|Fittingly, Lloyd Carr's career as Michigan coach to end on New Year's Day|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 02 December 2007 18:33|
During his first dozen seasons as Michigan's coach, Carr took the Wolverines to 10 bowl games on Jan. 1, including a run of nine straight from 1997-2005.
After an embarrassing opening loss to Appalachian State, it seemed unlikely that his final season would end in January, but Michigan rebounded from that and a blowout by Oregon to win eight in a row before dropping its final two games.
So Carr will spend this New Year's Day at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., where Michigan's 1999, 2001 and 2002 bowls were, back when the game was the Citrus Bowl.
The location is tied with Pasadena, Calif., home of the Rose Bowl, as Michigan's most common bowl trip under Carr.
The longtime Michigan assistant, promoted to interim coach and then brought on for good in 1995, had decided long ago that this would be his last season on Michigan's sidelines.
Despite beginning the season with an embarrassing loss to second-tier Appalachian State, the Wolverines found themselves with a chance to get back to the Rose Bowl when they faced Ohio State.
But the Wolverines lost their fourth in a row to their archrivals, and after a wacky couple of weeks, found themselves in Orlando after Ohio State waited out the attrition and rose to the No. 1 spot in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
The Buckeyes had been third, but No. 1 Missouri and No. 2 West Virginia both lost on Saturday to open the door.
Missouri, which lost the Big 12 championship to Oklahoma, fell all the way out of the BCS to the Cotton Bowl - a traditional New Year's Day game, but one lacking in prestige compared to the big four of the BCS.
The Wolverines (8-4) will face Florida (9-3) in a rematch of the 2003 Outback Bowl, Carr's last bowl win.
Michigan won 38-30, sealing the victory when then-Florida coach Ron Zook called for a pass by a wide receiver to quarterback Rex Grosssman, which was intercepted.
The seventh-ranked Tigers (11-2) will play No. 25 Arkansas (8-4) in Dallas on New Year's Day. Missouri's only other Cotton Bowl appearance was in 1945, while the Razorbacks will be there for the 11th time.
Missouri missed a chance to play for its first national championship with a 38-17 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game Saturday night. That guaranteed the Sooners a spot in the Bowl Championship Series, and they were up six spots to No. 3 in the new AP poll on Sunday.
Arkansas ended its regular season by beating then-No. 1 LSU in triple overtime on Nov. 23.
SEC runner-up Tennessee (9-4) will play Wisconsin (9-3) after losing to LSU 21-14 in the conference title game.
The Badgers beat last season's SEC runner-up in the Capital One Bowl last season, winning 17-14 over Arkansas.
Virginia (9-3) will play Texas Tech (8-4) in a New Year's day bowl after beginning the season with a disappointing loss to Wyoming.
Mississippi State will make its first bowl appearance since 2000 against Conference USA champion Central Florida (10-3) at the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 29. It will be the first bowl appearance with Sylvester Croom as head coach of the Bulldogs (7-5).
Central Florida's Kevin Smith is the nation's leading rusher. His 2,448 yards have him 180 behind Barry Sanders' single-season record.
Indiana (7-5) will play in its first bowl since the 1993 Independence Bowl when it meets Oklahoma State (6-6).
Champs Sports Bowl
Boston College (10-3) will play Michigan State (7-5) in a meeting of two first-year head coaches.
BC's Jeff Jagodzinski is coming off a loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game. Mark Dantonio of Michigan State led the Spartans to wins over Notre Dame as well as bowl teams Penn State, Purdue and Indiana.
M will face Penn State in a rematch of the 1999 game. This will be Joe Paterno's 500th game as Penn State coach.
Nick Saban's first Alabama team has ended up at the same place Mike Shula's final one did: In the Independence Bowl trying to salvage a winning record.
Colorado and the Crimson Tide will play for the chance to finish the season with a winning record.
The Buffaloes enter having beaten Nebraska 65-51 to become eligible, while Alabama closed out the season on a four-game losing streak.
T Park, the San Francisco Giants' home stadium.
The Beavers (8-4) won their final three conference games to finish third in the Pac-10. The Terrapins (6-6) are in their fifth bowl game in seven years.
TCU will play Houston in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium on Dec. 28.
The Horned Frogs (7-5, 4-4 Mountain West) are playing in the game for the second time in three seasons. They defeated Iowa State 27-24 in 2005, when the game was called the Houston Bowl.
The Cougars (8-4) will play in their fourth bowl since 2003 - they've lost the previous three.
Bowling Green and Tulsa will meet in the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6 in a matchup of potent offenses. The Golden Hurricane (9-4) leads the nation with 543 yards of total offense per game. Bowling Green (8-4) averages 417.
Wake Forest won't have to travel far for its second straight bowl after the Demon Deacons accepted a bid Sunday to play in Charlotte, 80 miles southwest of the school's campus in Winston-Salem.
Wake Forest (8-4) will face Connecticut (9-3) of the Big East on Dec. 29.
Both Utah and Navy will be playing in their fifth straight bowl.
The Utes (8-4) have won their last six bowl games, dating to 1999. Navy (8-4) will be finishing a historic season that included a victory over Notre Dame. The Mids won the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl.
Auburn (8-4) will play Clemson (9-3) in a meeting that accelerates the reunion of two former rivals.
They are scheduled to play in a home-and-home series in 2010 and 2011. Auburn and Clemson have played 45 times but haven't met since Auburn's 21-17 win in the 1997 Peach Bowl.
Bobby Bowden and Florida State will face Kentucky in a matchup of teams with 7-5 records.
The 78-year-old Bowden is the winningest coach in major college football with 373 wins, two more than Penn State's Joe Paterno.
Left out of the BCS, Arizona State will play Texas after coach Dennis Erickson led the Sun Devils to a 10-2 record in his first season in Tempe.
Armed Forces Bowl
After a disappointing loss to archrival Stanford, California will play Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl with a shot at its sixth straight winning record on the line.
The Golden Bears (6-6) lost six of their last seven games. Air Force (9-3) is in its first bowl game since 2002 after winning six of their last seven games.
Las Vegas Bowl
UCLA (6-6) and Mountain West champion BYU (10-2) will play in a rematch of their regular-season meeting won by the Bruins.
Purdue will play Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26.
Purdue (7-5) and Central Michigan (8-5) will play in a rematch of a regular-season meeting won by the Boilermakers' 45-22.
Georgia Tech (7-5) will play in its its 11th straight bowl game, against Fresno State (8-4).
The Yellow Jackets will be coached by defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta after Chan Gailey was fired.