This year we’ve launched the first-ever Chi Psi College Pick’em blog series!
Check out this year’s bowl games to watch and our picks below:
Syracuse vs. Minnesota
BYU vs. Washington
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame
Cincinnati vs. North Carolina
Kansas State vs. Michigan
Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
|Justin Froeber: I spent a lot of time at Ole Miss. Rebels win.|
|Sam Bessey: If you come to Nashville for this game you will have fun. It’s a great setting, and you are a half mile from Jeffrey Hall and well within walking distance of many great places to eat and drink. Let us know if you are coming! As for the game itself, I see two teams licking wounds after getting beat by their rivals to end the regular season, but I think the Rebels are hungrier than the Jackets. Ole Miss wins in Nashville.
|Jon: If there’s such a thing as “the best five loss team in America” Ole Miss is it. I love the direction that program is heading and I love Donte Moncrief. Rebels win!|
|Brad Beskin: It’s time for the Music City Bowl! Hooooraahhh! And for the win, I’m going with…Ok, let’s be honest. I don’t know anything about sports, the BCS, or the teams involved. I think they’re playing hockey, but that my not even be correct. What I know is food. And your host for the Music City Bowl, Nashville, TN, knows food. The recent restaurant boom has helped to establish it as a culinary epicenter of the southeast, so I’ll share with you some Central Office staff favorites you should visit while in town for the big game.
First things first: There’s a lot of bad advice out there for Nashville. So ignore your inflight magazine, disregard the person sitting next to you, and trust me. Why? Because this is my blog post and I said so…that is WHY.In this vein, there are a few places that are ALWAYS recommended and just aren’t worth the time or effort to get in. In the spirit of keeping it positive, I won’t list them…but you know where to find me if you want to know which establishments to avoid.
Grab a cup of coffee and a breakfast delight at our favorite coffee shop, Crema, where Rachel Lehman and her team of experts will craft for you some of the most delicious joe you’ve ever had. They roast their own beans in house and sling it into some pretty creative concoctions that will be sure to please. Our favorite? The Cuban Coffee with an extra shot.
Check out brunch at The Southern Steak and Oyster, where you can feast on some tasty interpretations of southern essentials. Order the chicken and waffles to share with someone in addition to your own entree, and try your Bloody Mary with tequila to spice things up.
Visit Mrs. Patti Myint at her authentic Thai fixture, International Market and Restaurant. Bypass the hot line, skip the Pad Thai, and order some dumplings, shrimp curry, Thai omlette, and spicy beef salad. Eat with your spoon (not chopsticks). “Thai food?” you ask. Indeed, and while not in the southern food theme of many suggestions here, you won’t leave disappointed. Tell her “Brad says ‘sa-wa-dee krap’.”
Head to Pinewood Social in the old Trolley Docks. Throw some stones down the vintage bowling lanes, sample some craft cocktails by master mixologist Matt Tocco, and enjoy some fun twists on southern cuisine by chef Josh Habiger. It’s the coolest new joint in town! The fried chicken is off the hook (which means it’s delicious).
Husk Nashville is adjacent to the Central Office and should not be missed. Even if you’ve dined at Husk Charleston, the Nashville concept is different and warrants a visit. Chef Sean Brock sources all local ingredients (including bourbon) and prepares them in accordance with local traditions. Sit in the bar, order EVERYTHING on the starter menu, and then split an entree if, by some strange power, you still have room for more. And the pig ear lettuce wraps…yes, the ears…are the best thing.
City House is one of those in-your-face dining experiences that leaves you smiling and somewhat mystified. “Did that just happen? When can it happen again?” Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as most will not likely recognize some of the more obscure ingredients on the menu. Trust chef Tandy Wilson’s tastes and order something that might not seem to click together on paper; It will certainly do so on your palate. Request a seat at the chef’s counter to the far left (away from the oven). The roasted octopus is one of the best bites you can find in Nashville.
When you’re ready to celebrate your big win…or perhaps drown your sorrows…it’s time to go to Patterson House. This obscure speakeasy on Division Street has been written up by every culture rag in the country as on of its top pre-Prohibition cocktail bars. They do not take reservations, and they do not allow standing around the bar. This means you may have to wait, but the wait is worthwhile. Browse the menu, but don’t try to order from it. Ask your bartender for help…she’ll ask what you like…and try to give them more than just “vodka” in response. Or trust us and order our favorite: the reel foot manhattan, an orange twist on the essential classic. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities hiding in the corner booths.
Rolf and Daughters is a rustic Italian public house in the old boiler of a factory turned condos. Their bar program, which has an interesting focus on amaros and bitter liqueurs, was created by Matt Tocco (now of Pinewood Social). The food is great, and the drinks are better.
Finally, use your free time between meals to check out one of Music City’s hidden talents. Nashville caught the craft beer bug several years ago, and the city now produces some remarkable brews. A visit to the Jackalope Taproom will show you just how talented our city’s brewmasters can be. If spirits are better suited to your fancy, schedule a tour of the Corsair distillery, which was recently recognized as one of the top craft distilleries in America.
If these don’t suit you, email me and we’ll figure something out. Just don’t waste a meal at a chain. Take advantage of the creative culinary culture that Nashville offers, and you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and best of luck to the [checks brief from Sam Bessey] Yellow Jackets and Rebels in the upcoming match.
Texas vs. Oregon
|Justin Froeber: Mac Brown resigns. Way too much disparity in the talent level. Ducks should’ve been playing against FSU for the national title but shot themselves in the foot twice. Oregon wins.
|Sam Bessey: Oh, what could have been. But Marcus is coming back so hope springs eternal. Oregon should win big against Texas. The Ducks learned their lesson after the embarrassing loss to Arizona and should be humble heading into the Alamodome. Will Texas pull off the upset and send Mack Brown out a winner? No. They will lose to Oregon. Again.
|Jon: If Oregon wasn’t excited to go to the Rose Bowl, I can’t imagine how they feel about going to Texas to play Texas in Mack Brown’s final game as head coach. That said, I think the Ducks will play with a chip on their shoulder, determined to make up for the late-season struggles and make a statement heading into 2014. (Marcus Mariota is COMING BACK!)|
|Donald Beeson: I’ll put my biases out front. I think Mack Brown is the whiniest coach in college football; I don’t like that he cheated on the mother of his children and then left her for his mistress; and I support the State of Texas through the tuition I pay in Lubbock, not Austin.With that out of my system, the Alamo Bowl has been orchestrated in favor of Texas. The game is being played about an hour from their home in Austin, and Texas fans will come out of the tumbleweeds to give Mack Brown a proper send-off. With a strong ending to what many thought would be a lackluster season, the Texas players will be playing to give Mack a happy ending.While things may be looking good for UT, looks can be deceiving. Their team grossly underachieves given the talent on the field. Plus they don’t have the confidence fans usually expect from the Longhorns. Some Texans say the UT football program has become a disgrace to the State of Texas. With all that said, Oregon is just too good to be stopped in the Alamo Bowl. Remember, they were in national championship talks late in the season. Marcus Mariota is easily a first-round pick quarterback, and I don’t see Texas being able to stop him. The well-dressed Ducks are too good for this mediocre Big 12 team. I’m picking Oregon in a blowout.|
Texas Tech vs. Arizona State
Duke vs. Texas A&M
Georgia vs. Nebraska
Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
Michigan State vs. Stanford
Baylor vs. UCF
Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Clemson vs. Ohio State
Florida State vs. Auburn
Remember your football teams aren’t the only ones competing for a National Title right now. Visit www.chipsi.org/AnnualFundChallenge to learn more about this year’s race to become Chi Psi’s National Champion. Check out all the stats and GIVE TODAY!