Before we begin, there was a complaint about the amount of GIFs in the last post. In that there weren’t any. Here is Justin Thomas’s juke move from last night, with a close up on the MSU defender for added effect.
There are three Top-25 match-ups today. You need me more than ever. The college football junkies among you might be trying to watch all three games at once on multiple devices. Sorry, this post is not for you, junkies. Some of you may be looking for a sporting event to put on in the background, while doing other activities. This post is not for you, multi-taskers. This post is for your average Joe college football fan. A person who appreciates the game, but sadly can only focus on one to two things at a time. And yes, eating/drinking count as a thing. It takes skills to effectively eat/drink and watch a game. I myself, have missed more than one exciting play because I had stuffed my snout into a plate of wings. Anyway, you hopefully know how this works by now. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter at all, because I am doing something different. There are 3 games essentially at the same time. Auburn vs Wisconsin kicks off the day at noon. Then, Baylor vs Michigan State gets under way at 12:30 PM. Then two massively overrated teams attempt to play football at 1 o’clock. To sort through this mess, I will use an over-used, over-rated, and over-compensating device known as Power Rankings.
Noonish to Mid-Afternoon Bowl Game Power Rankings:
1. Cotton Bowl – Michigan State vs Baylor
2. Outback Bowl – Auburn vs Wisconsin
3. NHL Winter Classic – Capitals vs Blackhawks
59. Watching your pet fall asleep in a sunbeam
58. Citrus Bowl – Missouri vs Minnesota
59. Whatever is on QVC/Home Shopping Network
Man, that felt hackneyed.
Ok, here is your plan for today. Watch the first 30 minutes of the Outback Bowl. Gus Malzhan’s Auburn offense will light up the field. Nick Marshall, Sammie Coates, and Cameron Artis-Payne are very exciting players, who can make huge plays. They will meet with a solid Wisconsin defense, who could slow them down a bit, but probably will not be able to stop them. Wisconsin is led by running back Melvin Gordon, who set a record for most rushing yards in a NCAA football game earlier this year (It was broken a week later, but that doesn’t matter). Auburn has a decent rush defense, but Gordon runs for over 180 yards per game. This game should be highly entertaining, but even if it isn’t, it’s still only a appetizer for the next bowl.
The Outback Bowl boasts two top-10 teams that are very good all around. Both teams have top 25 offenses and defenses per F/+ ratings. Only 11 teams in the nation have both a top 25 offense and a top 25 defense in the FBS per F/+ ratings. Because of Baylor’s elite (top 5) level offense, they get a slight edge here. Also, anytime you can watch Art Briles’s fast-paced, well-oiled, crazy, point-generating machine, I highly recommend you do it. I’m convinced that you could put a mop and bucket in at quarterback for Baylor and it would have 300+ passing yards. And then there is Dantonio, a defensive guru with a very good offense this year. These are two of the best coaches in college football, so this game is must-watch TV. If you can handle it, maybe switch back and forth and catch a bit of the magic of the Outback Bowl, between helpings of the Cotton Bowl. Just please don’t watch the Citrus Bowl. It should be terrible. Also: Minnesota doesn’t deserve to be ranked. Missouri has an anemic and overall gross offense, and is buoyed by its very good defense. Neither of these teams should be in the top 25. Don’t condone this awful ranking mistake by the committee by giving this bowl decent ratings. I don’t know anything about hockey, and even I know that the Winter Classic will be much more entertaining. Right, K? (Editor’s Note: Strong agree)
BGS Picks for the Early Games
Kyle: Auburn – Auburn’s dynamic offense absolutely shreds Wisconsin’s defense. Melvin Gordon has over 200 yards.
K: Auburn – Have you seen Nick Marshall throw? I have. I hate it. It’s disgusting. I don’t trust Nick Marshall having to throw the football or even be competent as a passer. Lucky for Gus Malzahn, there’s only one thing in CFB I trust less than Nick Marshall’s arm, and that’s Wisconsin in anything that can be considered a “big game.”
Kyle: Baylor – They are good at everything and will put up close to 50 points.
K: MSU – My head says Baylor. My heart says we’ve been here before with the Bears, except instead of MSU’s elite defense and a quality offense, it was the University of Central Florida and BORTLES ending their campaign last year.
Kyle: Missouri – This is like choosing between a turd sandwich and turd lasagna, one of them is technically more “High-class,” but ewwww. Missouri wins 13-6 in a God-awful slug-fest that you hopefully didn’t watch any of.
K: Missouri – They’re not Minnesota.
I don’t need to tell you why the playoff games are good, so hopefully later today there will be a picks and predictions piece from the whole BGS staff. If not, I’ll come up with something else fun. Have a good time watching these games, and I’ll see you before the Oregon vs FSU game!