Brief programming note: For those of you who entered our Maize n Brew Bowls You Care About Pick 'Em, we'll have an update for you sometime in the next 48 hours.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: This Time, with Triple Option
MTSU vs Navy, 11:45, ESPN
Quick Summary: This game is actually already being played. I think MTSU is somewhere in central Tennessee, but don't hold me to that. I've always been a homer for Navy because they beat ND a few years ago and I think Air Force took Ohio State down to the wire a year or two ago, and to me they're kind of the same. Good to see these kids back and in a bowl after the shutdown messed with their seasons and scholarships earlier this year.
Any Redemption? Sure. Close your eyes and imagine the winner is Michigan. It'll hurt, but just for a minute.
Drink of Choice: It's kind of early for drinking. Noon's my limit for college football drinking unless I'm tailgating, which I'm not. Maybe the second half or something. Drink whatever you want, as long as it's to this:
Music City Bowl: More Triple Option
Mississippi vs Georgia Tech, 3:15pm, ESPN
Quick Summary: I can't stand the fact that Mississippi goes by Ole Miss. It confused me for years. I also can't stand that they somehow let Eli Manning become the first pick in the NFL draft despite him not being able to read. Proof that in America, anything is possible. On the other side, I really like Georgia Tech because they're a) not Georgia b) run a funky offense in which the quarterback hands the ball to a running back and then moves forward and c) Calvin Johnson went there.
Any Redemption? Yep. Beat Ole Miss. This blog has a longstanding friendship with Red Cup Rebellion, the fine SBN Mississippi blog, so all will be forgiven if they drop the Ole and renounce all things Eli Manning.
Drink of Choice: Georgia is a fine state with fine spirits in all forms. Leopold Bros. makes an excellent Peach Whiskey with real Georgia peaches and it's easy to find. It's really good but a tad bitter - so let it sit neat for a bit or use it with a sweeter bourbon. Also, I love this commercial so much:
Alamo Bowl: Who needs the Rose Bowl, anyway?
Oregon vs Texas, 12/30, 6:30pm, ESPN
Quick Summary: This is my favorite bowl of the season, I think. I really can't stand Oregon anymore and this is the first and only time I'll root for Texas. It's tough not to see shades of Lloyd Carr in Mack Brown these days - a good coach but a better man. On the other side, Oregon has fallen dramatically from national title aspirations and bitching about being bored with the Rose Bowl. This blog wholeheartedly endorses Mack Brown to go out on top. Oregon's probably going to win by a score or two, though, unless the team comes out flat.
Any Redemption? On top of the excellent game this will likely be, I bet Bevo would taste phenomenal with a nice sear.
Drink of Choice: Oregon! Rogue Brewing! Mack Brown is leaving! When else can I recommend Dead Guy Ale? A little hoppy for an ale but still excellent. For a more Oregon twist, go for Arrogant Bastard.
This game, in a GIF: The return of this feature is wholly because this is the GIF that started it all:
Holiday Bowl: Todd Graham's Stepping Stone
ASU vs Texas Tech, 12/30, 10:15pm, ESPN
Quick Summary: Arizona State was favored by ten-plus at home to win the Pac-12 and got steamrolled by Stanford. Todd Graham's likely last game at ASU will be a springboard to whereever he ends up next - there's probably an AAC team or two looking for a coach. Joking aside, he's done a great job with an injury-wracked ASU team. On the other side, Kliff Kingsbury is my favorite asshole head coach. Seems like a fun dude.
Any Redemption? Meh. The Sun Devils fans I watched the championship with were bitching about a season in which they competed for a championship and actually had a great year. So, go Tech.
Drink of Choice: Arizona features a really good beer company, Sonoran Brewing - they're excellent. Everything's good - they have a pale ale that is well balanced and a chocolate stout made with white chocolate I really like.
V100 Bowl: What?
Arizona vs BC, 12/31, 12:30pm, ESPN
Quick Summary: The other Arizona school had a good year as well under up and coming coach Rich Rodriguez, running their option to the tune of a shellacking of USC. I like this coach. He's an offensive genius. I wonder how that would translate to the Big Ten. On the other side of the ball, BC has a great running back in Andre Williams, who's fun to watch. Hoping this'll be a shootout.
Any Redemption? Tough to say. This'll be an offensive showdown. I'm dinging this one because of the name. I don't even know what this bowl is or was. But it'll be fun to watch.
Drink of Choice: The bitter taste this leaves in my mouth is incredible. So I'm going to suggest an appletini, because I imagine that's probably what Rich Rodriguez drinks whilst listening to Josh Groban. No GIFs or pics here.
Sun Bowl: The One Not On ESPN
VA Tech vs UCLA, 12/31, 2pm, CBS
Quick Summary: I also like this game, not because of the teams, but because of Myles Jack. We'll get there in a second. But the first good two-way player I can remember stars at LB and RB for the Bruins, and he's super fun to watch. What a great story. Frank Beamer's team has had a disappointing few years, but it's hard to imagine any coach with more job security.
Any Redemption? Oh yes. Myles Jack, my friends. Check out this speed:
Drink of Choice: I'm trying to come up with a proper drink here. It's 2pm, so we'll need something both aggressive and casual. I'm thinking Sierra Nevada's celebration ale. Not too high ABV, but a great seasonal.
Liberty Bowl: At This Point, it's NYE.
Rice vs Mississippi State, 12/31, 4pm, ESPN
Quick Summary: Rice is trying to get to 11 wins, which is shocking because I had forgotten they had a football team. Miss. State is both too long to type and too horrendous to abbreviate. I've even seen it done MiSt, which is absolutely absurd. After they pantsed Michigan a few years back I can't deal with them either. Dan Mullen's a good coach though - I'd expect him to move up in a year or two.
Any Redemption? Yep. The MSU QB's name is Dak. But other than that, make sure you hydrate for the evening, rookies.
Drink of Choice: It's New Year's Eve, so hold off on the champagne/prosecco for a bit and go hard, early and often, with whatever's closest.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: The Last of the Manzielicans
Texas A&M vs Duke, 12/31, 8pm, ESPN
Quick Summary: ESPN has to be pleased to finally get a Manziel game back on their network, so expect to see plenty of montages and maybe even a Mel Kiper sighting because Manziel is probably going pro unless he gets a bad draft grade back. His favorite target, Mike Evans, is fun to watch too. Duke, on the other hand, beat Florida State by tying them in the first quarter and then getting destroyed the rest of the season. Still the best season in Blue Devils history, right?
Any Redemption? No more Johnny Football versus rooting for Duke? Hope this one's a tie.
Drink of Choice: When this game is mercifully over, it's time for the bubbly stuff. Until tomorrow, enjoy the games!