As the students among us wrap up their finals this week and the working folk drudge through yet another week leading up to some needed time off, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You may have heard by now that Iowa athletics has been off all week. Add to that the end of college football’s regular season and you have a slow (I mean SLOW) week in the world of sports.
But, alas, here we are on a Thursday with the final Thursday night game in the NFL and only one final day standing between us and both the return of Iowa hoops and the college football bowl season.
Before you get too excited for the weekend, let me remind you that we are still a couple weeks away from January and as such, we are a couple weeks away from January-caliber bowl matchups. But, they are bowl games nonetheless.
The one I’m most interested in for Saturday is the Las Vegas Bowl. Houston has had a roller coaster season and has seen their coach depart for greener pastures. SDSU has a stud in Donnel Pumphrey (2018 rushing yards!?!). This one should be pretty good.
Saturday, December 17th
AFR Celebration Bowl: NC Central vs. Grambling State
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico vs. UTSA
Las Vegas Bowl: Houston vs. San Diego State
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Toledo
AutoNation Cure Bowl: UCF vs. Arkansas State
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. UL Lafayette
Nest week, there are games. That’s about all I have to say about that.
Honestly though, I guess Memphis and Western Kentucky is mildly interesting. Memphis knocked off Houston down the stretch. WKU had a decent year at 10-3. I’m reaching.
Monday, December 19th
Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Tulsa
Tuesday, December 20th
Boca Raton Bowl: Memphis vs. Western Kentucky
Wednesday, December 21st
San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. Wyoming
(Bonus points if you can correctly pronounce poinsettia)
Thursday, December 22nd
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Idaho vs. Colorado State
Friday, December 23rd
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. (25) Navy
Dollar General Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy
Saturday, December 24th
Hawai'i Bowl: Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee
Following the break for Christmas (and NFL Sunday), things get more interesting. We get Maryland and BC in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday the 26th. I was intrigued by the Holiday Bowl, but it will be mostly interesting now to see how Minnesota fields a team with their off-field issues. A lot of people are on the Pitt train, but as an Iowa fan I’m giving jNW a chance and think the Pinstripe Bowl could be worth a watch on Wednesday. I fully expect Utah to throttle Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl, but that offense may be able to keep them in it. I’ll check out Big Bret Beilema in the Belk Bowl against VaTech on Thursday and the Alamo Bowl should be really good. I like what Colorado has done this year (the Pac 12 Championship Game may be an exception).
Monday, December 26th
St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami, OH vs. Mississippi State
Quick Lane Bowl: Maryland vs. Boston College
Camping World Independence Bowl: NC State vs. Vanderbilt
Tuesday, December 27th
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army vs. North Texas
Military Bowl: (24) Temple vs. Wake Forest
National Funding Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs. Washington State
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Boise State vs. Baylor
Wednesday, December 28th
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: (23) Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern
Russell Athletic Bowl: (16) West Virginia vs. Miami, FL
Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana vs. (19) Utah
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Kansas State
Thursday, December 29th
Birmingham Bowl: USF vs. South Carolina
Belk Bowl: Arkansas vs. (22) Virginia Tech
Valero Alamo Bowl: (12) Oklahoma State vs. (10) Colorado
Friday, December 30th
AutoZone Liberty Bow: Georgia vs. TCU
Hyundai Sun Bowl: (18) Stanford vs. North Carolina
Franklin Amer. Mort. Music City Bowl: Nebraska vs. (21) Tennessee
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: South Alabama vs. Air Force
Capital One Orange Bowl: (6) Michigan vs. (11) Florida State
New Year’s weekend kicks off the really good stuff. The Citrus Bowl should be interesting. LSU has started to find some semblance of offense and prides themselves on defense. I’ll watch to see if they can come close to containing Lamar Jackson. The playoff games will undoubtedly be worth a watch, even if Bama has Washington down 35 in the first quarter (I don’t think they will).
Saturday, December 31st
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: (20) LSU vs. (13) Louisville
TaxSlayer Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky
**Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: (4) Washington vs. (1) Alabama
**PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: (3) Ohio State vs. (2) Clemson
Apparently I’ll be the only one, but I’ll certainly be tuned in to the Outback Bowl on Monday the 2nd. Honestly, at this point in the bowl season, they are all probably worth tuning in to. I think the Sugar could be a disaster, but the rest should be pretty solid.
Monday, January 2nd
Outback Bowl: (17) Florida vs. Iowa
Goodyear Cotton Bowl: (15) Western Michigan vs. (8) Wisconsin
Rose Bowl Game: (9) USC vs. (5) Penn State
Allstate Sugar Bowl: (14) Auburn vs. (7) Oklahoma
Monday, January 9th
**CFP National Championship Semifinal Winner vs. Semifinal Winner
If you’re really itching to know who you should watch (or more accurately who everyone else will be watching) here’s a quick guide from our overlords.
And here’s a breakdown of all the games, including channels and times, with fun helmets, yay!
Here’s a link to the group: BHGP Bowl Pick ‘Em. Because we aren’t gambling degenerates (lie), its a straight pick ‘em. No spreads, no confidence. Call it the Iowa offense of bowl pick ‘ems.