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Saturday Open Thread: More Bowls!

Or, if you prefer, the Division II national championship game.

CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational Charity Bowling Tournament Presented By GoBowling.com Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Professional Bowlers Association

Day 1 of bowl season is over, and after two games, RSFarley leads the Anchor of Gold Bowl Pick ‘Em contest with 44 points after betting the house (the full 44 points) on Coastal Carolina to win the Cure Bowl. The problem is, RSFarley also put 43 points on Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl and, well...

Second place is Andrew VU ‘04, also 1-1, also having bet nearly the house (43 points) on Coastal, but only wasting a 4-point pick on Toledo. Vandy79 is also at 43 points, but bet 44 on Toledo. Hard Wired is in fourth place at 42 points, and I’m in fifth with 38.

In fact, the top 14 people in the Bowl Pick ‘Em Contest all went 1-1 on Friday and literally all fourteen picked Coastal to beat Northern Illinois, but also all fourteen picked Toledo to beat MTSU because in this house we pick against Middle.

Anyway! On to today’s bowl games... and hell we’ll throw in some lower-division football too.

Boca Raton Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State (10:00 AM CT/ESPN, FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida)

And we get Saturday started with what sounds like an extremely fun game featuring Western Kentucky’s insane offense and App State, a team you can’t really go wrong with in G5 bowl games. Then again, WKU’s offensive coordinator got sent to Witness Protection hired by Texas Tech, and I’m honestly not sure he’s coaching the bowl game. Which would probably make this less fun.

Celebration Bowl: South Carolina State vs. Jackson State (11:00 AM CT/ABC, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)

COACH PRIME.

FCS Playoff Semifinal: South Dakota State at Montana State (1:00 PM CT, ESPN2)

Ah yeah, FCS playoffs!

New Mexico Bowl: UTEP vs. Fresno State (1:15 PM CT/ESPN, University Stadium, Albuquerque)

This is the first bowl game of the season that has real dud potential, because while UTEP’s a nice story, the Miners are 91st in SP+ and lost four of five to finish the season after starting 6-1. Fresno State was good enough this season for its coach to get hired away by Washington and replaced by Jeff Tedford, a name that will cause Import’s eyes to roll back into his head.

Independence Bowl: UAB vs. BYU (2:30 PM CT/ABC, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana)

And speaking of SP+, you might be surprised that it considers UAB a better team than 10-2 BYU. The Blazers managed to lose to Rice at home, but they’re a solid team and might be primed for a big win.

LendingTree Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty (4:45 PM CT/ESPN, Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama)

I’m going to try to get excited for most of the bowl games this season, but nothing about this excites me.

NAIA Championship: Grand View vs. Morningside (5:00 PM CT/stream, Durham County Memorial Stadium, Durham, North Carolina)

Yep, you knew I was throwing this in here.

LA Bowl: Utah State vs. Oregon State (6:30 PM CT/ABC, SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles)

I would guess this ranks pretty low on the list of headlines you want to come out about your team the day before your bowl game.

Yep, we’re rooting hard for Oregon State here.

Division II Championship: Valdosta State vs. Ferris State (8:00 PM CT/ESPNU, McKinney ISD Stadium, McKinney, Texas)

Yep, they’re playing it in a high school stadium in the Dallas area.

New Orleans Bowl: Marshall vs. UL Lafayette (8:15 PM CT/ESPN, Caesars Superdome, New Orleans)

Like Orlando, New Orleans is hosting multiple bowl games this season with this and the Sugar Bowl. UL Lafayette won’t be coached by Billy Napier in this game; instead, new head coach Michael Desormeaux will lead the Ragin’ Cajuns against Marshall, coached by former Vanderbilt assistant Charles Huff.