You’ve not been paying attention—and why would you have been?—but three OTE writers have recently become fathers, the two of us for the first time.
Of course, as we all know, that comes with loads of spare time while the little potato just lies there and requires no attention or assistance from us, no sir.
What follows is a set of previews of college football bowl season, written thanks to all that extra time we currently have laying around:
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Maryland Terrapins (7-5) vs. #23 NC State Wolfpack (8-4)
Friday, Dec. 30 | 11am | ESPN | NCSt -1 | O/U 46
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
MNW: Oh god. Ohhhhhhh god.
As a Certified Picky Eater myself, I’m terrified for when the kid starts on solid foods in a couple months. There’s nothing terribly objectionable about the first few rafts of food—your sweet potatoes, avocados, whatever—but the first time Wildkit puts mayo or ketchup on food, I’m going to cry and then write her out of my will.
Green Akers: There’s a nonzero chance the high water mark of the Locksley era in College Park will be him getting dropped into a dunk tank full of mayo or whatever it is the full-on Sickos Committee-infiltrated runners of this bowl have in mind this year.
Seriously, I’m not likely to watch much of this game — Maryland has now had WRs Demus, Jarrett, and Copeland opt out, so Taulia is now Vincent Vega looking around in mild befuddlement, but I’ll pirate a feed of the postgame activities.
For ALL the mayo:
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cat in the hat
Pittsburgh Panthers (8-4) vs. #18 UCLA Bruins (9-3)
Friday, Dec. 30 | 1pm | CBS | UCLA -5.5 | O/U 53.5
Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX
MNW: My god, what a B1Gly matchup in El Paso. Future Northwestern coach Pat Narduzzi (why not, right) vs. future Big Ten school UCLA. It’s awful, and I can’t wait to watch, in part because it’s one bowl that has stayed out of the orbit of the ESPN Bowl Complex.
Green Akers: Aside from some JMC [fantasy football] usage of Israel Abanikanda, I’d not given Pitt football much thought this year, so how did they do after Nard-dawg’s off-season post hoc bitching about the best offense in school history? Well, the guy who played every meaningful snap at QB and had eligibility left is in the portal. So it seems like it was fun!
It sounds as though Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet will both be playing for UCLA despite some fair NFL Draft prospects, and aside from Slovis, Pitt’s All-American defensive tackle Calijah Kancey isn’t going to play either, so the Bruins should roll.
MNW: I’ve just realized both teams here roll with a blue-and-gold/yellow configuration and a script four-letter logo, which is...uh...well, it’s something!
But I think part of why I don’t mind Pitt or UCLA is their color scheme — as a colorblind man myself, the blue-and-gold look pops and is visually unobtrusive. Looking at you, SMU-Hawai’i basketball on Christmas Day.
That colorblindness is something I like to rub in with my wife all the time: MNWildkit is not colorblind, as that in girls is super rare, but SUCKA! she’s a carrier! Punnett Square, bitches. You’re welcome.
the game you forget about that’s still on cbs
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#21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4) vs. #19 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-4)
Friday, Dec. 30 | 2:30pm | ESPN | ND -2 | O/U 51.5
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
MNW: While Wildkit will be baptized into The Church—to the chagrin of the MIL, herself a Lootran—and will, as I did and do, attend Mass regularly as a kid, I am thankful she will avoid Notre Dame fandom. That’s always struck me as a super-odd Catholic thing. Like, there are LOTS of Catholic universities out there! And we’re only 1/8 Irish! Why the fuck would we care about one shitty group of them in middle-of-nowhere shithole Indiana?
In-laws been awkward about the kid and whether you’ve heard the Good News of Our Lord and Savior
Tony Danza Jesus Christ?
Green Akers: Nope, nobody on either side who’s close enough to think they can influence us does anything more than the major holidays, so we are free to wallow in glorious apostasy. Have you heard the good news of sleeping in on Sunday?
Good luck not sleeping through this game, as Notre Dame’s QB (portal) and star TE and best defensive player (draft) are all leaving, as are most of South Carolina’s offensive skill guys other than Rattler.
have you heard the good news of our lord and savior tony danza
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actually it was angela who was the boss
sit down, mister nadir
Ohio Bobcats (9-4) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (7-5)
Friday, Dec. 30 | 3:30pm | some shitty app | Ohio -1 | O/U 42.5
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
MNW: It bums me out that we’re raising girls in a world where this fucking company exists, man. It really just does.
And it bums me out more that Ohio and Wyoming—two teams I don’t mind watching, the latter a DWT;WT Team of Choice(TM)—are playing in this game, because I would very much like to watch it.
What would you do if the Mad Lass wants to go to Michigan someday?
Green Akers: It’s a fine school and I therefore wouldn’t fault her for it, but by the time she’s making that choice it will be clear to her that this would be a rift between us that could never be closed. I would lament the destruction of whatever social skills she’ll have by the end of high school and their replacement by an endless well of arrogance and self-satisfaction, but again. It’s a fine educational institution.
will you watch this game
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yes but i have a crippling gambling degeneracy and/or a really good reason for supporting that asshole
yes and i’m totally owning you snowflakes by doing it
#6 Tennessee Volunteers (10-2) vs. #7 Clemson Tigers (11-2)
Friday, Dec. 30 | 7pm | ESPN | Clemson -4.5 | O/U 63.5
Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
MNW: We get into the point of the schedule, now, where I just can’t feign interest. I can’t. Two good teams, two shitty fanbases, moving on.
"I was thinking about it this summer ... honestly for me,, we built this program on NIL ... on God's name, image, and likeness."— Beth Hoole (@bethhooleVNL) December 21, 2022
I asked Dabo Swinney about how NIL factors in recruiting now, a couple years in. He said Clemson has always recruited from the inside out. pic.twitter.com/Rk1PD4DZ7Y
Green Akers: One of the newer hires at the Day Job is a Clempson fan, but in spite of that he’s a perfectly nice and reasonable guy, and his fandom also dates back to their early 80s run of success (first thing he said about it was “well, we did win, but we also cheated our ass off”), so Dabo notwithstanding I’m fine with them taking a VERY high and mighty fanbase down a peg.
No Hooker, no Hyatt, no Tillman for Tennessee, and on the Clemson side Myles Murphy and Trenton Simpson are out among a boatload of transfers.
pick yer orange
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with a side of jesus
goooooood ollllllll rocky top
MNW: So...uh...I’m pretty sure the advice here has just been...
- “Maryland-NC State is awful”
- Opt-out-marred Pitt-UCLA will be a Bruins romp
- Opt-out-marred Notre Dame-Sakerlina should be a snoozer
- We’re not watching the Arizona Bowl for obvious reasons
- The Orange Bowl features two good teams but a coach and fanbase, respectively, that are the goddamn worst.
Anything you’d like to say for yourself? Any plans you and the Mad Lass have today, instead?
GA: Welllll I have to Actually Work so I won’t be watching much of anything, much to my chagrin (sounds like the broadcast booth is going to lean in to the Mayo Bowl as the Sickos National Championship so it should be fun).
If you’re a Maryland fan, you get a look at what your offense is like with Jeshaun Jones as the featured receiver, which could be genuinely interesting even if the new Terp bowl tradition is “be so unappealing the other team’s QBs can’t be bothered to show up.
”If you can put aside the Dabo of it all, the first start for Cade Klubnik could be a peek at who you’re demanding your shitty NFL team tanks for in two years, and also another chance to marvel at the incredibly powerful, astoundingly inaccurate throwing arm of “definitely gonna be Cam Newton just you watch” Joe Milton, who despite still playing is nonetheless a prominent Remember That Dude already. Keep him on your radar, is all I’m saying.
2022 Pitt fascinates me. How does Nard-dawg talk about a season where, coming off their best year in a generation, they immediately, almost aggressively dissolve right back into the morass of ACC wallflowers? Especially given the thing that put them in the spotlight was a high-flying offense whose major pieces all left, and then Narduzzi’s response was GOOD FINE GET OUT, I DON’T NEED YOU ANYWAY!