There are 41 college football bowl games this season if you include the Celebration Bowl and the CFP National Championship. Might as well at this point right? Before I get too deep into the schedule, let me divert your attention momentarily….I plan to do another “If I Ran the Bowl Games” post at some point in the next week. Should be fun right? I enjoy doing that post, feeling all high and mighty and then realizing my plans for change will never come to fruition. Oh well.
Amazingly enough TSN has their whole bowl schedule up! Then again, when I thought that last year, they ended up changing some games and one game never appeared on the guide, showed up anyway in SD, then disappeared in the second quarter for good. Fun times. Not really. Let’s get on with this!
Saturday December 16th
|Celebration Bowl: Grambling vs. North Carolina A&T||Noon|
Bowl season starts, once again, with the Celebration Bowl between the two FCS HBCU conference champions. Funny thing here is that North Carolina A&T was ranked in the top 10 near the end of the season. I wish they would just sack up and give it a go in the FCS Playoffs. Can you imagine an HBCU school getting to, say, the semi-finals? Or even the quarters? The SWAC and MEAC already do usually lead FCS in attendance so this could be huge for attendance and ESPN. By the way, remember how last year’s Celebration Bowl ended? That’s right…with an excessive celebration penalty that led to a blocked extra point which lead to Grambling’s one point victory. Irony.
|New Orleans Bowl: North Texas vs. Troy||1:00 PM|
And here starts TSN’s foray into bowl season. It’s actually better than last year for non-specialty pack citizens. Last year was brutal. Pretty much half the bowl games went to the specialty pack. Will be a lot less this time. Also, this is some CLASSIC Sun Belt action from the mid-2000s. Yay, nostalgia!
|Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State||2:30 PM|
It seems that this game is pretty much universally considered the worst bowl game of this season. Georgia State is here for a second year in a row I think. Right? No, wait it isn’t. It was the inaugural game two years ago. That’s it. Anyway at least the proceeds for this game are going to charity which is a good thing.
|Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon vs. Boise State||3:30 PM|
In terms of pre-Christmas bowl games this is the tops. This is almost always a good matchup as the Mountain West sends their champ and the Pac-12 doesn’t send their worst bowl team. Kind of the way it should be for all G-5 champs’ bowl games but nonetheless. Hopefully the hype matches the actual game.
|New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State vs. Marshall||4:30 PM|
It’s opening day for bowl games so I will watch this. I know I will. Plus, the New Mexico Bowl is usually a fun game and these two teams can definitely bring the offense so take the over.
|Camellia Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State||8:00 PM|
It feels like these two teams are always in bowl games. They need to get their chance against Power Five teams in the postseason. Anyway, should be a fun one between two teams with head coaches who I am surprised haven’t left for better conferences.
Tuesday December 19th
|Boca Raton Bowl: Akron vs. Florida Atlantic||7:00 PM|
It’s the Lane Kiffin Bowl! The Fighting Kiffins get to stay home for the holidays so hopefully they get a good crowd for some LaneBall (actually that sounds like a bowling knockoff). Anyway, FAU is going to try to put up a bunch of points so let’s see how the Zips fare in this one.
Wednesday December 20th
|Frisco Bowl: SMU vs. Louisiana Tech||8:00 PM|
For people railing against this game being played in a soccer stadium, remember two things:
- This stadium has been used for the FCS Championship the past few years and it looks like a good stadium. Not too big so the fans will feel close to the game.
- The Chargers play in a soccer stadium and, ya know what, forget this point.
UPDATE: The Frisco Bowl has been taken off TSN2 and put on the specialty pack.
Thursday December 21st
|Gasparilla Bowl: FIU vs. Temple||8:00 PM|
More like GAH!sparilla am I right? Ugh, I can’t believe they continue to have a bowl game at this hellhole. The Trop is a fucking joke. I mean I will watch this game (or at least parts of it) but I still can’t stand a field that looks worse than an inner-city football field that hasn’t been tended to in months. And it’s turf for fuck’s sake! Can’t they replace it?
Friday December 22nd
|Bahamas Bowl: UAB vs. Ohio||12:30 PM|
This is one of my pet peeves with bowl season. Are there too many bowl games? Absolutely. But that doesn’t bother me much. This does. An early afternoon game on the Friday before Christmas? Who the fuck is going to watch this? Bowl games are supposed to be national showcases for teams, not PVR showcases. Glad to see UAB here though so I will definitely watch (much later on).
|Idaho Potato Bowl: Wyoming vs. Central Michigan||4:00 PM|
This isn’t a whole lot better but at least you could probably see the second half live depending on what you do for a living. All I know is this game will be cold. At least it isn’t on at night like last year’s affair. Although that’s part of what it made so hilariously awesome!
Saturday December 23rd
|Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech vs. USF||Noon|
This should be a good game as USF is still an exciting team to watch. And Texas Tech is, well, Texas Tech. Expect a lot of points here.
|Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. San Diego State||3:30 PM|
I estimate this will have about 900 yards of rushing between these two teams and the game should be done by 6:00. This is also the first bowl that hits the specialty pack as we start getting closer to World Juniors time.
|Dollar General Bowl: Toledo vs. Appalachian State||7:00 PM|
G-5 Champ-on-G-5 Champ Violence! One of the very few good games that people are looking forward to before Christmas. Looks like an evenly matched game and a bit more of a must-watch at this time of the year.
Sunday December 24th
|Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Houston||8:30 PM|
The annual Present Wrapping Bowl! Isn’t that what most parents (who are also college football fans) do during this bowl?
Tuesday December 26th
|Heart of Dallas Bowl: West Virginia vs. Utah||1:30 PM|
Arguably one of the worst P5 vs. P5 bowl games and it’s still a good game. These two teams last met like three-quarters of a century ago in Atlantic City. Yeah. I can’t imagine putting a bowl game in an arena. Although it might be fun if they didn’t fully do arena football rules.
|Quick Lane Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Duke||5:15 PM|
Full disclosure: I was hoping Florida Atlantic would go here. Quick Lane. Lane Kiffin. God, the jokes write themselves!
|Cactus Bowl: UCLA vs. Kansas State||9:00 PM|
Some people are saying this is a great matchup. I’m not so sure. I mean it’s still college football but there are a bunch of other better games. Just not in this exact timeslot so I will be watching of course (like the madman I am).
Wednesday December 27th
|Independence Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Florida State||1:30 PM|
I am fine with Florida State being here. It’s Shreveport. Nothing special. The bigger story is this: they did get a great head coaching hire though with Willie Taggart so you never know what they will be like next season (watch me peg them at like 7-5 and they run the table).
|Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa vs. Boston College||5:15 PM|
Unless BC or Iowa fans travel well I can’t see this being really well attended as it’s in New York, outdoors, just after Christmas.
|Foster Farms Bowl: Purdue vs. Arizona||8:30 PM|
The only game on the main FOX network during bowl season (we will get to the wrinkle in all this in a bit). Nice to see Purdue back in a bowl game at least.
|Texas Bowl: Missouri vs. Texas||9:00 PM|
Here’s an interesting one. Technically it’s on TSN2 but it won’t get to TSN2 until about 9:30. My guess is that Slovakia-Canada is on right before this. This may mean we don’t get to see the start of the game anywhere since I can’t see the telcos putting the start of the game on the specialty pack and then going to TSN2 one the World Junior game is over. It wouldn’t surprise me if this just gets moved to the specialty pack, period.
UPDATE #3: This game has been moved to the specialty pack. Probably a good thing.
Thursday December 28th
|Military Bowl: Virginia vs. Navy||1:30 PM|
So of course the big story here is the guy who left BYU to coach Virginia facing the guy who was favoured to get the BYU job after the previous coach left. Bronco Mendenhall and Ken Niumatololo are two damn good coaches. I am sure BYU would prefer one of them to be their coach right now.
|Camping World Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Virginia Tech||5:15 PM|
Now we are getting into the big-time bowls. Outside the CFP and NY6 many may argue that this is the best bowl left. Two really good teams who were never really considered in the New Year’s Six conversation. And of course we get more of Mike Gundy’s fabulous mullet so it’s a win-win!
UPDATE #4: This doesn’t happen too often but this game has been moved from the specialty pack to TSN3. Nice. Shoutout to @CamPeverley on Twitter for letting me know about this change.
|Alamo Bowl: Stanford vs. TCU||9:00 PM|
Back-to-back huge bowl games. This one should be another good one between two conference runner-ups. Let’s see how Bryce Love takes out his Heisman loss on the TCU defense.
|Holiday Bowl: Michigan State vs. Washington State||9:00 PM|
Yep, the Canadian info is empty. Why? Because it’s on FOX Sports One. Not surprised this is starting to happen. Expect to see more bowl games head there next season meaning less we can actually see at all.
Friday December 29th
|Belk Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest||1:00 PM|
It’s kind of a home game for the Deacs but we will see what kind of home advantage they have as we know that Aggie fans travel well. Could be an underrated bowl game at this point.
|Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs. NC State||3:00 PM|
I will continue my quest to either a) get this game off of CBS which I really don’t want to do or b) get an SEC team into this bowl game since it’s on CBS and CBS is the home of the SEC. An SEC West team would slot perfectly in here and possibly fill the stadium, something that is hard to do depending on who is invited to play. This shouldn’t be much of an issue this year with Arizona State being there but some years it has been relatively empty in the stands in El Paso.
|Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Northwestern||4:30 PM|
We were denied the rumoured Owl Bowl in Boca Raton. But we will NOT be denied the Wildcat Bowl. WILDCAT BOWL! Prediction? The Wildcats will win. Ahahahahahaha I am so funny.
|Arizona Bowl: Utah State vs. New Mexico State||5:30 PM|
This is another pretty cool story. NMSU is in a bowl game for the first time since 1960. Nineteen fucking sixty! That’s insane! Let’s hope for good attendance at this one, which is the last game for the Aggies officially in the Sun Belt conference as they go Independent starting next season.
|Cotton Bowl: USC vs. Ohio State||8:30 PM|
I believe this is the best non-semifinal game of the bowl season. This should be a classic. And it’s the first New Year’s Six game of the season. Now, in an interesting note, TSN5 will pick this one up in progress at around 10:00. How this will work with the specialty packs I don’t know but I have this funny feeling that we will not get the first 90 minutes of this game. Not impressed for sure. This is why there needs to be a standalone package for college football games that doesn’t really care if TSN shows a game or not. This way this wouldn’t be an issue.
UPDATE #5: This has been moved to the specialty pack but is still appearing on TSN5 as well. This should change soon enough.
UPDATE #6: This is also on TSN4 and is slated to appear on TSN5 after the Sens-Blue Jackets game.
Saturday December 30th
|TaxSlayer Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Louisville||Noon|
I have a bad feeling this game won’t be close considering Nick Fitzgerald is out for the season for the Bulldogs. Lamar Jackson might just go crazy in this game which would be a far cry from last year’s pathetic performance in the bowl game.
|Liberty Bowl: Iowa State vs. Memphis||12:30 PM|
I believe this is a massive game and one of the best examples of what bowl games are all about. A good Group of Five team gets a chance to compete against a Power Five team on a national broadcast. Doesn’t happen too often (a couple times or so every bowl season) so it’s good to see this. Should also be one of the better bowl games of the season.
|Fiesta Bowl: Penn State vs. Washington||4:00 PM|
When this is the worst New Year’s Six game (arguably) then you know The Committee picked some good games. This should still be a good game and if it’s anything like PSU’s bowl game last year it will be a must-watch. And it’s not on New Year’s Eve this year! WOOHOO!!!
|Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin||8:00 PM|
Again we have two conference runner-ups facing off in a big bowl game. I’m sure at least one of these teams will be playing What-If in their minds as they try to take out all their frustrations on their opponent.
Monday January 1st
|Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Michigan||Noon|
How many times will they replay that Jadeveon Clowney hit from a few years back? I put the over/under at 5.5.
|Peach Bowl: Auburn vs. UCF||12:30 PM|
Other than the semi-final games, this could be the one game that most people are looking forward to. To see if, once again, a Group of Five team can hang with and/or beat a good Power Five team. Auburn was an SEC Title game away from playing in the Sugar Bowl so UCF will have its work cut out for them. Nice to see Scott Frost stay to coach this bowl game despite the fact he was hired by Nebraska near the end of the AAC Championship Game. Very rarely do you see a coach finish what they started when they are lured away by another school. This will one will be on TSN1, TSN4 and TSN5 from the start and will be joined on TSN3 in progress at some point.
|Citrus Bowl: LSU vs. Notre Dame||1:00 PM|
In the end, this is my choice for best non-CFP/non-NY6 game. Both teams were good but took wildly different paths to get here. There was a time not so long ago when Notre Dame was considered for the College Football Playoff until late season losses to Miami and Stanford. LSU, on the other hand, started slowly but has become one of the hottest teams in college football over the past two months. Should be a great matchup.
|Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Georgia||5:00 PM|
If this was almost any other day during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, there is no way this game ends up on this many TSN channels. But New Year’s Day is the only day not used by the World Juniors so it’s free for college football. And with the only other competition at any point of the day being the New Year’s Classic NHL game, the bowl games should fare well. This is my choice for best bowl game of the year (other than the national championship of course) and should be a dandy (as Keith Jackson would say).
UPDATE #7: The other ESPN feeds (including the Coaches’ Film Room) for this game and the Sugar Bowl are on TSN GO.
|Sugar Bowl: Clemson vs. Alabama||8:45 PM|
I am going to be so fucking exhausted for work the next day. And I won’t care. This should be another good game. Clemson-Bama III: the Rubber Match. To be honest, I almost want the Rose Bowl winner to win the national title because it would be something new. But this will be good college football so I will be enthralled with it.
Monday January 8th
|College Football Playoff National Championship||8:00 PM|
Last game of the college football season (other than the all-star games) comes to us January 8th. TSN4 will join in progress after the completion of the hockey game so you are looking at about 9:30 or so.
The breakdown looks like so for us Canadians:
- TSN – 21 bowl games
- ABC – 4 bowl games
- CBS Sports Network – 2 bowl games
- FOX – 1 bowl game
- CBS – 1 bowl game
- specialty pack – 11 bowl games
- one bowl game will not be seen here
UPDATE #2: Specialty pack now up to double digits but still less than last season’s bowl games.
Wow TSN really stepped up this season. 23 games. And this drops the amount of games on the specialty pack back down to single digits. Good stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I like the specialty pack but it’s nice to see when games are on channels that most people can get if they want to.
OK I will make all my picks and rank the bowl games in a post later this week. Also, the NFL schedule will be posted Thursday to make way for Thursday Night Football. Enjoy your week everyone!