In what may arguably be college football’s most viewed day of the year, four of the New Year’s Six bowl games were disappointing blowouts. TV ratings plummeted compared to last year, and it seems that the boredom of these upsets may have contributed to these numbers on New Year’s Day. What should have been a day of great college football, easily spiraled down to a day of never-ending upsets and questions like “Maybe the next game will be better?”
The Rose Bowl featured the Stanford Cardinals (12-2), as they demolished the Iowa Hawkeyes (12-2) with a score of 45-16. The Hawkeyes were no match for Christian McCaffery and the Cardinals. McCaffery, a sophomore running-back, finished second in the Heisman voting and broke the all-purpose yards record in his Rose Bowl debut. McCaffery’s performance may have been the most exciting performance between all six games.
Ohio State nearly doubled Notre Dame’s score in the Fiesta Bowl. OSU’s 44-28 blowout win over Notre Dame was yet another upset in the day. The Fighting Irish (10-3) had some splurges of offensive attacks, but was still no match for Ezekiel Elliot and the Buckeyes (12-1). Elliot, who is in fact also NFL-bound, performed greatly during this matchup as he left Notre Dame’s defenders in the dust numerous times- one that included a 47-yard run at the start of the second quarter.
The Tennessee Volunteers (9-4) outscored the Northwestern Wildcats (10-3) with a score of 45-6 in the Outback Bowl. The Vols featured some young talent and only proved that they could be a growing, yet successful team. Tennessee’s quarterback, Joshua Dobbs, threw for a total of 166 yards while also running in two touchdowns. The Outback Bowl MVP, Jalen Hurd also rushed for a total of 130 yards and finished with one touchdown. The Wildcats had an excellent season and may have been favored by viewers in this matchup, but instead finished with an upset against the Volunteers.
Some may believe that the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl was the biggest upset of the day as the Florida Gators fell greatly against the Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines with a final score of 41-7. Michigan (10-3) blew out the Gators (10-4) in what should have been an evenly matched competition. The two teams were known for their top defenses this season, but it seems that Florida’s defense could not keep up with Michigan’s offensive drive. With Florida only being down ten at the half, Michigan quickly found a rhythm to turn a 17-7 lead into a 41-7 victory. In Harbaugh’s debut season after leaving the NFL, he successfully turned the Wolverines franchise around in what may be the start of a growing franchise.
All four teams managed to score at least forty points on New Year’s Day against their competitors to start off 2016. Alabama (13-1) will face the undefeated Clemson (14-) on January 11 in the CFP National Championship Game. Many fans faced disappointment to start off the New Year, but may remain hopeful that this championship game will be anything but a boring blowout.
By Tricia Manalansan