Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were like mine: full of family, friends, good cheer and spiked nog. For Christmas, Santa left me a bowl full of jelly. What did you get?

Speaking of bowls, New Orleans hosts the 77th annual Sugar Bowl tonight when the University of Arkansas plays Ohio State. I love to handicap college football games by carefully analyzing the merits of each team’s mascots, and factoring in ominous current events that might foretoken disaster for a particular football squad.

I’m not an expert in the apocalypse or millenarianism or end times, but you don’t have to be Nostradamus to know that when thousands of dead blackbirds fall out of the Arkansas sky, that can’t be good. (“Natural State” my tuches.)  Weirder still, the dead bird phenomenon is creeping down through Louisiana, seemingly following the Razorback team like a Biblical curse.

Needless to say, falling dead birds don’t combine well with sharp, erect hog’s hair. The Razorbacks will crumble under the weight of this bad juju.

Conversely, the stars seem to be aligning for Ohio State since their mascot –  a creepy humanoid nut named Brutus – will lead rabid Buckeye fans only hours before Ohio Rep. John Boehner ascends to the House Speakership to lead the new Republican majority. That can’t be just a coincidence.

If you didn’t see last night’s Orange Bowl between Stanford and Virginia Tech, you’re in Luck. (Meaning, the second half was a blowout and you didn’t miss much.) Now, I’ve spent much of the day trying to confirm post-game rumors that Stanford and Virginia Tech might stop in New Orleans on their way home to watch the Sugar Bowl and do some good works in the area. For example, one of my sources said Stanford planned to donate their Christmas Tree mascot to South Louisiana for coastal restoration purposes. Not to be outdone, the Virginia Tech Hokies planned to donate their latest turkey-scanning technology to local airports, to prevent future shutdowns like the recent one in Lafayette, when a mistaken frozen turkey initiated a scene that one  KATC reporter likened to a “Die Hard” movie.

How ‘bout them tigers? I figure since wild tigers have at least 15 years before they become extinct, the near term future looks bright for schools such as LSU and Auburn. The Tiger that burns twice as bright, burns half as long – or something like that.

Cotton Bowl: You might think that an agricultural school like Texas A&M might have the upper hand over LSU in a bowl named after an agricultural commodity. But not so fast. Lest we forget, LSU A&M is also an agricultural school. The experts think the Aggies will hang tough because the game is in Dallas, but I expect the Tigers to prevail by at least a touchdown, unLes they do something stupid late in the fourth quarter.

… Actually that potentiality might make this game a push. LSU football is like a box of chocolates; almost always deliciously entertaining, even (especially?) when they melt down. That’s why it’s so difficult to figure this WSJ article, as it claims that LSU has a negative effect on TV viewership in their bowl games. How is that possible?

Nonetheless, I’m applying the same feline logic to the national championship game, where I expect the Auburn University Tigers to beat the vaunted Oregon Duck quack attack. Oregon also goes by the nickname “Gang Green”, but Zsa Zsa Gabor’s infected leg has drained the energy from this moniker in recent days, so I expect the War Tigers to prevail.

One last item: months ago, I tried to warn you about Capital One’s insidious alliance with barbaric Vikings, and how it was creating problems for New Orleans. You didn’t listen. And now, during recent NFL telecasts, we see a hideous new Capital One ad chronicling a viking invasion of New Orleans: vikings are shown running amok, dabbling into voodoo, and disrupting Carnival parades. New Orleans legend Deacon John is forced to sing with a scatting goat (the singing kind of scat, that is).

Have you had enough, yet?

Please resolve in 2011 to pay closer attention to my columns, before this city gets completely infiltrated by barbaric outsiders.

Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and...