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:
Artist Formerly Known as the Outback Bowl
#22 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (8-4)
Monday, Jan. 2 | 11am | ESPN2 | MSSt -1 | O/U 46
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
MNW: Speaking—for like the thirtieth time, since that’s all we do is deal with shit—of number two, how’s that for an Illinois situation, huh? Poor Thump.
A Chase Brown opt-out isn’t ideal for the Illini, I suppose, but hey, what could go wrong with leaning on Tommy DeVito or whoever’s taking snaps for Red Grange’s Boys?
We’re well past Christmas by now, and so it’s time to ask: how’d the no-win First Christmas go? Did Meemaw and Peepaw shower the Mad Lass with five thousand toys, against your wishes? Did the kid not pose for the pictures just right under the tree and upset one of you?
Green Akers: It sounds like RB Josh McCray will not be able to go, so this’ll probably be, what, 40 carries for Reggie Love?
And…I think Christmas went very well actually? I’m sure I’ll find out at some future Airing Of Grievances which relatives’ gifted Christmas onesies we did not manage to get pictures of the Mad Lass in (it’s most of them because we received about 40 such outfits), and I gambled the kid’s life for the first time by driving the 90 miles to my hometown in the latter stages of the Christmas Blizzard, but hey, we didn’t bust! It seems that, this time at least, my constant complaining about the shortage of space in the house was received by the right audience, as we got plenty of stuff but not, like, occupy the entire living room amounts of stuff as I expected.
Really just gotta watch more of that Marie Kondo show.
does this game bring thump joy
This poll is closed
#17 LSU Tigers (9-4) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (8-5)
Monday, Jan. 2 | 12pm | ABC | LSU -14.5 | O/U 56
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
MNW: As a fan of a team that has benefited from this game being the dumping ground for the loser of the Big Ten Championship, I have to say there are worse ways to spend a day than in the sun of Florida, watching your team get its shit pushed in at a bowl game.
It’s like when the kid’s bawling her eyes out and it’s been 45 minutes and nothing will make her happy. Sure, it fucking sucks and I hate everything. But life could be a whole lot worse.
Green Akers: As much as I don’t bet at all, I understand most savvy bettors will tell you not to bother with huge point spreads even if one team is definitely way better, but sans Jeff Brohm, Aidan O’Connell, Charlie Jones, Payne Durham, and Cory Trice, this one could get ugly for Purdue, even with LSU missing BJ Ojulari and a host of lower-impact guys themselves (sounds like Jayden Daniels will play if his ankle allows).
That said, 3 of LSU’s 4 DL starters are sitting, so maybe we see a big day/national coming out party type outing from Devin Mockobee. And hey, if the bowl doesn’t go well, Purdue fans who attend can go and drown their sorrows by drinking around the world at $16 a beer.
for all the citrus
This poll is closed
#16 Tulane Green Wave (11-2) vs. #10 USC Trojans (11-2)
Monday, Jan. 2 | 12pm | ESPN | USC -2 | O/U 62.5
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
MNW: I have a confession: on Boxing Day I packed up the stroller and went to the Mall of America before the stores opened and walked laps with Wildkit plus my sister, her husband, and her kids. It was us and old people and other parents, just silently walking laps.
Is there any coming back from this, or is death approaching?
Green Akers: I wouldn’t want to watch the Hammers get walked by the Gunners, either.
Anyway, USC is definitely without RB Travis Dye and WR Jordan Addison, and might be without Heisman winner Caleb Williams, while Tulane is pretty close to full strength. Let’s go, Fightin’ Fritzes!
for all the cotton
This poll is closed
#11 Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2) vs. #8 Utah Utes (10-3)
Monday, Jan. 2 | 4pm | ESPN | Utah -2.5 | O/U 52.5
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
MNW: My wife and I, the other night, had the “Remember when you dropped almost $1,000 on flights and hotels to go to Salt Lake City to watch Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament while we were saving for a wedding, you dunce?” conversation.
In retrospect, telling her “Yeah, and I’d do it again” was a mistake...
...but if Northwestern ever made the Rose Bowl, I’d be hard-pressed not to tell her and the kid, however old, to get their asses in the car for a little Route 66’in down to ol’ Pasadena.
That’s not a mistake, is it?
Green Akers: I made the objectively sensible but spiritually bankrupt decision to not, as a destitute 25-year-old, borrow the multiple thousands of dollars it would’ve cost to go to the Rose Bowl after the ‘13 season, and it’s plainly going to be one of those “deathbed regret” kind of things now that the Granddaddy is about to become Playoff Quarterfinal #5. But what kind of 21st century American would I be if I didn’t have something to regret for the rest of my life, amirite??
Seriously, though, even if your team gets absolutely trashcanned, you aren’t going to look back and think ‘boy, I’m glad I watched Northwestern lose by 60 from my couch that one additional time rather than going.’ I traveled long distances and spent decent amounts of money to watch Dantonio Collapse Era MSU lose 38-0 to Wisconsin and 9-6 to Nebraska, the latter in a blizzard, and I regret neither in the slightest.
This poll is closed
This was a fun and dumb diversion from the stupidity of everyday life as Northwestern and Michigan State fans, as well as new fathers and people who like hanging out here more than doing our actual jobs.
Thanks to all of you for reading, for the advice, and for stopping by to gloat “Oh yeah, so that’s why I didn’t have kids.”
Appreciate you all. Enjoy the games.