JOHN L. PITTS: Winning season for SEC

JOHN L. PITTS

JOHN L. PITTS

TUPELO

Monday’s BCS national championship game brought a fun bowl season to a close.

By my count, there were 11 games decided by a touchdown or less and no one around here will complain about both Ole Miss and Mississippi State hoisting trophies.

Many of the games were just crazy entertaining. My wife and I were watching the Fiesta Bowl when Baylor took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter. “It’ll take 50 to win this one,” I said. Yep, Central Florida won, 52-42.

My alma mater, Middle Tennessee, was the only team in all of bowl season that didn’t score at least one touchdown. Sigh.

Critics of the SEC will point to its top teams – league champion Auburn and defending national champ Alabama – both losing, but the league as a whole finished 7-3 in its bowl games.

In the process, it undercuts one criticism we heard while the SEC was piling up those seven consecutive national championships – that the league was top-heavy.

Missouri and South Carolina, in particular, were well-tested in their bowl games and proved worthy. Texas A&M pulled off another one of those Johnny Football finishes, 52-48 over Duke, that might have gone in the books as the wildest game of bowl season if it hadn’t been for Florida State.

The SEC’s other winners were LSU, as you’d expect, and Vanderbilt – winner of back-to-back bowls for the first time. And as my daddy used to say, “When you have a couple good seasons at Vanderbilt, better get out while the getting is good.”

My favorite game was the 100th Rose Bowl, if only for the final score: Michigan State 24, Stanford 20. Now that is an old-fashioned football score, perfect for The Granddaddy of Them All.

Random thoughts

• At the rate all this “global climate change” is progressing, Atlanta will soon be able to bid for the Winter Olympics.

• It was colder in Chicago than in Siberia this week. And much safer to stand outside in Siberia than in Chicago.

• I think “Downtown Abbey” is in trouble. They’ve added Scrappy-Doo and Ted McGinley to the cast this season.

John L. Pitts (john.pitts@djournal.com) is sports editor of the Daily Journal.