The football regular season is officially over and the bowl season is upon us. We’ll pause to give you a chance to let out your collective “awwww.” So, now here is the waiting game. But, the good news for us that cannot live without the pigskin is that we don’t have to wait long. The mania starts in less than two weeks on December 16th and won’t end until the National Champion is crowned on January 9th in Atlanta, Georgia. As you commence to Holiday planning, shopping and time away from work we will provide you our guide to the best matchups this bowl season from number one to 39.
1. College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m., ESPN).
#1 Clemson vs #4 Alabama
Not many teams know each other as well as these two as they meet for the third time in as many years.
2. College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, Pasadena, Calif. (Jan. 1, 5 p.m., ESPN)
#2 Oklahoma vs #3 Georgia
This will mark the first time these storied programs will face off against each other. Each team has one Rose Bowl win under its belt.
3. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, Texas (Dec. 29, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)
#5 Ohio State vs #8 USC
Could be named the disgruntled bowl as both schools had legitimate claims to be in the playoffs.
4. PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz. (Dec. 30, 4 p.m., ESPN)
#9 Penn State vs #11 Washington
5. Dollar General Bowl, Mobile, Ala. (Dec. 23, 7 p.m., ESPN)
Appalachian State vs Toledo
On paper looks like the most competitive matchup between Non-Power Five teams that promises to fill up the scoreboard.
6. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta (Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m., ESPN)
#7 Auburn vs #12 Central Florida (UCF)
We’ll call this the motivation bowl. Auburn could be still wishing they were in the CFP at not care about this game, while UCF will be out to prove they belong.
7. San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, San Diego (Dec. 28, 9 p.m., FS1)
#18 Washington State vs #16 Michigan State
A very interesting contrast of styles between the finesse wide open Wazzu style and the conservative ground and pound Sparty style.
8. Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, 10 p.m. (Dec. 28, 10 p.m., ESPN)
#13 Stanford vs #15 TCU
The best running back in the country takes on one of the best run defenses in the country.
9. Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, Fla. (Dec. 30, 8 p.m., ESPN)
#6 Wisconsin vs #10 Miami
Wisconsin and Miami were both one win away from a playoff appearance.
10. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m., ESPN)
#21 Northwestern vs Kentucky
Great battle at the running back position between Benny Snell and Justin Jackson.
11. Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. (Dec 23, 12 p.m., ESPN)
Texas Tech vs South Florida
This has all the makings of a shootout between two great offensive football teams.
12. Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas (Dec 16, 3:30 p.m., ABC)
#25 Boise State vs Oregon
The first game between these two powers since the infamous LeGarrette Blount punch.
13. Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (Jan 1, 1 p.m., ABC)
#14 Notre Dame vs #17 LSU
This is the best blue-blood matchup in a non-New Years Six Bowl.
14. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas (Dec 23, 3:30 p.m., ESPN)
San Diego State vs Army
We’ll set the over/under on total passes attempted in this game at 10.
15. TaxSlayer Bowl, Jacksonville, Fla. (Dec 30, 12 p.m., ESPN)
Louisville vs #23 Mississippi State
Could this be the last collegiate game for Lamar Jackson?
16. AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn. (Dec 30, 12:30 p.m., ABC)
#20 Memphis vs Iowa State
Congratulations on a great season Iowa State in beating both TCU and Oklahoma and you are rewarded by playing a road game for your bowl game.
17. Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (Dec 29, 1 p.m., ESPN)
Wake Forest vs Texas A&M
John Wolford might be the best quarterback you haven’t heard of and optimism is high in Aggieland with Jimbo in town.
18. Hyundai Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas (Dec 29, 2 p.m., CBS)
#24 NC State vs Arizona State
The Wolfpack have the best defensive player in the country with Bradley Chubb. Meanwhile, Herm Edwards will still try to come to grips with Sun Devil as his mascot.
19. Camping World Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (Dec 28, 5:15 p.m., ESPN)
#19 Oklahoma State vs #22 Virginia Tech
This is not the bowl game either one of these teams thought they would be playing in early in the season, but here we are.
20. Foster Farms Bowl, Santa Clara, Calif. (Dec 27, 8 p.m., FOX)
Arizona vs Purdue
This is a welcome back to the post-season for both of these programs.
21. New Era Pinstripe Bowl, New York (Dec 27, 5:15 p.m., ESPN)
Iowa vs Boston College
Iowa is a whisker away from being 10-2 and in a New Years Six game, but is also just as close to hanging out at home with a 5-7 record. Meanwhile, Boston College has won 5 of their last 6 games.
22. Cactus Bowl, Phoenix (Dec 26, 9 p.m., ESPN)
Kansas State vs UCLA
Stark style contrast from a program perspective, slow and methodical Kansas State against the glitz and glamour of Westwood.
23. Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. (Dec 28, 1:30 p.m., ESPN)
Navy vs Virginia
Good second year for Bronco Mendenhall at Virginia, while Navy is in familiar territory.
24. Texas Bowl, Houston (Dec 27, 9 p.m., ESPN)
Texas vs Missouri
This used to be a conference game, now it’s our Texas bowl. Mizzou has the best offense in the SEC while Texas has one of the best defenses in the Big 12.
25. Boca Raton Bowl, Boca Raton, Fla. (Dec 19, 7 p.m., ESPN)
Florida Atlantic vs Akron
Lane Kiffin wanted Alabama but got Akron. Is that going to be close enough for you, Lane?
26. Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla. (Jan 1, 12 p.m., ESPN2)
Michigan vs South Carolina
Will Michigan care about this bowl game after having loftier goals this season? The first team to 17 might win this contest.
27. Heart of Dallas Bowl, Dallas (Dec 26, 1:30 p.m., ESPN)
West Virginia vs Utah
No player may mean more to his team than Will Grier does for West Virginia.
28. Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit (Dec 26, 5:15 p.m., ESPN)
Duke vs Northern Illinois
Duke is playing a meaningful game in December and it’s not just on the hardwood.
29. Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La. (Dec 27, 1:30 p.m., ESPN)
Florida State vs Southern Mississippi
Florida State is favored by 15 points in this game, I see this being much closer than the experts think.
30. R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans (Dec 16, 1 p.m., ESPN)
Troy vs North Texas
Points should not be hard to come by as Troy has averaged 29 points while North Texas averages 34.
31. Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, (Dec 24, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)
Fresno State vs Houston
Houston has been really inconsistent this year proved by beating South Florida but also losing to Tulsa. On the other side, Fresno was close to beating Boise in back to back weeks.
32. Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque (Dec 16, 4:30 p.m., ESPN)
Marshall vs Colorado State
Both teams have combined to lose six of their last eight games, something has to give.
33. Frisco Bowl, Frisco, Texas (Dec 20, 8 p.m., ESPN)
SMU vs Louisiana Tech
The Mustangs have the proximity advantage with having to travel only 30 miles, oh and they seem to be the better team as well.
34. Bahamas Bowl, Nassau, Bahamas (Dec 22, 12:30 p.m., ESPN)
UAB vs Ohio
Feel good story of the bowl season might be UAB making a bowl game in the first year of restoring the football program.
35. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Boise (Dec 22, 4 p.m., ESPN)
Central Michigan vs Wyoming
With this game being played on the smurf turf, the biggest question may be how the Central Michigan and Wyoming colors will blend in.
36. Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Montgomery, Ala. (Dec 16, 8 p.m., ESPN)
Middle Tennessee vs Arkansas State
Former Oklahoma Quarterback Justice Hansen has excelled in his first season as a starter at Arkansas State with 34 touchdown passes, but will that be enough to overtake the Blue Raiders?
37. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Dec 21, 8 p.m., ESPN)
Temple vs Florida International
Temple took a minor step back this year with Matt Rhule going to Baylor, while Butch Davis has Florida International bowling in his first season.
38. AutoNation Cure Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (Dec 16, 2:30 p.m., CBSSN)
Western Kentucky vs Georgia State
At least this game is in beautiful Orlando, Florida. Outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky and Atlanta, Georgia there won’t be a lot of eyeballs on this game.
39. Arizona Bowl, Tucson, Ariz. (Dec 29, 5:30 p.m., CBSSN)
Utah State vs New Mexico State
The last time New Mexico State played in a bowl game “Are you lonesome tonight?” by Elvis Presley was the number one song. Let that sink in for a moment.