I just don’t have any opening pith. I got three of four games played Tuesday correct. But would have traded them in for the one I missed.
The hits just keep on comin’.
No more tales about Oscar Poulan. Or Joey the Vig.
Just more predictions. I stand a seriously lofty 16-4 with 3 DNPs, heading into the last week of bowl season.
Wasabi Bowl: Virginia vs. SMU. Nothing says pigskin in December like The Green Monster. Football in Fenway. Oh, never mind. Game’s off. Ted Williams’ head can stop spinnin’ in his cryochamber.
New Era Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland. So, yes, ye eagle-eyed readers, this now the only gridiron battle being contested between the foul poles. Well, maybe they’ll be some action in foul territory. So, yeah, Pinstripe Bowl, Yankee Stadium, sponsored by a baseball cap maker. No explanation, just roll with it. As for the Hokies and the Terps??? Both are 6-6. Mediocrity shall prevail. So too Va. Tech.
Cheez-It Bowl: Iowa State vs. Clemson. So here’s a mid week battle where the football actually intrigues more than who’s the cheeziest. This one could be a Blockbuster. Which is what the game used to be called when we rented videos, to go along with the gratuitous simple carbs of snack crackers. Oh yeah, football. I’d love to see the Cyclones prevail. Dabo’s had to regroup, having lost both his OC and DC. I believe he finds a way.
Valero Bowl: Oregon vs. Oklahoma. Remember the Alamo. I do. Upon my first visit to San Anton, I was standing downtown and asked a local where it was? He pointed right across the street at the surprisingly little building. Which was next to a Walgreens or something. Wonder if that space is now occupied by one of the sponsor’s convenience gas stations? Both these two big name programs lost their coaches to other big name programs. Which will better get it together? Quack.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. South Carolina. When I hear the term Carolina referring to a school, I always think North, not South. But minimal research advises both schools and their fans consider themselves Carolina. Imagine that. The border schools have battled 58 times since 1903. Which means it’s not been an annual affair. That makes this one no less contentious. I’m going with the Tar Heels in Charlotte. As for my mayo preference, Duke’s is just a shade too lemony for my taste. But not bad, try it if you never have.
TransPerfect Bowl: Tennessee vs. Purdue. TransPerfect provides some sort of services that help “organizations connect with their audience in any language.” Wonder if it can translate this for some U of L fans who won’t give it up: Effjay Ohmbray isyay otnay ecomingbay ouisville’slay ootballfay oachcay. But Coach Ohmbray shall be on the sideline when his Boilermakers take the field in Music City against the Volunteers. Rocky Top should have more folks in the stands, but maybe not. Urduepay prevails anyway.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh. Speaking of coaches — which we do a lot here — how about the hand played by Sparty’s Mel Tucker? From a COVID 2-5 in first season in East Lansing to 10-2 with a W over surging cross-state rival. Even a 49 point beatdown to THE couldn’t diminish the ardor of a couple boosters who underwrote MT’s $95 mill/ 10 year contract. Good work, dude. Meanwhile Pitt, with a more modestly compensated mentor, has pretty much dominated its schedule. Even without their NFL bound QB, Panthers get extra pickles on those chicken sandwiches.
SRS Distribution Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Arizona State. It wasn’t so long ago when this was about the only event featuring “amateur student athletes” in Sin City. Now the Land o’ Dino & Frankie Blue Eyes hosts a whole bunch of events. Which initial couple of sentences is about as meh an opening foray in this essentially meaningless endeavor as my fingers have typed. Not sorry, Reese’s™. As for the game, I just have a feeling that more Badgers than Sun Devils will be trying to sneak past curfew for the David Copperfield show. A State.
Tax Slayer Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest. Er, uh, make that Rutgers vs. Wake Forest. Who says Academic Progress Rate is meaningless? That’s what got the 5-7 Jersey Boys into Replacement Slot #1 after the Aggies opted out. Who knows where the heads of these pigskinners will be? My hunch is the Demon Deacons keep their focus in Florida and beat the Scarlet Knights.
Tony the Tiger Bowl: Miami (Fla) vs. Washington State. Alrighty then, scratch the Canes. Wilkommen the last of the Michigan Directionals. Eastern: L. Western W. So, it’s Central Michigan vs. Wash State. The tradition of Cardinal Ken Porco, star of the ‘58 U of L W over Drake, lives on. So, I’m stickin’ with my shtick, at least some of it: You know what would be way cool? At least for those of us who spent too much time out and about and out of it in strange places back in the day. A Toy Tiger Bowl. Heck, I’d go. I’ve a t-shirt with the logo I picked up a few years back at a MERF benefit. Cougars win.
BarStool Sports: Boise State vs. Central Michigan. Here’s what we learned from this COVID cancellation: Eating lots of Idaho spuds is not an antidote for the virus. Unless you maybe reduce it down to it essence, a syrup, and mainline it.
Goodyear Bowl: Alabama vs. Cincinnati. The Bearcats are a great story, right? W in South Bend. Undefeated. Invite to a P5. Invite to the Final Four. Where the gift for all those blessings is a date with A La Ba Ma. Can Cincy win? Of course, that’s why they play the game. Plus Luke Fickell never assisted Nick Saban on the sideline. A good thing for Queen City. Will they? Uh, no.
Capital One Bowl: Michigan vs. Georgia. Welcome to the Battle of the Surprisingly Underperforming Coaches. (Against expectations for their respective fan bases.) Coach Khaki’s been the bigger surprise. But, a contract adjustment, some staff changes, renewed focus and BOOM, here are the Wolverines in the national semis. Coach Smart has been harvesting 5 stars like it’s apple season at Huber’s. But he always seems to make some silly borderline stupid decision in games that matter. Michigan runs. Georgia stops the run. Fascinating matchup. Hail to the Victors.
Outback Bowl: Arkansas vs. Penn State. A number of years back when the Professor and his bride wintered in Sydney, my then bride and I and another couple visited them for a couple of weeks. Ate at a lot of great restaurants, not one of which featured a Bloomin’ Onion dish on the menu. Which just leads me to believe the sponsor here might not be a legit purveyor of real Aussie food. Just sayin’. Oh yeah, football. James Franklin’s got a fat new big ass contract. Lesser paid Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks win the game.
Vrbo Bowl: Kentucky vs. Iowa. Speaking of getting new enhanced pay checks, wonder what Kirk Ferentz isn’t doing right? Not an issue, he’s been in Iowa City for 24 seasons. He ain’t goin’ nowhere. Neither apparently is Hawkeye alum Mark Stoops, who got a bump thanks to all that rumor & innuendo during Coaching Carousel season. Cats wobbled a bit mid season, but finished strong. And, don’t I know it as a Cardinal fan. Big Blue.
Play Station Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State. Given all the covid cancellations, wonder if this one will be played as a video game, should one or the other or both teams opt out? That would be kind of interesting. But not quite as much as seeing how the Fighting Irish cope with the sea change of metamorphosis on the coaching staff. The squad is said to have lobbied for Marcus Freeman’s elevation. OC/ alum Tommy Rees also said no to gumbo and stayed on board. Cowboys, with a penchant for spitting it out late, can’t match all that.
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Utah. Oh, ain’t the Granddaddy of ‘Em All the haughtiest? Yes, easily. No sponsor’s name up front, game is presented by. And demands being contested only on the first day of the new year. Meaning the national semis this time around are on NY Eve. My, my. The Tournament of Roses also get their preferred Big Ten/ Pac 12 matchup. The Buckeyes are familiar with the deal. The Utes are rookies. Kyle Whittingham’s teams always seem to be misunderestimated. Not by me.
Allstate Bowl: Baylor vs. Ole Miss. My guess is Omicron notwithstanding, the Dome will be packed. New Orleans for New Year’s Eve, sleep it off, then the football game. The fans of that private institution with a religious affiliation will be lookin’ to get out of Waco, and sin a bit. The Ole Miss fans . . . c’mon . . . no explanation necessary. It’s in Archie’s town. The Johnny Rebs opened as a slight fave. Baylor’s better, and shows it.
Texas Bowl: Kansas State vs. LSU. This is the game that dumbfounds me. Not the matchup between a couple of mediocre P5 schools. The fact that it’s being contested on a Tuesday night, three days after the new year commences. ???? I mean, it’s time to move on to hoops. Meh. My surmise is the Bayou Bengals will want to impress their new coach, and thus score more points than K State.
— c d kaplan