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Merry Christmas: Here’s a Camellia Bowl and Diamond Head Classic Open Thread

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Great moments in Ball State bowl game and SkyDome history!

International Bowl - Rutgers v Ball State Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images

It’s quarter past midnight on Christmas as I write this, drinking a glass of Glenlivet 12 and baking a cheesecake.

Both those things are thanks to recommendations I got in the Frisco Bowl thread.

I’ve been managing this site for three or four years—who knows how many, really—writing here for seven or eight, and commenting here for over a decade. In many respects you can see that as sad or weird or whatever else, but I think of the places it’s taken me: tailgates in Iowa City and Lincoln and West Lafayette, breweries in Grand Rapids, restaurants from Boulder to Houston to Boston. All on the invitations and recommendations of a semi-random group of internet strangers who I’ve, somehow, come to respect.

There’s not much I can say other than “thank you.”

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, a belated Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Pleasant Solstice, or just plain old Happy Holidays.

For reading, for commenting, for sharing Off Tackle Empire far and wide (or at least with someone else)—for being part of this community. Thank you.

TaxAct Camellia Bowl

Georgia State Panthers vs. Balls Tate Cardinals

1:30pm | ESPN | GASt -5.5 | O/U 51

Cramton Bowl (Montgomery, AL)

The Fightin’ Robotbirds, despite being able to meet Big Ten teams in the Quick Lane Bowl, have never done so—hell, they’ve never even played in any iteration of a Detroit-based bowl game. What’s more, in 2020 they finally got their first bowl win, a surprising 34-13 pasting of San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl.

They do, however, have one loss to a now-B1G team:

Yes, all hail the glory that was the short-lived International Bowl. Featuring an all-Canadian broadcast team and the weirdness that is the Rogers Centre, the International Bowl (2007-2010) was the first non-U.S. bowl game since the 1937 Bacardi Bowl and—

—OK here’s the old Deadspin article with the couple having sex in what was then the SkyDome.

Kind of...:

I’m not going to compete with the story of a couple having sex at SkyDome. But that place opened in 1989, and one of its calling cards was that it had a McDonald’s inside of it, just to give you a sense of what the world was like 32 years ago.

Also, the Blue Jays made the ALCS that year. But Jose Canseco gave SkyDome its first memorable moment:

A few words on Georgia State:

They started playing football in 2010. Moved to FCS in 2013 (off of an 1-11 season, no less). Their first star player was Albert Wilson, who’s carved out a nice career for himself in the NFL. So has Wil Lutz, but he’s a kicker, and here at OTE we only care about punters. Finally, in 2016, a Georgia State team that was to finish 3-9 actually led #9 Wisconsin in the 4th quarter at Camp Randall, before the Badgers rallied to win 23-17. By the transitive property, this was good enough to give Georgia State SIX B1G wins that year, so let’s just move on.

Georgia State’s first head coach was Bill Curry, and he went 10-23 in three seasons at the FCS level. Additionally, Curry was, at best, a mediocre announcer, but you all should know about Curry’s fooball virtues, which are significant. First, he won a NFL championship and two Super Bowls as an undersized center despite being a 20th (!) round selection in the NFL draft. Second, he was the second president of the NFLPA (the post-merger version) taking the reins from teammate John Mackey. Third, he was a pretty good coach, at least at his first two stops. He led Georgia Tech to a 9-2-1 season in 1985, and a Hall of Fame Classic victory over Michigan State. He coached Alabama from 1987-1989, going 26-10, including a 10-2 record in 1989 and a share of the SEC title. However, he was 0-3 against Auburn, and ‘Bama lowballed him in contract negotiations, so he left for Kentucky. Probably not a great move. Three years later, Gene Stallings rode a tough-minded, senior-laden defense to a national title.

Poll

For ALLLLL the Camellias:

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Georgia State
    (8 votes)
  • 65%
    Balls Tate
    (15 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now

Also, there’s basketball on today:

Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic

Wyoming Cowboys vs. South Florida Bulls

12:30pm | ESPNU | Wyoming -8 | O/U 121.5 | 5th Place Game

Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

2:30pm | ESPNU | UNI -4 | O/U 139 | 7th Place Game

Fightin’ Falwells vs. BYU Cougars

5:30pm | ESPN2 | BYU -9 | O/U 132.5 | 3rd Place Game

Stanford Cardinal vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

7:30pm | ESPN2 | Vandy -1.5 | O/U 135 | Championship


Here’s your open thread for the day. Thank you all again for being a part of OTE.