By: Jack on December 29th, 2017
…And some other completely hypothetical deciding factors.
A few weeks ago, a debate was sparked in a group chat I belong to. Who would win in a fight? A Grizzly Bear, or a Silverback Gorilla? It’s been hypothesized before, but we decided to take it on for ourselves.
It’s a fun argument to have if you and your group of friends are obsessed with the idea of winning arguments that have no practical purpose, and can also never be tested due to environmental, ethical, financial, and legal reasons.
The real crux of the initial argument came down to bite strength. If one of these two giants of the animal kingdom got their jaws around the other who would win?
Turns out this is closer than one might expect. A Grizzly Bear is reported to have a bite strength about 1,100-1,200 PSI. While Silverback Gorillas chomp in at 1,200-1,300 PSI.
On any given day you might have a particularly determined Grizzly, and a gorilla that is feeling a bit under the weather. Maybe it had a bad weight cut going into the fight. Who knows?
Our final determination, based of little to no scientific evidence mind you, was that a Silverback Gorilla would win in a fight vs a Grizzly Bear. With the main sticking point being that a Silverback Gorilla is far more dexterous.
If it gets the back its all over.
It’s Nate Diaz Choking out Conor McGregor all over again.
Ramblings on the great gorilla vs grizzly showdown might have you wondering; what does this have to do with the New Year’s Six bowl games?
The answer simply is I like college football, I like animals, I like hypotheticals that can be turned in a flame war. So here goes nothing.
Cotton Bowl – No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 8 USC — Dec. 29, 8:30pm ET
The Ohio State Buckeyes Vs. the USC Trojans. A battle of ancient warriors’ vs a plant known to botanist as the Aesculus with some subspecies known colloquially as buckeyes or horse chestnuts.
A softball question is always a good way to get things rolling.
The Trojan army was one of the most feared military forces in the ancient world. More importantly for our purposes they were humans at their core, and the average human has a bite strength of 171 pounds. (Fun fact, your muscular bite strength is greater than this by a good amount, but your teeth give out first.)
A buckeye doesn’t have a mouth which is a highly limiting factor in its bite strength. If we’re giving them a fair shake though according to the USDA the Aesculus is moderately toxic… But only if ingested which is going to be highly unlikely to happen to any Trojans.
In a real effort to give The Buckeyes a fair shake a Buckeye is also a delicious confection. What can you do when eating a delicious confection?
That’s right, choke to death.
The bad news… The odds of anyone choking to death are placed somewhere around 1 in 100 thousand. The Cotton Bowl seats 92,100. Meaning it is highly unlikely that even a single person in the building that night chokes to death. (Not that we’d want them to.)
USC takes this easily.
Fiesta Bowl – No. 9 Penn State vs. No. 11 Washington — Dec. 30, 4pm ET
A battle of the Nittany Lions and the Huskies. More specifically a battle of the Cougar (aka Mountain Lions aka Nittany Lions) vs Siberian Huskies.
A Cougar checks in with a bite strength of around 350 PSI. Often putting it in the top 25 of animals with the hardest bite according to some less than scientific sources who maybe looked at scientific sources. Interestingly though Siberian Huskies are reported to have a bite strength clamping in at about 320 PSI. Thus, we have another gorilla vs grizzly problem.
They are both in the same neighborhood when it comes to bite strength, so who wants it more? Because on the any given Sunday principle either one could come out victorious going off bite strength alone.
As always, you’ve got to consider some outside factors though.
A small Cougar is more than double the size of a healthy male Siberian Husky. They are also elite, stealthy hunter in the wild. They are quick and agile moving over rough terrain and climbing trees with ease. They are a true apex predator.
Conversely the Siberian Husky is nothing to scoff at. With a killer bite, faster than average running speeds, and a pack mentality they use for hunting and safety. If a group of Huskies could corner a Cougar it could be bad news for said Cougar.
So, who wins in the battle of Nittany Lions Vs Washington Huskies?
Going to give this one to the Nittany Lions. It would/will be a close one but the tremendous bite strength of the Nittany Lions and predatory edge in the wild allows them to edge out the Huskies ever so slightly.
Orange Bowl: No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Miami — Dec. 30, 8pm ET
The Orange Bowl, a matchup of Badgers Vs. a force of nature, an act of god, a hurricane!
What can possibly be said about this one. It doesn’t even matter what the bite strength of any given badger species is because a hurricane can hardly bite back. Or be bitten for that matter!
What a hurricane can do is really ruin your week, or year, or in some cases ruin entire decades of economic prosperity for a region. Not that a badger really cares about economic prosperity.
The American Badger typically found in Wisconsin doesn’t even have a territorial range that gets anywhere particularly close to places hurricanes often occur.
However the Japanese Badger, Chinese Ferret-Badger, and Honey Badger all live in regions which can be afflicted by typhoons. Which are sort of like hurricanes but not.
The point here being that badgers of one form or another have long withstood heavily amount of water being dumped from the sky from extended periods of time with sustained gale force winds. Every hurricane ever has dissipated eventually, even if it caused some problems in the interim.
Conclusion, Wisconsin walks away from the Orange Bowl victorious.
Peach Bowl: No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 12 UCF — Jan. 1, 12:30pm ET
UCF is the Knights. Auburn can’t make up their mind as to what they are. Are they the tigers, or is it War Eagle? Commit to something.
Mascot angst aside a Knight is similar to a Trojan, both of which are just humans. As covered already humans have a bite strength of around 171 PSI.
A tiger is a new one for us though. According to National Geographic Tigers all exert a bite force of around 1000 PSI. Auburn has a tiger, and an Eagle. A Bald Eagle can’t do much in the way of bite strength, but it could be a good distraction while a tiger tries to maul you to death. If the two could somehow manage to work in tandem. Which is unlikely.
Now a Knight does have the advantage of being up armored, and they usually have a sword. Which could do inflict some serious damage to an eagle or a tiger. One wrong move and its game over for the tigers. The armor though will make it harder to maneuver which could be a disadvantage around an animal as agile as a tiger.
Tiger attacks against humans have been a documented issue for some time now as well. This isn’t to say that humans never kill tigers, but they seem to have a certain propensity for succeeding in doing so more often than a lot of other animals.
To close this one out Auburn will emerge victorious in the Peach Bowl. UCF shouldn’t be counted out though because one lucky swing of a sword could change everything. Figuratively speaking.
Rose Bowl: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Georgia — Jan. 1, 5pm ET
Boomer Sooner vs the Bulldogs in a showdown between ponies and a breed of dog so ugly its cute. In a Rose Bowl that is departing from tradition with a Big 12 Vs SEC team playing for the lower seed of the CFB Final.
How hard a pony can bite is a data point that is somewhat hard to come by. It is also somewhat hard to track down how hard a horse bites. What is known is they aren’t particularly pleasant to experience, albeit not that powerful. At least in comparison to a lot of other animals.
In digging for how hard horses bite a few National Institute of Health articles turned up making note of horses biting so hard they break bone. This is rare however and the preferred method of attack for most horses (and ponies) is to simply kick or stomp their assailant.
After all most people are well aware of the stereotypical guy who got kicked by a horse and was never quite the same.
As for the Bulldog. They are able to chomp down with a force of 305 PSI. Making them one of the weaker mascots thus far but still a decent contender.
How does a Bulldog standup to a pony though? Dogs both as individuals and in packs have been known to take down horses from time to time and a pony is basically just a horse but of lesser stature. Two ponies might appear to be difficult but we’ve all seen the movies. As soon as something goes sideways the horses panic and gallop off into the horizon.
Maybe a pony lands a lucky kick on a Bulldog and changes the entire outcome. It seems far more likely that one pony it put under pressure while they other hightails it out of there. Leaving a single pony to fend for itself against a dog capable of taking it down.
Georgia walks away champions of The Rose Bowl.
Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama — Jan. 1, 8:45pm ET
Finally, the matchup we’ve all wanted three years in a row. The Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. the Clemson Tigers. Alabama might be The Crimson Tide but they’ve got a large pachyderm on their side in the form of Big Al (Get it? Al, Alabama.)
For those of you keeping score at home tiger, bite strength, 1000psi, we got it.
Elephants, much like a pony, hard to find how hard they can bite.
Much like the badger though the elephant doesn’t need a ton of bite strength to overcome its assailants. They are large, muscular, thick skinned, pack animals who have little to no real predators. Once in a blue moon the smaller ones have to fight off lions. That’s lions with an s, as in multiple lions.
Tigers are animals that often (if note exclusively) hunt on their own. A single tiger is likely no match for an Elephant. Which is why, as painful as it is to say, Alabama walks away with this one.
And even worse is this means that by the transitive property they also win another national championship.
…Thanks for playing.