Lotta Thursday links!
CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA: Yes, Mississippi State fans will be allowed to bring cowbells to the Gator Bowl. Yes, that's right: at 12 p.m. Eastern, 11 central, less than half a day into the new year, thousands of Mississippi State fans will be clanging cowbells, producing a loud, irritating metallic noise. Incidentally, some people drink on New Year's Eve, and "loud, irritating metallic noises" might be the worst thing ever to happen to hangovers. I'm not even going and I'm considering bringing earplugs to the bar. Each MSU fan with a cowbell should also be forced to bring a bottle of water to a pained Northwestern fan, or more beer.
Go U Norse Chest Hair: I'm not sure if y'all are as big fans of Shutdown Fullback as me, but they made 36 - 36! - bowl preview videos. I don't think the Gator Bowl is one of their more inspired ones, but it is one of their ones, so it is worth watching:
Seriously, take a few minutes to scroll through some of the other videos on their playlist. They are delightful.
Read, pre-snap: It's from a few days ago, but Paul Myerberg talks about how a Northwestern Gator Bowl win can propel Northwestern into a BCS game next year. Normally I'd be cast that off as hogwash, but Paul Myerberg = smart.
Also smart: Bill Connelly, who used F/+ to for his bowl game picks, has Northwestern winning by 16.4. The spread is Northwestern +2.5. Yeah, uh, I guess he thinks we'll beat it? His numbers have the Gator as the seventh-most lopsided bowl out of 35. He got 52.9 percent of picks against the spread on the season right, and I'd imagine he does better straight up, so, put money on Northwestern, I guess?
A moment of :( for DePaul: First, the Big East collapses because basketball schools like DePaul - well, "basketball" schools like DePaul - feel that the whole bringing in Tulane and East Carolina thing doesn't really get them going. Second, there's this, a list of the least sexually healthy schools in the nation, featuring two Chicago schools in the bottom ten, including, yep, DePaul in dead last. (Yeah, I linked to TFM. I'm graduated now. Deal with it.) Now, mind you, this isn't a list of the most STD-ridden schools in the country. That would be very, very, very difficult and unethical to test for, so do what you always do and just slip the fact that whatever local institution of higher learning your friends that you like to call dumb from high school attended was ranked No. 3 on Princeton Review's most venereally diseased colleges list into casual conversation, even though that list doesn't exist. It ranks how good the schools are at encouraging sexual health. DePaul finishes below BYU, the school that can hypothetically kick you out for kissing somebody if you're not married to them, which, let's be honest, is impressive.
TICKET CITY Y'ALL: From Teddy Greenstein:
FYI re: #Northwestern Gator Bowl ticket sales: School won't release figures but says sales up 47% over last yr (Houston).— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) December 13, 2012
Encouraging! Nebraska's having trouble moving their tickets, so, good job, Cappy!
I still say the best case is a sam adams winter classics pack but w/e: ESPN did their best case/worst case scenarios, and well, go Cats.
PERCYYYYYYYY: Bad news from Starkville, as reserve running back Nick Griffin will miss the Gator Bowl after tearing his ACL in practice. Probably won't change their gameplan much, as the star is Tyler Russell and as such Griffin was still fourth on the team in carries.