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New Year's Day Bowl Games Open Thread

It's 2013, Bruins! Now wake up, shake off that hangover, and find the remote...

Stephen Dunn

Happy New Year Bruins. Are you ready for some college football?

I admire and respect tradition, which is why the New Year's Day Bowl Games are both the best and the worst about college football anymore. Last year, I went way out of my way to avoid naming any of the corporate sponsors who bought up naming rights for the New Year's Bowl games.

But times change. As we may or may not plunge over the fiscal cliff today, I will try to help our situation by, this year, kowtowing to the corporate sponsors of our bowl games, in the hopes that it will stimulate a bit more business and keep our economy moving. Well, at least for as long as today's games last, anyway. Bruins Nation: doing our part for America.

Here, in all their corporate glory, are the 2013 New Year's Day bowl games, punctuated with some barely serious commentary and some awesome links that you should absolutely click on. Gator Bowl Mississippi State (8-4) vs #20 Northwestern (9-3) - 9am ESPN

I don't know why anyone would want to go out of his way to start a website dedicated to placing tariffs on one of the greatest bands ever (do it, click it, click it!!). Never mind what higher taxes do to business, dudes just shouldn't mess with Kerry, Tom, Jeff, and Dave. But whatever, they shelled out to get their name attached to the Gator Bowl, so I'll give them their due. While this is easily the most lopsided academic mismatch of the day, history suggests this football game is a long shot for Northwestern. The Wildcats last won a bowl game in 1949. Miss St has won 5 bowl games in a row and hasn't lost a bowl since 1999. Tell me which school you'd rather play football for, and which you'd rather have a degree from. Go Northwestern.

Heart of Dallas Bowl Purdue (6-6) v Oklahoma State (7-5) - 9am ESPNU

I didn't know what it was either, so I looked it up. It turns out, Heart of Dallas is a non-profit organization that benefits Dallas-area charities. Well, that's refreshing, but how will a non-profit help the economy? The Heart of Dallas Bowl used to be the Ticket City bowl, which used to be the Cotton Bowl, once the Cotton Bowl left the Cotton Bowl for Cowboys Stadium and added the word "Classic" and got many more $$$. Got it? Me either. Purdue won its last 3 games to salvage a bowl bid, then fired its coach at the end of the season. It won't help. The Purdue defense was ranked 11th in the Big Ten (think about it...), and will face an OSU team team that scored 84 points in its season opener. This game will be officiated by the #2 Pac-12 crew, so get ready for a flagfest. Coincidentally, I tailgated at the Broncos game 2 weekends ago with the head referee for this game, (no, he's NOT this guy!) who is a mutual friend of my coworker/tailgate host. In the interest of having a pleasant afternoon, I did not bring up Pac-12 officiating.

Capital One Bowl #7 Georgia (11-2) v #16 Nebraska (9-3) - 10am ABC

Pseudo-cultured Vikings don't make me want to switch my credit card company, but at least the commercials for this one will be entertaining. I'm not sure this game will be, though. Nebraska's only losses this year were to undefeated the Ohio State, Rose Bowl entry Wisconsin, and my personal favorite, the U.C.L.A. Bruins. Despite that, they are big underdogs to the Bulldogs, who were a mere 5 yards away, or a timeout away, or a just throw the ball away from beating Alabama to be the obligatory SEC participant in the BCS Title game. No matter. I'll publicly root for Nebraska so I can use that to buy favor with the locals when I (hope) to) make the roadie to Lincoln next fall for our game. Exile does have some advantages, being close to Nebraska is one. Wait...

Outback Bowl #10 South Carolina (10-2) v #18 Michigan (8-4) - 10am ESPN

Man, I love those Bloomin' Onions to death! Which ironically might be foreshadowing, since each one has 1,966 calories (8218 kJ for you South Campus peeps), and that's without the sauce, or the baked potato, or the ribs, or the Foster's. So how can those Aussies look so good? Hmmm... Huh? Oh! The Ole' Ball Coach has the real USC back in a New Years bowl for the 4th time in 5 years, with 2 of those being the Outback Bowl, so I guess you can't spell Outback without USC. Meanwhile, our friends in Ann Arbor bring in a seemingly underrated team. The Wolverines lost to #1 Notre Dame, #2 Alabama, and #3 the Ohio State, as well as Nebraska. Not too bad actually. This will be Dennard Robinson's last college game. Whether he is projected as an RGIII or a Tim Tebow will determine his NFL $$.

Rose Bowl (...Game, presented by Vizio) Wisconsin (8-5) v #6 Stanford (11-2) - 2pm ESPN

Screw Vizio. You can't buy the Grandaddy. Did you know that this is Wisconsin's third straight Rose Bowl? Our last trip there was in 1999. Our last win in 1986. Writing about the Rose Bowl is kinda like trying to write something nice about an ex-girlfriend - maturity and bitterness are fighting it out right now. My buddy Scott, with whom I played hockey and baseball and football and trigonometry growing up, pitched for Stanford in the late 80's and lives near me here in exile and $helled out to take his 10 year old son to the parade and the game. So for Brayden & Scott, Go Cardinal! At least they won't notice the sea of Wisconsin red (because Stanford is cardinal, which is a hoity-toity way of saying red). Besides, Wisconsin has its multi-tasking AD coaching the game after their former coach bolted for Arkansas, both of which save the Badgers money. Oh, and he's won this game 3 times himself. Can you imagine Guerrero in a headset? The only thing more mind-numbingly insane is this. Priceless.

Discover Orange Bowl #15 Northern Illinois (12-1) v #12 Florida State (11-2) - 5:30pm ESPN

Here's something to Discover: why are Georgia, Oklahoma, and Clemson not in BCS bowl games? Answer: Money, and the Northern Illinois...umm...the Northern Illinois... Ok, so I had to go look this up, too: the Northern Illinois Huskies. Just how can a school with a mascot none of us knew before get in a BS BCS bowl game? I rest my case, your honor, there must be a playoff! Think of the $$$ alone! No Ill, which does have an interesting abbreviation there, lost its opener to Iowa by just one point (sympathies, MinnesotaBruin) before reeling off 12 wins over no one to get here, further proving it all matters not how you lose but when you lose. But the BCS Cinderella role has served Boise State and Utah well, so we'll see if Florida State gets caught overlooking the...the...oh right, the Huskies. I'll root for them.

Best wishes to all of BN for a wonderful and economically sound 2013. Here's your New Year's Day College Bowl Game Open Thread. Have at it...