Bahamas Bowl (December 16, 11 AM ET, ESPN, Conference USA vs. MAC):
Western Kentucky vs. Bowling Green
New Orleans Bowl (December 16, 2:15 PM ET, ESPN, Conference USA vs. Sun Belt):
Liberty vs. James Madison
There is a very real possibility that Liberty goes 13-0 and misses the New Year’s Six. Their strongest non-conference win would be a win over either Bowling Green or Old Dominion and their best Conference USA win would be over Western Kentucky.
On the other hand, James Madison makes a bowl if there are not enough bowl eligible teams and I predict there will be one less team than needed to fill all the bowl slots. As a result, 12-0 meets 13-0 in the Superdome. Can we just call this the Sugar Bowl?
Cure Bowl (Orlando, FL) (December 16, 3:30 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
USF vs. Georgia Southern
New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM) (December 16, 5:45 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. Group of Five):
Wyoming vs. New Mexico State
LA Bowl (December 16, 7:30 PM ET, ABC, Mountain West #1 vs. PAC-12 #6):
UNLV vs. Arizona
Did anyone have UNLV in the LA Bowl at the start of the year? The Rebels can finish third in the Mountain West, but could still get the Mountain West’s most prestigious bowl. This is due to Fresno State playing in last year’s bowl and Air Force taking the Group of Five’s spot in the New Year’s Six.
Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) (December 16, 9:15 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #7 vs. Big 12 #7):
Iowa State vs. Washington State
Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 18, 2:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Coastal Carolina vs. Ohio
Frisco Bowl (Frisco, TX) (December 19, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Rice vs. Texas State
Boca Raton Bowl (December 21, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Georgia State vs. FAU
Gasparilla Bowl (December 22, 6:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):
Auburn vs. Tulane
Tulane needs to root for chaos in the Mountain West or maybe just a two-loss Mountain West team to win the conference to get the Group of Five New Year’s Six nod. Otherwise, a 12-1 Tulane squad could find themselves playing a Power Five team in an ESPN-owned bowl game.
Birmingham Bowl (December 23,12:00 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):
Toledo vs. South Alabama
Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, AL) (December 23, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sun Belt vs. MAC):
Eastern Michigan vs. Louisiana
Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, TX) (December 23, 3:30 PM ET, ABC, Army/Mountain West/AAC vs. Big 12 #7):
Fresno State vs. TCU
Fresno State controls its destiny for the Mountain West title and likely the New Year’s Six. If they do not win the conference title, the LA Bowl likely is not the destination for the Bulldogs, since they played there last year. As a result, a WAC reunion with former conference foe TCU is a solid consolation.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, ID) (December 23, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. MAC):
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois
68 Ventures Bowl (Mobile, AL) (December 23, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Jacksonville State vs. Troy
This is the first meeting in the Battle For the Ol’ School Bell since 2001. Jacksonville State leads the series 32-29-2.
Las Vegas Bowl (December 23, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #3 vs. Big Ten #4):
Iowa vs. UCLA
Hawaii Bowl (December 23, 10:30 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. AAC):
Boise State vs. UTSA
After voicing concern for Boise State’s bowl eligibility, I put the Broncos back in the Hawaii Bowl after a dominant win over Wyoming. The Broncos should squeak by with a 6-6 record and face another Group of Five riser, UTSA.
The options are already slim for the Hawaii Bowl, who does not like inviting teams that already visited the islands earlier in the season. This takes San Jose State, San Diego State, and Colorado State out of the equation.
Quick Lane Bowl (December 26, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, MAC vs. Big Ten #8):
Central Michigan vs. Minnesota
The Quick Lane Bowl will have its first Big Ten team since…Minnesota in 2018. This is also a rematch of the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl, which Minnesota won 21-14.
First Responder Bowl (December 26, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/Big 12):
West Virginia vs. SMU
Guaranteed Rate Bowl (December 26, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Big Ten vs. Big 12 #6):
Nebraska vs. BYU
Remember that time Tanner Mangum came off the bench and threw a Hail Mary to give BYU an upset win over Nebraska? People really forget the hold “Mangum Mania” had on America.
Military Bowl (Annapolis, MD) (December 27, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):
Navy vs. NC State
These two played eight times from 1911-1921, but the series took a hiatus from 1922-2001, until NC State randomly decided to play a one-off at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2002 (without a return trip).
Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, NC) (December 27, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. SEC):
Duke vs. Tennessee
Duke’s loss to Louisville makes their route to the ACC Championship Game and furthermore, the New Year’s Six, immensely tougher. Instead, Duke gets a spot in the Duke’s Mayo Classic, having not appeared in the Charlotte Bowl since 2012. The Duke’s Mayo Bowl has had a team from the Carolinas or Virginia in every edition since 2014, a staggering streak.
Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA) (December 27, 8:00 PM ET, FOX, PAC-12 #4 vs. ACC):
Miami vs. Oregon State
Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) (December, 27, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big 12 #4):
Texas A&M vs. Houston
Houston has not appeared in the Texas Bowl since 2007. The Aggies and Cougars have a strange series history with only 34 meetings, none from 1965 to 1975 and none since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1995.
Fenway Bowl (Boston, MA) (December 28, 11:00 AM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):
Syracuse vs. Memphis
Pinstripe Bowl (Bronx, NY) (December 28, 2:15 PM ET, ACC vs. Big Ten):
Boston College vs. Rutgers
The two former Big East rivals have 28 meetings between one another. Boston College leads the series 20-7-1, as the first meeting came in 1919.
Pop Tarts Bowl (Orlando, FL) (December 28, 5:45 PM ET, ACC vs. Big 12 #3):
North Carolina vs. Kansas
Alamo Bowl: (San Antonio, TX) (December 28, 9:15 PM ET, PAC-12 #2 vs. Big 12 #2):
USC vs. Oklahoma State
Gator Bowl: (Jacksonville, FL) (December 29, 12:00 PM ET, SEC vs. ACC):
Florida vs. Georgia Tech
Former SEC foes clash for the first time since 1981 and just the sixth time since Georgia Tech left the SEC in 1964. The Yellow Jackets hold the series edge, 23-9-6.
Sun Bowl: (El Paso, TX) (December 29, 2:00 PM ET, ACC vs. PAC-12 #5):
Clemson vs. Utah
Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN) (December 29, 3:30 PM ET, SEC vs. Big 12 #5):
Kansas State vs. Kentucky
Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) (December 30, 2:00 PM ET, SEC vs. Big Ten):
Missouri vs. Maryland
Arizona Bowl (Tucson, AZ) (December 30, 4:30 PM ET, Barstool, MAC vs. Mountain West):
Miami (OH) vs. Colorado State
Reliaquest Bowl (Tampa, FL) (January 1, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big Ten #3):
Notre Dame vs. LSU
Ohio State’s slot in the Orange Bowl unlocks a clause that allows Tampa’s Reliaquest Bowl to select an ACC team (or Notre Dame). Obviously, the bowl will not pass on the Fighting Irish here. This is a rematch of the 2018 Citrus Bowl, 2007 Sugar Bowl, and 1997 Independnence Bowl
Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ABC, SEC vs. Big Ten #2):
Ole Miss vs. Wisconsin
New Year’s Six:
Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX) (December 29, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN):
Texas vs. Penn State
Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) (December 30, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN):
Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Oh, look! A potential future SEC Championship Game pairing in Atlanta.
Orange Bowl (Miami, FL) (December 30, 4:00 PM ET):
Louisville vs. Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ESPN):
Oregon vs. Air Force
Talk about a contrast in styles. Two wins over a 10-3 Wyoming team with wins over Texas Tech and an 11-1 Fresno State squad with two Power Five wins could be enough for the Falcons to play their way into the New Year’s Six.
12-1 Tulane’s best win would be against a 10-3 Memphis team with no Power Five wins or a win over a 10-3 SMU team with a win over a hypothetical 9-3 Memphis to their name. This also is a rematch of the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl, which Oregon won 41-13.
College Football Playoff Semifinals
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) (January 1, 5:00 PM ET, ESPN)
#2 Michigan vs. #3 Washington
In the last year of the four-team format and the last year of the PAC-12 (as far as we know), a PAC-12/Big Ten Rose Bowl matchup is poetic. This is a rematch of the 1978, 1981, 1992, and 1993 Rose Bowls. The Rose Bowl series is even between the Huskies and Wolverines.
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) (January 1, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN)
#1 Georgia vs. #4 Florida State