Trying to make sense of 35 bowl games in 24 days is a task too big for mere mortals, so we asked Mike Hlas, the award-winning Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist and force behind The Hlog, to review each of the games. Here is his fifth and final installment of Bowl Game Confidential.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma 48, Connecticut 20. Announced attendance: 67,232. ... It was the fourth-lowest crowd ever for a BCS game. ... Oklahoma got its first Fiesta Bowl win since defeating Wyoming in 1976. ... Sooners quarterback Landry Jones threw for an OU bowl-record 429 yards. ..."The tempo — we just couldn't make some plays," UConn Coach Randy Edsall said. ...
Fun stat: UConn tied the record held by Florida State (2002 and 2005) of most losses by a BCS bowl team, with five.
Tweet: @stanfinger: So UConn is an automatic qualifier and TCU is not? Ma$$ive non$en$e, I tell ya.
Orange Bowl: Stanford 40, Virginia Tech 12. Announced attendance: 65,153. ... Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck had almost as many touchdown passes (4) as incompletions (5). ... All four TD throws went to tight ends. ... "We haven't seen a quarterback like that," Hokies linebacker Shayne Skov said. ... Virginia Tech wore orange helmets for the first time. Orange helmets didn't help the NFL's Cleveland Browns or Cincinnati Bengals this season, either.
Fun stats: Stanford will finish in the AP's top 5 for the first time since 1940. Virginia Tech fell to 1-27 against top-5 teams.
Tweet: @TucsonResident: looks like the Stanford Tree will be getting some oranges for its branches.
Sugar Bowl: Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26. Announced attendance: 73,879. ... Ohio State had five players suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia and getting discounted tattoos, but they weren't held out of this game. All five made contributions to the win, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas, whose late interception in OSU territory secured the win. ... "Their contributions were important," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel acknowledged. "They're great kids. And I'm looking forward."
Fun stat: It was Ohio State's first bowl win over an SEC team in 10 tries.
Tweet: @Blaise_in_KC: This Terrelle Pryor thing shows why they should pay players. It's hard for him to afford the tickets he gets in his free loaner cars.
GoDaddy.com Bowl: Miami (Ohio) 35, Middle Tennessee State 21. Announced attendance: 38,168. ... Miami became the first team to go from losing 10 games in one season (1-11) to winning 10 the next (10-4). ... Freshman quarterback Austin Boucher, making his fourth start, took care of business for the RedHawks with two TD passes. ... "We made the plays that were there to be made, and that was enough," Boucher said.
Fun stat: MTSU committed five turnovers to close with 38 this season and a turnover margin of minus-19. Those both rank last in all of Division I-A.
Tweet: @KevinGArmstrong: Danica Patrick just said atmosphere surrounding GoDaddy.com bowl reminds her of Indy 500. Woe is racing.
Cotton Bowl: LSU 41, Texas A&M 24. Announced attendance: 83,514. ... Three players in the game, two of them Tigers, rushed for 100 yards. ... It was the Aggies' fifth consecutive bowl loss and sixth consecutive defeat to an SEC team. ... The SEC has won seven of the last eight Cotton Bowls.
Fun stat: There were only three punts in the game. LSU had one for 58 yards. A&M had two for a total of 56 yards.
Tweet: @widertnattylt: Oh, the Cotton Bowl is on? Could have sworn it was 2 weeks ago...
BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh 27, Kentucky 10. Announced attendance: 41,207. ... Pitt's players dedicated the win to fired coach Dave Wannstedt. Their acting head coach was Phil Bennett, who took a job as Baylor's defensive coordinator the day before this game. ... "What I saw on the football field today, while I'm not discouraged, it was totally unacceptable," Kentucky defensive coordinator Rick Minter said.
Fun stats: This was the third bowl won by a team with an interim head coach. Kentucky became the eighth bowl team to finish the season with a 6-7 record.
Tweet: @Chad_Gardner: There should be a rule regarding scheduling bowl games, that the level of competition must INCREASE until the BCS Title.
Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada 20, Boston College 13. Announced attendance: 41,063. ... Nevada tied a team record with its 13th win. I think this will go down as our best team at the University of Nevada, and we started in 1898," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "That's special." ... Nevada's Rishard Matthews gave the Wolf Pack their first punt return for a touchdown in 119 games.
Fun stat: Boston College went 42 days from its last regular-season game to its bowl.
Tweet: @WizardofWizdom: I'm celebrating the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl by fighting my own hunger with a massive bowl of Lucky Charms. Cereal w/o marshmallows sucks!
BCS Title Game: Auburn 22, Oregon 19. Announced attendance: 78,603. ... Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and Oregon running back LaMichael James were first and third, respectively, in the Heisman Trophy voting, but the Offensive Player of the Game was Auburn freshman running back Michael Dyer, whose 143 yards eclipsed Newton (64) and James (49) combined. ... Television ratings for the title game were down 11% from the previous year, and ranked ninth of the 13 championship contests.
Fun stat: With the score tied at 19, it was won by a last-second 19-yard field goal by Auburn's Wes Byrum.
Tweet: @MikeHillESPN: Attention professors at Auburn..Cam Newton and Nick Fairley will not be attending any more classes at your University..EVER!!!