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WEDNESDAY OPEN THREAD: Bad Bowls in the Deep South? Hellllll yeah.

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Plus, Big Ten basketball gives us a ranked matchup in Rutgers-Ohio State and it’s still really weird to say.

NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Appalachian State vs UAB Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve taken a little look at the various Big Ten bowl games—and how Indiana, of course, got screwed while Ohio State got another handout—elsewhere on OTE today.

In the meantime, though, a brief word on the continued concerns over coronavirus and player welfare, particularly as the Big Ten has—for some totally unbeknownst reasons—lowered its required quarantine standard for athletes from 21 days to 17.

It’s been a week and a half since Florida Gators basketball player Keyontae Johnson collapsed during a non-conference game against Florida State.

TMZ

Johnson spent a few days in a medically-induced coma and has since been released from the hospital. And thank God for that. It was a scary scene when it happened—his teammates’ reactions are pretty damn etched in my brain—and the resulting medical saga has compounded just how concerning it is that an otherwise-healthy college basketball player could collapse in the middle of a game.

And now, of course, we know what did it.

It’s just so damn tough to get behind any of this sports-playing when you know these are the stakes. That any shred of uncertainty that this is COVID-related exists is academic—the fact that this kid collapsed on-court, was hospitalized, and has a condition associated with COVID demonstrates, once again, that this is an awful idea.


The Bowl Games

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (5-4) vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (7-5)

Superdome, New Orleans, LA
2pm | ESPN | GASo -6.5 | O/U 47

I would’ve felt better about the Bulldogs playing a game closer to home...until QB Luke Anthony broke his leg late in a 52-10 blowout to TCU. (Seriously, Skip Holtz...why.) Instead, LaTech puts its 6-game bowl winning streak on the line with backup QB Aaron Allen (561 yards, 4 TDs, 5 INTs).

Southern, for their part, might be without dynamic option QB Shai Werts, who’s dealing with a shoulder injury, and are definitely without his backup, Justin Tomlin, who had ankle surgery and is out. That leaves it to senior JUCO transfer Miller Mosley, a Wofford transfer with an option quarterback statline in his limited action at Southern—6 completions on 15 attempts for 131 yards, a TD, and 2 picks.

With Mosley there, can LaTech pin its ears back and commit to stopping RBs J.D. King, Logan Wright, and Wesley Kennedy III? I imagine that, especially early, you can play the Southern triple option pretty heavy on the pitch. We’ll see if I’m wrong.

Poll

For all the shipping containers:

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    LaTech
    (6 votes)
  • 60%
    Georgia Southern
    (9 votes)
15 votes total Vote Now

Montgomery Bowl

Memphis Tigers (7-3) vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (5-3)

Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL
6pm | ESPN | Mem -8.5 | O/U 52.5

You might be thinking, “But isn’t there already a bowl game in Montgomery? AND YOU’D BE CORRECT:

The Montgomery Bowl was announced in late October 2020, with organizers indicating that it was a “substitute of the Fenway Bowl for this season only.”

See also
Camellia Bowl (2014–present), held at the same venue

Cool! Totally normal bowl game.

Memphis replaced WR Damonte Coxie—who smartly opted out—with WR Calvin Austin III, who quickly emerged as a favorite target of QB Brady White, nabbing 60 passes for 1025 yards and 10 TDs in just 10 games. Pretty damn impressive, and a good test for an FAU defense that ranks in the Top 10 of most FEI defensive stats but often bends and doesn’t break. Can they corral big-play threats like Tahj Washington and handle the size of TE Sean Dykes?

Willie Taggart is imposing his image on FAU, moving it away from the mid-major heel image of the Lane Train, but the Owls have dropped their last two—a 20-3 snoozer at Georgia Southern and a 45-31 pasting on short rest at Southern Miss. This is a team that only managed 10 on Western Kentucky and 24 on UMass, has switched between passing QB Nick Tronti and dual-threat Javion Posey, and has struggled to establish James Charles on the ground. It’s certainly possible that the Tigers’ porous-but-ballhawking defense could allow a few big plays for the Owls, but I’m not optimistic.

Poll

For all the montgomeries:

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Tigers cover
    (6 votes)
  • 57%
    Tigers win but fail to cover the spread
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Owls straight up
    (0 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

Big Ten Basketball

#11 Rutgers Scarlet Knights at #23 Ohio State Buckeyes

3:30pm | BTN | OSU -2.5 | O/U 138.5

Rutgers, fresh off a pounding of Maryland in College Park, turned around and showed they could score, holding off #13 Illinois in a physical contest at the RAC. Ron Harper Jr. has been a volume scorer—but hardly inefficient—for the Knights, and Myles Johnson is a damn force in the paint.

Picking this game, however, is a challenge, because it is the editorial policy of OTE basketball writers that

  1. We do not know anything about Ohio State basketball, and
  2. Rutgers cannot actually be good at anything.

As such, Buckeyes by 10.

#18 Illinois Fighting Illini at Penn State Nittany Lions

5:30pm | BTN | Ill -4 | O/U 149.5

When reached for comment, Thumpasaurus just muttered something about “Braggin’ Rights” and “timeouts”. We moved on.

Northwestern Wildcats at Indiana Hoosiers

7:30pm | BTN | IU -8.5 | O/U 140

Northwestern, you may have heard, just beat #4 Michigan State at home, the ‘Cats first Top 5 win since beating the Magic Johnson-led Spartans in 1979. That was pretty fun.

Does it mean anything, though?

Eh.

Boo Buie was unconscious against the Spartans, who—and this is really weird—struggled to manage the inside presence of...Pete Nance? I have no idea if the ‘Cats will move toward a no-true-center approach and away from Ryan Young inside, but it’s an interesting idea.

For me, it’s get Anthony Gaines on Trayce Jackson-Davis and hope for the best—but who knows with ‘Catsketball anymore.

Other Basketball of Interest

NJIT Highlanders at Rider Broncs

1pm | ESPN+ | PICK | O/U 142.5

First real game on, I guess, unless you can get Notre Dame-Bellarmine on your TV right now.

#22 Xavier Musketeers at #13 Creighton Bluejays

2pm | FS1 | Crei -7 | O/U 152.5

UCLA Bruins at #25 Oregon Ducks

2pm | ESPN2 | Ore -3 | O/U 135.5

If this has Walton, it’s a must-watch. If not, don’t bother.

Idaho State Bengals at Northern Colorado Bears

3pm | PlutoTV | UNC -9 | O/U 134.5

Georgetown Hoyas at Seton Hall Pirates

4pm | FS1 | Hall -9 | O/U 147

Providence Friars at Butler Bulldogs

5pm | CBSSN | Prov -1.5 | O/U 133.5

#5 Villanova Wildcats at Marquette Golden Eagles

6pm | FS1 | Nova -5 | O/U 141

Ring out Ahoya.

Kansas City Roos at Saint Louis Billikens

7pm | ESPN+ | SLU -23 | O/U 133

Western Illinois Leathernecks at DePaul Blue Demons

8pm | FS1 | DePaul -17 | O/U 147

The Blue Demons’ first game of the year!

New Mexico Lobos at Boise State Broncos

9pm | CBSSN | BSU -11.5 | O/U 140

This is a run-it-back game that was a non-competitive Broncos romp...but it’s the last game on, and rules are rules.


Soccer?

{Carabao Cup} Stoke City vs. Tottenham Hotspur [11:30am, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Hellas Verona vs. Inter Milan [11:30am, ESPN2]
{Scottish Cup} Hibernian vs. St. Mirren [12pm, ESPN+]
{DFB Pokal} Hannover 96 vs. Werder Bremen [1:45pm, ESPN3]
{DFB Pokal} Mainz 05 vs. Bochum [1:45pm, ESPN3]
{DFB Pokal} Wehen Wiesbaden vs. Jahn Regensburg [1:45pm, ESPN3]
{Serie A} Bologna vs. Atalanta [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Milan vs. Lazio [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Napoli vs. Torino [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Roma vs. Cagliari [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Sampdoria vs. Sassuolo [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Spezia vs. Genoa [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Udinese vs. Benevento [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Carabao Cup} Everton vs. Manchester United [2pm, ESPN+]

I dunno. That’s what I got for you. Here’s your open thread for the day’s football and whatever else you sick freaks are into. Behave.