Starting this Saturday, we have football pretty much every day until January 4th (including NFL games). How awesome is that? Unfortunately, since the college football season was pretty average, the bowls this year are pretty bland when you look up and down the schedule. Thankfully, there are a few that stand out to the naked eye, so I’ve hand-picked the 10 best games you absolutely don’t want to miss this bowl season.
Las Vegas Bowl
Utah vs. BYU
Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3:30 PM on ABC
What do you get when you take a Mormon school and pit them against a university in a predominantly Mormon state? You get the Mormon Bowl. And of course you have to put them in the Las Vegas Bowl because what’s better than a bunch of Mormons meeting up in Sin City? It’s just one giant tease for them. Ohhh look at all these shiny things. No touching! As far as the game is concerned, Utah started out hot and then dropped quick and I know nothing about BYU except their starting QB is made of glass and missed the season after their big win against Nebraska.
Russell Athletic Bowl
North Carolina vs. Baylor
Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 PM on ESPN
If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of offense. Art Briles is one of the best offensive minds in the country, and Larry Fedora can put some points on the board as well. I really hope that one of Baylor’s 3 QBs can come back and throw about 10 TDs to Corey Coleman so my mid-season prediction that he’d break Troy Edwards’ record of the most receiving TDs in a single season can be correct. So I’ll need UNC to score a lot too. The points will be going up on a Tuesday. I’ll see myself out.
Texas Tech vs. LSU
Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 9:00 PM on ESPN
Do you like watching NFL-ready running backs rush for a billion yards? Then you’ll love the Texas Bowl. Texas Tech can’t stop the run, as evidenced in all of their games this season, and LSU’s defense isn’t the dominant force it once was. Expect a lot of points to be put up in the Texas sky as Leonard Fournette runs for probably half a thousand and like 8 TDs while Patrick Mahomes throws for half a thousand yards and about 5 TDs.
Houston vs. Florida State
Thursday, Dec. 31 at Noon on ESPN
On paper, this one looks like Houston will be FSU and Dalvin Cook’s punching bag. But Houston is no girl and first-year coach Tom Herman has the Cougars making waves. The other team from Texas that no one talks about because of how shitty a city Houston is, the Cougars are led by Greg Ward Jr. and the kid can flat out ball. Florida State on the flip side just hasn’t been that impressive, but that’s because I don’t watch them, and, without Jameis, ESPN isn’t all over them. Either way, this will be a good one to start your day off right.
College Football Semifinal 1: Orange Bowl
Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Thursday, Dec. 31 at 4:00 PM on ESPN
While we don’t get to see “Big Game Bob” Stoops take on an SEC team in round one, we do get a pretty juicy matchup in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. Clemson has been riding their number one ranking for the last few months, while Oklahoma has had to earn their way back into the conversation after an embarrassing loss to a Texas team that had to beg for Tulsa’s OC to be theirs. The real battle is going to come down to who dances better: Baker Mayfield or Dabo Swinney. This game should be all the excitement you need to have the energy to make it past the next one.
College Football Semifinal 2: Cotton Bowl
Alabama vs. Michigan State
Thursday, Dec. 31 at 8:00 PM on ESPN
The playoff committee deprived us of a classic Alabama-Oklahoma showdown in round one because they didn’t want OU to play a “home” game. Like Alabama fans wouldn’t travel to Dallas anyway because they have nothing better to do than fill up my uptown bars to make them more crowded than usual. Instead, they let us watch two power offenses go against two defenses designed to stop the power offense. Thank God they scheduled this one for the night cap when New Year’s Eve parties start to heat up. This one will be a snoozer. Probably a 17-3 type of game where Bama is in total control.
Michigan vs. Florida
Friday, January 1 at 1:00 PM on ABC
Around 1:00pm on New Years, you will be waking up with an excruciating hangover, half a bottle of champagne in your bed, and hopefully some girl you impregnated. What better way to start your 2016 than watching Jim Harbaugh coach in a bowl game? Jimbo brings some excitement to any game that he coaches in, and I expect that he’ll bring the fireworks to this one. Plus, for some reason, ABC announcers have loved to call Michigan games to see how many times they can say Jake Butt’s name. That’s 5th grade humor, ABC. C’mon now.
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Friday, January 1 at 1:00 PM on ESPN
This matchup is going to be a headache for anyone who follows one of their fans on social media. If you follow some from both schools, God bless you. After spending much of the season going on and on about how their school deserves to be in the College Football Playoff, both of them were left out because they lost. Now we get the Complainers’ Bowl where fans can talk about how they got snubbed by the voters. The only bad thing about this game is that whoever wins will say they deserve a few AP first place votes.
Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
Friday, January 1 at 8:30 PM on ESPN
This one gets a little more interesting if Robert Nkemdiche gets in trouble for his pot possession. The Sugar Bowl this year is the equivalent of a participation trophy for the College Football Playoff. Congrats on getting second place! Now you can pretend that this game actually matters! Both teams collapsed in November to land in this bowl. Ole Miss let Arkansas convert a 4th and 25 to keep them from winning the SEC West and Oklahoma State got throttled by Baylor’s third string QB and then again by Baker Mayfield. It’ll be a good game, but no one will remember who won 5 years down the road.
TCU versus Oregon
Saturday, January 2 at 6:45 PM on ESPN
Before you pack up your shit to head back to the promise land that is your college campus, tune into the Alamo Bowl. The game will feature plenty of offense and plenty of style points in terms of jerseys. You know Phil Knight and Nike are going to suit these teams up in some pretty sick unis. With the style of play both teams have, this game could end in the 70s — which would be awesome. Plus, the cheerleaders..
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