I’m half-assing these previews while watching Wagner-Fairfield basketball on ESPN+, if that gives you any indication of where my day is at.
Frisco Football “Classic”
North Texas Mean Green vs. Miami Hydroxide Redhawks
2:30pm | ESPN | M(OH) -2.5 | O/U 54.5
Toyota Stadium (Frisco, TX)
This game was invented almost on the spot because of too many 6-6 teams and—as it is OTE’s editorial policy, there were—not enough bowl games. Calling it a “Classic” is a little far, but hey, do you.
The Mean Green, picked by the critics to finish 6th in the C-USA...let’s say West, but it could be Legends...shocked the world by going a whole 5-3 in conference to finish 6-6. They beat Northwestern State to open the year, lost six straight—@SMU, UAB, @LaTech, @Mizzou, Marshall, fuckLiberty—then won five straight, including over UTEP and UTSA, to make it to 6-6. Good for them! QB Austin Aune has managed the Mean Green to bowl season after HC Seth Littrell went back to him instead of grad transfer Jace Ruder, but UNT will need to manage without 1,000-yard rusher Deandre Torrey. Thankfully backup Ikaika Ragsdale went over 100 yards in all three of his starts, including against UTSA, so that’s good or whatever.
Miami Hydroxide is also competent! They too went 6-6 (5-3), with acceptable OOC losses to Cincinnati and Army plus a bad loss to Minnesota. More interestingly, the Redhawks’ three MAC losses were by a total of four points.
“That’s impressive,” says Nebraska.
The Fightin’ Bases have a lot of work to do here, as the MAC is a dismal 0-4 in bowl games already, and it’s looking like Miami Hydroxide may just be another school that feasted on bad competition in-conference. But QB Brett Gabbert can chuck it around a bit, and given that the Mean Green and Redhawks have almost identical defensive numbers, I like the Redhawks to get the MAC off the slide today.
For all the Friscos
This poll is closed
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl
6pm | ESPN | Florida -7 | O/U 55.5
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, FL)
I’ve decided the UCF-Florida rivalry—and it’s now a rivalry, super-thanks to all the Florida fans for agreeing to this by not complaining about it in the comments—should be called the Turnpike Trophy. Plus, now that UCF’s going to be in a P5 conference just like Florida, they can start playing this game yearly, rather than the lame 2-for-1 the Gators get in 2024, 2030, and 2033.
The only catch: UCF has to change its mascot back to what it right and truly is:
(tbh the Vulture’s not bad when you think about it)
Other P5-G5 matchups I would’ve loved to see in a bowl game before the Big XII expanded:
Anywho, if there’s a coach I trust to have UCF up for this game and make it extra dumb, it’s Gus Malzahn, so here’s a game for a bowl of popcorn and a lot of beer or whiskey on hand.
I need a bottle of (relatively affordable) scotch, so feel free to recommend those below, too.
The Turnpike Trophy goes to:
This poll is closed
Open thread. You know what to do. Behave.