"The Stack" 1-2-20

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passed away on New Year's Day at the age of 77. Stern was commissioner of the NBA for over 30 years and took the league from uncertainty to unprecedented levels of popularity globally.

The Stack is back on this Thursday and weren’t those bowl games good yesterday? The Rose Bowl game especially, but congrats to Minnesota on winning the Outback Bowl. Row The Boat is alive and well and strong. We have more bowl games to pick & more so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Thursday, January 2nd:

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passes away

Sad news to report and pass along out of the NBA where former commissioner David Stern passed away on New Year’s Day at the age of 77. Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage three weeks ago while having lunch in New York and went in for surgery. Unfortunately he did not recover. Stern was commissioner of the NBA for over 30 years and he is directly responsible for the reason the NBA is alive and well and thriving as it is today. They were on the verge of bankruptcy and Stern guided the ship into the profitable league it is today. He grew the game internationally. He got the star players. He grew the NBA from 23 teams to 30 teams. Did he do everything wonderfully? No. But his legacy and his work with the NBA cannot be overstated. Thoughts & prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.

Ticketsmarter Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham, AL)

6-6 Boston College VS 10-3 #21 Cincinnati 3 PM ET ESPN

B.C. is a very inconsistent team. Apart from running back A.J. Dillon, there isn’t much reason to think they will win this game. If Cincinnati shows up and plays motivated, which may be difficult considering they lost in the AAC Championship game, they should win this game pretty easily.

Predicted winner: Cincinnati

Confidence points: Mid 30s

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL)

8-4 Indiana VS 7-5 Tennessee 7 PM ET ESPN

Somehow, someway, Tennessee righted the ship and got to bowl eligibility. It sure didn’t look like that was going to happen the way the season started out. Indiana is a great story and they have a good offense. If their defense can play good enough in this game, I think Indiana emerges victorious.

Predicted winner: Indiana

Confidence points: Upper teens

Coming up Friday: NFL Wild Card picks plus Bowl picks