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Tuesday Night Bowl Games Open Thread: Herd! Roadrunners! Frisco!

Some fireworks potential in Frisco.

Chaser On The Rocks Photo by LMPC via Getty Images

Good morning! It’s time for those weird midweek bowl games where it’s almost Christmas and you know you’re not actually getting any work done, but it beats going down the hall and having those awkward conversations with John who just performed “Rappers Delight” at the office holiday party karaoke.

Fire up ESPN+ and block out a couple hours for that “meeting” — it’s bowl season.

Tuesday

UTSA Roadrunners (8-4) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd (6-6)

8pm | ESPN | UTSA -11.5 | O/U 52.5
Frisco Bowl (Frisco, TX)

Two impressive Marshall bowl game streaks for you:

  1. In the modern era (a 1947 Tangerine Bowl loss to the Catawba Indians notwithstanding), Marshall’s first four bowl games upon making the jump to FBS football were all the Motor City Bowl. (They lost the first, 37-34, in 1997 to Ole Miss, winning the next three over Louisville, BYU, and Cincinnati.)
  2. Beginning with that 2000 win over Cincinnati, Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich won the bowl game MVP award in three straight seasons, including the legendary 64-61 GMAC Bowl shootout with East Carolina:

UTSA QB and program legend Frank Harris has the chance to make history of the Roadrunners’ own: they’ve appeared in four bowl games in their history, losing all four by one score—including ranked opponents in their last three games.

Harris is a damn good passer and runner and will test Marshall’s tough defense; meanwhile, the Herd will keep it on the ground with Rasheen Ali when they can and hope to keep this one to the under.

My Pick: UTSA (14 points confidence)

Anything else on?

More college basketball, if you’d like to start drinking in the morning.

  • Hampton Pirates at Bowling Green Falcons [10am, ESPN+]
  • Samford Bulldogs at Valparaiso Beacons [1pm, ESPN+]
  • Georgetown Hoyas at Butler Bulldogs [5:30pm, FS1]
  • Morehead State Eagles at Indiana Hoosiers [5:30pm, BTN]
  • USC Trojans AT(!!!!!) Alabama State Hornets [6pm, ESPN+]
  • Florida Gators vs. Michigan Wolverines [6pm, ESPN, in Charlotte]
  • #7 Marquette Golden Eagles at Providence Friars [7:30pm, FS1]
  • Nicholls Colonels at Maryland Terrapins [7:30pm, BTN]
  • South Dakota Coyotes at Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners [9pm, ESPN+, blue court!]
  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Cal Baptist Lancers [9pm, ESPN+]

Poll

Who wins?

  • 23%
    Herd
    (5 votes)
  • 76%
    MEEP MEEP
    (16 votes)
21 votes total Vote Now

Monday

Northwestern (IA) Raiders vs. Keiser (FL) Seahawks

11am | ESPN3 | NAIA National Championship

Ah yes, that classic “Dutch people fighting the Kaiser” motif—/touches earpiece

I’m told the Netherlands was neutral in World War I. Alas!

This one, intstead, features Northwestern College, which was always the Northwestern no one thought of when I told them, as a high school senior, that I was going to Northwestern. Growing up in the Twin Cities, the first reaction was usually a cringe at the thought that I—a Catholic, mind you—was going to Billy Graham’s Bible-Thumper Emporium. Less common was the thought that I was going to the chiropractic school in Bloomington.

It might’ve said something about what people thought of my intellectual ability that “the Big Ten school in Evanston” wasn’t on their radar, but it beats being Dutch or from Iowa.

I was going to use that to transition to “go Seahawks”, but turns out Keiser is one of those for-profit colleges that got caught doing shady for-profit college things and flipped its model to being a non-profit.

My Pick: Northwestern College (0 points confidence)

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5) vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (6-6)

1:30pm | ESPN | ODU -5 | O/U 51.5
Famous Toastery (nee Bahamas) Bowl (Charlotte, NC)

Since the Bahamas Bowl stadium is under renovation, this game not only got moved to the States, it got a new sponsor, for some reason? The HomeTown Lenders Bahamas Bowl is now the Famous Toastery Bowl, smack dab in the Carolina Panthers’ stadium.

I genuinely cannot tell what Famous Toastery’s vibe is. Regional chain breakfast place based in Charlotte, now with locations across North Carolina? Kind of a Perkins-looking thing, except they serve booze and are only open from 7am-3pm? Man, I could go for a Tremendous Twelve right about now.

Three of the Hilltoppers’ starting offensive linemen are out for this one, lost to the transfer portal, while the Monarchs will miss a top receiver and their starting punter. For that last reason alone, I’m picking the ‘Toppers, even though it looks unlikely that start QB Austin Reed will play—instead, it’ll be HC Tyson Helton’s nephew (and Clay Helton’s son) Turner under center.

My Pick: Western Kentucky (13 pts confidence)

Anything else on?

There’s Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, if you’d like [7:15pm, ABC/ESPN]. Some interest in Dallas Mavericks-Denver Nuggets on NBAtv [8pm], too.

You can enjoy some real college basketball donnybrooks if you want:

  • UL-Monroe at Jacksonville [10:30am, ESPN+]
  • Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Michigan State Spartans [6pm, BTN]
  • Quinnipiac Bobcats at Holy Cross Crusaders [6pm, ESPN+]
  • Murray State Racers at Little Rock Trojans [6:30pm, ESPN+]
  • UTRGV Vaqueros at Chicago State Cougars [7pm, YouTube]
  • Eastern Washington Eagles at Cal Poly Mustangs [9pm, ESPN+]
  • Detroit Mercy Titans (winless) at Loyola Marymount Lions [9pm, ESPN+]

Here’s an open thread until I get bored with it or until all that red-hot content from OTE pushes it way, way, way down the page. Behave yourselves.