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Dear Titans, Hire Schottenheimer

This is an open letter to Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, who is looking for a new head coach after firing Jeff Fisher after 16 years Thursday:

Mr. Adams,

I'm pleading with you not to hire Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer as your team's next head coach. He is way too valuable to the Jets and their fans as a fantastic play-caller and game-manager. Yes, he would be a great addition as your team's next head coach, but can you see it in your heart to let us long-suffering Jets fans at least one more year with Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator? There are plenty of other coach's out there to hire, and while Schottenheimer gives you the best chance to win, there has to be another qualified candidate, although he won't have the same effect as Schottenheimer.

Thank You,
Brad Carroll

Now, back to the blog, that was the most difficult paragraph I've ever written. But if you want to get something done, it sometimes takes extreme measures. I can only pray the Titans somehow determine the clueless Schottenheimer is worth giving its head coaching job. I know it would be a gigantic mistake, but there's always hope. And that's the hope Jets fans don't have to sit through another season of bad play-calling and terrible game-management. It's on you, Mr. Adams.

What The Heck Is Sports Page Online?

Sports Page Online is a brand-new web show featuring myself and the sports staff at The New Britain Herald and The Bristol Press. It will be broadcast every Monday and Thursday night, with a focus on news and opinion you can't get in the print version of the paper. We will talk about everything from the local to collegiate to professional sports scene. We want the show to be interactive as well, and you can post your comments, questions and rants either right here on the blog or send an e-mail to
(Chris Richie photo)

Jets Offseason Is Here, Two Weeks Before It Was Supposed To Begin

Mark Sanchez and the Jets look to next season. (AP photo)
It's been more than 24 hours since the heartbreaker in Pittsburgh and, unfortunately, there is no end in sight for the emptiness that set in as soon as that third down pass by Steelers quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger was completed with under two minutes to go. It's still there and it probably won't go away until after the Super Bowl (a game I have zero interest in watching.)

Everyone who watched the game knows what went wrong for the Jets. The team wasn't ready to play in the first half. The tackling was embarrassing. The overall play on defense was embarrassing. The offense was nonexistent because they never got the ball. In the second half, the Jets proved they were a much better football team than the Steelers. Down 24-0, the Jets stormed back and had a chance late to get the ball back with a chance to win the game.

Fire Brian Schottenheimer Already

Sunday night was one of the low points of my life, not just because the Jets lost to the Steelers, but because the Jets were the better team. If the Jets played half as good as they did in the first half as they did in the second, they would be playing in the Super Bowl.

As always seems to be the case for Jets fans, it wasn't meant to be. I'll have more later, but I will say right now that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is a joke and should be fired. Sure, the first half killed the Jets, but they could and should have won the game anyway. Why didn't they? Because Schottenheimer is terrible at calling plays, game situations and clock management. I know it's a longshot, but I'll be praying Schottenheimer gets his walking papers. He deserves to be fired.

FOX 61 Is An Embarrassment

Fox 61 here in Connecticut is an embarrassment. The NFC Championship game right now between the Bears and Packers is on a 20-second delay. 20 freaking seconds. That is unbelievably bad and inexcusable. Fox 5 in New York will know every single play and the final outcome before those viewers in Connecticut do. Fair? I don't think so.

Thank God the Jets-Steelers AFC Championship game is on CBS. Connecticut viewers should revolt.

CCSU Football Player Rich Royster Killed In Car Accident In Hartford

Central Connecticut State University football player Rich Royster, 20, of Ossining, New York was killed in a car accident in Hartford earlier today. CCSU student Brittany Mariani, 24, of Ludlow, Mass. was also killed in the accident.

Royster, a junior defensive lineman for the Blue Devils, was the passenger in the car driven by Mariani.

Our CCSU beat reporter, Matt Straub, first had the story on his blog, so check back there for details,, on this difficult day in New Britain on CCSU's campus.

Twins GM Smith Says He Wants To Beat 'Damn Yankees' At Conn. Event

Twins GM Bill Smith and Joe Mauer. (AP photo)
I got the opportunity, for the second year in a row, to attend the New Britain Rock Cats hot stove luncheon Friday afternoon, despite the early snowfall, and there was some interesting tidbits to come out of the event. Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith was the featured speaker, and the underlining theme of his speech to the crowd at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell was, for me anyway, beating the Yankees. The "damn Yankees" as he would say.

Smith said he doesn't want to go through the playoffs (if they make it, of course) avoiding the Yankees, but to take it to them head-to-head - and beat them. That was refreshing to hear. And that should be great words to hear if you're a Twins fan, or even if you hate Yankees. For a team executive to realize a team needs to beat their demons first in order to win a championship, it's just music to everyone's ears. The Yankees have swept the Twins the last two times the team's met in the playoffs, including a walk-through by the Bombers last year.

One Of Our AFC Title Game Pages

Jets Call Out Hines Ward For Being Dirty As AFC Title Game Draws Near

Antonio Cromartie is ready for the Steelers. (AP photo)
I've always thought Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver was the most overrated player in the league. He's not a No. 1 receiver. He's not someone to rely on for big plays. He's just another receiver on the field. Well, just not in the way you might think, as there is also his reputation of being a dirty player, which is pretty obvious outside of Pittsburgh. But for some reason, he always gets a pass.

The city of Pittsburgh loves Ward - he is everyone's favorite player. I experienced it first-hand in my two trips to the city. The first time me and my brothers found ourselves in a bar telling each how much we hate Ward, only to find out in a short time we were actually in an establishment owned by Ward himself. In our last trip for Jets-Steelers a few weeks ago, we were talking about Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis covering Ward on one early play while in the stands at Heinz Field. We said Revis shouldn't be wasted by covering the overrated receiver. Craig simply said Ward was "garbage." Later, when Ward finally made a catch, I think he had two on the day for nothing, one of the Steelers fans in front of us looked back and said, "garbage, huh?" We basically just look at each other and said, "yeah, garbage."

Jets Beat Up Patriots On And Off Field In AFC Divisional Playoff Game

Mark Sanchez had the Jets in the AFC championship. (AP photo)
In the end, as I wrote right here on the website earlier in the week, the Jets were in Tom Brady's head. The Jets were in the Patriots' collective head. You saw it before the game (Wes Welker's lame and utterly embarrassing attempt at trash talk that got him benched early in the game) and during the game (with Brady looking like a confused rookie, unable to figure out what the defense was throwing at him.) It was obvious. And the result was this - Jets 28, Patriots 21.

After a shaky first quarter, the Jets outplayed the Patriots in every phase of the game. Jets coach Rex Ryan outcoached Bill Belichick from the beginning of the week to the game on Sunday. The Jets backed up all the trash talk before the game. The defense was spectacular. Antonio Cromartie was outstanding. The secondary as a whole was simply awesome. The front seven did a great job. Shaun Ellis was amazing.

The offense was just as good with the defining moment being the Jets answer after the Patriots cut the lead to 14-11. Mark Sanchez, who is now 4-1 in the playoffs, drove the team downfield in no time, starting with a big play by Jerricho Cotchery and ending with a beautiful pass and catch in the end zone to Santonio Holmes. Cotchery, Holmes and Braylon Edwards, "The Flight Boys," were unbelievable. Shonn Greene and LaDianian Tomlinson ... the offensive line ... this was a statement by the Jets.

Now, the team gets to enjoy this win for 12 hours before preparation for the team's second straight appearance in the AFC Championship game Sunday night in Pittsburgh. That's right ... the New York Jets will be playing in their second straight AFC title game. None of the so-called "experts" gave them a chance. But here are the Jets, one win away from the Super Bowl.

To all the haters and non-believers - don't jump on the bandwagon. The Jets and the Jets fans don't want you, don't need you. The Jets proved all the doubters wrong again, beating big bad Belichick and Brady, and beating them badly. But this isn't the end. This was never the goal. The quest continues in Pittsburgh.

UConn Stunner: Paul Pasqualoni Hired As New Head Football Coach

Connecticut has hired former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni as its head football coach, not Mark Whipple as previously reported. "We are very proud to welcome Paul Pasqualoni to the UConn family and also bring him back home to his native Connecticut," University of Connecticut Director of Athletics Jeffrey Hathaway said. "Paul brings an outstanding coaching background to UConn on the collegiate, professional and high school level. He also is a man of strong character and integrity and we look forward to him developing our football student-athletes in the classroom, on the field and as part of the community."

Pasqualoni, the former long-time Syracuse head coach, is a native of Cheshire. He coached defense in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys since 2005. The new UConn head man coached 14 years at Syracuse and is the second winningest coach in its history, with 107 victories.

"He has everything that a college program would want from a leadership perspective," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said about his former staff member. "He knows the game, and he is very effective at coaching and teaching every aspect of the game. We wish nothing but the best for Coach P. and his family. I know our players and his fellow coaches here in Dallas will miss him very much."
(AP photo)

College GameDay Rewind The Finale: Jets Are In Brady's Head And Auburn Wins National Championship

In this, the final edition of College GameDay Rewind, there is nothing better to write about than the … NFL playoffs. Of course, right? We’ll get to the BCS National Championship game in a bit, but with the divisional playoff between the Jets and Patriots approaching quickly with smack talk flowing in every direction, it’s only fitting this final edition is all about this great rivalry.

Everyone should know the early-week talk by now – with Jets coach Rex Ryan saying it’s about the coaches, not the players, and Rex calling out Tom Brady for attending a Broadway play instead of watching Jets-Colts last Saturday night – but the latest may be the best of them all. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie called Brady an “asshole” in a Daily News story today. Cromartie, in a nutshell, hates the quarterback. The response came after a question about Brady pointing to the Jets’ sideline after he threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 38-3 lead in the team's second meeting this season, a 45-3 Patriots win. “We see that a lot,” Cromartie told the paper. “He does it a lot. That's the kind of guy he is. We really don’t give a damn, to tell you the truth.”

Asked what kind of guy Brady is, Cromartie said he’s an “asshole.” Brady, of course, responded by saying he’s been called a lot worse, basically brushing off the comments. And members of the media are saying Brady is in complete control as his brushing off the comments from Jets’ camp proves it.

But the truth is the Jets are in Brady’s head. Believe it. The Jets have dominated Brady at the Meadowlands the past two years, to the point where the seemingly unflappable quarterback looked very flappable. Skittish even. Earlier this season the Jets beat the Patriots, 28-14, with Brady fumbling when trying to pull out a comeback in the fourth quarter to effectively end the game. In all the talk about Brady not turning the ball over, that was a big one. Brady feels the defensive pressure, especially around his knees.

Yes, the Patriots beat the Jets 45-3 in the second meeting in Foxboro. But you can see Brady had something to prove in the game. It was obvious. With that point to the Jets’ sideline after he threw a scoring pass to make it 38-3, Brady proved the Jets were and are in his head.

A typical fan might watch that and believe Brady is the ultimate competitor and wanted to beat the Jets and beat them badly. I see something completely different. I see a phony. Why point to the Jets’ sideline after taking a 38-3 lead in the fourth? What great quarterback would do that? What quarterback would care enough to make a gesture to an opponent at that point in the game? Brady would because it’s all about public persona. “Hey, look everybody, I hate the Jets and I’m beating them into the ground right now, I’m gonna point now, look at me, I’m a competitor.” As much as I dislike Peyton Manning, he wouldn’t do that. He doesn’t need to do it.

Brady does because the Jets are in his head. You know Brady went to see a Broadway play instead of watching Jets-Colts (which is pretty embarrassing) because he knew the Jets would win the game. He knew the Jets were coming back to Foxboro for the rubber match. And you know that’s the last thing he wanted. He said as much when talking about the early Ryan comments about him attending the play instead of watching the game, saying he didn’t want to start rooting for a team in that Jets-Colts game – and we all know he wouldn’t be rooting for the Jets.

If you don’t believe all this, just look no further than the point to the Jets’ sideline. Cromartie’s right on all counts. But talk is talk and the game will be decided on the field. The Jets must get pressure on Brady or he will pick them apart, there’s no question about that. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez must play better than he did last week against the Colts. He has to be accurate from beginning to end. The Jets must run the ball as they did in the second half against the Colts. And the Jets must win the game, or all the talk will come back to bite them.

Talk smack all you want – I do enough of that here – but you have to back it up. I believe the Jets are set to do that, but this is going to be a battle. Forget the first Jets’ victory and forget the Patriots’ second victory. This is a whole new season. Sunday night we’ll find out which team really is best.

Here are a couple of quick notes on college football before we get to Auburn’s victory over Oregon in the BCS National Championship. I’m not excited about Michigan hiring Brady Hoke, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I believe it’s a good hire; we’ll just have to wait and see what he does with that defense. Over at UConn, Mark Whipple is going to be the team’s next head coach. Again, nothing to get excited about with that hire. But UConn had to go in this direction because no big-name coach was going to come to Storrs. In both spots, we’ll know in about three years whether the hires worked out or not. Expectations are definitely not the same at the two schools, but results are results.

Now, on to the season-ending breakdown:

My Bowl Week: 3-6 (spread); 4-5 (overall); 0-5 (upset picks)
My Season: 65-49-3 (spread); 86-31 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $1,110 (season)
Craig Carroll's Bowl Week: 6-3 (spread)
Craig's Season: 59-55-3 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $150 (season)
Anthony Della Calce’s Bowl Week: 2-7 (spread)
Anthony’s Season: 53-60-3 (spread)
Anthony’s Money: DOWN $1,300 (season)

BCS National Championship
No. 2 Oregon +2.5 vs.
No. 1 Auburn
My Pick: Oregon 38,
Auburn 35
Actual Score: Auburn 22,
Oregon 19
The underlining theme in the season finale of Brad Carroll’s GameDay web show was this game could and should become an instant classic. Craig, Anthony and I all had Oregon winning by scores that would reflect that thought. And while the end was certainly great, the beginning was anything but. Both offenses struggled, with the defenses coming up big after having a month to prepare for their opponent. The fourth quarter, however, picked up the pace and made for a memorable finish. Auburn had the ball with an eight-point lead with a chance to bleed out the clock with a couple of first downs. With less than five minutes to play and Oregon beginning to use its timeouts, Ducks linebacker Casey Matthews (there’s another Matthews?) forced a Cam Newton fumble and Oregon recovered. From there, the Ducks scored a touchdown and got the 2-point conversion to tie the game in thrilling fashion. But, alas, there was still way over two minutes to play, a whole lot of time for Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner. One miracle run later (it just doesn’t seem right to lose a game in that way) and Auburn soon kicked the game-winning field goal to win the national championship. The beginning might have been blah, but the end definitely lived up to the hype. All three of us take losses with our upset picks. For the season, I easily take home the season-long championship race, outdistancing Craig by six games and Anthony by a whopping 11.5 games. Craig was the clear No. 2, relegating Anthony to a distant third place. Hopefully, we’ll all be back next year with a brand new college football season and a whole new challenge and a whole new web show to go along with it. College GameDay Rewind may be over, but there will still be plenty of content here on the website to keep you entertained. At least I hope it will keep you entertained!
(AP photos)

UConn Football To Hire Whipple

Reports from Florida have the UConn Huskies hiring former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple as the team's next head coach. The Associated Press reports the deal is in the final stages, although nothing will be announced until Thursday. Whipple would replace Randy Edsall, who left to coach Maryland after the team's Fiesta Bowl loss. Whipple was the offensive coordinator at Miami the last two seasons under coach Randy Shannon, who was fired after this season. He was not retained by new coach Al Golden.

Whipple won a Division I-AA title at UMass in 1998. He also was the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The UConn job would be Whipple's first at the Division I level.
(AP photo)

Hoke Hired As New Michigan Coach

Brady Hoke, the former San Diego State coach, is the new head football coach at Michigan. Hoke's hiring comes just hours after LSU coach Les Miles decided to stay with the Tigers after meeting with Michigan officials about the position. Hoke was a former assistant coach with Michigan.

"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Brady," athletic director Dave Brandon said. "He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program. We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom."

Hoke was part of the 1997 national championship Michigan team as a defensive line coach. Hoke was head coach at Ball State from 2003-2008 before leaving for San Diego State the last two seasons.

Les Miles Will Not Coach Michigan

Now, this is some good news. Les Miles will not be the next head football coach at Michigan, opting instead to stay at LSU. We all know what I think about Miles as a head coach (it's not good) so this is a great thing for Michigan.

Here's LSU athletic director Joe Alleva's statement: "I am pleased to announce that Les Miles will remain the head coach at LSU. Les has led this program to many great successes on the field and his players represent LSU well off the field. We look forward to many great years of LSU football under his leadership."

Michigan, of course, is looking for a new coach after firing Rich Rodriguez after three bad seasons with the Wolverines. So, the search continues for a head coach, but thankfully the Wolverines won't be stuck with Les Miles.
(AP photo)

GameDay Live: CCSU Sports Chat

CCC Realigns Football Divisions

The Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) has realigned its football divisions (again) for the next two seasons. Hopefully the group decides to stick with this for the long haul, otherwise it just becomes a joke when the divisions are realigned every two years. Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern will both play in the new Division II West Division. Southington and New Britain are both in the Division I West Division. Berlin and Plainville will be in the Division III East Division. Newington is in the Division I East Division. Here are the full divisions:

Division I East
Glastonbury (LL)
Manchester (LL)
South Windsor (LL)
East Hartford (LL)
Newington (LL)
Division I West
Conard (LL)
Southington (LL)
Simsbury (LL)
Hall (LL)
New Britain (LL)

Division II East
Wethersfield (L)
Hartford Public (LL)
Fermi (L)
E.O. Smith (L)
Bulkeley (L)
Division II West
Windsor (L)
Bristol Eastern (L)
Maloney (L)
Middletown (L)
Farmington (L)
Bristol Central (L)

Division III East
Berlin (M)
Platt (M)
Plainville (M)
Rockville (L)
Tolland (M)
Division III West
Bloomfield (S)
Northwest Catholic (S)
East Catholic (S)
Rocky Hill (S)
Weaver (S)

J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! What A Win!

Nick Folk and the Jets celebrate the winner. (AP photo)
The only thing to say after the Jets beat the Colts 17-16 with no time left is WOW!

BCS Championship Game Pick: Oregon Will Win National Title

Executive Sports Editor Brad Carroll breaks down the BCS Championship
Last Week: 3-5 (spread); 4-4 (overall); 0-4 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 6-2 (spread)
Anthony Della Calce's Week: 2-6 (spread)
This Season: 65-48-3 (spread); 86-30 (overall); 8-4 (upset picks)
Craig's Season: 59-54-3 (spread)
Anthony's Season: 53-59-3 (spread)

BCS National Championship
No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 2 Oregon, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Say what you want about college football not giving everyone a true championship game — and, yes, I want a playoff tournament as much as the next fan — but Monday night's BCS National Championship game between No. 1 Auburn and No. 2 Oregon is everything a fan could want and more. Why? Simple ... it features the two best teams in the country deciding the game’s biggest prize on the field. And it should be one heck of a game. Both Oregon and Auburn have nearly unstoppable offenses, with tremendous skill position players that could easily turn this game into an instant classic. Auburn averages just under 43 points per game, while Oregon scores nearly 50 a game. Both units are in the top 10 in the country in total offense. Auburn features quarterback Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner, who accounted for a remarkable 48 touchdowns this season. Newton had one of the most remarkable seasons in recent college football history, dominating the game like no one else. Oregon is led by star running back, and Heisman Trophy finalist, LaMichael James. The Oregon back has rushed for nearly 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. But most impressive is James’ totals in games against ranked opponents. In those three games, James rushed for 622 yards and eight touchdowns. Oregon has an exciting, playmaking quarterback as well, in Darron Thomas, who totaled 38 touchdowns this year. Of course, with names and offenses like this, the game could be decided by the defense that plays best, whether or not that means just one drive at the end of the game. I see this game coming down to the final minutes in a high-scoring affair, meaning one defense is going to have to hold at some point. And the better defense is on the Oregon sideline. The Ducks defense will get the big stop late and Oregon will win the BCS National Championship in a thrilling game.

Brad Carroll’s Pick: No. 2 Oregon 38, No. 1 Auburn 35
Craig Carroll’s Pick: No. 2 Oregon 42, No. 1 Auburn 38
Anthony Della Calce’s Pick: No. 2 Oregon 33, No. 1 Auburn 30

Now, for the Brad Carroll’s GameDay season-long battle for bragging rights, it was no contest. I easily beat both Craig Carroll and Anthony Della Calce in the picks race, without even counting this final championship game. Craig placed second, while Anthony ended his first season in third place. Remember, there is a special, season finale web episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay on all three of our websites that breaks down this game, the Randy Edsall exit from UConn and more. To read all about the season-long race, and the BCS National Championship game, make sure to check out College GameDay Rewind, right here on this website.
We’ll see everyone next season!
(AP photo)

College GameDay Rewind Bowl Week II: Edsall, Luck, Harbaugh And More

In this second-to-last edition of College GameDay Rewind, I thought there would be no better time than now to take a quick trip around the world of college football. And when I say quick, I mean quick, so here we go.

I’ve heard all the haters here in Connecticut spew venom on former Huskies head coach Randy Edsall, and I get it all. Huskies fans (is there such a thing?) have every right to be angry at their former head coach, but not for the reason you might think. Edsall has every right to look for another job, and when Maryland called, he answered. That’s no reason to hate the guy.

But there are two big reasons to hate the guy and the situation. The way Edsall left the school was embarrassing. He and his players left in different planes after losing the Fiesta Bowl, with Edsall heading to Maryland instead of Storrs. Not only that, but Edsall never told his players he was even thinking about leaving the school. That is simply a jerk move and he should be ashamed of himself.

The bigger situation for UConn fans to be angry about is the fact their team most likely reached their peak this season and that is very apparent because of the actions of your head coach. If Edsall believes that Maryland, a bottom-feeder of the terrible ACC, is in a better situation than UConn, well, that’s not good news for fans here in the state. UConn will probably never play in a bigger game than it did against Oklahoma a week ago. Edsall knew that and bailed as soon as he got a bite from another school.

By the way, if the reports have been true over the past few years about Edsall being one of the hot, young coaches and being linked to some big-name jobs, why did he jump at the Maryland job so quickly? I’ll tell you … because those reports were a bunch of bunk, something that I was all too ready to say as they were happening. My guess, and I’ve read it elsewhere, is that the rumors were put forth by Edsall’s camp. If it’s true, and my money says it is, it’s just another classless move by the guy. I’ll give it three years at Maryland before the fans revolt and Edsall is sent packing. Heck, the revolt has already begun.

Andrew Luck, the Stanford quarterback, stunned just about everyone by announcing he would return to college next year. Luck has two years of eligibility left, but the lure of a Heisman Trophy and national championship was too much for the young passer to pass up, even though he would probably have been the top pick in the NFL Draft. It’s always a great move when a athlete chooses school over the money, but there are risks involved in the decision. If Luck declared for the draft, he would be in line for a huge payday, guaranteed. Playing another year on the collegiate level could result in a number of things: injury, diminished skill, suspension, just about anything. Injuries are part of the game and can happen at any time. When you talk about diminished skill look no further than Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who many had going No. 1 overall if he came out of college last year. Locker isn’t even a blip on the radar right now. Suspension is as easy as selling a ring, just ask Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor.

Luck is someone to root for, however, because he's a good example for fellow student-athletes to follow, not to mention young athletes that may take his path in the future.

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett was probably the happiest person in the country after learning of Luck’s decision. Mallett did enter the NFL Draft early and moved up many draft boards without having to do anything. Draft guru Mel Kiper has Mallett as the No. 3 rated quarterback in the draft, behind Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert and Auburn’s Cam Newton. He would have been fourth if Luck left early, the difference being millions and millions of dollars.

I did love this quote from Mallett: “Ever since I was a kid, my dream has always been to play for the Razorbacks, and I am thankful I had the opportunity to do so.” If that truly is the case, then why did Mallett decide to play for Michigan coming out of high school? Mallett left the Wolverines when Rich Rodriguez was hired as the team’s head coach three years ago because Mallett wanted to play in a pro-style offense, something Rodriguez doesn’t do.

In great news, Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers player who was paralyzed from the neck down during the season, says he has regained some sensation in his entire body and movement in his shoulders during an interview with ESPN. The entire conversation will be on ESPN Friday. Let’s all pray for a full recovery for LeGrand.

So, where will Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh be coaching next year? Who cares? If he goes to the NFL, he’s not going to be a savior for the 49ers or Broncos. There not suddenly going to be Super Bowl contenders. Heck, they won’t even be playoff contenders. This isn't the NFL Draft or the opening of free agency, it's just a young coach living off a great season in college. The only real news would be if Harbaugh returns to Stanford. Wake me when he makes a decision.

The season finale of the Brad Carroll’s GameDay web show debuts Friday afternoon and we’ll, of course, pick the national championship game winner. All season long, I’ve been on the Oregon bandwagon, picking the Ducks early on to win the title. But with the way Auburn has played leading up to this game, I still haven’t made up my mind on how I’m going to pick. No matter what happens, it should be a great game. Tune in to the show this week to see the picks and analysis from myself, Craig Carroll and Anthony Della Calce on that game and the Cotton Bowl.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be hosting another web show, called Sports Page Online, so the videos will keep coming. Hopefully you’ll keep watching. Thank you to everyone who ever clicked on the GameDay show, I appreciate every single view. I can only ask and hope that you continue to support everything we do here on the website. I wouldn’t do all the work if I didn’t have a great group of readers, so thank you again.

Now, on to the breakdown:

My Bowl Week: 3-4 (spread); 4-3 (overall); 0-3 (upset picks)
My Season: 65-47-3 (spread); 86-29 (overall); 8-3 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $1,330 (season)
Craig Carroll's Bowl Week: 5-2 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Season: 58-54-3 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Money: DOWN $140 (season)
Anthony Della Calce’s Bowl Week: 1-6 (spread)
Anthony Della Calce’s Season: 52-59-3 (spread)
Anthony Della Calce’s Money: DOWN $1,290 (season)

Alabama -10 vs. Michigan State
My Pick
: Alabama 31,
Michigan State 17
Actual Score: Alabama 49,
Michigan State 7
I wrote in my college football picks column and said it on last week’s web episode of Brad Carroll’s GameDay that Alabama was in a completely different class than Michigan State. I couldn’t have been more right. Alabama simply blew the doors off the Spartans and rolled to a 42-point victory. Craig and I both get wins to start the New Year. Anthony, in his so-called Year of Anthony, starts with a loss, as he picked Michigan State to win outright. Yeah, no joke.

Michigan +4.5 vs. Mississippi State
My Pick
: Michigan 33, Mississippi State 30
Actual Score: Michigan 52, Mississippi State 14
Ah, the game that got Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez fired. You know all the stats by now – the worst bowl loss in Wolverines history; the most points allowed in bowl history. And now Rodriguez needs to find a new job. The future isn’t so bad for Michigan, though, as quarterback Denard Robinson should be one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy, along with Stanford passer Andrew Luck, next year. The defense can’t be any worse, right? That could combine for a solid season in Ann Arbor, depending on who the head coach is. But one big suggestion to athletic director Dave Brandon – just say no to Les Miles. I just couldn’t take that. I take the loss, not surprisingly, while Craig and Anthony both get victories.

Florida +7 vs. Penn State
My Pick
: Florida 28, Penn State 17
Actual Score: Florida 37, Penn State 24
You know a game ends in a special way when the phone starts ringing before you can finish dialing yourself. That’s what happened in the Outback Bowl as Florida, winning by just six, returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown with just 55 seconds left to give the Gators, and those that picked them, a victory. The interception return, and a long one at that, was the only shot for those picking Florida. It was a nearly impossible shot, but it happened. Craig and I both picked Florida, making the race to the phone a contested one. He won, but we both celebrated equally. These games are rare, so the chance to enjoy them is always great. Craig and I both get the win, while Anthony gets tagged with another loss.

TCU -3 vs. Wisconsin
My Pick
: TCU 27, Wisconsin 23
Actual Score: TCU 21, Wisconsin 19
Even though I wanted TCU to win, I admittedly was hoping Wisconsin would get the 2-point conversion to tie the game late in the Rose Bowl. That would have been the only shot to win the game against the spread picking TCU. But when the Horned Frogs knocked the pass down, I was more than happy to watch a non-BCS conference team win the most historic bowl of them all. Great win for TCU and hopefully college football opens the door for a team from a small conference to play for a national title. This was just the start, but it’s a great one. All three of us take the loss in this one.

Oklahoma -17 vs. Connecticut
My Pick
: Oklahoma 52, Connecticut 10
Actual Score: Oklahoma 48, Connecticut 20
I thought UConn was going to sneak in a win against the spread the whole night. But alas Oklahoma finally put the overmatched Huskies to bed, winning by 28, and letting me exhale in time to go to bed. The Sooners should have beaten UConn even worse than the final score, but the Huskies stuck around with smoke and mirrors, which is just fine. Craig and I pick up wins, as Craig is 4-1 after the New Year’s Day games, while I’m 3-2. Anthony, poor Anthony, drank the Connecticut Kool Aid and is 1-4 on the day.

Virginia Tech +3.5 vs. Stanford
My Pick
: Virginia Tech 30, Stanford 28
Actual Score: Stanford 40, Virginia Tech 12
I’m still kicking myself over picking Virginia Tech. Obviously, the ACC is a joke of a conference, but I thought the Hokies were better than the rest of the league they play in. Boy was I wrong. Stanford destroyed Virginia Tech. Simple as that. Right now, the ACC, Big East and Big 10 (not including Ohio State) all stink. One thing this win by Stanford does is prove that Oregon truly is good as advertised and may be the final push in me picking the Ducks to win the national title. We’ll see how that shakes down in the season finale of Brad Carroll’s GameDay, which drops Friday right here on this website. Anthony and I both take the loss, while Craig gets another victory.

Arkansas +3.5 vs. Ohio State
My Pick
: Arkansas 34, Ohio State 31
Actual Score: Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26
This was a great way to end the first wave of true college football bowl games. Ohio State rolled in the first half in what quickly was becoming a blowout. Arkansas, however, didn’t go away and made up eight points in the third quarter to cut the Buckeyes lead to 10. The Razorbacks didn’t stop there, getting a safety and kicking a field goal to pull within five points at the midway point of the fourth quarter. Then, Arkansas was getting the ball back with 1:09 left after forcing Ohio State to punt. Of course, more drama, as the Hogs blocked the punt to take over at the Buckeyes’ 18-yard line with the chance to win the game in shocking fashion. But quarterback Ryan Mallett threw an interception two plays later to end the game with an OSU victory. That pass also put a loss on all three of our ledgers. I end our second bowl picks special with a 3-4 record and am 6-8 overall in the bowl season. I’m 18 games over .500 for the season. My goal is to get to 20 games over, and with two games left to pick, I got my shot. Also, after going a perfect 8-0 in upset picks during the regular season, I went 0-for-3 in bowl games. Not too happy about that. Craig put together a 5-2 week to reach 9-5 during the bowl season. He’s four games over .500 and ever-so-close to reaching positive money for the year. Anthony ends with a 1-6 record in the New Year and is 6-8 in the bowl season. He’s seven games under .500 for the season. Not a good first year for the Della-man. But there is still two games to pick – the Cotton Bowl and the BCS National Championship – and we’ll do that right here on the blog in print and on the season finale of Brad Carroll’s GameDay, which will debut Friday afternoon right here on the blog. Check back soon!
(AP photos)

Alomar, Blyleven Get Hall Call; Mattingly Comes Up Short Again

Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were both elected to the baseball Hall of Fame today after coming up just short a year ago. Alomar was named on 90 percent of the ballots, while Blyleven was on 79 percent. Connecticut native Jeff Bagwell received 41 percent of the vote, far shy of the 75 percent needed for election. Yankees great Don Mattingly also came up well short of election.

Here is the full list of Hall of Fame vote getters: Roberto Alomar 523 (90.0%), Bert Blyleven 463 (79.7%), Barry Larkin 361 (62.1%), Jack Morris 311 (53.5%), Lee Smith 263 (45.3%), Jeff Bagwell 242 (41.7%), Tim Raines 218 (37.5%), Edgar Martinez 191 (32.9%), Alan Trammell 141 (24.3%), Larry Walker 118 (20.3%), Mark McGwire 115 (19.8%), Fred McGriff 104 (17.9%), Dave Parker 89 (15.3%), Don Mattingly 79 (13.6%), Dale Murphy 73 (12.6%), Rafael Palmeiro 64 (11.0%), Juan Gonzalez 30 (5.2%), Harold Baines 28 (4.8%), John Franco 27 (4.6%), Kevin Brown 12 (2.1%), Tino Martinez 6 (1.0%), Marquis Grissom 4 (0.7%), Al Leiter 4 (0.7%), John Olerud 4 (0.7%), B.J. Surhoff 2 (0.3%), Bret Boone 1 (0.2%), Benito Santiago 1 (0.2%), Carlos Baerga 0, Lenny Harris 0, Bobby Higginson 0, Charles Johnson 0, Raul Mondesi 0, Kirk Rueter 0.

Finally, Michigan Fires Rich Rodriguez; AD Doesn't See Jim Harbaugh With Wolverines

Finally, Michigan made a decision. Rich Rodriguez was fired as Michigan football coach today. "I believe this is the best decision for the future of Michigan football," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said. "We have not achieved at the level that I expect. Rich is a good person and coach. It's unfortunate that it didn't work out at Michigan, but I'm sure that Rich and his staff will find opportunities at other institutions. I wish Rich and his family all the best in the future."

Brandon also said he doesn't believe Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh would be the team's next head coach, saying he sees Harbaugh coaching in the NFL next. Brandon has spoken to Harbaugh, however, and says he will continue to.

Harbaugh's brother, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, also doesn't see a Michigan connection. "I think the Michigan thing is done now. I think that's over," Harbaugh said on WBAL radio. "I don't think he's going to have anything to do with that. I think that says a lot about Stanford."
(AP photo)

Michigan Fires Football Coach Rich Rodriguez ... Well, Maybe

Detroit television station Fox 2 and the Detroit Free Press are both reporting that Michigan has fired coach Rich Rodriguez. The Associated Press, however, reports that no decision has been made and Rodriguez will meet with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon again Wednesday.

Here's Michigan's statement on the situation: "This is media speculation at this point. The definitive voice on this matter is [athletic director] Dave Brandon and he has not and will not speak publicly until a final decision has been made."

Michigan would have to pay Rodriguez $2.5 million to buy out the final three years of his contract. Rodriguez completed his third year with the Wolverines on January 1 with a historically bad loss in the Gator Bowl. The 38-point loss to Mississippi State was the worst in school bowl history. The 52 points allowed was also the worst in school bowl history. Rodriguez was 15-22 overall with Michigan.
(AP photo)

Top 15 Most Read Stories Of The Year For Bristol Press Sports Online

Here are the Top 15 most-read stories for the Bristol Press from 2010.

1. Burnham: Mayweather has a dream: Equality in boxing world
2. First photos of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez
3. GAMEDAY LIVE: High school football playoffs
4. GAMEDAY LIVE: Thanksgiving high school football
5. Panthers cut Ware, Patriots keep Hernandez
6. Hernandez says he tested positive once at Florida
7. Bristol eliminated from Legion tournament in wild game
8. Brad Carroll's GameDay - Week 12 (column and video)
9. Hernandez selected by Patriots in fourth round
10. Bristol's Hernandez named Southington football head coach
11. Lobo’s late shot gives St. Paul Class S state title
12. Bristol Collegiate Baseball Club moving to Groton
13. Drzewiecki: Michael Jordan will grace the cover of NBA 2K11
14. Bristol's Hernandez passed over in first round
15. Drzewiecki: The Show beats down 2K10 in baseball war

Top 15 Most Read Stories Of The Year For New Britain Herald Sports Online

Here are the Top 15 most-read stories for the New Britain Herald from 2010.

1. Hillhouse stuns Berlin in Class M quarterfinals on late TD
2. Loss of Revere the latest blow to Rock Cats
3. Sloppy end to New Britain's baseball season
4. GAMEDAY LIVE: High school football playoffs
5. GAMEDAY LIVE: Thanksgiving high school football
6. Berlin girls can't keep up the pace in Class L semifinals
7. New Britain fouls out in Class LL quarterfinals
8. Berlin girls bounced from CCC tournament
9. Mercado gets New Britain baseball job
10. Near-empty stadium watches Canes fall on Homecoming
11. Drzewiecki: EA Sports pushes back release of NBA Elite
12. Morrell resigns as New Britain football coach
13. Stigliano takes over New Britain boys hoops
14. Glowiak resigns as New Britain basketball coach
15. McCown keeps word, rejects Bears, stays in Hartford

Harbaugh Not Interested In Michigan

I guess everyone can forget about Jim Harbaugh becoming the next head coach at Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reports that it's highly unlikely Harbaugh would join the Wolverines. Harbaugh wouldn't address whether or not he would stay at Stanford after the Cardinal destroyed Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl Monday night. But it's almost a given that he will leave for a job in the NFL. The 49ers, Broncos and Raiders could all be landing spots for the coach.

Meanwhile, current Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is meeting with athletic director Dave Brandon today to discuss what is sure to be the coach's fate. Rodriguez should be fired, but if Harbaugh is no longer a candidate it might be possible Rodriguez gets another year. Hopefully the school moves quickly, as the cloudy future surrounding its coaching situation is already hurting recruiting.
(AP photo)

Maryland To Hire UConn's Edsall

UPDATE: It's official. Maryland has announced the hiring of Randy Edsall as its new head football coach.

Several media outlets are reporting that UConn head coach Randy Edsall has agreed to become the new football coach at Maryland. Nothing is official as of yet. Edsall just coached UConn in the Fiesta Bowl, a blowout loss to Oklahoma. Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was thought to be the favorite to take over for Ralf Friedgen, who was forced out as coach.

After Worst Bowl Loss In School History, Michigan Has No Choice But To Fire Coach Rich Rodriguez

On the latest web episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay, I said Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez would be back next season with the school. I also thought the Wolverines would beat Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl Saturday afternoon. Consider me wrong on both counts.

Rodriguez has to be fired as Michigan head coach. The Wolverines were embarrassed by Mississippi State, giving up 52 points in a humiliating defeat. The 52 points allowed is the most in Michigan bowl history. The 38-point loss (52-14) is also the worst margin of defeat in school bowl history. Rodriguez has a 15-22 record overall at the school and is 1-11 against ranked opponents. But this loss is the one that hurts the most. And this is the loss that will cost him his job.

I was on board with the hiring of Rodriguez three years ago, as I envisioned an offense that would run much like it has this season. But I never thought I would be witness to probably the worst defense in recent memory, multiple late-season collapses, and no victories of note. The defensive ineptitude is on Rodriguez too, as he hired and stuck with defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who was terrible all year long. Add that to the sanctions by the NCAA against the program under Rodriguez and the time has come to make a move.

I said on the web show that you'll learn a lot about a head coach's standing within the locker room based on the team's performance in a game where the coach is in the spotlight. Florida sent coach Urban Meyer out with a victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl in his last game with the team. Besides Denard Robinson, the Wolverines didn't show up for Rodriguez, and were beaten to a pulp by a second-tier Mississippi State team.

I'm not the biggest fan of Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, but if the Wolverines can lure him to Michigan, do it. Either way, Rodriguez should be fired immediately.
(AP photo)

College GameDay Rewind Bowl Special I: Catholics + Convicts = Lame Game, Plus Legend Of Joe Hayes

For anyone that regularly reads my ramblings here on the website (and thank you for coming back time and time again), you know I’m a Michigan Wolverines fan. And as I sit and watch the Wolverines play Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, with both offenses moving downfield as if there was no defense in front of them, I can’t help but smile. Yes, like anyone else, I love offense. This, however, is a lot deeper than that, and admittedly, probably something only I will find interesting. But I’ll go into it anyway.

I’m big into EA Sports’ college football video game on PlayStation, way more than the Madden game, and was an even bigger gamer back in the day. Just about a decade ago (yeah, that long ago) I was playing the game’s Dynasty mode with Craig Carroll when we both lived at home, which made it easy to blow through season after season in no time. For those that don’t know, you not only play games for the school you choose to represent, but you run the team like a true head coach, recruiting, training and all the like to put a team on the field.

I ran the Michigan program a little differently than most, always seeking to rebuild my skill positions with freshmen and play them immediately when the opportunity allowed. One year I recruited a scrambling quarterback from high school named Joe Hayes. Of course, I put him in the lineup immediately and he completely changed my offensive philosophy and the history of video games in the Carroll household forever.

Playing so many freshmen probably wasn’t a smart decision, and probably still isn’t to this day, but it did allow my young quarterback to become a larger-than-life figure. Joe Hayes rushed for well over 1,000 yards and threw for another 3,000 in each of his four seasons at the school. I would regularly win games 49-42 or the like, as there was always tons of offense and pretty much no defense at all. (Sound familiar?)

Joe Hayes won two Heisman trophies and a national championship with me at Michigan. He became as close to a real-life person as you can get, even though he was in digital form. He was loved by yours truly and deeply hated by Craig, who played for the Miami Hurricanes.

After Joe Hayes’ four years were done, his legend fully intact, I even traded for him in the Madden game (you can connect the two games for the NFL Draft) after he was drafted by the 49ers, something Craig still brings up to this day as being a fleece job. (I still contend the trade was fair).

The Joe Hayes legacy continued in the Madden game, playing with me with the St. Louis Rams. (Craig had the Jets). He soon replaced Kurt Warner as quarterback and again continued his storied career with me. Hayes won Rookie of the Year honors, was MVP numerous times, and won a Super Bowl. He was and always will be the greatest player ever in the digital world of EA Sports.

To this day, a decade later, he is still brought up consistently, more so when Craig and I play the latest edition of the college football game, even though Joe Hayes is nowhere to be found in the game.

Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well, watching the Michigan offense, something that used to be three yards and a cloud of dust under former coach Lloyd Carr, become something I created digitally a decade ago is truly remarkable and a little bit unbelievable.

Quarterback Denard Robinson is playing the role of Joe Hayes, and of course, both wear the same number. The Michigan defense is, well, playing the role of the Michigan defense. Craig has said time and time again this season that Michigan has become exactly what they were when I played for them in the video game. Unfortunately, without the same number of victories.

As we kick off a New Year, and bring you an express-version of College GameDay Rewind, I still get a smile on my face watching the Michigan Wolverines. It’s been an extremely frustrating experience watching a defense that can’t stop a nose bleed and it's even worse watching the Gator Bowl get out of hand as I write this. But anytime I can think back to the golden age of gaming, with Joe Hayes leading the way, it’s a good thing.

True, it’s only a video game, but it’s still amazing to me that Joe Hayes lives on a decade since I last picked a play for him to run down the sideline for the Rams. There’s no doubt Joe Hayes will be brought up in some conversation 50 years from now. I'll say how great he was, while Craig will say he was overrated.

I’ll just wait now for a comment from Craig ripping me and Joe Hayes, which should come rather quickly after this post goes live.

In the meantime, make sure you watch our latest episode of Brad Carroll’s GameDay at the top of the website. Craig, Anthony and I talk about all the New Year’s games plus the Orange and Sugar bowls. We’ll discuss the BCS National Championship and more in our final episode, which will debut next Friday.

One thing Craig can't talk away is the performance of Miami in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame. The Hurricanes were simply embarrassed by the Irish, there's no way around that. With all the hype surrounding the game - it was sold out in a matter of hours - you would think both teams would come out ready to play. But only Notre Dame showed up. It's sad because this matchup of the Catholics and the Convicts could have been great, but now those who didn't know what a great rivalry this was, and didn't watch the ESPN documentary, won't care if the team's decided to play in the regular season again. It's all on the Hurricanes. And that's a sad development.

One last note before we get to the breakdown. Charlie Weis is rumored to be heading to Florida to become the Gators offensive coordinator. Weis, the former Notre Dame head coach, is currently offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Obviously, Weis will do what he believes is best for him and his career, but I just can’t see why he would leave a high-profile job in the NFL for college.

But if it does happen, Florida could be scary good very quickly. The interest in Weis does prove one thing at Florida, new head coach Will Muschamp will do anything he can to be a success with the Gators, and in short order. Florida fans have every reason to be excited right now.

Now, on to the breakdown:

My Bowl Week: 3-4 (spread); 2-5 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 62-43-3 (spread); 82-26 (overall); 8-0 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $1,470 (season)
Craig Carroll's Bowl Week: 4-3 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Season: 53-52-3 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Money: DOWN $420 (season)
Anthony Della Calce's Bowl Week: 5-2 (spread)
Anthony Della Calce’s Season: 51-53-3 (spread)
Anthony Della Calce's Money: DOWN $730 (season)

West Virginia -2.5 vs. NC State
My Pick: West Virginia 24, NC State 20
Actual Score: NC State 23, West Virginia 7
I should have stuck with my better conference theory since I would have won this game instead of having the Big East humiliated again. I’m humiliated I even picked a team from the Big East to win. Anthony and I both open the bowl season with losses, while Craig gets the win with the Wolf Pack.

Missouri -2.5 vs. Iowa
My Pick: Missouri 31, Iowa 24
Actual Score: Iowa 27, Missouri 24
This game put together an exciting fourth quarter, but more so for Craig, as he watched the Hawkeyes come from behind and win the Insight Bowl. Missouri had the game in control, leading by four with the ball deep in Iowa territory with under six minutes to play. But everything changed with an Iowa interception that ended 72 yards later in the end zone. That gave Iowa the win and Craig as well. He improves to 2-0 on the day. Anthony and I went with Missouri to both start 0-2.

Oklahoma State -5 vs. Arizona
My Pick: Oklahoma State 38, Arizona 21
Actual Score: Oklahoma State 36, Arizona 10
This was an easy win for the three of us, as Oklahoma State rolled over the Wildcats. Not being around a computer, I actually thought the spread was in double-figures, so I sweated briefly about the score. But then seeing the spread was just five, I thought this was the easiest pick of the bowl season to date. Craig is 3-0, while Anthony and I both get our first wins to post 1-2 marks.

Syracuse Pk vs. Kansas State
My Pick: Syracuse 20,
Kansas State 17
Actual Score: Syracuse 36,
Kansas State 34
Craig wasn't happy after watching his undefeated bowl record end in disappointing fashion. Kansas State scored to pull within two in the final minute, but the referees called an excessive celebration penalty, which meant the Wildcats would have to go for the 2-point conversion from 17 yards out. They didn't get it and Syracuse got the win. The referees should never make the game about themselves, and they did that here. Let the kids celebrate and get on with the game. There's no reason to throw a flag unless the entire team ran into the end zone after the score. To have a game decided like that is truly embarrassing and something should be done about it. But I’m not going to complain too much, as I even my record at 2-2 with the Orange pick. Anthony gets the win and is 2-2. Craig loses to fall to 3-1.

Washington +13.5 vs. Nebraska
My Pick: Nebraska 31, Washington 20
Actual Score: Washington 19, Nebraska 7
I’m glad I listened to that little voice inside my head that said go with Washington plus the points, as the Huskies upset the Huskers in the Holiday Bowl. It was great to see a team I've come to despise this season end on a losing note. The icing is I improve to 3-2 with the win. Anthony wins as well to move to 3-2. Craig drops his second straight game, to drop to 3-2.

Miami -3 vs. Notre Dame
My Pick: Miami 34, Notre Dame 23
Actual Score: Notre Dame 33, Miami 17
This was easily the most hyped and anticipated game of the early bowl season – and for good reason. It was the Catholics vs. the Convicts again. It was Miami and Notre Dame. And then the game kicked off and everything went downhill from there. The Irish routed the Hurricanes and made this game a yawner. Here’s a message to Craig – your Hurricanes stink. Craig and I both fall to 3-3, while Anthony gets the win to improve to 4-2.

South Carolina -3 vs.
Florida State
My Pick: South Carolina 27,
Florida State 20
Actual Score: Florida State 26,
South Carolina 17
I’m starting to believe my bowl picks just aren't going my way this season. South Carolina had no offense and lost to Florida State without much drama. That’s another bowl loss for yours truly, as I finish the early bowl games with a 3-4 record against the points and a 2-5 record overall. Craig ends with a victory to move to 4-3. He cuts into my lead in the Battle for Carroll Supremacy by one game. He trails by 9 games in the season-long race. Anthony ends the week with a stellar 5-2 record. Maybe he is truly turning the corner this season. Too bad it’s at the end of the season … but better late than never. He is two games under .500 for the season. I’m 19 games over, while Craig is two games over. Remember, there is a brand-new web episode of Brad Carroll’s GameDay at the top of the website right now that discusses all the major New Year’s Day bowl games plus the Orange and Sugar bowls. So check that out and make sure you make Brad Carroll’s GameDay a daily stop on your web surfing adventures.
(AP photos)