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Friday Bowl-stravaganza Open Thread

NCAA Football: Belk Bowl-Arkansas vs Virginia Tech Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It’s past time for you to begin finding things to worry about in Georgia’s upcoming Rose Bowl showdown with Oklahoma. But there’s still a ton of football between now and Monday, beginning shortly with the Belk Bowl (1:00 ESPN).

This one’s for all the reasonably priced khakis and kitchen accessories. The newly Jimbo-led (albeit not in today’s game) Texas A&M Aggies will take on Wake Forest, led by stellar senior QB John Wolford.

This one strikes me as a classic "motivation game." If the returning Aggies show up intent on earning the eye of the new coaching staff and invigorated to turn the page to 2018, the Ags could put a whipping on the Deacs.

3:00 brings the Sun Bowl on CBS between Arizona State and NC State. Once again a team going through a coaching transition will take on an ACC squad which doesn’t always get to go bowling. This time I’m putting my money on the Wolfpack. Dave Doeren’s squad is a contender for the team most likely to parlay a bowl effort into an irrationally high 2018 ranking.

At 4:30 Northwestern and Kentucky tee it up in the Music City Bowl on ESPN. I expect a solid contingent of Wildcat fans to make the trip to Nashville, and I expect them to witness a close game. I’m not an SEC homer, but I am a Benny Snell fan, and think he runs the ‘Cats to victory.

And finally the so-called "New Year’s Six" bowls kick off tonight with a Cotton Bowl matchup between #8 USC and #5 Ohio State. The game features a marquee quarterback matchup between Texas native J.T Barrett and USC’s Sam Darnold, likely playing his last game in a Trojan uniform before leaving for the NFL Draft.

But I think the matchup to watch may be the USC defensive front versus Ohio State’s talented offensive front and stable of tailbacks (particularly freshman JK Dobbins). If the Buckeyes can run the ball, I like them to pick up the victory. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!