The 2013 Outback Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X’s and O’s breakdown, click through to Andy Staples’ game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? This is the Outback Bowl. It is not played in Australia. It used to be the Hall of Fame Bowl, but unlike most sponsorship changes, this one has improved the postseason landscape by introducing a fertile annual opportunity for Bloomin’ Onion jokes.
• Where will this game be played? Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, home field of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USF Bulls.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Shannon Spake. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Big Ten versus SEC.
• What about this year? An intriguing matchup between 10-2 South Carolina and 8-4 Michigan.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? Yes, and it’s a presence that would cordially like to invite you to the game:
— Outback Bowl (@outbackbowl) December 31, 2012
• What wacky activities will the teams be subjected to this week? This caption really says it all.
Denard Robinson feeds a friendly giraffe. twitter.com/umichfootball/…
— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) December 29, 2012
• What’s the pick? Stewart Mandel: “Wolverines All-America offensive tackle Taylor Lewan may be one of the few blockers capable of slowing Gamecocks star Jadeveon Clowney (13 sacks), but South Carolina’s entire defense (17.4 points per game) is stout. That doesn’t bode well for a Michigan offense that averaged just 12.5 points in its four losses, regardless of which position Denard Robinson plays.”
• Please impart any additional knowledge you may have concerning the 2013 Outback Bowl. This passage from a press release describing the teams’ welcome dinner may prove insightful:
And a feast it was as the teams devoured more than 4,700 lbs of food including: 750 lbs of sirloin steak, 750 lbs of chicken, and 900 lbs of ribs, all cooked over a wood fire grill. Also 700 lbs of house salad, 400 lbs of bacon topped lobster mac & cheese, 1,600 coconut shrimp, 160 bloomin’ onions, 1,200 lbs of cheese cake, 80 gallons of barbecue sauce and 90 cases of soda and water.