And that's that for college football.
The BCS title game was a dud, but that's sports and it didn't bother me. If every game were a classic, none would be classics. The Jan. 2 games were good enough to make up for the lousy finale.
My favorite part of the bowl season isn't during the stretch of bowls that lasts almost as long as a World Cup. Rather, it's waiting to find out how much money every school lost on their bowl trips.
Virginia Tech had to take a bath at the Sugar Bowl. Likewise, Illinois and UCLA had to take a bath at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Attendance: 29,878). The Hawaii Bowl's announced crowd was 19,411.
But the Insight Bowl sold out. Which means this: If Iowa stumbles to a 6-6 season next year, it will still have a good bowl home waiting for it in Tempe. Again.
I'm not predicting 6-6, by the way. This is the ray of sunshine I present for Hawkeyeland: The quarterbacks of the Big Ten's division champions in 2011, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins, were seniors. Iowa's quarterback, James Vandenberg, will be a senior next season.
Of course, so will Michigan's Denard Robinson. But Vandenberg will be near the head of the class for Big Ten quarterbacks, and that's a good place to start.
My favorite bowls were these:
Outback: Michigan State showed a lot of character in rallying from a 16-0 hole to force overtime and then disposing of Georgia in the third OT.
Fiesta: Oklahoma State beat Stanford in overtime in a game that was oodles of fun to watch, with two wonderful quarterbacks.
Rose: Oregon-Wisconsin was the kind of game we expected it to be. High-scoring and competitive.
Alamo: I wouldn't want every game to be 67-56, but Baylor's win over Washington stood out among the second-tier bowls.
Poinsettia: Louisiana Tech gave TCU a great game before the Frogs prevailed.
BCS, Clemson allowing 70 points to West Virginia in the Orange, Nebraska stinking up the joint in the second-half of its Capital One loss to South Carolina, the Dec. 30 daily-double of the Pinstripe and Insight, with the state of Iowa taking a double-dip.
Boise State was too good for the Las Vegas Bowl. Illinois and UCLA were good enough only to face each other in San Francisco. Northwestern and Ohio State finished with worse records (6-7) than Illinois and Purdue (7-6).
The stories of the year were off the field. Penn State. The ever-changing conference alignments. But mostly, Penn State.
Someone from Baylor won the Heisman Trophy, which once seemed about as likely as West Virginia moving to the Big 12.
From this blog's point of view, it's sad to see the season end. Because it's a lot more fun to write about the games than all the sideshows and the waiting for the next season to start.By the way, Boise State is at Michigan State on Friday, Aug. 31. The next day, Michigan plays Alabama in Cowboys Stadium, Iowa is at Northern Illinois in Chicago (NIU has the nation's longest winning streak, at 9), Tulsa is at Iowa State, and an always-competitive Southern Mississippi club is at Nebraska.