My guide to the New Year’s Six and such.
December 29, 2017
Belk Bowl: Wake Forest (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (7-5): Bubba bought some buttered popcorn at a grocery store across the street from his twelve-month lease. Bubba took it back across the street and placed it in his trusty Houston Astros duffle bag. Nestled among three pairs of twice-worn swoosh-adorned gym shorts, the popcorn found itself in mixed company. Sealed securely in microwave bags, Pop Secret avoided the marinade of mesh shorts.
Final Score: Wake Forest 27 Texas A&M 24
Sun Bowl: Arizona State (7-5) vs. #24 NC State (8-4): I wonder if Herm Edwards knows the Sun Devils are playing in a bowl game. More significantly, I wonder if he knows that he’s coaching a team called the “Sun Devils” yet.
Final Score: NC State 38 Arizona State 21
Music City Bowl: #21 Northwestern (9-3) vs. Kentucky (7-5): Homerun hitting reenergized Major League Baseball in the aftermath of the Black Sox Scandal. Babe Ruth’s towering blasts off the new, hitter friendly “jackrabbit ball” led players and fans to embrace a new brand of showmanship on the diamond. The league-wide ban on spitballs following the 1920 season tilted the rules even more in favor of the sluggers.
Final Score: Kentucky 22 Northwestern 21
Cotton Bowl: #8 USC (11-2) vs. #5 Ohio State (11-2): USC and Cincinnati Bengals legend Anthony Munoz has to be one of the greatest pass catching offensive lineman of all time. He caught 7 career passes and scored 4 touchdowns.
Final Score: USC 31 Ohio State 20
December 30, 2017
Fiesta Bowl: #11 Washington (10-2) vs. #9 Penn State (10-2): Washington alum Warren Moon has won five Grey Cups. Penn State alum Christian Hackenburg plans to win six.
Final Score: Penn State 27 Washington 20
Orange Bowl: #10 Miami (10-2) vs. #6 Wisconsin (12-1): Christopher Endy ties tourism to foreign policy in his creative and convincing monograph, Cold War Holidays: American Tourism in France. Covering the quarter century following World War II, Endy examines both cooperative efforts between the French and American governments as members of an “Atlantic Community” and independent efforts by both states to manipulate tourism to their own political and economic ends. State power threw its muscle behind tourism immediately after the war, as the Travel Development Section of the Marshall Plan provided funding for the construction of American-friendly tourist infrastructure. Several administrations on each side of the Atlantic saw tourism as a front in the Cold War. American tourist dollars bolstered the French economy, keeping at bay the appeal of Moscow in the rebuilding western European nation. The centrality of tourism to French postwar economic life fostered conflict between those interested in selling France’s “radiance,” or cultural prestige, and modernizers who feared that dependence on tourism placed France in a colonized relationship with the United States. “Ugly” American tourists developed a rapport with “rude” French hosts predicated on consumption and a search for “authentic” experiences abroad. “Consumer Diplomacy,” as Endy describes this relationship, continues to shape American tourism in France.
Final Score: Wisconsin 21 Miami 14
Taxslayer Bowl: Louisville (8-4) vs. #23 Mississippi State (8-4): Karen Halttunen examines the development of the rules of middle class gentility in Victorian-era America in Confidence Men and Painted Women. This 1982 monograph makes use of the era’s ample personal advice literature, which included etiquette manuals, ladies’ magazines, correspondence manuals, sentimental novels, and religious writings, to recreate the social space and intercourse of the Victorian parlor, the primary locus of this study. The narrative arc of the book focuses on the creation of “sentimental” culture as a means of determining who in fact belonged in polite company. Traditional forms of social deference receded in 19th century America as the values of the marketplace replaced those of colonial America. This trauma to the social order led to the rise of “confidence men” and “painted women,” individuals on the social margins who could pass as genteel despite their lack of social status. To combat charlatanism, the status-anxious American middle class constructed a culture of “sentimental sincerity” which, like the notion of Visible Sainthood, emphasized the outward expression of inner worth. Performed in Victorian parlors, “sentimental sincerity” included an emphasis on muted fashion, tactful conversation which never drifted to the unseemly, and earnest politeness. Middle class Americans, Halttunen writes, came to embrace “theatricality for its own sake.” Theatricality, through parlor games and masquerade balls, came to exemplify the middle class way of life.
Final Score: Louisville 42 Mississippi State 38
Liberty Bowl: Iowa State (7-5) vs. #20 Memphis (10-2): It must have been weird for the people in Memphis when the Oilers moved to town only to relocate to Nashville two seasons later. It must be interesting for the Memphis Tigers to essentially be playing a home game in this bowl game.
Final Score: Memphis 38 Iowa State 17
Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State (6-6) vs. Utah State (6-6): Goldie Gopher doesn’t have a bowl game to get ready for this year. She told me that she has seen all kinds of elves “snooping” around, trying to see if she was just being good because Santa Claus was coming to town.
Final Score: Utah State 38 New Mexico State 31
January 1, 2018
Outback Bowl: Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (8-4): Columbia, South Carolina is being considered for next year’s version of MTV’s The Real World. Ann Arbor is not.
Final Score: South Carolina 33 Michigan 27
Citrus Bowl: #17 LSU (9-3) vs. #14 Notre Dame (9-3): Gerry DiNardo played at Notre Dame and coached at LSU. He was 3-0 in Bowl Games at LSU, including a victory over the Irish. I wonder who he cheers for in this one?
Final Score: Notre Dame 31 LSU 28
Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl: #12 UCF (12-0) vs. #7 Auburn (10-3): The best coaching hire of the last two weeks was the hiring of former UCF coach George O’Leary by me. I have hired him to be my life coach.
Final Score: Auburn 35 UCF 17
Rose Bowl: #3 Georgia (12-1) vs. #2 Oklahoma (12-1): I hosted a College Football Playoff selection-show watch party at the TGI Friday’s in Sheyboygan, Wisconsin. I wanted to see if the Bearcats made the Final Four and I wanted to do so in style. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the Final Four. Fortunately, a good time was had by all at the Sheyboygan TGI Friday’s. They had half-price any-tizers and complementary MGD.
Final Score: Georgia 38 Oklahoma 31
Sugar Bowl: #4 Alabama (12-1) vs. #1 Clemson (12-1): The toughest guys that ever went to Clemson were brothers William “Refrigerator” Perry and Michael Dean Perry. The toughest guys that ever went to Alabama were all of them. Bama is going to cream Clemson. They are going to get “the revenge.” And they are going to cream Georgia next week.
Final Score: Alabama 38 Clemson 14
As always, this is a work of parody and not intended to be taken seriously. For more of the same, follow me on Twitter: @ClaytonTrutor