Happy New Year, Bruins Nation! Of course, that means we’ve got a bunch of bowl games being played today.
Unfortunately, three of them all start within an hour of each other.
First up, at 9 am PT on ESPN2, is the Outback Bowl and this game has the most at stake. Pun intended. If the Michigan Wolverines win, you can get a free Bloomin’ Onion at any Outback Steakhouse location (with any purchase, of course). On the other hand, if the South Carolina Gamecocks win, you can get a free coconut shrimp appetizer for free (again, with any purchase). I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to hear “Hail to the Victors!” after this game. The coconut shrimp is good, but the Bloomin’ Onion is a classic.
Then, at 9:30 am PT on ESPN is the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. This game features the #12 UCF Knights and the #7 Auburn Tigers. This game should be a really good test of Scott Frost’s coaching as it looks like David versus Goliath on paper. UCF finished the season undefeated. They were the only team in the Top 25 to finished undefeated. Of course, due to the inherent bias against a non-Power Five school, they were only ranked #12 in the country and were left out of the College Football Playoff.
If the Knights can beat Auburn, it might upset the apple cart that is college football, as the smaller schools will again talk about how unfair the system is to non-Power Five schools. It might finally force a split between Power Five and Gang of Five schools. Regardless, this is the early game to watch.
At 10 am PT, the finally early game kicks off between the #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the #17 LSU Tigers in the Citrus Bowl from Camping World Stadium in Orlando. You might as well call this game the Disappointment Bowl because that’s what both of these teams were this season.
Notre Dame climbed as high as #3 in the AP Poll this season and they were in the CFP conversation. Then, they lost their second and third games of the year leaving them at #14. Oh, what could have been.
LSU actually fell out of the Top 25 at one point and there was talk that first-year LSU coach Ed Orgeron might actually get fired. Now, we have no love for Orgeron, but that was a bit ridiculous.
This game is on ABC, but I think you should just leave your TV tuned to ESPN after you watch the Peach Bowl to catch the build-up to the Rose Bowl Game later today.
This is your New Year’s Day early bowl game open thread.