Roundup: 9 bowlers, 2 nat'l champs and a No. 1
Congratulations are in order for just about every school in the Pac-12 this week, but let’s start off with the Pac-12 football champions, the Stanford Cardinal, for beating Arizona State on its home turf by 24 points to move on to The Granddaddy of Them All. Our Kevin Zimmerman was there to cover the Pac-12 Football Championship Game Saturday night in Tempe, and he pens this article on the Stanford leadership tree lending to consistency. Along that line, the Card did what it does best – play to its strength up front, and Ted Miller writes that Stanford “destroyed” the line of scrimmage. Now it’s off to the 100th Rose Bowl, and it’s a Rose Bowl that matches similar teams in Stanford and Michigan State.
Now for the ASU perspective on things, Rob Young of the Arizona Republic says that Stanford proved it was better than Arizona State twice. However, Paola Boivin tells Sparky fans to not panic, because ASU has momentum for the future. Now, Arizona State will play Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl.
All in all, there are a record nine Pac-12 football teams in bowl games, but let’s talk about some champions now. Congrats to Amanda Cromwell and company, as UCLA women’s soccer won the NCAA title on Kodi Lavrusky’s golden goal in the 97th minute Sunday against Florida State. It's the first women’s soccer title at the school and the 110th overall. Juicy bowl matchup for the Bruins, as UCLA football will take on Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
Death, taxes and USC men’s water polo. Yeah, that’s right, USC won a sixth straight national championship by beating Pacific 12-11 in overtime, and now the headline in Troy is that the six-peat is complete. Ninth overall title for men’s water polo, 121st overall for the school. Jovan Vavic, baby. Football wise, USC will play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State.
Yes, I’m sure there is plenty of disappointment in Eugene that the Ducks aren’t going to a BCS game, but as Rob Moseley points out, the Alamo Bowl is a chance to finish strong and build momentum (Texas is the opponent, so it’s always nice to face a big-name foe). Additionally, Mark Helfrich said the viral campus snowball fight will result in team discipline, as some football players were involved in it.
While Washington gets ready to play BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl in SF, the Huskies took a moment to reflect upon the 2013 regular season at their awards banquet, and interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo was “proud” of the Huskies on a special day. The new head football coach Chris Petersen was introduced today, and Stewart Mandel writes that the time had come for Chris Petersen to leave Boise State.
The decade-long bowl drought is over, so congrats to the Cougs for accepting an invitation to play in the New Mexico Bowl against Colorado State. Remember, this team darn near beat the SEC champs and BCS national championship game participant on their home turf the first week of the season. Good football team in the Palouse.
You know what makes the AdvoCare V100 Bowl so juicy? It pits the top two rushers in the country (going by yards per game) against each other in Boston College’s Andre Williams and Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, so there’s a New Year’s Eve running back party ahead for the 'Cats and Eagles. Also, kudos to @APlayersProgram for its No. 1 national ranking on the men’s hoops scene, and Bruce Pascoe now says that Arizona's challenge is that everyone wants to knock off No. 1.
Oregon State will be packing its bags for the islands as it prepares for a Hawai’i Bowl matchup with Boise State, and these fellas are pretty excited, as D.J. Alexander says “we’ll be wearing shorts all week.”
No bowl game for the Buffs, but man oh man did Colorado men’s hoops make news with a 75-72 upset of No. 6 Kansas on Saturday afternoon. In case you haven’t seen it, you must check out Askia Booker’s buzzer-beater that won the game. Eurostep into a running 28-footer? Wowsers.
After a 90-77 victory over Fresno State that included a 16-point spurt in three minutes of game action, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune asks “are the Runnin’ Utes back?” Also, Utah women's volleyball fell to Penn State in the second round of the NCAA tournament after beating Yale. Three Pac-12 women's volleyball teams remain as we enter the Sweet 16: Stanford, USC and Washington.
Unfortunately for the Kevin Grimes crew, the Cal men’s soccer team lost to Maryland 2-1 in the NCAA quarterfinals.