The B1G preview: let’s go bowling

The regular season is a turnaround and we move on to the mostly nonsensical bowl season. Where else can you get New Era, Chick-fil-A and Vrbo all touting their brand names while a bunch of school kids run around for a few hours for practice games? Strange matchups between teams that have never played against each other before, in strange and exotic locations such as Las Vegas, Nashville and Da Bronx. Let’s see what’s going on!

Bowl with guaranteed price
West Virginia (6-6) vs Minnesota (8-4)

10:15 p.m. Easter, Tuesday, December 28, ESPN
Minnesota -3.5

I’m not going to lie, I expected Penn State to play in this bowl or the Las Vegas Bowl. That the Lions have jumped three separate 8-4 teams speaks volumes about how much of a draw Penn State is when it comes time for bowls to pick their teams. Instead we see 8-4 Minnesota battle .500 West Virginia. Both teams have had seasons up and down with some outstanding wins and some mind-bending losses. It should be entertaining, if you can stay up late enough to watch!

Look at this? I’m a grown man, do you think I’ll stay up until 1am to watch this match? Not really.

Forecast: Minnesota 35, West Virginia 31

New Era pinstripe bowl
Maryland (6-6) vs Virginia Tech (6-6)

2:15 p.m. Easter, Wednesday, December 29, ESPN
Maryland -1

At one point, the Lions seemed destined for the Pinstripe Bowl, but played a few steps higher. This game should have a few storylines that Penn Staters could be interested in – Brent Pry is the new head coach of the Hokies, Maryland isn’t actually a terrible football team, it’s the first bowl game the Lions went to under James Franklin. Should be fun!

Look at this? Yes indeed.

Forecast: Virginia Tech 28, Maryland 24

TransPerfect Music City Bowl
Tennessee (7-5) v Purdue (8-4)

3:00 p.m. Easter, Thursday, December 30, ESPN
Tennessee -4.5

Am I the only one who thinks it’s a little unfair if teams are allowed to play in their home state? Sometimes it’s unavoidable, for playoffs or New Year’s Six games, but for something like this, it just seems a little unfair that Tennessee is allowed to play in Nashville. Oh yeah. Purdue has put together a fun season, but will lose a few key pieces before 2022. It could be the last time we see some brave underdogs in black and gold.

Look at this? yep.

Forecast: Purdue 42, Tennessee 27

7:00 p.m. Easter, Thursday, December 30, ESPN
Michigan State -1.5

The first match-up between ranked teams, and guys, I can’t think of many games that annoy me more than this one. Kenny Pickett is a cool story even if he uses rules designed to keep him safe and requires the NCAA to release a mid-season update on their rules. Michigan State is… well, they sure are a team. If ties were possible I would choose a tie for this one, but they don’t pay me the big bucks to evade my responsibilities!

Look at this? Uh, no.

Forecast: Pitt 28, Michigan State 27

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Wisconsin (8-4) vs Arizona State (8-4)

10:30 p.m. Easter, Thursday, December 30, ESPN
Wisconsin -7

Man, I was all set to watch Penn State in the middle of the bad night, then Lucy’d got in and the Lions landed in Tampa. Anyway, this game should be fun because of the history between Wisconsin and the state of Arizona. A few years ago, the refs failed to place the ball for a possible game-winning field goal in Wisconsin, and the clock was running out for the Badgers. I doubt if either team really cares, but the fans will care. They always do.

Look at this? Sure!

Forecast: Wisconsin 24, Arizona State 21

CFP Semifinals in the Capital One Orange Bowl
#3 Georgia (12-1) vs #2 Michigan (12-1)

7:30 p.m. Easter, Friday, December 31, ESPN
Georgia -7.5

I have to admit, after the Wolverines narrowly escaped Penn State with a win, I thought Ohio would thrash them, and Iowa would at least thwart their transgression. Neither happened when Michigan set fire to their seemingly tougher foes en route to a playoff berth. Meanwhile, Georgia apparently forgot how to defend against Bama and suffered their first loss of the season in the SEC championship game. I hate to say it (I really don’t), but Michigan’s attack isn’t as prolific as Bama’s, and I expect UGA to win somewhat comfortably.

Look at this? Uhhhh yeah, what kind of question is that?

Forecast: Georgia 31, Michigan 17

Vrbo Citrus Bowl
#15 Iowa (10-3) vs. #22 Kentucky (9-3)

1:00 PM Easter, Saturday January 1, ABC
Kentucky -3

All I care about in this game is Will Levis, the baby bird who flew out of the coop, went out into the world on his own and now comes back into our lives as a fully grown and majestic eagle. That analogy escaped me a bit, but the point remains. I want to watch Levis Smash™ fade the Hawkeyes into oblivion. But this game is going on at the same time as Penn State, so I won’t be looking at it much.

Look at this? When the Lions go to commercial, browse to this game and see how many different ways Levis Smash™ is out there.

Forecast: Kentucky 56, Iowa 3

Rose Bowl Game Pres. by Capital One Venture X
#11 Utah (10-3) vs #6 Ohio State (10-2)

5:00 p.m. Easter, Saturday, January 1, ESPN
Ohio State -6.5

Talk about a story of two teams. Utah is coming into this game with fire, having played the best football in the country in November and could very well have been a playoff team had it not been for a mistake early in the season. Ohio State, meanwhile, is limping into this game after being beaten by Michigan in The Game, a rarity to say the least. Will the Buckeyes really care enough to play? Or will the Utes drive their momentum to another big late season win?

Look at this? Penn State will be ready for today, so yes, absolutely.

Forecast: Utah 27, Ohio State 21


TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
#17 Wake Forest (10-3) vs Rutgers (5-7)

11:00 a.m. Easter, Friday, December 31, ESPN
Awake Forest -14.5

This game was originally intended to play Texas A&M, but a Covid outbreak caused the Aggies to drop out. All 6-6 teams were already scheduled to play in a bowl game, so there were only two choices: either cancel the game or find a 5-7 team to play. Well, here we are, so you already know the outcome of that decision! With the highest APR of all 5-7 teams, Rutgers was asked to play in the game, and the Scarlet Knights said yes. Despite not practicing for 3 weeks, 9 days before the bowl, Greg Schiano got the boys back together to take on the ACC runner-up, having their best season in nearly two decades. MAN I love bowling season!

Look at this? OMG yes

Forecast: Wake Forest 56, Rutgers 17

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