Husker Mike: With the Huskers’ bowl game up early in the schedule, we’re gonna do two prediction threads. First up, the most relevant of the pre-New Years’ bowls.
Jon J: I love the bowls. I love all of them. The fact that we have, oh, 40 of them just fills me with more love, then I spend the offseason loving nothing and being angry at everything.
Brian: I miss you, Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. And who knows how much a Bitcoin is?!?
Joe Canale: Bowl games are often high excitement shoot outs where both teams have nothing to lose. They are also often total snoozes. Somehow I only tune into the snoozers. Bad luck I guess. I’m just waiting until all the bowls get folded into the 32 team football championship tournament.
“Weed Eater” Independence Bowl
Miami (-3.5) vs. South Carolina
Husker Mike: To the unaware, this actually looks like an intriguing matchup of a couple of bigger names for Shreveport. Problem is that both teams are underachieving this season, and South Carolina is dealing with defections. I’m going to go with the U on this one, on the basis I think the motivation may be greater. (Or is it the lack of motivation less?) Canes 31, Cocks 27
Joe Canale: Living in California, home of medical marijuana, the “weed eater” moniker brings up some different thoughts and with the hard partying Hurricanes vs the “I don’t care anymore” Steve Spurrier it’s probably appropriate. I predict 5 hurricanes players get suspended during half time and with the game in danger of going into overtime, Spurrier decides to go for two just to be sure to make his tee time. Miami 31- SC-30
Jon J: South Carolina doesn’t care. The Cocks are limp, in other words, while the Miami Hurricanes will care just slightly more. Canes 42, Cocks 17
Brian: This is in Shreveport, which guarantees you that Spurrier hasn’t seen the bed before 4am at the Horseshoe after a all nighter of Pai-Gow and Blackjack while sipping double Crown Apple’s and water. Meanwhile, every Miami fan drove to Dallas and then was relieved when MapQuest said “turn around, you’re not going to Boise again”. Who wins? eh, Miami.
Boston College (-2.5) vs. Penn State
Husker Mike: The Tyler Murphy we saw against Southern Cal in September might have been an aberration. But the lethargic Penn State offense we’ve come to know is very much real. The B1G starts of the bowl season on a down note. BC 27, Penn State 21
Joe Canale: When I think of pinstripes, I think of my beloved New York Yankees, and when I think of them I think of an historic franchise that is now lucky just to be in the middle of the pack, perennially over rated, dressed in dark blue and white. Sounds like Penn State was meant to be in this bowl. BC 27- PSU 13
Jon: Penn State will be very happy just to be there. They’ll want to establish themselves as the team of New York. PSU RB Zach Zwinak won’t play, so PSU won’t have a grinder. Boston College…. well, hell, what do I know. Trying to predict bowl games is like trying to understand women. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, Penn State will score 48 points and your wife will leave you for an unemployed shoe saleman and live in his car in Florida all next year. PSU 48, BC 28
Brian: They will be so excited for this game that Penn State bros will be in town, consuming high balls and old fashions while talking about how James Franklin exudes virtues that Joe Paterno threw out. And then, the game will start and Addazio will run train on that D. Boston College wins and the O/U of fights in the stands between Philly and Boston bros will be 29.5.
Russell Athletic Bowl
Oklahoma (-3.5) vs. Clemson
Husker Mike: In August, this might have looked more like one of New Years Eve bowl matchups, but both have underachieved this season...especially Oklahoma due to injuries. But while the Sooners are getting healthier, Clemson loses DeShaun Watson to a knee injury. Soondoggies 38, Clempson 27
Joe Canale: Any Nebraska fan my age or older holds lifelong grudges against both of these teams. I am rooting for Clemson in this one only because I once performed a comedy show at their school and was given a bright orange pullover fleece, easily the 5th ugliest thing in my wardrobe. Nobody is better at winning meaningless bowl games then Bob Stoops OK 44- Clemson 31
Jon: Oklahoma sucks. Clemson… well, hell, they suck too. I’m not going to go for Clemson. I sure as hell don’t want to go for Oklahoma. What to do? Pick Oklahoma and that young running back they have who will win at least three Heismans in a row. Oklahoma 63, Clemson 45
Brian: Wait… OU is a 3.5 fave? OMG load up. Boomer Sooner.
Southern Cal (-7) vs. Nebraska
Husker Mike: Not quite sure what the motivation for each team is in this game, to tell you the truth. Nebraska could be motivated to send this staff out on top, or simply just waiting to get this season over with. I could see this thing going either way, but if I have to make a pick, I’m going with a team that’s mentally drained over what has happened as of late. Trojans 31, Huskers 21
Joe Canale: Do you remember when Ed Orgeron was named interim coach at USC last season and then quit before the bowl game when he didn’t get the permanent gig? In a stunning turn, Nebraska names Orgeron as recruiting coordinator right before the game and he gives a stirring, emotional and indecipherable half time speech that confuses the Huskers but somehow propels them to victory. Papuchis calls all 3 time outs in Nebraska’s first series on defense. Huskers 38- USC 37.
Jon: I expect nothing here, but if these Husker guys say they love their coaches as much as they do, they’ll go out and blow USC off the map. I am skeptical. There is the idea that the players will say “SCREW EVERYTHING”, play loose while Johnny Stanton throws for 400 yards behind a finally turned loose Tim Beck wing and zing offense. Nebraska destroys USC, then takes all their Song Girls as spoils. Literally, takes them. On the plane back to Nebraska where they stay forever. Nebraska 52, USC 13
Brian: Best set of WR’s and QB that Nebraska will face, with a dual threat RB and a set of Linebackers that you’ll have to get the media guide out to find. Plus, a ravaged coaching staff that is going for broke every play? John Papuchis vs. Steve Sarkasian. I can’t see Nebraska winning this game. USC can run it a little bit, and Bo isn’t there to save the DB’s and such in this aspect. Nebraska will score some, USC will score more with the home field feeling crowd. We grovel, we hate the game… .and then Monday we start the Mike Riley era at Nebraska in full.