Alamo Bowl? Baylor and Washington make real life Tecmo Bowl


Well, that was fun.

Unless you’re ESPN color commentator Chris Spielman, who sounded like he was being continuously subjected to Chinese water torture with each touchdown in a 67-56 shootout win by No. 15 Baylor over Washington.

Tonight’s Alamo Bowl set a record for total yards (1,397), tied the record for total touchdowns (16) and nearly broke the record for total points (123 tonight; 125 is the record) in a bowl game. The exciting match quickly turned comical in the third quarter when the two teams combined for 42 points, 1,450 missed tackles and 2 defensive coordinators fired and then re-hired.

It was more theatre than football. Purely entertainment.

Baylor’s numbers were purely gaudy, too. The Bears has 482 yards rushing and had three 100-yard rushers. Running back Terrance Ganaway capped off one heck of a senior year (over 1,500 yards rushing, 22 total touchdowns) with 200 yards on 21 carries and five touchdowns. Sure, the focus has rightfully been on Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, but Ganaway showed some serious wheels tonight — not bad for a 240-pound back — and helped his NFL Draft stock tremendously.

But we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize RGIII on another very solid performance in what may be his last game in a Baylor uniform. It’s tough to imagine that 295 yards passing and two total touchdowns could be considered a quiet night, but in a game where most of us could have thrown for 300 yards, Griffin’s numbers didn’t stand out.

Not when the quarterback on the other sideline, Washington’s Keith Price, accounted for over 450 total yards and seven touchdowns. In a losing effort, he was the game’s MVP, without a doubt. It’s not his fault his defense couldn’t tackle.

Price will be back, and Washington fans have to be excited about his remaining years in Seattle. Now, if Steve Sarkisian can bolster the defense. This is a unit that has now given up over 400 yards rushing and 60 points allowed twice this season; the Huskies allowed 446 yards on the ground and 65 points against Stanford in October.

The same goes for Baylor. As we’ve said from Day 1, when the Bears kicked off the 2011 season with a thrilling 50-48 win over TCU, Art Briles‘ group might be competing for greater goals if their defense had been able to make even a few more stops this year.

RGIII bailed his team out a few times this year and he may not be around next time to help.

Frankly, I’d be surprised if he was. Ten wins and a bowl win is a good way to leave four years at a program you helped elevate.

If tonight was, indeed, Griffin’s last game, it was a doozy and appropriate for the most exciting team in college football this season.

Arizona State hires Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has hired former Cal Poly head coach Beau Baldwin as its next offensive coordinator.

The school announced Baldwin’s hiring of new coach Kenny Dillingham‘s staff a week after he resigned at Cal Poly.

The 50-year-old Baldwin spent three seasons as the Mustangs’ head coach, going 4-21.

Baldwin previously served as California’s offensive coordinator for three years after a nine-year stint as Eastern Washington’s head coach. He went 85-32 at Eastern Washington and won the 2010 national championship with three trips to the FCS semifinals.

Baldwin also served as Central Washington’s head coach in 2007.

Stanford QB Tanner McKee declares for NFL draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee is leaving school to enter the NFL draft.

McKee announced his decision on Thursday after a disappointing junior season on an overmatched Stanford team.

McKee completed 62% of his passes for 2,947 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season as Stanford went 3-9 for a second straight year.

Stanford will undergoing an overhaul with coach David Shaw stepping down after 12 seasons and several players expected to transfer.