The best is yet to come

Published 8:32 am Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The college football bowl season got under way Saturday with five games.

There are still 40 more bowl games to get through before we finally decide the national championship in Phoenix, Arizona on Jan. 11.

I certainly hope that future games are better than some of the ones I watched Saturday.

I was pretty excited to see the BYU-Utah game from the Las Vegas Bowl, but was extremely disappointed when the Cougars turned the ball over on each of its first five possessions.

While I was impressed with the fact that Utah was able to take advantage of each turnover, a 35-0 lead with more than six minutes remaining in the first quarter had me channel surfing.

The final outcome might have been close, but I never felt Utah was in any danger of losing.

The best game of the day featured Appalachian State’s 31-29 win over Mid-American Conference representative Ohio.

The MAC never fails to provide competitive teams. Ohio was up to the task and pushed Appalachian State to the limit.

With the first round of games under our belts, now it is time to focus on what I feel will be some solid match-ups.

The first comes Tuesday when No. 24-ranked Temple takes on another MAC squad in Toledo at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

I am also looking forward to Boise State against Northern Illinois Wednesday, Pittsburgh and Navy Dec. 28 and North Carolina against Baylor on Dec. 29.

Of course I cannot wait to see the playoff semifinals with Clemson against Oklahoma and Michigan State against Alabama.

I am not going to make a prediction just yet, but I can tell you that you may be surprised by the outcome of those two games.

The New Year’s Day bowl games are the most interesting.

There are some great match-ups, including Michigan-Florida and Notre Dame-Ohio State.

A lot of people called me crazy when I told them that Michigan would go 8-4 this season.

They would have been happy with a .500 record, but I knew there was talent in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines surpassed even my expectations and were just a couple of plays away from being a one-loss football team.

I cannot wait to see if Jim Harbaugh and his staff can win their 10th game of the season against the Gators.

I know one thing, expectations are going to be extremely high for Michigan heading into the 2016 season.

I think they may be too high for the Wolverines to accomplish, but after this season anything is possible.

We all knew Notre Dame’s season hinged on a couple of games.

The Irish lost both of them and I do not see them being able to contain the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl.

I think the real Ohio State team showed up in Ann Arbor and is going to want to prove to everyone that the big win over Michigan was no fluke.

The Irish have battled through injuries this season and I cannot wait to see how good they are with a healthy squad.

But that will have to wait until 2016.


Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at