What happend to Oregon State and will it happen to more teams?
Written by Curt Popejoy on 12/23/2009
That faux PAC-10 title game against Oregon and Oregon State was epic. An incredible battle between two motivated teams and really was one of the best games of the year filled with amazing games. But last night when we watched BYU manhandle the Beavers, you saw the negative effects of losing such an important game at the end of the season.
The intensity wasn't there. The motivatin wasn't there. Oregon State came out flat, and the Cougars stepped on them. I went into the game thinking Oregon State would lose a close one, mainly because I really like BYU's style of defense and thought their aggression would be too much for Oregon State. But what they did on offense was really impressive. So, if we are working off the premise that Oregon State's loss to Oregon carried over, how are some other teams in similar situations and will it effect them?
Pittsburgh-The Panthers lost a heart breaker to Cincinnati in the last game of the year, and their consolation prize is the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Meineke Bowl. I don't think this game will have the effect of them, Oregon State's did. Dion Lewis is going to run all over North Carolina, and I think Pitt wins this game going away. No Hangover here.
USC-The fall of Troy has been pretty epic this year and the bad new just keeps coming. But investigations and eligibilities aside, can they put aside their end of the season loss to Arizona to beat the Boston College Golden Eagles in the Emerald Bowl? My gut tells me no. This team is backsliding in a big way, and even if they didn't have so much player termoil the last couple of weeks, I'm not sure if they could get it together, but now things have just gotten worse with starters ineligible, others under investigation and others still declaring for the NFL draft early. Eagles pounce on the Trojans while they are down.
Florida-The Gators took their worst loss in a long time against Alabama, but I think between Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer, they will be ready to play against the Bearcats. No hangover for them. THe trick will be, can they Florida D stop that Bearcat offense. Having Carlos Dunlap back will help a ton, and I think the Gators win a close one.
Clemson-I can see Clemson bring full on hung over for their Music City Bowl against Kentucky. I won't be at all shocked if they come out flat and playing without intensity. But fortunately they get Kentucky who's not nearly as talented, so CJ Spiller will pop off a long run or return and rally his team and they will win anyway in an underwhleming performance.
Nebraska-After taking the screw job or all screw jobs in the Big 12 title game, how will Coach Pelini's team respond? Arizona in the Holiday Bowl is a brutal draw for a team that doesn't have a lot of offense to begin with. The Cornhuskers players have to be feeling the effects of that loss as well as all the emotions of the offseason for Ndamukong Suh. I'd love to say they rally the troops, play an inspired game and beat the Wildcats, but I just don't see it. Suh will have a huge game as usual, but once again, the Cornhusker offense won't be able to hold up their end of the deal.
So in the final analysis, I think all these teams will feel the end of the season loss, but the time off and the team themselves will help some of these teams overcome it, and others will go the way of the Beavers.
Last Edited: 12/23/2009