It's the Big XII's Anti-Climax Bowl Day
It's time for college football fans -- and those who bet like them -- to bow their heads in reverence for the dudes who created digital streaming.
Otherwise, how would they absorb the total bowl experience that makes much of the 'tween-holiday workweek a lost cause?
So turn on those Bluetooth headsets and/or pull up those fake productivity screenshots and get set for a triple-header of big-brand football with a heavy Big XII influence.
And, what the hell ... since that circuit got aced out of the CFP bracket, this is their day featuring their previews. It's not the least we can do, but it's close.
Texas A&M and West Virginia kick the festivities off today in the Liberty Bowl.
Both teams are 7-5, but West Virginia will be without quarterback Clint Trickett, who was forced to retire due to multiple concussions finally calling his number. Skyler Howard will start at quarterback for the Mounaineers. He's thrown for five touchdowns and no interceptions in three games this season.
A&M started fast but went 2-5 over their final seven games. Freshman Kyle Allen will play quarterack for the Aggies; Kenny Hill is on the depth chart but hasn't worked his way back after his suspension. Texas A&M has not run the ball well all season, averaging only 142 yards a game. If the Aggies are to be victorious in the Liberty Bowl, Trey Williams, Tra Carson, and Brandon Williams will have to rush for a lot more than that.
Oklahoma plays Clemson next in an interesting Russell Athletic Bowl.
The Sooners are 8-4 but lost three brutal games that they could have or should have won. Oklahoma lost to TCU, 37-33, missed an extra point and two short field goals in a 31-30 home loss to Kansas State, and blew a 35-21 fourth quarter lead to Oklahoma State before losing in overtime in the Bedlam game. Trevor Knight should be back at quarterback for the Sooners, and with frosh RB sensation Samage Perine coming off a 1579-yard season -- including the record 427 yards he gained against Kansas -- OU should be able to score. It's the defense that's hindered the Sooners all year.
Clemson defeated Ohio State last year in the Orange Bowl but lost to the three ranked teams they played this season. They did beat South Carolina for the first time in six years to finish the regular season on an in-state high note. The Tigers come into this game without starting quarterback Deshaun Wilson. Senior Cole Stoudt, who started the season at quarterback, will play his final game for the Tigers (9-3) and will need help from running back Wayne Gallman and receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott if Clemson is to pull its second straight bowl upset.
After all, the Razorbacks became that old league's first defector because they were sick and tired of the Longhorns' heavy-handed influence that ultimately caused Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M to bolt elsewhere, too. Coaches Bret Bielema and Charlie Strong are far removed from that bad blood, but many Hogs fans aren't, and Bielema will truly become endeared to Sooey Nation with a victory tonight. As for Strong, it'll be business as usual, ie- win, dude, or hear rumblings the next morning.