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So, Jim Phillips did it. 

Somehow, we ended up in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day against Auburn. Let's get to actually thinking about this though. 

 

  • First off, serious props to whoever spent 24 hours outdoors, yesterday, when it was snowing at night, freezing all day, and by the way, the day before finals week, just so they could guard the rock to do this:
  • Auburnrock_medium  
  • That's dedication right there. You can't see it, but they painted a football with "Outback Bowl" in the Outback Steakhouse lettering. Props to those guys. The obvious question is what they would've done if after 16 hours of waiting, they found out we were in the Champs Sports Bowl. I think they still paint.  (Also, can we re-shift the campus onus of random online anger from that poor cheerleader to those tools who chipped all the paint off the rock? At least they deserve to get yelled at.)
  • I probably don't need to say this, but I feel this whole thing worked out perfectly. First off, no offense to Auburn (I see you Track Em Tigers!), but of the teams NU could have played in a bowl this year - Clemson, Miami, or Auburn - there's no doubt in my mind that Auburn is the one we have the highest chance of winning against. That's not a slight against Auburn. It's just true. Miami and Clemson are two scary teams. And for a squad that's been 60 years without a bowl win, well, that's the first priority. 
  • Oh, not to mention that it's in a higher ranked bowl and also on New Years, not just December 29th. It's a college football holiday against a college football powerhouse. And we could win. Let's go. 
  • That being said, the Outback Bowl has established itself as the craziest bowl pickers out there. By all rights, they should've picked Wisconsin and either Tennessee or Georgia. Wisconsin had a better record, and the Outback is hypothetically supposed to pick teams from the SEC East, where Auburn is from the West, also both went 4-4 in conference. Last year, the Outback should've picked Northwestern - who had a better record, conference record, and head-to-head - over Iowa. Last week Dawg Sports recounted other times the bowl down under had done teams wrong. Look, I'll take it - it's retribution for last year - and like I said in the comments section, it makes it even more fun to not feel guilty about taking another team's deserved bowl berth - but we didn't deserve this. Congratulate the Athletics Department on pulling this out.
  • You alums might not realize this, but the whole Outback thing didn't go over 100% well with the student body. You hear a lot of the stuff you'd expect: man, I don't wanna wake up at 11 the day after New Years, and most frequently, the fact that New Years is one of those sacred nights you have with your people from back home. But I'm not hearing a lot of "man, that sucks, I'm not going to go" - I'm hearing a lot of "man, that sucks, but I'm still going." Oh, hey, this is what happens at actual colleges. Awesome.
Anyways, that's all I gots to say right now, especially as I got a paper to write in the next three hours and 40 minutes. But I'ma do my best to make sure Sippin on Purple's got you covered for the next few weeks, so, stay tuned, chicas.