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Saturday Bowl Games Open Thread: Myrtle Beach, Celebration, New Orleans, Cure, New Mexico, LA, Independence Bowls

Plus: a castle in Colorado, the most “your school” 3rd-string quarterback, and how I got too lazy for tailgating.

WHY IS THAT THE CURE BOWL MASCOT

This probably could’ve made for a DWT;WT all by itself:

...but then I remembered Rutgers had Luigi Vittorio or whoever the fuck as their kicker a couple years back.

I’d love some Tommy Kracklepopski as the backup QB at Northwestern, though. He’d have a Ditka mustache and a beer gut. Basically an Italian version of Deacon Hill.

Georgia Southern Eagles (6-6) vs. Ohio Bobcats (9-3)

10am | ESPN | GASo -3.5 | O/U 48.5
Myrtle Beach Bowl (Conway, SC)

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to make it to Evanston for Northwestern-Purdue. Only thing? It was just me and a buddy—our whole tailgating crew has basically moved out or moved on, and neither of us remaining had the energy or willpower to do much more than this:

Walking to Ryan Field, I was struck by (1) how few people were there, but (2) how much setup went into the few tailgates in the East Lot. I was tired just looking at it. Tailgating is an old man’s or young man’s game. Is this what my 30s are?

Howard Bison (6-5) vs. Florida A&M Rattlers (11-1)

11am | ABC | FAMU -6.5 | O/U 50.5
Celebration Bowl (Atlanta, GA)

My little brother’s getting married today, so this is about when the TV will get turned off—that’s a bummer, because the halftime show of the Celebration Bowl is genuinely the best thing about it and one of the best moments about the opening day of bowl season.

#2 Harding Bisons at #1 Colorado Mines Orediggers

12pm | ESPNU | D-II Championship Game

Looking through old pictures from my couple visits to Golden, I was reminded of when the wife and I visited in 2019. Rather than show you our trip to Golden City Brewing—the second-largest brewery in Golden—I was reminded of a little leisurely hike we took through Lair O’ The Bear Park. There was a randomly-ass prviately-owned castle/wedding venue with access points (closed off) along the trail:

The internet seems to think it’s Dunafon Castle. I’m still not sure why it’s there.

Jacksonville State Gamecocks (8-4) vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6)

1:15pm | ESPN | JVSt -3.5 | O/U 59.5
New Orleans Bowl (probably New Orleans)

I looked at all the New Orleans Bowl games back to 2012 to confirm my suspicion that this game is being played way too early—in fact, it’s been scheduled for anywhere from 10am to 8:15pm in the last decade, and I have no idea why. I’m coming down on the side of “It should be played at 8:15pm.” Let the Independence Bowl be the early game. That’s just Cal and Texas Tech anyway.

Miami Redhawks (11-2) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-5)

2:30pm | ABC | App -6.5 | O/U 44.5
Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl (Orlando, FL)

I’m incredibly excited that there are no games starting at the same time today. It feels like that’s a no-brainer, but god knows how many times all three MACtion games have kicked off at 6pm on a Tuesday night. Finally, ESPN/ABC gets something right.

North Dakota State “At Least We’re Not the Nazi Memorabilia-Hoarders Up the Road” Bizon at #2 Montana Grizzlies

3:30pm | ESPN2 | Montana -2 | O/U 50.5
FCS Playoffs (Semifinals, winner faces #1 SDSU)

You are correct that you didn’t bother with the UAlbany-South Dakota State game last night, because this is how it went:

Anyone with half a brain who watched the Albany-Idaho game could’ve told you that was coming—and likely to whichever team made it out of the Kibbie Dome. The Jackrabbits are just damn good this year.

But I wouldn’t count out the winner of this game; Montana because they’re just some mean sonsofbitches, and NDSU because, well, life is terribly pretty much in perpetuity.

New Mexico State Aggies (10-4) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (8-4)

4:45pm | ESPN | NMSU -3.5 | O/U 51.5
New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM)

Taking place in men’s basketball tomorrow at Houston’s Toyota Center is The Halal Guys Showcase—LSU vs. #19 Texas at 11am, then Texas A&M vs. Houston at 1:30pm. Of course I care about none of that, I’m just tickled that there’s a The Halal Guys Showcase.

Now I want The Culver’s Tipoff, hosted at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum:

  • 11am: Notre Dame vs. wisconsin
  • 1:30pm: Northwestern vs. Marquette

WHO SAYS NO

UCLA Bruins (7-5) vs. Boise State Broncos (8-5)

6:30pm | ABC | UCLA -3.5 | O/U 49.5
LA Bowl (Inglewood, CA)

This game being sponsored in the past by Jimmy Kimmel and this year by Gronk has me wanting The Culver’s Tipoff—or, hell, the Culver’s Isthmus Bowl, won by the UW-Platteville Pioneers over the Augustana College (IL) Vikings—to be sponsored by a local celebrity.

It’s a shame Chris Farley’s dead. Would’ve been right up his alley.

California Golden Bears (6-6) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6)

8:15pm | ESPN | TTU -2.5 | O/U 57.5
Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA)

One of the things I’d forgotten about the 2000 Independence Bowl—or the Snow Bowl, one of the greatest bowls of all time?

That it was a walk-off touchdown for Mississippi State not because Texas A&M hadn’t scored a touchdown, but because CLANGA had blocked the Aggies’ PAT and return it for two points.

THAT’S going out with a bang.