If you follow college football, you're probably bowled over (get it?) by the Rose, Fiesta and Sugar by now. Well, the fun ain't over yet! The two top undefeated teams go head to head in the FedEx Orange Bowl 2005 National Championship in Miami tonight. The University of Southern California Trojans (2003 co-champs) will square off against the Oklahoma University Sooners (2000 champs). Catch the game and some sweet deals at these spots.
If you practically bleed crimson and cream, check out the official Oklahoma University Club of Chicago hangout. Count the Sooners' sacks on 150 TVs, including 15 big screens. Munch on free queso dip at halftime (who's going to watch Ashlee Simpson's performance anyway?) and drink $4 frozen margarita-sangria swirls. Just don't get a brain freeze because you'll want to sing the fight song with the hundreds of Sooner alumni and fans. (Oh yeah, Sooner is the nickname for the cheaters who got a head start claiming the Oklahoma Territory in the Land Run of 1889.)
Lion Head Pub
Get decked out in your Trojan gear (no, not that Trojan!) and hit this Lincoln Park spot to hang with the USC bandwagon and Midwest Alumni Club. You'll find yourself swimming in a sea of cardinal and gold as you wave your Southern Cal flags and watch the team play Oklahoma on 14 TVs, including four big screens. Nosh on $1 burgers, and wash 'em down with $2.50 domestic and import drafts. Or, if you really want to party, grab a table-topper--96 ounces of suds ($15-$22). Score!
Since one of the owners of this Ukrainian Village bar hails from Oklahoma, expect lots of crimson and cream. Wear your OU garb and knock five bucks off your $40 entry. You'll get an Oklahoma barbecue buffet and game-time open bar. Grab a raffle ticket to win Sooner stuff during halftime (again, who cares about Ashlee Simpson?). If you don't want to shell out 40 clams, then just get the buffet for $12.95 and take advantage of drink specials such as $2 Lonestar bottles and $3 Jim Beam you-call-it cocktails.
Hawkeye's Bar and Grill
Though this Little Italy bar draws more of a UIC crowd, it's only one letter away from USC, so fugeddaboutit and enjoy the game on 11 TVs. It's also "South of the Border Night," so down $3 Corona bottles and $14 margarita pitchers. Beef tacos are only a buck and other Mexican-inspired food specials are available. Or, throw back a few $1.75 bottles of Miller High Life.
For sports fans just looking for a place to kick back, this Edgewater neighborhood pub has 13 TVs, $1.25 beef or chicken tacos and $1.75 16-ounce Miller Light or MGD pints. The kitchen stays open until midnight, so you can satisfy your hunger for football without having to go on a liquid diet.
Karen Budell is a metromix special contributor.