The Worst: Bowl Season


You did it! You made it through an entire college football season with me, and I hope you’re proud. You should be! If you can survive this, then you can survive anything.

The College Football Playoff has come and gone, and Alabama came storming back to win again — but not to worry, Georgia fans; your loss of a 13-0 halftime lead did not make The Worst performances of bowl season 2017-18.

There have been a lot of bowl games this season. Some of them have been great, some not so much. We here at the Open Man can’t think of a better way to close out this season of college football than by presenting some of the more excruciating moments of the postseason.

I promise it will be painful. So, naturally, we’ll start with you, Michigan.

5. Michigan blows 19-3 lead in Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina

Fun times, eh?

Maybe Michigan wasn’t meant to have a good season. However, that doesn’t mean they were going to lose to a non-conference opponent, especially in a bowl game.

Quinn Nordin kicked a 48-yard field goal with 5:42 left in the third quarter. Those were the final points Michigan would score for the remainder of the game.

South Carolina scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to cut the lead to 19-16. Jake Bentley gave the Gamecocks the lead early in the fourth quarter with a  53-yard touchdown pass to Shi Smith. Parker White added a field goal late to increase the lead.

In the end, South Carolina scored 23 unanswered points.

What’s miraculous about this game is that South Carolina outgained Michigan 300-277 in total yards. To make matters worse, Michigan was 2-for-18 on third downs. Of course, South Carolina wasn’t much better at 2-of-14.

4. Sparty scores 35 straight to knock off Wazzu in the Holiday Bowl

Washington State did have the lead at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, however, Michigan State had a 21-3 lead.

In the end, it was Sparty winning 42-17. Defense dominated the Cougars, who were held to less than 300 total yards, and now have back-to-back Holiday Bowl performances and fewer than 30 points to show for it. Mike Leach might have some choice words for America’s Finest City.

He may not have blasted the host city, but the Washington State coach did pop off on reporters following his team’s blowout loss.

Quarterback Tyler Hilinski had 272 yards passing on 39-for-50 completions, stepping in as the starter last-minute with Luke Falk suffering a hand injury. The Pac-12’s all-time leading passer may have been able to make a difference, but 25 points worth?

It was a less than ideal performance for the Cougars. However, they weren’t the only one to struggle on offense in a lopsided loss.

3. Navy scores often against Virginia in Military Bowl

Navy struggled this season. They started out 5-0 but lost six of its remaining seven games. They still got bowl eligibility and played Virginia.

Unfortunately for Virginia, there would be no bowl win as Navy won. Granted, Virginia took the lead thanks to an opening kickoff return for a touchdown. The only problem is, Navy scored the next 49 points.

And here’s the key, Navy attempted one pass the entire game. One pass and they scored 49 points. All they needed to do was run the football, which they did. Navy ran for 452 yards in the game.

Malcolm Perry ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns, while Zach Abey had five rushing touchdowns.

2. Appalachian State shuts out Toledo in Dollar General Bowl

Toledo is a really good football team. Unfortunately for them, Appalachian State was much better on the day. The Rockets turned the ball over four times, including three interceptions from starting quarterback Logan Woodside.

As for Appalachian State, they rushed for 327 yards and four touchdowns against the Toledo defense. Jalin Moore had 125 yards and three of those touchdowns.

The Toledo offense struggled, gaining just 146 total yards. It’s a rough way for a MAC team to end the season. However, one MAC team had it a little worse.

1. Florida Atlantic scores 50 on Akron in Boca Raton Bowl

After losing three of its first four games, Florida Atlantic went on a scoring run, winning nine straight including the Conference USA Championship. They were rewarded with a bowl game at home against Terry Bowden and Akron. Unfortunately for the Zips, it wasn’t close.

FAU outgained Akron 582-146 in total yards. Devin Singletary had 124 yards and three rushing touchdowns as the Owls rushed for 312 as a team en route to a 50-3 blowout.