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TNIAAM New Year’s Day bowl game open thread

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Syracuse isn’t playing football, but that won’t stop you from watching other teams do so.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oklahoma vs Georgia Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020, where 2019 can’t hurt us anymore. That’s especially good news for Syracuse Orange sports given what transpired over the past 12 months. Now we turn the page while hope springs anew.

Before we get back to what Syracuse is up to, though, other teams are playing in some pretty big bowl games today. Below is your guide to what’s interesting about those matchups, plus where and how to watch. Join us in the comments to root against Baylor, watch Michigan get hammered by Alabama and witness other assorted happenings.

(all times ET)

Outback Bowl: No. 18 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. No. 12 Auburn Tigers, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

For weeks, the Gophers were the darling of the 2019 college football season. They won nine straight to start the year — including a big upset over Penn State — but then laid an egg vs. Iowa and were bulldozed by a strong Wisconsin team in the de facto B1G West title game in week 14. Auburn scored an Iron Bowl win against a hobbled Alabama and despite going 9-3 this year, they hung with every opponent and nearly knocked off both LSU and Georgia. I’d expect a Tigers win on talent alone, though Minnesota’s properly motivated to score a surprising upset.

Citrus Bowl: No. 14 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 13 Alabama Crimson Tide, 1 p.m. (ABC)

For the first time since the College Football Playoff started, the Crimson Tide are not a participant. And with Tua Tagovailoa out, there are some doubts about their passing game, along with the defensive question marks that came about in the back half of their schedule. Still, Nick Saban’s probably pissed he’s coaching a 10-2 team, and that he has to do so in Orlando. Meanwhile, Michigan was stomped to hell by Ohio State yet again, and may not be able to keep up with the Alabama offense, even if simply guided by the run game. Take what you will from those factors.

Rose Bowl: No. 6 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Oregon’s surprising Pac-12 title game win over Utah robbed us of a potentially more fun matchup of LSU and the Utes in the Peach Bowl. But for the Ducks’ trouble, they wind up in the Rose Bowl instead, for their own entertaining matchup with Wisconsin. The Badgers are a quality running team with a great defense and a sneaky good passing attack. Oregon’s defense has been very good this year as well, and their offense is dynamic as always. It’s also a last (college) look at Ducks QB Justin Herbert, and maybe the last time we see Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor as well should be decide to forego his senior year and enter the NFL Draft.

Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 7 Baylor Bears, 8:45 p.m. (ESPN)

The night cap features two aesthetically displeasing teams in Georgia and Baylor — who are both very much defense first, and love to make a game ugly. When we last saw the Bears, they’d lost QB Charlie Brewer to injury and then failed to really generate much offense in his absence. Georgia looked like hot garbage against LSU in the SEC title game. Baylor’s Matt Rhule is also surrounded by Giants coaching hire rumors, which could serve as a distraction.

Poll

Which game are you most looking forward to today?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Minnesota vs. Auburn
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Michigan vs. Alabama
    (0 votes)
  • 75%
    Wisconsin vs. Oregon
    (3 votes)
  • 25%
    Baylor vs. Georgia
    (1 vote)
4 votes total Vote Now