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• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud

Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

December 27, 2007

Throughout Bowl Season, I'll be hitting you with my 'Bowl Bites' on the games that matter ...and the plenty that don't. Here's the second installment.

Bowl Bites: Will Holtz Skip Town After '08?

Win or lose, the Boise State Broncos certainly know how to entertain in bowl games. It was all there: the late comeback, the improbable turnover, the massive upset (even if it was the Broncos themselves getting upset this time). Sadly, most of the viewing public — certainly those with teams still scrabbling for the NFC wildcard — were watching Washington and Minnesota instead on Monday night.

What they missed was Boise State being upstaged by East Carolina running back Chris Johnson, whose 223 yards rushing were only part of a 208–yard all–purpose performance. For those that did catch the Hawaii bowl, they might have caught a glimpse of next year's draft steal; if Darren McFadden has everybody talking about the next Adrian Peterson, Johnson may be the next Reggie Bush — a triple threat back who can be worked in as an offensive utility player. And probably at half the price.

Draft addicts (yup, guilty) have been aware for a while that Johnson has been hovering around the second round in projections, and the Hawaii Bowl performance — however missed by the general public — could have him creeping upwards when his 4.3 speed is confirmed at the combine. By my reckoning, he's a dangerous return specialist and third down back. It isn't improbable to project him as a Brian Westbrook type. At worst, he's Vai Sikahema.

He may not be the only one headed out of East Carolina. The ongoing vacancies at West Virginia and UCLA are supplying prolonged attention for coaches on the rise, and the Pirates' victory does nothing to halt growing regard for Skip Holtz. After two bowl appearances in three years, Holtz may have lucked out with his decision to insert No.2 QB Rob Kass into the game late, but Kass' lone completion was a 36–yard completion to set up the winning fieldgoal, and Holtz is starting to get more media attention than dad Lou's occasional references on EPSN.

Of course, Skip's three seasons at East Carolina have coincided with Johnson's time there. If Holtz can produce another bowl season next year, he could be on the short list for some marquee university.

Bowl Bites: Curtis Paints A Masterpiece

Purdue QB Curtis Painter has spent his college career in the shadow of former Boilermaker QB Drew Brees, even while rewriting some of Brees' old school records. Painter moved out of that shadow Wednesday night, and if Painter decides to head for the NFL this next season — he redshirted as a freshman and still has a year of eligibility — his 546 yard performance in the 51–48 Motor City Bowl victory may have given him a platform.

It wasn't just the numbers that were impressive, but his cool, especially late in the game when digging the team out of a hole one yard from their endzone, and later getting the Boilermakers in position to win with a one–minute drive. Three different Purdue receivers finished the game with over 100 yards receiving.


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