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2016 College Football Bowl Preview

By Bobby M.

To football fans, the holiday season provides an additional source of cheer beyond just family and friends considering all of the top-notch college games about to be played. In the span of approximately two weeks, the best football teams match up and play each other across 41 different games involving 80 teams. This preview is intended to give you all of the relevant knowledge you will need. Will list the regular bowl games first and then the playoff related ones at the bottom. Numerous game notes on many teams will be listed after each set. All times are listed in EST.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
UTSA (6-6) vs. New Mexico (8-4)
Albuquerque, NM 2 p.m. ESPN

Las Vegas Bowl
San Diego State (10-3) vs. Houston (9-3)
Las Vegas, NV 3:30 p.m. ABC

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Central Florida (6-6) vs. Arkansas State (7-5)
Orlando, FL 5:30pm CBSSN

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Toledo (9-3) vs. Appalachian State (9-3)
Montgomery, AL 5:30 p.m. ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Southern Miss (6-6) vs. Louisiana Lafayette (6-6)
New Orleans, LA 9 p.m. ESPN


Monday, December 19, 2016

Miami Beach Bowl
Tulsa (9-3) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)
Miami, FL 2:30 p.m. ESPN


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Boca Raton Bowl
Western Kentucky (10-3) vs. Memphis (8-4)
Boca Raton, FL 7 p.m. ESPN


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl
BYU (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-5)
San Diego, CA 9 p.m. ESPN


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Idaho (8-4) vs. Colorado State (7-5)
Boise, ID 7 p.m. ESPN


Friday, Deccember 23, 2016

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Old Dominion (9-3) vs. Eastern Michigan (7-5)
Nassau, Bahamas 1 p.m. ESPN

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Navy (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-5)
Fort Worth, TX 4:30 p.m. ESPN

Dollar General Bowl
Ohio (8-5) vs. Troy (9-3)
Mobile, AL 8 p.m. ESPN


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hawai’i Bowl
Hawaii (6-7) vs. Middle Tennessee State (8-4)
Honolulu, HI 8 p.m. ESPN


Monday, December 26, 2016

St. Petersburg Bowl
Mississippi State (5-7) vs. Miami, OH (6-6)
St. Petersburg, FL 11 a.m. ESPN

Quick Lane Bowl
Maryland (6-6) vs. Boston College (6-6)
Detroit, MI 2:30 p.m. ESPN

Camping World Independence Bowl
NC State (6-6) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6)
Shreveport, LA 5 p.m. ESPN2


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
Army (6-5) vs. North Texas (5-7)
Dallas, TX Noon ESPN

Military Bowl
Wake Forest (6-6) vs. Temple (10-3)
Annapolis, MD 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Holiday Bowl
Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4)
San Diego, CA 7 p.m. ESPN

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl
Baylor (6-6) vs. Boise State (10-2)
Phoenix, AZ 10:15 P.M. ESPN


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Pitt (8-4) vs. Northwestern (6-6)
Bronx, NY 2 p.m. ESPN

Russell Athletic Bowl
Miami (8-4) vs. West Virginia (10-2)
Orlando, FL 5:30 p.m. ESPN

Foster Farms Bowl
Utah (8-4) vs. Indiana (6-6)
Santa Clara, CA 8:30 p.m. FOX

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
Texas A&M (8-4) vs. Kansas State (8-4)
Houston, TX 9 p.m. ESPN


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Birmingham Bowl
South Florida (10-2) vs. South Carolina (6-6)
Birmingham, AL 2 p.m. ESPN

Belk Bowl
Virginia Tech (9-4) vs. Arkansas (7-5)
Charlotte, NC 5:30 p.m. ESPN

Valero Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Colorado (10-3)
San Antonio, TX 9 p.m. ESPN


Friday, December 30, 2016

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
TCU (6-6) vs. Georgia (7-5)
Memphis, TN Noon ESPN

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Stanford (9-3) vs. North Carolina (8-4)
El Paso, TX 2 p.m. CBS

Franklin Music City Bowl
Nebraska (9-3) vs. Tennessee (8-4)
Nashville, TN 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
South Alabama (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)
Tucson, AZ 5:30 p.m. AmSN

Orange Bowl
Florida State (9-3) vs. Michigan (10-2)
Miami Gardens, FL 8 p.m. ESPN


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Louisville (9-3) vs. LSU (7-4)
Orlando, FL 11 a.m. ABC

TaxSlayer Bowl
Kentucky (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (8-4)
Jacksonville, FL 11 a.m. ESPN


Monday, January 2, 2017

Outback Bowl
Iowa (8-4) vs. Florida (8-4)
Tampa, FL 1 p.m. ABC

Cotton Bowl
Western Michigan (13-0) vs. Wisconsin (10-3)
Arlington, TX 1 p.m. ESPN

Rose Bowl Game
Penn State (11-2) vs. USC (9-3)
Pasadena, California 5 p.m. ESPN

Sugar Bowl
Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Auburn (8-4)
New Orleans, Louisiana 8:30 p.m. ESPN


Notes: Penn St. (losing by 39 points in a game) and Michigan (not playing in Big 10 Champ game) were the top teams left out of the final four playoff…4 Big Ten teams made it to the New Years Day games…Both Oklahoma St. and West Virginia could have made a case to play in a New Years bowl because their conference, Big 12, only fielded one team in those games. The team that benefited in their misfortune was Wisconsin…Western Michigan was elevated to a New Years Day bowl because they were the top ranked team in a non-power conference. Navy was on track to get this berth until losing to Temple in their conference championship game due to losing their starting QB and RB…Iowa and Florida will play for the third time against each other in the same bowl (Outback) in recent years, both teams splitting the previous two…Three games will reunite former long-time conference rivals against one another: West Virginia/Miami, Texas A&M/Kansas St, Colorado/Oklahoma St…Old Dominion was given their first ever Division 1 bowl berth…Three teams have below .500 records (Hawaii, Mississippi State, North Texas)…The Nebraska/Tennessee pairing is a rematch from high profile previous games during the 1997 and 1999 seasons. Nebraska won both games including beating Peyton Manning in his final college game. That win gave them the National Championship that year, with Tennessee winning it the following the season.


Saturday, December 31, 2016 College Football Playoff Games

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Semifinal Game
#1 Alabama (13-0) vs. #4 Washington (12-1)
Atlanta, GA 3 or 7 p.m. ESPN

Fiesta Bowl: Semifinal Game
#2 Clemson (12-1) vs. #3 Ohio State (11-1)
Glendale, AZ 3 or 7 p.m. ESPN

Alabama goes into the playoff as the clear favorite after not only going undefeated this year, but also because they are the defending National Champions from the previous season. Their defense has been called one of the greatest of all time, where until the SEC Championship game, they had not given up a touchdown since October 22nd. Ohio State were the champions two seasons ago and had one of the toughest non-conference schedules that included a win over eventual Big 12 champs Oklahoma on the road. Their only loss of the year game to eventual Big 10 champ Penn St. Clemson stayed ranked in the top 4 for most of the season. They won the ACC Championship while only losing once, a close 1 point game to Pittsburgh. Washington had been ridiculed for a weak non-conference schedule, but they made up for it with their play on the field. They won most of their games very decisively against most of their opponents in a tough Pac 12 league. The one loss game against a talented USC team.

Monday, January 9, 2017 – National Championship
Semifinal 1 Winner vs. Semifinal 2 Winner
Tampa, FL 8:30 p.m. ESPN


Good luck to all of the players, coaches and the fans for each team. But the real holiday wish goes out to all of the general football fans in hoping as many games as possible are competitive and entertaining.

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