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Pregamin' the Citrus Bowl

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Time for our last Pregame of the season. This time, we've got the GOPHERS on deck, and we've cooked up some super special party games for you!

Au revoir, GOPHERS.
Au revoir, GOPHERS.
Jack Peglow

Pregamin' Minnesota

WHO: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Missouri Tigers

WHAT: CITRUS-FLAVORED NEW YEAR'S DAY FOOTBALL SMOTHER IN BUFFALO WING SAUCE

WHEN: January 1st, 2015 – High Noon CT

WHERE: DISNEY WORLD

WATCH: ABC and WatchESPN

LISTEN: To the 14th episode of Rock M Radio, where Jack and Sam preview the Gophers with GoAUpher of The Daily Gopher!


Trivia

(of the useless variety)

  • Minnesota STOLE a national championship that was righty Mizzou's in 1960. (read about it, fools)
  • Including that one, the Gophers lay claim to SEVEN (!!!!) national championships: 1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, and 1960.
  • Minnesota and Wisconsin participate in the longest-standing rivalry in College football, having played every year since 1906.

TrulySocial

In light of the traditional tweet dump, this week I decided to do something a bit different. The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl will stopped by to answer some questions for me!

Give him a follow at @BWWCitrusBowl, you won't regret it. Now, on to the questions:

What was your initial reaction when you first heard that you would be hosting these two wonderful teams?

It all happened very quickly, quicker than it used to under the old BCS format. The Orange Bowl/ACC rule and the late ranking flip of Mississippi State and Michigan State threw our plans up in the air a bit - we were all but certain that we were hosting an ACC team this year. Luckily we had prepared enough that we were ready with Minnesota as our best Big Ten option. So after the surprise and the scramble, our initial impression was that we got two teams who were really, REALLY excited about the game. Both Minnesota and Missouri responded with overwhelming joy at the selection (from the administration to the coaches to the fans). That excitement has continued all the way through bowl month. Both teams are taking their opportunity in this bowl as a statement on the progress of their program, and that's really cool. That makes us feel good.

I know that you're close with some of the other bowls, did you ever notice any jealousy from them regarding what is obviously a very excited SEC/B1G matchup?

Well obviously our sister bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl, is jealous of almost everything we do. The bowl biz (as those of us in the bowl biz like to call it) is so hectic in December that we don't always have time to talk matchups, but we're hopeful to make a few folks jealous with how our game ultimately plays out.

Had you been eyeing the Tigers and/or the Gophers prior to selection time, or were they options that sprang up surprisingly later on?

We had an eye on both as the season came to a close. We knew both were in that pool of potential teams on either side of the ball and the chance of each coming to Orlando got more and more serious in the final month. For Minnesota, the turning point was definitely the Nebraska win. That was the point when I think we knew they were going to end up in a New Year's Day game (pending the resolution of our Orange Bowl/ACC nuance). On Mizzou, it probably went down to the last week of the season and the win over Arkansas, since that secured the SEC East. That's when we knew there was a really strong shot of them coming to Orlando.

If you could choose how the game plays out, what would your ideal scenario be and why?

We want a fun game. We want the stars to play big - David Cobb runs for 150 yards, Maty Mauk throws three touchdowns to three different receivers, Shane Ray makes a "Top 10" play on defense and Maxx Williams does something that ends up on NFL Draft coverage for the next few months. Not necessarily a crazy shootout type of game, but a fair amount of points and a few lead changes. A game that you walk away from feeling like you were glad you were a part of it. that's basically every bowl's dream.

Do you get free tickets to Disney World, and if so, can I have one?

We help the teams out with some visits to the parks, but they usually don't have any leftover because the teams go HAM in at Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, etc.

If you had to assign a Buffalo Wild Wings sauce to each of these teams, what would they be?

Columbia is two hours away from Kansas City, but that's close enough that we can pull the barbecue card and go Hot BBQ, because they will burn you if you aren't careful. The Gophers are more like the traditional Buffalo seasoning, because the B-Dubs menu describes it as "Classic heat and soothing buttery seasoning". That sure sounds Midwestern, even if it’s named after a town in New York. And besides, B-Dubs started in Big Ten country.

Lastly, if you were given a $447 Best Buy gift card, what would you purchase?

1. A juicer. Obv. $99.99


2. Extra cell phone battery pack. For the tweets. $79.99


3. Five copies of Frisky Dingo seasons 1 and 2 on DVD to distribute to co-workers so they understand some of the more obscure humor of our tweets: $149.95


4. Fitbit, to see how many steps we walk during bowl week. $99.99

5. $17.08 worth of candy and soda at those little end cap things they have next to the register, those get us every time.

Q&A

Who do you hope to see more from against Minnesota?

The Beef: Going to have to be the front seven.  As Bill talked about, this team does not have a TON of options in the passing game (though they are not completely bereft of them), and their preference is going to be run, run and run some more if it is working.  Cobb is a LOAD and our front four is going to need to clog gaps while Brothers and Scherer work to pad their stats to be the leading returning tacklers in the SEC for next season.

Fullback U: The youth. Get me hyped for next year.

Jack Peglow: I'd love to see Maty play well without Jimmie Hunt to throw the ball to. His worst games have come when the receiving corps wasn't at full strength, so a solid game from Mauk would show that he's improved this year. If not, #DREWLOCK2015. Kidding,... maybe.

HHKB Chris: Nate Brown, time to show some of that flair with Jimmie out. Give us something to get excited about for 2015. PLEASE GIVE US A LITTLE SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!

Sam Snelling: Darius White. He's had time to heal now. Jimmy Hunt is out. And Missouri is going to need a strong performance from White so the Gophers can't concentrate on the run and only Bud Sasser.

AlaTiger: I’d love to see a huge game from Gavin Otte and/or Nate Brown, but Darius White really needs to step up in his last game. He should be fully healthy.

What position group (O-line, D-line, coaches, etc.) would you like to see a better performance from?

Beef: WR/TE will need to step up with the loss of Hunt.  Hunt made a killing off of being the guy in the past couple of weeks who figured out how to get open and visible to Mauk when he would scramble-turn-scramble.  Someone else is going to need to play that role for him this week.  And while Hunt had his issues with drops, this groups needs to be clean down one of their biggest weapons.

Fullback: Offensive line. Most everyone is returning next year so what we see v Minnesota is largely what we'll see next year. We thought this year the o-line would be a strength - let's make that a reality for 2015.

Peglow: Not that they've played badly, but I would just love see the linebackers show out. If there was ever a game where they'll need to play well, this would be it. Hold Cobb under 150, guys. I know you have it in you.

Chris: The middle of the Defensive Line. Those big guys. If Shane Ray and Markus Golden are doing their normal scare everything into the middle of the field routine then the middle's gonna have to gobble up Mr. Cobb, just like some sweet sweet summer corn on the cobb...see what I did there?

Snelling: O-Line. I mean, it's in the parenthesis there, so I'll pick that. Seriously though, this is a game where they can and should win the trenches. If they give the RBs room to run, and Mauk time to throw, Mizzou should win this game by at least two scores.

AlaTiger: The DL. Win this battle in the trenches, and Mizzou wins this game unless the offense completely falls apart.

Give us a WILD prediction for the game.

Beef: Cobb is held under 75 yards.

Fullback: Marcus Murphy KR to win the game.

Peglow: Mauk scrambles for a long TD run instead of tossing up a prayer, then thinks he can do that for the rest of the game.

Chris: Baggs with the game winning field goal. Not so wild prediction, the Jimmies will be slightly hungover while watching this game.

Snelling: Mizzou gets an INT from Michael Scherer while he's shadowing Maxx Williams, and he's dropped at the 4 yard line. So close to scoring.

AlaTiger: The Minnesota Wild hockey team shows up, hoping to play an outdoor game on roller skates.

If Gary Pinkel worked at a Disney World attraction, which one would it be and why?

Beef: He’d be the ride operator for It’s a Small World After All.  Another double-digit win season, marriage, fat bonuses, what doesn’t he have to be happy about?

Fullback: Concessions. For obvious reasons.

Peglow: Has to be the Rockin' Roller Coaster. You know Gary would be jammin' out to that Aerosmith all DAY.

Chris: First off, Gary would work at Disneyland Paris, not this World place you speak of. I mean the wine alone would draw Gary to France. But were he to be working there I bet Gary would spend his day driving around in "Main Street Vehicles" just taking people around the park, jumbo cup of wine in front of him, telling people all about doing things the way he does things.

Snelling: What's the ride where you're spinning against the wall and the floor drops out, but your momentum keeps you against the wall?

AlaTiger: Splash Mountain. He’s thrived in the Mizzou briar patch.

If you had to rate Mizzou's season using a flavor of sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings, which flavor would it be and why?

Beef: Big fan of this season, big fan of the Asian Zing…so there you have it

Fullback: One wing of sweet BBQ, two salt and vinegar, nine spicy garlic and the last one is buffalo.

Peglow: Regular old Hot. You get it, thinking it's just like any other flavor of hot sauce, but this one is sneakily a bit spicier than you expect. It isn't fancy, it just goes out and does what it does.

Chris: Having just looked this up I would say Gary would be the "Buffalo Seasoning" which is described as "Classic Heat with Soothing Buttery Seasoning." And that reaks of Gary 2.0 to me. He'll come at you with the old school hollering in practice, but come game time and especially on senior day Gary is there to be the shoulder to cry on and let you know it's all going to be ok. Also, SWAG.

Snelling: Thai Curry. Deceptively spicey, but not too much so that you can't eat it.

AlaTiger: Let’s go with Caribbean Jerk, because Mizzou’s playing close(ish) to the Caribbean to cap off the season, which certainly wasn’t expected by the masses at the start of the season, or after a certain other game against a Big Ten opponent.

Any other thoughts?

Fullback: For better or worse, I'm gonna miss this team.

Peglow: This is the B1G, y'all. You know what we have to do. We s'posed to be SEC now.

Chris: I would just like to take this time to wish Jimmie Hunt all the best and to let him know we'll have a beer ordered for him untouched during the game on Thursday. Thanks for a great career Jimmie, the Jimmies will miss you.

Snelling: I'm excited for this. I think Mizzou is going to win. I think we're all going to be happy. And then we'll remember it's basketball season and we'll start to drink lots of bourbon.

AlaTiger: I’m looking forward to a quality game actually played on New Year’s Day.

RMNGrand

AND NOW, YOUR FINAL RESULTS:

YOUR WINNER: BillSelfsToupee, the winningest hair-piece in the land, with 65 correct picks!

Here's how the rest of us shook out:

ArmyOfMike: 62

Jack Peglow: 62

The Beef: 61

HHKB Chris: 59

Congratulations to BST, and may the rest of us fare better next season!

CITRUS BOWL SPECIAL SECTION

We've been working closely with the fellas over at The Daily Gopher all week, and they're so great that we decided we wanted to keep hanging out with them! Below, you'll find a live chat featuring the RMN masthead, the TDG masthead, and a few special guests! Stay tuned throughout the day, as we'll be here chatting about the upcoming game, our favorite bourbons, the best New Year's day food, and more!

TBTMizzou

Let's relive last year's bowl, shall we?

Shane Ray Cotton Bowl

Let's do that again.