Late again. I'm not sure why this didn't upload properly. I thought I had it all up last night, but in my excessively tired state I must have screwed something up. Oh, well. My bad. I keep saying it won't happen again, but it probably will.
Another day, another round of upsets.
I know Boise State keeps getting crushed by Florida State, but you have to believe their day will come soon, especially after Hawkins and Petersen take over. This thing has just been too crazy so far for the original BCS upset kings not to make a splash at some point.
I'm beginning to wonder if K-State will ever lose a game in this project. Every time I click "Sim," I expect it to finally deal us a defeat, and it never does. It's crazy. Just how good were those teams?! Anyhow, Palmer and Grossman both kinda sucked so today's result is not a huge shock. Maybe Bowden will finally steal one from Snyder tomorrow...
Oregon State had some studs, but I'm not too surprised Louisville beat them. The Pac-10 and Big Ten were both weak in 2000, producing three-way ties, and it's easy to forget in light of Kragthorpe's recent stumbles that Louisville was an extremely high-level program from 2000-2006. Ragone was not an NFL quarterback, but he was a very good college quarterback.
How stacked was Miami? Dorsey's pro career kinda flamed out, but Clinton Portis, Reggie Wayne, Jeremy Shockey, Santana Moss, and Phillip Buchanon are still tearing it up in the NFL. Ed Reed showed us a few weeks ago he can still make game-changing interceptions. Najeh Davenport was a backup on the 2000 team; he had one rush for one yard in today's game. Willis McGahee and Frank Gore were redshirting! But for the BCS screw job in 2000 and McGahee blowing his knee against Ohio State in 2002, that program probably would have won three consecutive national championships.
And now for my final thought on today's games: Drew Brees can suck it. He's been good to me in fantasy football, but I will never forgive him for that Alamo Bowl.
Coming into today, the Sugar Bowl had first selection among the 2nd round bowls, and it was gunning for a Florida-Florida State rematch but got Kansas State-Florida State instead. Still good for ticket sales.
The Citrus Bowl had third pick, with the Virginia Tech-Washington and Miami-Oregon State brackets still on the table. They correctly gambled that Miami would advance and got a nice little contest between them and Louisville.
After today's results, the Rose Bowl had the first pick among 3rd round bowls, and there are no Big Ten or Pac-10 teams left. Ha ha! Expecting either a Florida State-Miami or Kansas State-Miami game, they chose the south side of the bracket in order to get the best TV game.
So the Fiesta Bowl will get stuck with some combination of Big 12 Champion Oklahoma, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, or TCU. Not bad for not having a choice.
Game 1: No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (11-1) VS. No. 15 Boise State Broncos (9-2)
Doak Campbell Stadium - Tallahassee, Fla.
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000 - 11 AM EST
Wind: S 12 MPH
Final Score: Florida State 34, Boise State 7
Player of the Game
Florida State RB Travis Minor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - It's deja vu all over again for Boise State.
Another Big West Championship, another visit to Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, another 1st round whooping by Top 2 seed Florida State.
The Seminoles (12-1) dispatched the Broncos (9-3) with even more ease than last year, when they won by 10 points, in winning their second consecutive home playoff opener against the scrappy Big West team, 34-7.
Florida State's biggest advantage was in a rushing attack that outpaced Boise State's 223-78, and leading the way was RB Travis Minor, who rushed 19 times for 98 yards and 2 TDs and was named Player of the Game. He got some help from Jeff Chaney, though, who carried 9 times for 75 yards.
Meanwhile, Heisman winner Chris Weinke peppered the Bronco secondary with passes to eight different receivers, including Marvin Minnis (4 catches, 75 yards), completing 14-20 passes for 244 yards and 2 TDs. On the other side, Boise State QB Ryan Dinwiddie was 21-34 for 215 yards and 1 TD.
The other elements of Boise State's offense weren't nearly so effective, however. The running backs, Brock Forsey (23 carries, 54 yards) and David Mikell (9 carries, 51 yards), were largely held in check, and K Nick Calaycay missed his only FG attempt of the game (42 yards). Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Richt's defense also sacked Dinwiddie four times.
In the 1st quarter, Minor scored a 10-yard TD run five minutes into the game, WR Anquan Boldin caught an 11-yard TD pass five minutes later, and K Brett Cimorelli made a 45-yard FG with 30 seconds left in the period, and the rout was on.
Mikell finally got Boise State on the board with 10:51 left in the half, but Cimorelli kicked a 20-yarder with a minute left in the 2nd quarter to give Florida State a 19-7 halftime lead.
Late in the 3rd quarter, Javon Walker's 5-yard TD catch and Minor's 2-yard TD run put the Seminoles up 31-7 (Cimorelli strangely missed both PAT attempts, but was a perfect 3-3 on FGs), and the game was essentially over. A late 22-yard FG by Cimorelli was just icing on the cake.
Florida State advances to the Sugar Bowl either to play 1998 playoff opponent Kansas State or to rematch with in-state nemesis Florida, while Boise State has accepted a bid to play at home again in the Humanitarian Bowl, where they will face WAC Co-Champion UTEP.
Game 2: No. 3 Miami Hurricanes (10-1) VS. No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers (8-3)
Miami Orange Bowl - Miami, Fla.
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000 - 1 PM EST
Wind: SE 11 MPH
Final Score: Miami 51, Purdue 17
Player of the Game
Miami RB James Jackson
MIAMI (AP) - Kansas State may reach its third consecutive national championship game, but it will finally a play a team from a conference other than the Big Ten if it does so.
Miami (11-1) ruthlessly eliminated Purdue (8-4), three-way tied champion of a weak Big Ten, with a 51-17 home win Saturday, the most points scored in a playoff game by any team yet.
Although the Big Ten joins the Pac-10 and the SEC as major conferences to go winless in the playoff this season, the past successes of Ohio State and Michigan State ensure the conference's overall winning percentage in the postseason remains a decent .571.
Meanwhile, in Coral Gables, Butch Davis' rebuilding project to turn Miami back into a perennial winner and championship contender took a major step as the Hurricanes, who were on the cusp of inclusion in the field of 16 in 1998 and 1999, made good on their first appearance with a dominating win.
Hurricane RB James Jackson was named Player of the Game after he rushed 25 times for 172 yards and 3 TDs. His backup, Clinton Portis, carried the ball 14 times for 73 yards and 2 TDs. All told, Miami out-rushed Purdue 234-58.
Miami QB Ken Dorsey was 16-30 for 200 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. His primary targets were WR Reggie Wayne (3 catches, 61 yards), TE Jeremy Shockey (3 catches, 41 yards), and WR Santana Moss (4 catches, 25 yards, 1 TD).
Purdue QB Drew Brees led the Purdue spread attack and accounted for many yards but few points; he was 33-52 for 323 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INTs. Vinny Sutherland caught eight passes for 87 yards and a TD, Seth Morales had four catches for 60 yards, John Standeford caught six passes for 57 yards, and Tim Stratton had seven catches for 46 yards.
Brees struggled all day with the pressure applied by the Miami defense. Al Blades sacked him twice and Chris Campbell sacked him once, and he threw interceptions to Ed Reed, Howard Clark, and Phillip Buchanon. Brady Doe had a sack and Stuart Schweigert had an interception for the Boilermakers.
Jackson got started early, rushing for a 4-yard TD just two minutes after kickoff. Brees answered late in the 1st quarter with a 7-yard TD run of his own to tie the game at 7-7, but the 2nd quarter was all Hurricanes.
More accurately, it was all Clinton Portis. The All-Big East back caught a 9-yard TD pass and accounted for rushing TDs of 4 and 11 yards, scoring 18 points in less than 14 minutes. Miami K Todd Sievers missed a PAT attempt but made his only FG attempt from 27 yards out with four seconds left in the period, and the 30-7 halftime lead signaled to Hurricane fans that this game was well in hand.
Jackson scored on a 14-yard run in the 3rd quarter to push the lead to 37-7, Sutherland trimmed it to 37-14 with his 19-yard TD catch, and Moss pushed it back to 44-14 with a 3-yard TD catch with 18 seconds left in the period.
Purdue K Travis Dorsch made his only FG attempt, a 27-yarder, to make it 44-17 early in the 4th quarter, but those were the last points Purdue could get as the Miami defense bruised and battered Brees. Jackson's 32-yard TD run late in the game was almost accidental, as the Hurricanes were simply trying to run out the clock at that point.
After this impressive and dominating display, Miami plays a near-home game next Saturday at the Citrus Bowl, where it will face upstart Louisville. Purdue was hoping to advance to the 3rd round and maybe end up in the traditional destination for a Big Ten Champion, the Rose Bowl, but that appears to have been a pipe dream after this showing. The Boilermakers should probably be happy with whatever minor bowl game they end up in, because they did not appear to be an elite team today.
Game 3: No. 11 Louisville Cardinals (9-2) VS. No. 6 Oregon State Beavers (10-1)
Reser Stadium - Corvallis, Ore.
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000 - 1:30 PM PST
Wind: SW 12 MPH
Final Score: Louisville 17, Oregon State 10
Player of the Game
Oregon State WR Patrick McCall
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Last year, the SEC took a beating in the playoff, going 0-3 in the 1st round. This year appears to be the Pac-10's turn.
No. 11 seed Louisville (10-2) scored the second Pacific Northwest upset in as many days, knocking off No. 6 Oregon State (10-2) on its home field, 17-10. It is the first playoff win for Conference USA, which joins the MAC and the WAC as the only "mid-major" conferences to send a team to a bowl game in the 2nd round.
It is also the first time an 11 seed has beaten a 6 seed. Also today, the Kansas State Wildcats became the first 10 seed to beat a 7 seed when they defeated Florida 20-3.
Meanwhile, Pac-10 representatives Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington, all new to the playoff, posted an 0-3 record in the 1st round, matching the SEC's poor showing last season. Both conferences are riding a 6-game losing streak in playoff games and have not had a playoff win since 1998. Worse, the Pac-10 has won only one game so far in playoff history (Arizona's defeat of Nebraska in 1998) and its 1-6 record is by far the worst winning percentage of any major conference thus far (.143).
Enough with the meta-analysis, though. Louisville deserves credit for a quality road win in its first playoff appearance ever. The Cardinals took a 10-0 1st quarter lead with K Nate Smith's (1-2 FG) 33-yard FG and QB Dave Ragone's 7-yard TD run.
However, Oregon State RB and Player of the Game Patrick McCall (14 carries, 95 yards) answered with 5:15 left in the 1st half on his 4-yard TD run, cutting the halftime deficit to three points. The scoring play was the highlight of a Beaver rushing attack, driven by McCall and Ken Simonton (33 carries, 120 yards), that out-gained Louisville 197-99 on the ground.
The 3rd quarter was a defensive struggle for both teams (they combined to convert only 6 of 33 3rd downs in the entire game), and the deadlock lasted until 14 minutes left in the game, when Oregon State K Ryan Cesca (1-2 FG) drilled a 47-yard kick to tie the game at 10. The decisive moment came after the next Oregon State drive stalled, and the Beavers punted from their own 14-yard line only to watch Louisville's Deion Branch run it back to the Oregon State 35.
That set up the winning drive, which was really more of a winning play. After a short pass to TE Ronnie Ghent, Ragone found Branch on a WR screen and the speedy receiver converted it into a 32-yard TD pass to make it 17-10. It was tense for the Cardinals the rest of the game, especially after Ragone threw an interception that gave the Beavers good field position, but Louisville's defense was able to protect the slim lead down the stretch.
Ragone was steady, completing 13-19 passes for 157 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. His counterpart, Oregon State QB Jonathan Smith, was less effective, going 5-10 for 61 yards. Smith's star receivers, Chad Johnson (2 catches, 15 yards) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (1 catch, 8 yards), didn't help him much, accounting for all five incomplete passes with their multiple drops.
Louisville RB Tony Stallings rushed 19 times for 77 passes, but the unsung stars of the game were Donovan Arp and Dewayne White, who each sacked Smith twice. Rashad Harris added a sack for the Cardinals as well.
As good as they were, the Oregon State defense was even more impressive for most of the game. Darnell Robinson sacked Ragone twice and Greg Brown-Davis, Richard Seigler, and Calvin Carlyle each sacked him once, while Keith Heyward-Johnson made the key 4th quarter interception that gave Oregon State one last chance to come back and tie it, even though they failed to capitalize.
Louisville will advance to the Florida Citrus Bowl to play Miami, while Oregon State's bowl destination was unknown as of press time.
Game 4: No. 10 Kansas State Wildcats (10-3) VS. No. 7 Florida Gators (10-2)
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - Gainesville, Fla.
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000 - 8 PM EST
Wind: WSW 13 MPH
Final Score: Kansas State 20, Florida 3
Player of the Game
Kansas State RB Chris Claybon
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Can anyone beat Kansas State in the postseason?
Bill Snyder moved to 9-0 in playoff games, netting his first true road win as the Wildcats (11-3) dealt Florida (10-3) its second consecutive 1st round loss, 20-3, pitching a near-shutout in the Gators' home stadium.
Much of the hype before the game was about Florida's highly productive passing attack, but K-State defensive coordinator Phil Bennett's defense made a statement with sacks by Ben Leber (two), Rashad Washington, Jason Kazar, and Turelle Williams. Florida used two different quarterbacks in an attempt to get something going, but neither starter Jesse Palmer (9-33, 112 yards) or redshirt freshman backup Rex Grossman (3-9, 26 yards) could get much going.
Meanwhile, K-State QB Jonathan Beasley was steady in the passing game (11-17, 75 yards, 1 TD, only sacked twice); his favorite target, WR Quincy Morgan, caught five passes for 34 yards and 1 TD.
But the story of this game was K-State's rushing dominance - the Wildcats out-gained the Gators 311-42. Leading the way was little-used backup RB Chris Claybon, who rushed 11 times for 99 yards and 1 TD and was named Player of the Game for his surprise performance. Change-up back David Allen was also effective (12 carries, 78 yards), while starter Josh Scobey had a tougher day (21 carries, 58 yards). Even the quarterback and fullback got in on the action, as Beasley rushed 18 times for 51 yards (despite being sacked twice) and talented blocker Rock Cartwright had his number called five times and gained 23 yards.
If the Wildcats had a weakness, it was K Jamie Rheem, who made FGs of 40 and 32 yards but missed from 45, 26, and 48 yards out, as well.
Rheem did start the game off well, though, accounting for the only points in the 1st quarter as K-State took an early 3-0 lead, while the Wildcat defense frustrated coach Steve Spurrier from the very start.
After Florida K Jeff Chandler (1-2 FG) tied the game early in the 2nd quarter with his 42-yarder, the Wildcats took control of the game with Claybon's 39-yard TD run and Morgan's 2-yard TD catch, and their 17-3 halftime lead combined with their defensive play proved insurmountable. Rheem's 4th quarter FG was basically unnecessary.
Florida State awaits Kansas State in New Orleans, a rematch of the 1998 FedEx Orange Bowl, which K-State won 6-0 en route to its first of two national championships. The Seminoles would like nothing more to avenge that loss as part of their quest to take home their own Sears Trophy, especially after last season's upset loss to Michigan State.
K-State has fairly fond memories of the Sugar Bowl, however, where they defeated that same Michigan State team on Jan. 1 to win another national title.
Florida, meanwhile, is left to lick its wounds again, and this loss stings much worse than last year's thriller in Michigan Stadium. Whatever minor bowl bid Florida now receives will be small consolation in the face of this crushing disappointment.
All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.
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