The Maize n Brew Bowl Survival Guide, Part 4: The New Year's Day Bowls

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Now with an informative update on the Pick 'Em!

We'll get to the bowls in a minute, but first, the update you've all been waiting for: Who's winning the Bowls You Care About Pick 'Em? One disclaimer - there were so few bowls that we actually care about until today that a total of 80 points could have been awarded up until the beginning of the NYE games. Your Top 5 Ultra Awesome Leaders As Of Now:

AMFDFG 65 Would be perfect but picked Notre Dame. C'mon, MAN!
Freonboy 65 Dubbing him the People's Champion right now because he picked Rutgers and still is tied for first.
Peter Putzel 60 MnB's own Peter Putzel is coming on strong - also winning the staff pool in no small part due to his hidden bonus total
Ryan Carp 60 Has entirely too much riding on North Texas vs. UNLV
riclang 40 The drop-off here doesn't mean anything - it's anyone's game.

Your Ignominious Bottom Five includes our very own Zach Travis, who, despite taking FOREVER to make his predictions and avoiding any penalties imposed by our impartial panel of judges, still managed to score a measly 15 points. Harassment in the comments are encouraged - I'll give bonus points for every good line.

ON TO THE BOWLS!

Gator Bowl: Please Don't Be Too Loud, My Head Hurts

Nebraska vs Georgia, 1/1, noon, ESPN2

Quick Summary: Early prognostications show this will be the highlight of The Deuce's programming for 2014. I'm not sure how many of us will be conscious for this one. Realistically, I'm gonna have it on mute. The big story here is the absence of Georgia QB Aaron Murray, who realistically could step hobble in and start at QB for Nebraska with one ACL. Nebraska's anemic offense still has big-play potential and has been somewhat clutch this year, driving for a game-winning TD against our Wolverines and beating NW on a Hail Mary. Fireworks potential for this game is high.

Any Redemption? Sure, I guess. It really depends on your night last night.

This Game, in a GIF: Imma let you finish, but I almost put a Kanye gif in here.

Hungover-nap_medium

Drink of Choice: Water. Saline solutions. Gatorade. Something to make my head stop hurting.

The Fake Cotton Bowl: EVERYTHING RIDES ON THIS ONE

North Texas vs UNLV, 1/1, noon, ESPNU

Quick Summary: Realistically, you won't see this game, and if you're reading this, you probably didn't know it existed before ten seconds ago. That's okay, though. it's in the BYCAPE by virtue of being on New Year's Day, but my sources tell me this game was bumped to NYD because the venue was booked for a Lady Gaga cover band last week.

Any Redemption? I really like the name Mean Green. It reminds me of something. Maybe they should add an e to their name.

Drink of Choice: Coke. Duh.

Capital One Bowl: Now They're Getting Better

Wisconsin vs South Carolina, 1/1, 1pm, ABC

Quick Summary: This is the only bowl game Vegas had an even line on for much of the bowl season, so on paper, this is the best matchup. I have no idea who the Badgers roll out on offense on any given week, but their coaching staff is 100% less asshole now that Bielma is in Arkansas, so I bet they'll do fine. On the other side, the Ol' Ball Coach is going to start Clowney at all 22 positions on the field, an improvement over the pile of broken dreams that is Connor Shaw or whoever else is at quarterback.

Any Redemption? Meh. Teams with decent talent playing to their potential. This should be called the "Achieved Expectations Bowl". I'm sobbing a little.

This Game in a GIF: This probably isn't JaDaveon Clowney trying to get to the stadium, but I can't be certain.

Tumblr_mfsu5ybqdv1rz7g0no1_400_medium

Drink of Choice: Blergh. Still too early.

Outback Bowl: Hail Mary, Redux?

LSU vs Iowa, 1/1, 1pm, ESPN

Quick Summary: Iowa doesn't really have an offense, as far as this blog can tell, but I'm really looking forward to BHGP for this game. LSU probably has a defense and QB Zach Mettensomething has shown substantial improvement over his career. Hang on, he tore his ACL. Oops. This might not be competitive, actually it'll probably be a trash fire, but who can forget the best ending to a bowl game in the past several years?

Any Redemption? Naw. Watch the other B1G-SEC game instead.

Drink of Choice: Take what you were going to drink, spill it on the floor, and scoop it back into your cup. That's what this game is.

The Rose Bowl: The Granddaddy of Euphemisms for Boring Football

MSU vs Stanford, 1/1, 5ish pm, ESPN

Quick Summary: I'm not going to take anything away from Michigan State for this one. Max Bullough already did that. MSU has completely earned their Rose Bowl berth. No question about it. After a tremendous season and just barely missing out on an undefeated season due to an early loss vs ND, (HAH), Michigan State slaughtered Michigan, ran through the rest of the Big Ten, and then punched Ohio State in the mouth. Kudos to them for getting here. And in typical Sparty No fashion, their best player, far and away, goes and gets himself suspended. Yikes. On the other side of the ball, Stanford did well to get here, playing a similar style of football to Michigan State.

Any Redemption? If you close one eye and squint just right at Riley Bullough, he's... still not his brother Max.

Here's the top result for "Sparty No" on Google:

THIS IS THE BEST VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Drink of Choice: Anything, early and often. It still hurts a little to see Michigan State here, but I'm okay with it. We've all got friends at this game, so good for Sparty. They deserve to enjoy it.

Fiesta Bowl: Might Be A Trap

Baylor vs UCF, 1/1, 8:30pm, ESPN

Quick Summary: Baylor's favored by a ton. They might win by a ton, but I have this sneaking suspicion that UCF might sneak this one out. QB Blake Bortles, besides having the potential to make Raiders fans inch even closer to the edge, is really good. UCF is a good team, beating Penn State and almost beating South Carolina in Columbia.

Any Redemption? This game features the best QB play of the bowl season, so yeah, it's super watchable.

Drink of Choice: I'll have recovered at this point to drink something. I think I'll grab a Delirium Tremens. It's so good.

Stay tuned for the final installment soon!

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