All times Central
Here is the second wave of bowl games.
Friday, December 27th
Syracuse vs. Minnesota (5:00 pm/ESPN) – Minnesota rolled to a surprising 8-win season and has looked really good at times. Hopefully all this time to get healthy and come up with a game plan will help them beat Syracuse. I think Minnesota could win this one big and set themselves up well as a second tier (that’s a good thing) Big Ten team going into next season.
Main Screen BYU vs. Washington (8:00 pm/ESPN) – This game has some name recognition, but the fact that Washington coach Steve Sarkisian has moved on doesn’t help make it more interesting. BYU went 8–4, but Texas is probably their only quality win. Still, it’s hard to find a game with two 8-win teams this early in the bowl season.
Saturday, December 27th
Main Screen Rutgers vs. Notre Dame (11 am/ESPN) – The future Big Ten school of Rutgers, who could only win 3 games in the American Conference this year doesn’t leave a lot to get excited about. A win over Notre Dame would be great, but Rutgers is bad.
Main Screen Louisville vs. Miami (5:45 pm/ESPN) – On paper this might be the best pre-New Year’s Day game there is. But Miami lost their star RB Duke Johnson and struggled down the stretch against anyone who wasn’t at the bottom of the ACC. Louisville lost to eventual American Conference champ UCF. This is the last chance to watch Teddy Bridgewater, so live it up.
Michigan vs. Kansas St. (9:15 pm/ESPN) – Michigan QB Devin Gardner won’t play, but as unreliable as he looked all season that might not be the biggest impact. True freshman Shane Morris is a blue chipper, but doesn’t have experience. The most important part for Michigan is to get healthy. K-State runs a two QB system that is tough to stop, but Michigan’s defense is very underrated.
Monday, December 30th
Main Screen Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech (2:15 pm/ESPN) – Georgia Tech’s only quality win was against Duke way back in September. They struggled against anyone good late in the season and go into this game with having not beat an FBS school since November 2nd. Ole Miss is one of those schools that looked just on the cusp of breaking out all season, and a dominant performance here could be a lasting memory if they have a big season next year.
Main Screen Oregon vs. Texas (5:45 pm/ESPN) – Oregon feels shafted having being left out of the BCS bowls, so it will be interesting to see whether that makes them more or less motivated. Meanwhile, Texas coach Mack Brown will be coaching his last game, giving the Longhorns extra motivation. That will hopefully be the equalizer to keep this one close.
Main Screen Arizona St. vs. Texas Tech (9:15 pm/ESPN) – Texas Tech did exactly what I thought they would and lost their last 5 games after starting 7–0. But the Red Raiders looked good in Kliff Kingsbury’s first season, and have a nice base to build on. Arizona St. finally lived up to some preseason hype and made it all the way to the conference championship game before losing to Stanford. They are another team with something to build on and a strong statement here could help their preseason ranking next year.
Tuesday, December 31st
Main Screen Arizona vs. Boston College (11:30 am/ESPN) – Arizona lost three of their last four, but the win against Oregon is what stands out to most people. Really though, outside of that game, their best win was against 5–7 Utah. Boston College doesn’t fair much better with their best win coming against Maryland. The reason to watch this game is solely for the fact that you can see two of the best handful of running backs in the country, Ka’Deem Carey and Andre Williams.
Second Screen UCLA vs. Virginia Tech (1:00 pm/CBS) – Virginia Tech quietly went 8–4 and were a 3-point loss against Duke away from playing for the ACC title. Other than that, it was a pretty nondescript season. UCLA started really strong, and even after back to back road losses to Stanford and Oregon they still looked in the driver’s seat in the PAC 12 South before losing by 5 against Arizona St. Brett Hundley is an exciting player to watch, and if he choses to return this could be the start of his Heisman campaign.
Main Screen Duke vs. Texas A&M (7 pm/ESPN) – Duke got blown out in the ACC title game, but still made a bowl for the first time in a while, and gets to play on New Year’s Eve. It won’t be easy though. It what is likely Johnny Manziel’s final college game, they will have their work cut out trying to stop him. A&M only lost to top 25 teams so far this season, but looking back their best win is probably on the road at Ole Miss. So while they should be vastly superior to Duke, looking at this resume, it’s not as much as a slam dunk as it might seem.