanded as four players are academically ineligible and one player was suspended for violating the ever-ominous unspecified team rules.

+1 balanced offense
+1 great passing attack
+1 great rushing attack vs. great rushing defense
-1 ¼ of team gone to suspension

MCR 2 (Microwave Dinner)

Texas Bowl
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)
Dec. 28, 8:00 PM – NFL Network

Congrats TCU and Houston you get the annual Comcast/NFL network shaft award for being relegated to a network most people around the nation can't see thanks to jackass cable company Comcast. It's probably a good thing anyway because the Cougars have a seven-game bowl losing streak and are in between coaches. Coach Kevin Sumlin was hired as the Houston coach two weeks ago, but for now he's still Oklahoma's offensive co-coordinator and Chris Thurmond, the secondary coach, is in charge. Not a good way to try and break a bowl losing streak that dates back to 1980.

Oh the field, Houston boasts the 4th ranked offense and running back Anthony Alridge is just 190 yards rushing shy of breaking the school's 30-year-old single-season record: he has 1,568 yards and 14 touchdowns. TCU brings a decent passing attack with quarterback Andy Dalton throwing for 2200+ yards but he has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns (10).

+1 two teams playing on their home turf
+1 powerful balanced offense
-50 game hijacked by network that has nothing to do with college football

MCR 1 (Woman's Heart) – screw you Comcast and screw you NFL Network!

Emerald Bowl
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon St (8-4)
Dec. 28, 8:30 PM – ESPN

Neither of these teams had sparkling seasons and neither brings an offense to write home about. Maryland is the definition of schizophrenia losing to Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida State but beating two top 10 teams in Rutgers and BC. Maryland does bring two talented tailbacks in Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball who each had over 700 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns but they go up against the nation's second best run defense. Both quarterbacks in this game have thrown at least as many interceptions as touchdowns so don't expect a game like the Motor City bowl. If there's an edge it would be for Oregon State – the Beavers will be playing close to home while Maryland has to travel all the way across the country. Expect it to be a heavily pro-Oregon State crowd.

+1 two solid running backs
+1 solid defense
-1 need for a decent quarterback

MCR 1 (Woman's Heart)

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