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The PAC Twelver - Bowl Breakdown Edition

A twelve-pack of thoughts on The Conference of Champions.

Pac 12 Championship - Utah v Washington Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

First: In “The Grandaddy of them all” on January 1st, the #9 Washington Huskies (10-3) take on #6 Ohio State (12-1) in The Rose Bowl. This should be a very interesting game by my measure, as #9 U Dub is all defense, and #6 OSU is all O. Whoever wins that matchup, will win the oldest Bowl Game of them all. Also worth noting, the Ohio State program is going through a media circus coaching change during this time they should be focused on only roses, and I think that is certainly an advantage for Washington. No matter folks, if you like big hits, watch this game. I honestly would call it a coin flip, but flip that, GO DAWGS. #BewareOfDawgs

Second: Huskies senior linebacker, heartbeat of the U Dub program, and “Friend of The Twelver” Ben Burr-Kirven was rightfully named the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year for his tremendous efforts on the gridiron this season. BBK9 led the country, yes the country, in tackles with 165. The young man is an absolute stud, with a motor that never quits. Separately, yes, that was a Grateful reference I began with. #BBK9 #BadDawg

Third: In the San Diego County Holiday Bowl on December 31st, #17 Utah (9-4) will face #22 Northwestern (8-5), in a battle of two teams coming off losses in their respective conference championship games. Equally similar, the #17 Utes and #22 Wildcats are both very well coached, both have tough defenses, and both like to run the ball on offense. Much like the fight for The Roses, I think this game could go either way. So, for all the gamblers out there, as my dad says “don’t touch it.”

Fourth: No matter who comes out on top in the 2018 Holiday Bowl, as I briefly referenced above, #17 Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and #22 Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald are two of the best in all of college football. I would expect both teams to come in with the highest level of preparation, which should make for a great fist fight in SD.

Fifth: Also no matter who comes out on top in the 2018 Holiday Bowl, I will be in the parking lot tipping drinks before and after, as San Diego is my hometown and this is a quality old fashioned football game. #HolidayPartyInTheParkingLot #NewYear’sTailgateInSD

Sixth: In this year’s Alamo Bowl on December 28th, #13 Washington State (10-2) meets #24 Iowa State (8-4), in what should be an offensive shootout ‘deep in the heart of Texas’. After another heartbreaking loss to rival #9 Washington in the PAC-12 North Title Game, recently named 2018 PAC-12 Coach of the Year “The Pirate” Mike Leach is fired up, and these Cougs are looking to party in San Antonio. I like #13 WSU to win by two scores, or more. #CougsOnTheProwl #TheseCougsParty #CougsGettingHotOnTheRiverwalk

Seventh: Senior quarterback “The Constant” Gardner Minshew (433-613 passing for 4477 yards / 36 TD’s / 9 INT) had an incredible year for the #13 Cougars, and has officially been named the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year. #TheConstantGardner #HarvestMin

Eighth: My beloved Stanford Cardinal (8-4) take on the Pitt Panthers (7-6) in the Sun Bowl on December 31st, played in El Paso, Texas. While The Card have had an up and down year plagued by injury, with the ability to get healthy again over the next few weeks, I like them to finish strong in ’18. Write it down, Stanford wins by 10. #JustAnotherTexasCardGame

Ninth: Oregon (8-4) faces a true test versus Michigan State (7-5) in the Redbox Bowl in Santa Clara, also played on December 31st. The Ducks high powered offense will face a proven Big Ten defense that likes to fly around, and though this has been a down year for the Spartans, never count MSU head coach Mike D’Antoni out. He too, is a good one. All that said, I truly hope the Ducks can pull it out. #StrongAsDuck #FastAsDuck #ToughAsDuck

Tenth: On December 15th, Arizona State (7-5) will measure themselves against resurgent Fresno State (11-2) in the ’18 Las Vegas Bowl. Win or lose, Jeff Tedford has done an amazing job restoring the Bulldogs program, and has again solidified himself on the top shelf of college football coaches. In that light, and having seen both teams play multiple times this season, I think Fresno State wins a close one in Sin City. Of course, I am wrong as much as I am right, and I am always pulling for the PAC-12 against outside conferences. So, GO DEVILS. #DevilsInVegas #DevilsInSinCity

Eleventh: The CAL Bears (7-5) meet the TCU Horned Frogs (6-6) in the CHEEZ-IT Bowl, yes, the f’ing CHEEZ-IT Bowl. First off, allow me to say that I find CHEEZ-ITs to be one of the premier snack crackers on the planet, I always have. That being said, growing up in an era where The Rose Bowl, The Orange Bowl, The Sugar Bowl, and The Cotton Bowl seemed like magical events, the CHEEZ-IT Bowl as a brand just seems off. Could it not be the American Heroes Bowl, or the Civil Liberties Bowl, or the President John F. Kennedy Bowl, brought to you by CHEEZ-IT? Come on y’all. I am a big dumb animal, and I just came up with those on the spot, but I think you understand where I am coming from. Anyhow, while this has been a down year for TCU, and an up year for CAL, I still think the Horny Frogs edge out the Bears for a lifetime supply of quality baked cheese crackers.

Twelfth: I rode the Sculpin Train for the 121st BIG GAME vs. California, and the Stanford victory pushed me right in to a few tasty Cuba Libres. What can I say, 8-0 against the arch-rival Bears, Cardinal head coach and former three sport athlete on The Farm David Shaw is a living legend. The way I see this Bowl Season though, the three best PAC-12 contests to be tipping adult beverages for are #9 U Dub v. #6 Ohio State in The Rose Bowl, #17 Utah v. #22 Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl, and #13 Washington State v. #24 Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl. All the same, Go Stanford, beat the Pitt out of those Panthers. As always folks, no matter the results, please drop a line here on your favorite beers, cocktails, and wines for game days. Cheers y’all. #BeatThePittOutOfThosePanthers