This You Gotta See: Bears-Chiefs, Bulls-Magic, Blackhawks-Isles and the CFB playoff
Some of us said all year that Ohio State was the best team in the land. Some of us meant it, too. But then Clemson got locked in — hoo, boy, that’s scary. This is, hands down, the game of the year to date in college football.
Stars at Wolves(3 p.m., My 50): Whether or not you’ve caught visiting Texas in action before, act like this ain’t your first rodeo and git on over to Allstate Arena all early-like — the Stanley Cup will be on display beginning at 2 sharp. The names of 45 former Wolves players are engraved on that sucker, if you can believe it.
Cowboys at Eagles(3:25 p.m., Fox-32): Despite their most earnest efforts to fade into oblivion, both teams are 7-7 and tied for first in the NFC East. Who’s the best of the worst? And will Jerry Jones throw batteries at his own players if they lose?
Chiefs at Bears(7:20 p.m., Ch. 5): Some say nothing is on the line for the eliminated-from-playoff-contention Bears, but what about pride? Dignity? The very soul of a city? Look, that’s no more of a reach than trading up to No. 2 to draft Mitch Trubisky.
Bulls at Magic(6 p.m., NBCSCH): Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, Jonathan Isaac — stop us when you’ve heard of any of Orlando’s leading scorers this season. Yes, it’s another one of those games the Bulls ought to win if only they can be bothered to try really hard at basketball.
Packers at Vikings(7:15 p.m., ESPN): Green Bay (9-3) needs a “W” in either of its last two games to clinch the NFC North. Minnesota (10-4) has zero interest in letting that happen on its home turf. This is just about as good as a Monday-nighter gets this time of year, whether Bears fans can stomach it or not.
Clippers at Lakers(7 p.m., Ch. 7, ESPN): The NBA’s annual Christmas Day quintuple-header puts hoops on the table all day and night, but this is the game everyone will be watching. Except, of course, for Cousin Earl, who’ll be passed out under the tree long before pie is served.
Holiday Bowl: Iowa vs. USC(7 p.m., FS1): This one almost has a whiff of the Rose Bowl, doesn’t it? At least, it reeks delightfully of Big Ten vs. Pac-12 rivalry. Subplot: Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz, who has his job forever if he wants it, faces Trojans coach Clay Helton, who’s at most a half-step from being fired. Happy Holiday!
Islanders at Blackhawks(7:30 p.m., NBCSCH): Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Isles are one of the top teams in the NHL. We’ll go out on a limb and guess you’ve noticed that the Hawks are not. The show goes on.
Camping World Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Iowa State(11 a.m., Ch. 7): No disrespect to the Cyclones, who have a capable offense and a defense that has come up big all season, but this one boils down to how ready Brian Kelly can get the Irish to play a “meaningless” game. Prediction: Ready Irish by 14. alternative prediction: Unready Irish by minus-7.
Peach Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma (3 p.m., ESPN): The No. 1 Tigers are led by Heisman-winning QB Joe Burrow, who once flamed out at Ohio State. The No. 4 Sooners are led by QB Jalen Hurts, who won it all at Alabama before losing his job there. Not one sports redemption story, but two of them! Man, we love those.
Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson(7 p.m., ESPN): Some of us said all year that the Buckeyes were the best team in the land. Some of us meant it, too. But then the Tigers got locked in — hoo, boy, that’s scary. This is, hands down, the game of the year to date in college football.