On December 31, 2006, I celebrated New Years Eve the way most people in their 20's did: nervously watching Miami battle Nevada in the MPC Computers Bowl on the blue turf. Kirby Freeman hit freshman WR Sam Shields for a long touchdown and Chavez Grant sealed the game with a late interception. Despite being fired a few weeks earlier, Larry Coker went out as a winner in his final game at Miami. The Canes haven't won a bowl game since. Hopefully that is the last time I'll have to write that sentence.
A lot has changed since December 31, 2006.
On that exact day, the Miami Dolphins lost to the Colts, finishing the year at 6-10. Despite his famous words a week earlier, "I guess I have to say it, I'm not going to be the Alabama coach," Saban left for Tuscaloosa a few days later. After six head coaches, the Dolphins are finally back in the playoffs under Adam Gase.
MPC Computers never sponsored another bowl and declared bankruptcy 2 years later.
In late 2006, Kim Kardashian was just a name. Two months after Miami beat Nevada, her film debut with Ray J was released.
In 2006, Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 chart featured Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" at number 1.
Barack Obama was finishing his second year as the junior senator from Illinois.
On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the public to a new device called the iPhone.
I'm sick of having nothing to celebrate in December/January for the last decade. The bowl drought ends tomorrow.
Russell Athletic Bowl - Wednesday
MIAMI -2.5 vs West Virginia - 530pm
Miami and West Virginia have history from their days in the Big East. I'll never forget Tremain Mack and Nate Brooks teaming up in 1996 for the "Miracle in the Mountains," a blocked punt to win the game 10-7 in Morgantown. In 2003, the Canes won on a Jon Peattie field goal after Kellen Winslow made a highlight reel catch to save the game. Quincy Wilson's touchdown just before that drive, giving West Virginia the lead, was one of the best efforts I've seen.
This is one of the best matchups of bowl season. I'm buying into the hype and believe the Canes will be focused and more prepared than we've seen in recent years. In their (most likely) final game in a Miami uniform, David Njoku and Brad Kaaya will both impress NFL scouts. I know ACC fans know him well, but a lot of the nation will be introduced to the Canes' star freshman WR Ahmmon Richards. Miami's offense is playing with confidence and Mark Richt will rely heavily on the short/intermediate passing game to deal with WVU's 3-3-5 blitzing defense. West Virginia averages 507 yards per game on offense, but Miami will be a step up in competition defensively compared to the Big 12. Miami needs to win the turnover battle, which has been a strength for the Canes all season. In West Virginia's two losses, the Mountaineers had three turnovers against OKST and four against Oklahoma.
I'll be in Orlando to watch the Canes top West Virginia 34-27. Hopefully you're enjoying the holidays. Happy New Year from State of the U. After I'm done celebrating the win, I'll start booking my trip to Jonesboro, Arkansas - September 9th, 2017 is right around the corner.
If you’ve made it this far, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I’m 5-10-1 this bowl season and currently on a brutal losing streak. The upside is that mean reversion is coming soon and my Miami pick might be the beneficiary. Here are ten more picks over the next few days. North Texas looks to keep 5-7 teams undefeated in bowl games (5-0 the last 2 years). Wake Forest should be able to hang around now that the mole has been uncovered. Minnesota is dealing with far too many distractions and Baylor’s players can’t wait for this season to end. I expect Boise State and Washington State to win in blowouts. Pittsburgh beat both Clemson and Penn State this season, Northwestern won’t be an issue. Utah has too much strength up front and will overwhelm an Indiana team still dealing with the firing of HC Kevin Wilson. I like South Carolina’s defense to keep the game close against USF. Arkansas has been up and down all year, but will keep pace in a shootout against Va Tech. Colorado’s dream season ends with a bowl win over OKST.