Got a kick out of listening to Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard on his radio show the day before the Orange Bowl early last week.

He called the battle between Iowa and Georgia Tech the most dreadfully boring bowl matchup of the season, one of the worst ever.

In fact, he said all bowl games are boring.

"College football is the only sport in which the postseason is more boring than the regular season," he added.

Le Batard went on to say that he hadn't watched a single second of any of the bowls.

So, how did he know they were so boring?

He clearly couldn't have watched any of the Outback Bowl game between Northwestern and Auburn. Northwestern ran 115 offensive plays and got an unbelievable string of breaks late in the game, but still somehow lost in overtime.

He couldn't have seen the Humanitarian Bowl, in which Idaho clipped Bowling Green 43-42 on a gutsy two-point conversion in the final seconds.

Or the Liberty Bowl, in which Arkansas and East Carolina went into overtime.

Or the GMAC Bowl, in which Central Michigan and Troy scored 85 points and played two overtimes.

Or the Insight, Capital One, Meineke Car Care bowls - all decided by one or two points.

Admittedly, some of those games didn't have a lot of marquee value, but most of them were riveting from an entertainment standpoint.

I'd like to see a college football playoff as much as anyone, but this bowl season was anything but boring.


Bettendorf's Colin Sandeman had one of the best games of his college career in Iowa's Orange Bowl victory. Another former Bettendorf player, Pat Angerer, had 10 tackles in his final college game. Davenport's Julian Vandervelde and former Pleasant Valley athlete Brett Greenwood played almost every snap.

But one of the unseen heroes of the Orange Bowl was another Quad-Cities kid. Former Assumption quarterback Kyle Steinbrecher, a deep reserve in the secondary, spent a few weeks imitating Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt in practice. He must have done a pretty good job.

"Those guys on the scout team, you can't thank them enough," Angerer said. "They played great. To be on the scout team really sucks because you're not playing in the game. But those guys always come in with a good attitude, they're open-minded and they worked really, really hard, just like they've been doing all year."


Among the most telling stats of the Orange Bowl: Greenwood made just two tackles and his running mate at safety, Tyler Sash, made one. When your safeties aren't doing much, your front seven is having a heckuva game.


Iowa, like most schools, doesn't list records for negative statistics. However, we're pretty sure Ricky Stanzi set a school record by having four interceptions returned for touchdowns this season. As far as we can tell, the most pick-sixes by any previous quarterback in Hawkeyes history was three. By Drew Tate.

It probably says something about Stanzi that Iowa still won all four of those games.

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Great observation from our friend, Jim Hoepner: "Isn't it a bit ironic that on the same day that the NCAA upheld its decision to vacate 14 victories from Bobby Bowden's career total as a result of a penalty enforced at Florida State for an academic cheating scandal, he was in California presenting the Fellowship For Christian Athletes award which is named after him?"

It also was pretty interesting to spend a week in Florida and read several columns lauding Bowden as God's gift to college football.


I was initially pleased with the Cubs' signing of free-agent center fielder Marlon Byrd. He's not the answer to all the team's problems, but he's a veteran with some ability. He should be able to help them.

Then I saw this quote from Byrd: "I love Milton Bradley. I'm a little biased when it comes to him. I'm going to talk to him today about me coming (to Chicago)."

Great. He's buddies with the cancerous tumor the Cubs just had removed. And he's going to consult him for advice on how to get along with the Chicago fans?


Wonderful to see Andre Dawson elected to the Hall of Fame. The doubters point out that Dawson batted only .277 in his career. He also hit 438 home runs, stole 314 bases, was the best defensive right fielder of his time and was a class act in an era of class clowns.

Maybe he should give Marlon Byrd advice on how to get along with Chicago fans.