Fourth and Long

Published 10:11 am Friday, December 10, 2010

With the college football season nearing its end, I’m about time to shift my focus entirely to college basketball.

Before I do however, Bowl Season has arrived.

First on the schedule is Georgia Tech versus Air Force in the Advocare v1000 Independence Bowl on Monday, December 27th at 5 p.m.

Paul Johnson has a history against Air Force from his days as the Navy head coach. Johnson’s midshipmen dominated the rivalry, winning five straight against the Falcons during his tenure.

Expect to see a lot of running the football. These two offenses rarely air the ball out and the similarities between the two programs should make for an interesting football game.

Sleep well because you have to rush home Tuesday evening to catch North Carolina State take on top 25 ranked West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl at 6:30 p.m.

The Wolfpack bring an offense averaging over 30 points per game and a dynamic quarterback in Russell Wilson against the Mountaineer’s number two scoring defense in the nation.

West Virginia is not as fast and creative as they have been in recent years, but should still provide quite a test against a Wolfpack defense that has been surprisingly efficient, yet is still young.

You may need off from work a little early on Thursday because at 2:30 p.m. Maryland and East Carolina kickoff in the Military Bowl.

Maryland has been questionable on offense at times this year, but their defense has proven to be fairly stout, particularly against the pass.

The Terps will need all the defense they can muster while trying to slow down Pirate quarterback Dominique Davis. Davis can sling the ball all over the field and has the ability to spread a defense fairly thin.

East Carolina’s problem is that they have no defense of their own.

Thursday evening brings another good matchup as North Carolina takes on Tennessee at the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at 6:40 p.m.

UNC and Tennessee were scheduled for a home and home series beginning next year, but an improved Tar Heels football program led to the Vols altering their schedule. So much for that.

The UNC senior class is looking to end what has been a rollercoaster of a season with a bowl game victory, something that hasn’t happened in almost a decade.

You will simply have to call in sick on Friday due to three games. The first is a noon kickoff between Clemson and South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Since the arrival of skip Holtz from East Carolina, South Florida has continued to improve. Clemson, however, has not improved and both teams feature offenses that are anemic at best.

If you have to work or just want to nap through most of this one I think we will all understand.

If you napped during the noon game you should be awake by the start of the Miami versus Notre Dame matchup in the Hyundai Sun Bowl – also known as the “We Used To Be Really Good Bowl.”

This game will feature an overrated coach versus an interim coach that stands no chance of retaining his job next season. I’ll let you figure out who is who.

If neither of those games was good enough for you on Friday then tune it for what might be the best game of all between Florida State and South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

I expect a high scoring game that features a lot of hard hits. Gamecock running back Marcus Lattimore is almost impossible to stop if he gets comfortable early and he can be a game changer.

The most hyped of these is the Monday January 3 matchup between ACC Champion Virginia Tech against top five ranked Stanford at 8:30 p.m. in the Discover Orange Bowl.

This matchup features Tyrod Taylor versus Andrew Luck. I think that’s just about all I have to say about that.

The last game of the year brings us Boston college versus Nevada in the “Who Really Cares Bowl,” I mean the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Sunday January 9 at 9 p.m.

Seriously though…who cares?

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at