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Friday Open Thread: It’s Bowl Season!

Time to root against Middle.

NCAA Football: Cure Bowl-Liberty vs Coastal Carolina Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Bowl season starts today! Of course, Vanderbilt isn’t play in a bowl (thanks, 2-10), but also, what the hell else are we going to do for the next few weeks? Watch basketball?

So, expect a heavy amount of bowl watch open threads as we follow along with the Anchor of Gold Bowl Pick ‘Em contest. You can view the standings here and I’ll also be posting the daily standings in the open threads.

Anyway, here’s today’s lineup.

Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo (11:00 AM CT/ESPN, Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas)

Oh, Middle. How is it that we go 8-4 and go to Birmingham, but Middle goes 6-6 and goes to the Bahamas? (Answer: because the Bahamas Bowl is a G5 bowl created by ESPN and the payout is tiny, but never mind that.) Anyway, Middle started the season 2-4 before rallying to reach bowl eligibility, capped by a 27-17 win at FAU to end the season. Toledo likewise closed 4-1 to finish 7-5 after a rough start to the season. You will watch this because it’s 11 AM on a Friday and what else are you going to do, but also to root against Middle. Hopefully the referees will spot if they have 13 men on the field.

Cure Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina (6:00 PM CT/ESPN2, Exploria Stadium, Orlando)

The first of three bowl games in Orlando this season, and the only one of the three that will be played at Exploria Stadium, home of Orlando City SC (the other two will be played at Camping World Stadium, the stadium formerly known as the Florida Citrus Bowl.) This should be a doozy: Northern Illinois got outscored 425-410 on the season and yet has a 9-4 record and a MAC championship; Coastal Carolina, coached by should-be Vanderbilt head coach Jamey Chadwell, is 10-2 but farted away a Sun Belt title with losses to App State and Georgia State. It’s not every day that you see a G5 team with two losses and both of those losses were conference games; the Chanticleers beat The Citadel, Kansas, Buffalo, and UMass out of conference.