Sanders took a punt return 63 yards to the house (photo above) to give South Carolina a 14-3 lead late in the 1st quarter then had a 4-yard TD reception early in the 2nd (photo below) - one play after a 70-yard reception by ex-dread WR Nick Jones - to make the score 21-10. But the Wolverines rallied and had a 22-21 lead when Sanders' 3rd TD of the day capped an incredible span of 3 plays midway through the 4th.
It did turn out to be Sanders' farewell performance for the Gamecocks. A couple of weeks later he announced he was officially entering the NFL draft - even though he is not likely to be an early-round pick. Also playing their final game in a South Carolina uniform were Jeffery, who had 2 tackles (2-0), along with fellow seniors Justice Cunningham, Kenny Miles, Shaq Wilson, and D.J. Swearinger. No doubt there'll be a lot fewer sick dreads on the Gamecocks sideline next season without those guys around anymore. Playing their final game for Michigan were Smith, who had just 6 yards rushing on 6 carries, and Denard Robinson, who made the dread stars list one final time, gaining 107 total yards while playing almost exclusively as a RB.
A bit more than 18 hours before South Carolina wrapped up their 11th victory of the season, Clemson won their 11th up at the Georgia Dome, going down to the wire before defeating LSU 25-24 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Due to a previously scheduled assignment, I was unable to see most of the 1st half of the game. But I was tuned in at the very beginning and was almost in disbelief after watching sophomore WR Sammy Watkins suffer an injury on the 2nd play from scrimmage. Wow, what a disappointment. Other than being baptized last summer, not much went right for Sammy in 2012. After missing all or parts of at least 4 games due to injury, illness, and suspension during the regular season, he had to leave the bowl game too - less than 60 seconds after the opening kickoff.
In addition to his FR (photo below), Loston had 7 tackles (4-3) and 1 PBU for LSU. Junior LB Lamin Barrow tied his career high with 12 tackles (9-3), including 2 TFL, and had 1 PBU. Sick junior LB Tahj Jones, making his 2012 debut after regaining eligibility at the end of the fall semester, had 4 tackles (1-3), including 1 sack and 1 FF. Freshman CB Jalen Mills had 5 tackles (5-0), and senior DE Lavar Edwards had 3 tackles (2-1) in his final game in an LSU uniform before (hopefully) moving on to the NFL.
Archer rushed for 77 yards and the Golden Flashes' only TD on 9 carries against Arkansas State. Durham finished with a sub-par (for him) 68 yards rushing on 20 carries and 2 catches for 19 yards. Senior CB Sidney Saulter had 6 tackles (3-3) in his final game in a Kent State uniform ..... For ASU freshman slot WR J.D. McKissic caught 11 passes, boosting his season total to a new school record 103 receptions, including a 31-yard TD with 19 seconds to play until halftime that put the RedWolves ahead to stay at 14-10. For his performance McKissic was named offensive MVP of the game, giving him the chance to pose with race car driver Danica Patrick after the game (photo below).
Senior CB Michael Carter had interceptions (his 3rd and 4th of the season) on back-to-back drives in the 4th quarter (the first of which in photo below), preserving Minnesota's 7-point lead over Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas; but after the Gophers failed to cash in either one, Carter couldn't come to the rescue late.
While checking the CBS Sports.com recap of Texas A&M's upset of Alabama back in November, I just happened to scroll down and read some of the comments posted. Most notable were the opinions of some idiot who was arguing that since A&M finished in 6th place in their final season in the Big 12 last season and was now kicking ass in the SEC in 2012, then obviously that made the Big 12 a better conference than the SEC this season. Huh? I don't have enough time to list all of the fallacies with an argument as flimsy as that. But I sure was thinking about that fool after the Cotton Bowl. And I wonder what (s)he had to say after the Aggies pummeled Oklahoma 41-13.
And speaking of dominance by the SEC ..... another year, another victory for the SEC in the BCS title game. Alabama's 42-14 demolition of undefeated and #1 ranked Notre Dame was the 7th straight win by an SEC team in the title game (remember, I don't call it the national championship, because it isn't). And it also was exhibit A for why the FBS desperately needs to have a tournament to determine the champion. First, look at Alabama. Yes, you play in a difficult conference, but only 4 of your 13 games were true road games on the opponent's home field. Despite losing 1 of the 13, you still get chosen to play in the title game ahead of several other teams who also had 1 loss. Then after they give you 5 weeks to prepare for the game, your opponent in the title game turns out to be worse than most of the teams you played during the regular season. How's that for a path to the "championship"? What a joke. No wonder Coach Saban doesn't want to go back to the NFL.
What did Notre Dame do the get ranked #1? Just win, baby, even though they hardly looked like the best team throughout the season. The Irish also played only 4 true road games; and although they faced 8 teams that went to bowl games, only two of them finished the season ranked in the top 20. A dozen other teams (at least) could have gone undefeated playing the schedule they did. Now I'm not arguing that anybody other than Alabama and ND should have been picked ahead of them. I'm saying let's have a tournament to decide who the best team is. Supporters of the current system - you know, the ones who claim a playoff would ruin college football's unique and all-important regular season, just ignore the fact that the differences in schedules make the regular season completely unfair. Unfair and un-American really. I mean, college football argually is the most exciting sport in America; but it gets tainted because it's the only one that doesn't crown a true champion. It's really disappointing. At least we'll only have to deal with this nonsense for one more season. But when they switch to a mini-playoff in 2014, that's just going to open up a different can of worms.
My house for a 16-team playoff!
Junior RB Prince-Tyson Gulley had a huge game, becoming the first Syracuse player to top 200 yards rushing in a game in 8 years in a 38-14 victory over West Virginia in the snow in the Pinstripe Bowl ..... Freshman WR Breshad Perriman nearly made the dread stars list, catching 5 passes for 90 yards; sophomore WR Rannell Hall had 4 catches for 74 yards; and senior S Kemal Ishmael had 8 tackles (5-3), 2 PBU, and 1 FF in his final game in a UCF uniform as the Knights rolled over Ball State 38-17 in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl ..... Junior WR Tevin Reese had 2 catches for 68 yards, including a 55-yarder for his 9th TD of the season, to give Baylor a 21-0 lead on their way to a 49-26 romp over UCLA in the Holiday Bowl ..... Sophomore RB Devonta Freeman (photo below) had 73 of Florida State's 534 total yards in a 31-10 victory over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl; FSU finished with a new school record 6,591 total yards for the season; junior RB Akeem Daniels had 82 total yards for NIU, but the Huskies were held under 100 yards rushing for the first time all season .....