The college football bowl season kicks off on Friday. The 42-race marathon will last three weeks and conclude with a national championship on Jan. 9.
Of course, the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six always grab the headlines, but don’t overlook the other bowl games, either. Some of the most compelling storylines and matchups come from these 35 games. Below, I break down five bowl games that I think college football fans should be watching. The reasons vary, but they all should provide great holiday entertainment.
Duluth Trading Cure Bowl – No. 23 Troy (11-2) v. No. 22 UTSA (11-2)
Friday, December 16 at 3pm ET
The only bowl game to feature a pair of conference champions featured the nation’s 12th-ranked offensive scorer against the No. 8 defensive scorer. This is a great way to start bowl season.
UTSA wins C-USA title again under coach of the year, Jeff Traylor. Redshirt Senior Quarterback . Frank Harris Throws for 300 yards seven times this season (a UTSA record) and sets a single-game record against Middle Tennessee with 414 yards. Harris also completed 71.1 percent of his passes. The Roadrunners averaged 38.7 points and their only losses came against ranked opponents (24th-ranked Houston and 20th-ranked Texas in overtime on Wednesday 1).
Troy is in a bowl game for the first time since 2018. The Sun Belt champions have the No. 8 scoring defense in the nation (17.54 points per game).senior linebacker Carlton Martial Arts Set Sun Belt and NCAA career tackles records (564) and earned SBC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Trojans had 75.5 tackles for loss and a league-best 39 sacks.Sophomore Defensive End TJ Jackson Leads with 14.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks.Sun Belt Coach of the Year Jon Samrall Will try to lead the Trojans to their first 12-win season since 1996.
Mustard Fenway Bowl – Louisville (7-5) v. Cincinnati (9-3)
Saturday, December 17 at 11:00 AM EST
Should this be renamed The Bowl of Awkwardness?
Day after Louisville and Cincinnati accepted Fenway Cup invites, Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield Run to open positions in Cincinnati. luke fickleI’ve accepted the Wisconsin job, and obviously Satterfield can’t wait to get out of the ACC for the Big 12 conference. Louisville has barely broken a .500 winning percentage (25-24) in four years at Satterfield, so the exit may be lingering. But leaving before the bowl game and telling the team via Zoom really made it sour.The Cardinals will also be without a quarterback Malik Cunninghamrun back Thion Evans and wide receiver taylor hudson Everyone opts out.
Former Louisville wide receiver and current director of player development Dean Branch Will direct the bowl game.Cincinnati will lean on special teams coach Kerry Combs Before former Purdue coach Jeff Brohm took over as head coach. Louisville and Cincinnati will also share the sideline because the game is played at the ballpark. If emotions are running high, things can get very interesting on and off the pitch.
San Diego Credit Union Holiday Cup — Oregon (9-3) v. North Carolina (9-4)
Wednesday, December 28 at 8:00 PM ET
If power attacks are your thing, look no further. Oregon is averaging nearly 40 points per game and North Carolina is averaging 35 points per game.
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oregon quarterback bonix revived his career in Eugene. The Auburn transfer completed 71 percent of its pass attempts for 3,388 yards, 27 touchdowns and six interceptions. FWAA Second Team All-American Center alex forsyth A solid offensive line has kept the Knicks upright, allowing four sacks all season. The Ducks went on to play in the College Football Playoff, but a loss in the regular season final kept them out of the Pac-12 tournament. All-Pac-12 Defensive Back Christian Gonzalez Has opted out of the bowl game.
North Carolina had a similar postseason trajectory until a three-game losing streak, including a 39-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC title game, tempered expectations. Still, the Tar Heels had their first double-digit win since 2015.red shirt freshmen drake meyer Lights up opposing defenses and sneaks into Heisman’s conversation. Maye was named ACC Player of the Year with 4,115 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions.wide angle receiver josh downs Opting out to prepare for the NFL draft means North Carolina can start preparing for a future game against Oregon.
TaxAct Texas Bowl – Texas Tech (7-5) v. Ole Miss (8-4)
Wednesday, December 28 at 9:00 PM EST
You might have to do some channel flipping to catch another high-scoring event.
Texas Tech exceeded expectations under first-year head coach Joey McGuire and could end it with an SEC win. The Red Raiders finished ninth in the preseason media poll. Instead, Texas Tech is 5-4, fourth in the league, averaging 33 points and finishing the regular season with a three-game winning streak. Doing so with a new starting quarterback almost every week due to injury (or at least it feels like it) is quite a feat.Advanced taylor shaw Will play against Ole Miss. Original starter Shough missed six games but still threw for 1,062 yards.
Ole Miss struggled late in the season, going 1-4 in their last five games and missing out on a second straight 10-win season. The offense remains strong, averaging 34 points per game and ranks seventh in the country in total offense (491 yards per game).Freshmen run back Quincy Judkins and junior high school Zach Evans Combined for 2,437 yards and 24 touchdowns. In fact, Ole Miss is the only team in the country with two players rushing for 850 yards.all american left back Nick Brook Helps open the run hole and doesn’t allow a sack in the 505 block snap.
Valero Alamo Bowl – Texas (8-4) v. Washington (10-2)
Thursday, December 29 at 9:00 PM ET
Big-name quarterbacks also headlined the game, but only one lived up to the preseason hype.
washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.. Worked some magic in Seattle this season. The Huskies had their first 10-win season since 2018, and Pennyx Jr.’s name kept popping up in Heisman Trophy discussions. Indiana leads the nation in passing yards (4,354), throws for 29 touchdowns and ranks 19th in pass efficiency. While Utah beat USC in the Pac-12 title game, Washington likely missed the Rose Bowl Invitational. Penix Jr. and the Huskies are ready to go all out and compete for the Pac-12 title next season. A win over Texas will power 2023.
texas quarterback quinn evers After missing three games with a collarbone injury, he was never on track again. Ewers flashed what made him the first freshman to graduate from high school in 2021, but a 56 percent completion rate dimmed those performances a bit.Has a five-star quarterback Arch Manning In 2023, Ewers needs a big game to prove this is his team.with running back billan robinson and Roshin Johnson By opting out to focus on the NFL draft, Ewers should have plenty of opportunities to “prove it.”linebacker DeMarvion Excessively Displayed Also opted to skip the bowl game.
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