New Year’s Day Preview (Unofficially Sponsored By My Attempt To Eat a Party Sub* From Jersey Mike’s)

It’s everyone’s favorite day of the year: The day that I order a Jersey Mike’s party sub (well, they call it a box of subs) and fail miserably in eating it. I’m not a big excuse guy, but this is my third attempt and the first two were unsuccessful. Last year my New Year’s Day was spent tending to a toddler with a fever and the poor decision of ordering roast beef on a portion of the subs. You never realize how dry roast beef is until you’re trying to eat five feet of sub with it. The first year I wasn’t as fat as I am now, so again, not my fault. I’ve done everything in my power to change that for 2019, so things are looking pretty favorable.

While I’m embarking on the journey of 5-feet of delicious sandwich, there’s a lot to watch on TV. Personally, I think it’s bullshit that we have to wait until noon for the sports day to start but I guess all of the people who have lives are hungover and need the sleep and time to recover before things get started. Luckily, you have this to read until the Outback Bowl kicks off at 12:00 PM EST.

The Outback Bowl – Mississippi State vs. Iowa, Noon – ESPN2

I don’t really care about Mississippi State or Iowa, but some things are bigger than sports. Faith, family, and Bloomin’ Onions. The famous Outback Bowl has a stipulation that should make every red blooded American an SEC fan. If the SEC team wins, we all get a FREE Bloomin’ Onion. If the Big Ten team wins, we’re punished with coconut shrimp. Who goes to Australia for the coconut shrimp? Not this guy. When I’m in Melbourne, the only appetizer I order is a deep fried onion with dipping sauce that I can’t figure out how to make on my own. So, I guess what I’m saying is “Go Bullodgs”.

The Winter Classic – Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 1:00 – NBC

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Blackhawks and Bruins are playing in an outdoor game this year. The NHL has been absolutely terrible about spreading the love, but I guess it’s kinda hard to sell NBC an outdoor game between the Coyotes and Panthers (although rumors are starting to come out that Dallas will get an “outdoor” game next year). I still get excited for The Winter Classic every year but it’s just not the same without HBO doing a 24/7 leading up to the game. This year’s game is being played at Notre Dame so that should be a pretty cool scene. I usually watch about 20-30 minutes of this game before I get annoyed with the weird camera angles and Pierre McGuire talking about where each guy played junior hockey and which mites team he was on. I actually like Pierre, but he can lay it on a little to thick in big moments like today. I don’t really have a dog in the fight, so I’ll just be a casual observer while I sit here and stew about the Blue Jackets getting snubbed for an outdoor game again.

The Fiesta Bowl – LSU vs. UCF, 1:00 – ESPN

I don’t know if this is normal, but this seems like a weird start time for the Fiesta Bowl. I guess the people of Arizona are getting what we always dream of in the eastern timezone, and that’s morning football. UCF has been crying for the past two years that they deserve to be in the College Football Playoff and this is the second year in a row where they got matched up with an SEC team in a major bowl game. Last year they beat the Auburn Tigers 34-27, proving they belong in the conversation and today they’ll try to do the same against Coach Ed Orgeron’s LSU Tigers. With starting quarterback McKenzie Milton sidelined with a destroyed knee, this might be the year UCF gets exposed as the middle-tier program they are. What they’ve done in the AAC is great, but as we usually learn, they’re still not on the same level as the blue chip programs.

The Citrus Bowl – Kentucky vs. Penn State, 1:00 – ABC

I’m not really digging how many things are on at 1:00 today. I’m not  set up for more than two or three things on at a time. I realize that’s my fault and I need to be better, but a little warning from the NCAA and powers that be would’ve been nice. I could’ve rewired my entire house to facilitate the necessary TVs for today, but instead I’m caught flat footed and will have to rely on iPads, my laptop, 100-inch projector (not to brag) and my poor person 50-inch TV on the floor. I guess I’ll make it work but it won’t come without it’s challenges.

As for the game, I really couldn’t give two shits about Kentucky or Penn State so they’ll probably be relegated to the iPad. A lot of people discovered Kentucky has a football team this year after rooting for their basketball program since they could mutter “Big Blue Nation”. I’m taking Penn State in this game, but that’s simply because I just don’t think Kentucky is prepared to take the next step.

The Rose Bowl – Washington vs. Ohio State, 5:00 – ESPN

This is Urban Meyer’s final game as the Ohio State head coach before taking a new job with another premier program in a year or two, so you can expect the dramatics to be in full effect. Coach Meyer overcame multiple heart attacks and seizures in every game the Buckeyes struggled this year, so it’s a modern medical miracle that he’s able to strap on the headset one more time as the Ohio State head coach. I think Ohio State is in a different class than Washington, but the distraction of Dwayne Haskins possibly leaving and this being Urban’s swan song will make things difficult for the Buckeyes at times. The Buckeyes will win this game, but I don’t think it will be in the dominant fashion they probably needed to show the playoff committee that it should’ve been them or Georgia in the Cotton Bowl instead of Notre Dame. Best of luck to Urban Meyer in his next job recovery.

The Sugar Bowl – Texas vs Georgia, 8:45 – ESPN

For the same reasons I mentioned above, I think Georgia proves once and for all that Texas isn’t “back”. Sure, they’re trending in the right direction but to think they’re back to the same caliber that gave us Colt McCoy, Vince Young and Ricky Williams is asinine. Georgia has a huge chip on their shoulder because they think they should’ve been in the playoffs despite their two-loss record and losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship game. They sure as hell didn’t deserve to be in the playoff because of their record, but they’re most definitely one of the best four teams in the country. Records should matter, but I think the Georgia-UCF-Ohio State situation this year is a prime example for why we need to consider playoff expansion. I think Georgia wins this game by three scores and sets the “Texas being back” narrative back another year or two.

 

I hope everyone has as much fun watching the games as I do while overindulging in $70 worth of lunch meat and delicious, fresh baked bread. May you start 2019 off with a bang, a stomach ache and nothing but winning bets.

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