The 2013-14 bowl season started with a big comeback — Colorado State rallying from 22 points down to win the New Mexico Bowl — and ended with another when Florida State overcame an 18-point deficit to win the BCS National Championship Game. With 35 games in all, it’s difficult to keep up. But fear not, here is a recap of the final bowl season before the four-game playoff format kicks in.
Not in high Cotton
Oklahoma State’s 41-31 loss to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl dropped the Big 12 to 1-10 over the past 11 Cotton Bowls. All the losses have come to SEC schools. And to make things worse, the only Big 12 team to win during that time was Missouri (2008 vs. Arkansas), which is now in the SEC. In its six-game losing streak, the Big 12 has been outscored by an average of 15.8 points.
Bowling with Johnny
If Johnny Manziel leaves Texas A&M for the NFL, the quarterback will leave behind a bowl legacy that will be difficult to top. He led the Aggies to victories in both of his bowls — a 41-13 win against Oklahoma in last year’s Cotton Bowl and a stirring 52-48 defeat of Duke in this season’s Chick-fil-A Bowl. In the two games, Manziel was 52 for 72 passing (72.2 percent) for 669 yards with one interception and six touchdowns. He also had 28 carries for 302 yards (10.8 yards per attempt) and three touchdowns.
Texas Bowl II?
The Texas Class 5A Division I state championship football game between Allen and Pearland drew 54,347 fans to AT&T Stadium. If that had been a bowl game, it would have placed 13th in attendance out of 35 bowl games. Average attendance at bowl games was 48,989. Interestingly, the most-attended game was not the championship game at the Rose Bowl (94,208) but the Rose Bowl game (95,173).
Alabama and Ohio State are now riding two-game losing streaks. Alabama’s loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl gave the Crimson Tide its first two-game losing streak since the 2008 season, which also ended with a loss (to Utah) in the Sugar Bowl. Ohio State, which lost to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, had won 24 consecutive games before losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game and Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
Somethin’ about Texas
Middle Tennessee had its lowest offensive output of the season in its 24-6 loss to Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl at TCU. The previous low for the Blue Raiders, who averaged 29 points per game, came in Denton with a 34-7 loss at North Texas in October.
By the numbers
1Loss in school history for Ohio State when scoring at least 35 points after its 40-35 loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes are now 279-1-1.
2Victories against top-10 teams this season for UCF after defeating Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Before this season, the Knights had only one win against a ranked opponent.
56Passing yards for Texas against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
75Yards in interception returns for Oregon against Texas.
5Total yards covered in Iowa’s two scoring drives during its 21-14 loss to LSU in the Outback Bowl. The drives were set up by an interception return to LSU’s 1 and a kickoff return to the 4.
1Touchdown that Georgia scored in seven trips inside the Nebraska 21-yard line in a 24-19 loss in the Gator Bowl.
20Combined punts for Vanderbilt and Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Both teams punted 10 times.
99Yards covered for Nebraska in Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa in the Gator Bowl. The Cornhuskers’ longest pass play during the regular season was 49 yards.
505Total yards rushing and passing for Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd — 78 more than Ohio State gained as a team — in the Orange Bowl.
41:27Time of possession for USC against Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Big 12 went 3-3 in bowl games. The Big 12 is 20-19 in bowl games over the past five seasons, with one winning record during that span. A look at conference records in this season’s bowl games:
Odds and trends
• Texas Tech has won six of its past seven bowl games and is 9-2 since 2002.
• Oregon held Texas to one touchdown in winning the Alamo Bowl 30-7. The last time the Ducks held a bowl opponent to seven points or fewer was the 1920 Tournament East-West Game — now the Rose Bowl — when the Oregon Webfoots lost 7-6 to Harvard. Oregon made 25 bowl appearances between those two games.
• North Texas’ first bowl victory since 2002 was the second in school history, coming in the Mean Green’s seventh bowl appearance. UNT’s win came in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against UNLV, which had been 3-0 in bowl games. The Rebels were playing in their first postseason game since 2000 and first outside of Las Vegas in 30 years.
Random useless knowledge
Someone from schools’ sports information departments actually researched these statistics:
• San Diego State’s win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl gives the Aztecs nine consecutive wins in the Mountain time zone, the nation’s longest active streak.
• Counting the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl, East Carolina has a nation-leading streak of 24 consecutive games in which it has received the opening kickoff.
(With BCS rankings)