3:46 PM EST, January 11, 2011
The good and bad — yin and yang, if you prefer — of college football's just-completed postseason. As viewed through predominantly ACC-colored bifocals.
Good: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley and running back Michael Dyer were electric in the Tigers' national-title victory over Oregon.
Bad: Quarterback Cam Newton, Auburn's Heisman-winning quarterback, was eligible for the game only because the NCAA concluded he had no knowledge of his father pimping him to Mississippi State. Talk about setting the bar low.
Good: ACC teams were 2-2 against ranked opponents in bowls. Florida State defeated South Carolina, and North Carolina State bested West Virginia, while Boston College lost to Nevada, and Virginia Tech fell to Stanford.
Modest perhaps, but downright encouraging after the ACC went 0-10 against non-league top-25 teams during the regular season.
Bad: ACC teams went 4-5 in postseason, the conference's fourth consecutive year with a losing bowl record.
Good: For the seventh time in eight years, a Colonial Athletic Association team reached the Championship Subdivision title game.
Bad: The CAA's Delaware squandered a 19-0 lead and lost to Eastern Washington 20-19.
Good: For the second consecutive year, EJ Manuel quarterbacked Florida State to a bowl victory in relief of injured Christian Ponder.
Bad: Miami quarterbacks Jacory Harris (three) and Stephen Morris (one) threw a combined four interceptions in the Hurricanes' 33-17 Sun Bowl sleepwalk against Notre Dame.
New Miami coach Al Golden, a former Virginia defensive coordinator, has a more difficult rebuilding task than most realize. Talent isn't the Hurricanes' issue. Attitude is.
Good: Virginia Tech limited Stanford to 13 points and Andrew Luck to 86 yards passing in the first half of the Orange Bowl.
Bad: The Cardinal outscored the Hokies 27-0 after intermission as Luck passed for 201 yards. It was the most-lopsided half against Tech since the Hokies trailed No. 1 Miami 31-3 at recess in 1992.
Good: North Carolina defeated Tennessee in double overtime for its first bowl victory in nine years.
Bad: Only a poorly conceived, soon-to-be-changed NCAA timing rule saved the Tar Heels from their own clock mismanagement at the end of regulation.
Good: North Carolina and N.C. State won bowls in the same season for only the second time, the first since 1972.
Bad: Georgia Tech lost the Independence Bowl to Air Force 14-7, the Yellow Jackets' sixth consecutive bowl defeat. In three postseason games under coach Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech has scored 24 points.
Moral of the story is, given time to prepare, defenses have figured out Johnson's option offense.
Good: Phoebus High graduate Tajh Boyd threw two late touchdown passes to spark Clemson's rally against South Florida.
Bad: The Tigers lost 23-16, and soon thereafter coach Dabo Swinney fired offensive coordinator Billy Napier.
Good: Maryland routed East Carolina 51-20 in the Military Bowl to finish with its best record (9-4) since 2003.
Bad: Terps athletic director Kevin Anderson fired ACC Coach of the Year Ralph Friedgen. Those more familiar with the program should judge whether the dismissal was merited, but there's no debating that Anderson mangled the public relations.
Nor is there any denying that Maryland is the first ACC school, absent NCAA violations, to fire a football coach after a top-25 season — the Terps are No. 23 in the final Associated Press poll.
Good: Randy Edsall coached Connecticut to its first Bowl Championship Series bid and parlayed that into the Maryland job.
Bad: Edsall told his players he was bailing via conference call.
Good: Florida State earned a bowl bid for the 22nd consecutive season, the nation's longest current streak.
Bad: Virginia's three-year bowl drought is the program's longest since its first invite in 1984. Count this among the many reasons former Cavs coach George Welsh was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Good: The day after the Orange Bowl, ESPN touted the game for attracting the network's third-largest audience ever for college football.
Bad: The Orange Bowl was the second-lowest rated game in the BCS' 13-year history.
Good: A Washington,D.C.-based political action committee, Playoff PAC, exposed the Orange Bowl for treating 40 athletic directors, conference commissioners and their spouses to an all-expenses-paid cruise to the Bahamas.
Bad: The Orange Bowl justified the boondoggle as meeting "with (our) key stakeholders to communicate and advocate our business focus."
Good: The more stories fans read about bowl excesses, all the more outrageous given the games' non-profit tax exemptions, the greater chance for an uprising that brings a playoff.
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime, and follow him at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP