As I went to bed last night, about 3-4 inches of beautiful, fluffy, fat snowflakes had fallen on the Twin Cities.
I woke up this morning to rain. Which I’m sure will freeze tonight as I’m putting myself through a bowl game featuring Baylor and Vanderbilt.
Don’t be like me.
Rate my new porn name, Duke Temple:
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4 throbbing ones
3 French maids
2 ball gags
1 fluffer, pronto
Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
Temple Owls (8-4) vs. Duke Blue Devils (7-5)
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
12:30pm | ESPN | Temple -3.5 | O/U 54.5
Shreveport is closer to Dallas than it is to New Orleans. I’m not entirely sure what to do with that information, but that seems like a major letdown for this game, which I’d always assumed was played with a bayou just beyond the edges of the stadium.
Like, take that stupid Chevy commercial with the gators in the dealership: First, fuck you, Chevy. These commercials suck. Second, this would be a great time for the salesman to say “yeah, and does Ford have an ejector button for the backseaaaaaaaaaaaaa” [/is eaten by a gator].
Third, though, in the post-apocalyptic thunderdome that will be the modern college football playoff system crumbling because the Big Ten is left out five straight years or the SEC only gets one team in the playoff and it’s not Bama or something, that commercial is an example of how my college football bowl games would be run: “We put Duke and Temple in the Shreveport Board of Tourism and Generator Supplies Independence Bowl, and then we released five live gators into the arena. Let’s see who survives.”
I would watch the hell out of that from my bunker in the Northwoods.
I’ve said too much.
Shut up, MNW. The game? I don’t want to talk about Duke. Temple, which is now Geoff Collins-less, plays some damn good defense, including the best pass defense in S&P+ in the country. Duke, on the other hand...thoroughly mediocre. Which makes perfect sense for why Northwestern lost to them. At home. Before losing to Akron. Fucking goddamnit.
THE GAME, MNW. Flip a coin. If it’s heads, average Anthony Russo shows up and throws a pick for every TD. If it’s tails, mediocre Anthony Russo shows up and throws a TD for every pick. Temple RB Ryquell Armstead is fun to watch, though, and can do some decent damage on the ground.
Who wins? Temple will want to grind this one out, Duke will want to open it up. They’re playing a bowl game infiltrated by 5 live gat—
I’ve said too much. Temple with 19 points.
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New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Miami-Florida Hurricanes (7-5) vs. wisconsin badgers (7-5)
Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
4:15pm | ESPN | MIA -2.5 | O/U 45
I ever tell you guys about the night I spent “homeless” in New York? My flight to EWR (lovely airport) got delayed to after midnight, my Airbnb host refused to come into the city to let me in, and despite me waiting outside the apartment I couldn’t sneak in behind anyone else. So I spent the evening at The Grange Pub on Amsterdam and 141st, where a nice bartender named Paul from County Omagh took pity on me and let me charge my phone and spent the evening telling me about all things Irish, then halved my tab before not kicking me out until 4:30. Then I sat at a Dunkin’ for an hour, caught my train up to Chappaqua, and put on a suit in the bathroom of the train station Dunkin’.
It’s not a great New York story, but it’s the best one I have.
Or maybe the second-best, because in 10th grade I walked a couple miles through a dark New Jersey suburb because my AP US History class got on the wrong bus after going up the Empire State Building at midnight.
Shut up, MNW. The game? Beez previewed it for you pretty well earlier, check out what he has to say.
Who wins? wisconsin, with 20 points.
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HELL YEAH BRUH /shows up in 2nd quarter, takes selfie with A-Rod, leaves
My fucking ass.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
Baylor Bears (6-6) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6)
NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
8pm | ESPN | Vandy -4 | O/U 56.5
While I was in Northwestern’s marching band, I went to three bowl games (in order): The Outback Bowl, the Ticket City Bowl (Dallas), and this one, back when it was the simplistically-named Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. It was the mediocrest of the three—obviously the Outback was far and away the best—but it was also, one last time, a painful reminder of Northwestern’s role in the college football landscape.
We played Auburn in the Outback and Texas Tech in Dallas, and so these were two fanbases that already showed out and made us look even smaller and more pathetic than normal. But playing Texas A&M—a psychotic collection of military cosplayers masquerading as a university—just a couple hours from College Station...holy shit.
Like, this is the kind of stuff they woop and holler and lose their shit over:
“The Noble Men of Kyle.” Like...Jesus. What the hell.
It was bizarre. But not ungratifying when a few A&M fans stopped us to tell us how our halftime show (which was probably some usual NUMB shit, like “Holiday” and “You are the Sunshine of My Life” with a lot of random-ass curvilinear shit and some shapes) was so refreshing because it was “actual music.”
That’s not the point. I imagine Vanderbilt’s fans coming down to Houston to play Baylor—which is a whole 2:45 drive from Houston—will have a similar, if less fanatic (OK, on some things more fanatic) fanbase to contend with.
Shut up, MNW. The Game? I’m pretty sure Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur (son of NYG HC Pat) is pretty good. Or, at least, he hucks it around a lot. And Baylor’s got the duo of QB Charlie Brewer who can pull it and run (5.26 ypc, sack-adjusted) or give it to John Lovett. So we could be in for a shootout if Baylor gets out of their own way. Nice!
Who Wins? I will put stock in Baylor getting the home game and matching up well in its strength (16th-best run efficiency) with Vandy’s weakness (basically all rushing D stats except explosiveness). While the Bears get backed up and don’t finish drives well, their ability to run the ball determines this one. Baylor, with 5 points.
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On the Servpro First Responders Cancellation
The more I’ve thought about the Boston College-Boise State cancellation yesterday, the worse I’ve felt about it. Yes, obviously for the players, who spent Christmas away from or merely adjacent to their families in a hotel ballroom in Dallas of all goddamn places. But also for the support staff, including the band members, who made the trip down.
From what I can tell, the Boston College marching band left Chestnut Hill on Christmas afternoon for a charter down to Dallas, where they likely had a Christmas dinner, played at a weird pep rally at the husk of the Cotton Bowl that no one really cares about unless it’s Texas-Oklahoma, couldn’t go out for bowl game merriment because nothing was open, then got rained out of their final performance and got on the world’s saddest charter back to Boston that night. For all that I laugh about how weird NUMB was and how silly some bowl games can be, I cherish the hell out of those memories and can’t imagine missing out on them.
Anyway, enough about my emotional ramblings. Here’s your open thread for the day’s games. Enjoy, behave, don’t burn the place down.