Mike: Now that the Christmas wrap is all wrapped up, it’s time to turn our focus back to what really matters: FOOTBALL.
Andy: Bowl season is Christmas for me. Let’s do this
Brian: Rise and fire, y’all.
Hoss: let's descend upon the South with the ferocity of William Tecumseh Sherman. GBR.
Peach Bowl, Atlanta
Alabama (-14) vs. Washington
Paul: LOL. Tide Roll 41-10
Mike: The record of the 1993-97 Huskers is about to get trashed by a Tidal wave. Prepare for the inevitable questions as to whether 2016 Alabama is better than 1995 Nebraska; it all starts in earnest on January 1. Chris Petersen knows how to pull off an upset like this, but I don’t see Satan being distracted. Bama 38, UDub 13
Andy: The Huskies have two things on their side. One, they’re a talented, top-4 football team who has spent a month hearing about how they will be blown off the field. Two, they have an athletic, up-tempo offense that has given Alabama problems historically.
They will be the best team ‘Bama has played this season and a quick review of the Tide’s schedule shows that they didn’t win every game 52-3. The Huskies also have a coach with a history of walking into no-win scenarios and leaving the stadium with a W.
I think the Tide has too much for the Huskies to pull off the upset, but Washington will score some points and avoid the blowout. Bama 37 Washington 28
Brian: Washington is good, but this Bama team seems different defensively. Now, offensively, I’ll listen to you tell me how inconsistent Alabama seems to be, and add on Lane with the FAU job obtainment, that’s something to watch. I don’t think Bama covers, but I do think they win by more than a score.
Hoss: I would love to say that U-Dub has the offensive line that is requisite to run the dadgum ball in order to beat ‘Bama, but unfortunately I think that the Crimson Tide defense is a beast that the Huskies have not seen yet this year. Browning is at his best throwing the ball after setting up the run and since I do not think that U-Dub will effectively run the dadgum ball, I do not foresee Browning challenging Alabama to back off of the run. The Tide rolls 44-17.
Fiesta Bowl, Phoenix
Ohio State (-3) vs. Clemson
Paul: I just can’t buy Clempson. Sorry. Buckeyes 31 - Tigers 21
Mike: Clempsoning becomes a very real thing again. Buckeyes 38, Tiggers 27
Andy: Just haven’t been that impressed with the Buckeyes this year. Getting outside of their Husker beatdown reveals a team that mixed in some struggles with less than stellar teams. Clemson did also but has a roster with title game experience that, Pittsburgh aside, rose to the occasion. Climpson 30 Buckeyes 24
Brian: Deshawn Watson makes a lot of mistakes, but so does Ohio State. Does the Buckeye D take the day off and have a bad day? That’s the big question here. I don’t think so, and I think it’s Urban vs. Saban for all the Cheetos in Tampa.
Hoss: it's damn difficult to come real close one year and still have the drive and wherewithal to close out the deal a year later, with the exception of 1994 Nebraska of course. Coupled with the fact that I've been less than impressed with Clemson this season, I'll go with the law firm of Barrett, Samuels, & Weber going yard time and time again on the Brent Venables defense that will not be feeling very venerated by the time the Fiesta Bowl is over. As much as I hate Urban Meyer, the Bucks take this one 45-31.
Cotton Bowl, JerryWorld
Wisconsin (-8.5) vs. Western Michigan
Paul: This is going to be an epic beatdown. Wisconsin 45 - Western MI 9
Mike: Fresh off of a six point victory over the Fightin’ Frankies of Ohio, the Broncos arrive in JerryWorld. The game begins after the clock strikes 12...goodbye glass slippers and Cinderella. Badgers 31, Donkeys 13
Andy: You don’t struggle to get by the Fightin’ Frankies then take out Wisconsin. Wiscy 33 WMU 13
Brian: ROW. THE. BOAT. WMU by a TD.
Hoss: I hate Wisconsin and I still don't buy the PJ Fleck hype. Wiscy by a margin of 31-21. And the game never is in doubt.
Rose Bowel, Pasadena
Penn State (+6.5) at Southern Cal
Paul: USC rolls 33-17
Mike: Winning eight straight after starting the season 1-3 is a pretty good turnaround for Southern Cal. Playing just 14 miles from campus gives the Trojans a pretty good home field advantage. Penn State impressed me in the Big Ten title game, but I just don’t see this happening for State Penn. Trojans 35, Nitts 20
Andy: Penn St is improved but the run is coming to an end. Fightin’ Rubbers 38 Rape U 24
Brian: Look, ma! Two teams that think this game matters! USC is playing better than they were in the start of the season, but not as good as some national people make it out to be. Meanwhile, Penn St is as hot as any team you can mention in the back half of the season. That being said, the bowl dead period does tend to separate the better teams from staying hot, and the pretenders that can’t sustain that. I think SoCal wins but it’s going to be a pretty good game.
Hoss: Ah, the NCAA Lifted Sanctions Bowl, brought to you by Mark Emmert. Penn State can't corral Adoree Jackson. Trojans run circles around James Franklin and Co. SC 41 Penn State 24.
Music City Bowl, Nashville
Nebraska (+6.5) at Tennessee
Paul: I suppose the real question is whether a completely demotivated Tennessee team can beat an injury decimated Nebraska team. And I think the answer is yes. Vol 38 - Bugeaters (yes, we know about the Bugeaters) 24.
Mike: Tennessee is starting to put some of the pieces from a lost season back together again, while Nebraska is out it’s heart and soul. If Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf did their homework, they know that you can run on Tennessee, but I suspect Butch Jones did their homework. They’ll bait Langsdorf and Ryker Fyfe into throwing the ball, and the results won’t be pretty. Tennessee will get their points, but the Huskers won’t. Vols 31, Huskers 13.
Andy: With Armstrong and Westy, the Husker offense has been relatively mediocre except against equally mediocre to terrible teams in the 4th quarter. Against the only three teams on the schedule that didn’t fall into that category, it scored a total of 30 points. Tennessee’s defense was not exactly the Steel Curtain but minus those two players, they won’t have to be.
The Vols offense has shown relatively consistent firepower and the Husker defense is not the one that’s going to shut them down. Josh Dobbs is the kind of dual threat QB that historically gives NU trouble and Friday will be no different.
I would love for this to turn into the type of win that sends us into 2017 on a good note but I don’t see that happening from an offense that hasn’t cracked 30 points since Oct 1. Vols 38 Huskers 17
Brian: Do you see this as a game that you just want to be done with? Or do you see this as a springboard to next year? No matter what, it doesn’t matter how Nebraska finishes because so much changes when the team gets back to Lincoln.
As far as this game, I do think Fyfe can get enough done on offense to make it a good game, and I have a feeling that Tennessee, if they face ANY type of resistance in this game, will flat out quit on the game and season. I said Nebraska wins 28-24 the other day with Nick & Greg, and I’m sticking with that. I think Nebraska gets to 10 wins, people are less bitchy, and for one night, Nebraska can feel good again about the ‘16 team before we close the door.
Hoss: The great Dan Fouts once said to Brent Musberger “"last game of the year, Brent. Can't hold anything back now.” That sort of reckless abandon is how I want Nebraska to play in this one. Reverses, double reverses, let Newby throw a touchdown pass, execute a surprise on-side kick out of nowhere. Hell, run the dadgum fumblerooski if those GD heathens at NCAA headquarters didn't ban the greatest play to grace college football. Since the fumblerooski is banned, put Nick Gates at fullback and run 32 Belly Trap (Corey Schlesslinger play). We’re short-handed due to injury and have approached the finish line with a whimper, but to hell with it. Don't go quietly into that good night and don't head back to Lincoln without the last shot fired. Midday bowl games are a lot like Tuesday night MACTION or Pac 12 After Dark-you never know what tomfoolery will be afoot. If we can run the dadgum football and put the pride of all GI in good opportunities in the passing game, we should be in good shape offensively. Defensively, stop Josh Dobbs in the QB run game. He's their leading rusher and pretty diabolical on QB Counter plays. I’m more willing to concede some yards to Alvin Kamara and John Kelly on the ground than I am to see us get gashed by Dobbs. Nebraska doesn’t go quietly into that good night of the off-season and wins a wild Music City Bowl down there right on Interstate 24. Nebraska 37 Tennessee 31. GBR!