Ranking all 41 college football bowl games: So many bowls, so little time (2024)

Table of Contents
41. Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit): Bowling Green (7-5) vs. Minnesota (5-7); Tue., Dec. 26, 2 p.m.; ESPN 40. Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.): Arkansas State (6-6) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6); Sat., Dec. 23, noon; ESPN 39. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise): Georgia State (6-6) vs. Utah State (6-6); Sat., Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m.; ESPN 38. 68 Ventures Bowl (Mobile, Ala.): South Alabama (6-6) vs. Eastern Michigan (6-6); Sat., Dec. 23, 7 p.m.; ESPN 37. Famous Toastery Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.): Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Old Dominion (6-6); Mon., Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m.; ESPN 36. RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl (Boca Raton, Fla.): South Florida (6-6) vs. Syracuse (6-6); Thu., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; ESPN 35. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.): Georgia Tech (6-6) vs. UCF (6-6); Fri., Dec. 22, 6:30 p.m.; ESPN 34. Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.): Cal (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (6-6); Sat., Dec. 16, 9:15 p.m.; ESPN 33. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas): Texas State (7-5) vs. Rice (6-6); Tue., Dec. 26, 5:30 p.m.; ESPN 32. Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl (The Bronx, N.Y.): Rutgers (6-6) vs. Miami (7-5); Thu., Dec. 28, 2:15 p.m.; ESPN 31. TransPerfect Music City Bowl (Nashville, Tenn.): Auburn (6-6) vs. Maryland (7-5); Sat., Dec. 30, 2 p.m.; ABC 30. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans): Jacksonville State (8-4) vs. Louisiana (6-6); Sat., Dec. 16, 2:15 p.m.; ESPN 29. Myrtle Beach Bowl (Conway, S.C.): Georgia Southern (6-6) vs. Ohio (9-3); Sat., Dec. 16, 11 a.m.; ESPN 28. Military Bowl Presented by GoBowling.com (Annapolis, Md.): Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulane (11-2); Wed., Dec. 27, 2 p.m.; ESPN 27. Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas): UTSA (8-4) vs. Marshall (6-6); Tue., Dec. 19, 9 p.m.; ESPN 26. EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu): Coastal Carolina (7-5) vs. San Jose State (7-5); Sat., Dec. 23, 10:30 p.m.; ESPN 25. Wasabi Fenway Bowl (Boston): No. 24 SMU (11-2) vs. Boston College (6-6); Thu., Dec. 28, 11 a.m.; ESPN 24. Starco Brands LA Bowl (Inglewood, Calif.): UCLA (7-5) vs. Boise State (8-5); Sat., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.; ABC 23. SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas): Utah (8-4) vs. Northwestern (7-5); Sat., Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.; ABC 22. Isleta New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, N.M.): New Mexico State (10-4) vs. Fresno State (8-4); Sat., Dec. 16, 5:45 p.m.; ESPN 21. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas): James Madison (11-1) vs. Air Force (8-4); Sat., Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m.; ABC 20. Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl (Orlando, Fla.): Miami Ohio (11-2) vs. Appalachian State (8-5); Sat., Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m.; ABC 19. 76 Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.): Troy (11-2) vs. Duke (7-5); Sat., Dec. 23, noon; ABC 18. Cheez-It Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.): No. 17 Iowa (10-3) vs. No. 21 Tennessee (8-4); Mon., Jan. 1, 1 p.m.; ABC 17. AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Memphis (9-3) vs. Iowa State (7-5); Fri., Dec. 29, 3:30 p.m.; ESPN 16. TaxAct Texas Bowl (Houston): Texas A&M (7-5) vs. No. 20 Oklahoma State (9-4); Wed., Dec. 27, 9 p.m.; ESPN 15. Vrbo Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.): No. 23 Liberty (13-0) vs. No. 8 Oregon (11-2); Mon., Jan. 1, 1 p.m.; ESPN 14. ReliaQuest Bowl (Tampa, Fla.): Wisconsin (7-5) vs. No. 13 LSU (9-3); Mon., Jan. 1, noon; ESPN2 13. Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl (Tucson, Ariz.): Toledo (11-2) vs. Wyoming (8-4); Sat., Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m.; CW/Barstool 12. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas): No. 19 Oregon State (8-4) vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (9-3); Fri., Dec. 29, 2 p.m.; CBS 11. Pop-Tarts Bowl (Orlando, Fla.): No. 18 North Carolina State (9-3) vs. No. 25 Kansas State (8-4); Thu., Dec. 28, 5:45 p.m.; ESPN 10. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.): No. 22 Clemson (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5); Fri., Dec. 29, noon; ESPN 9. DIRECTV Holiday Bowl (San Diego): No. 15 Louisville (10-3) vs. USC (7-5); Wed., Dec. 27, 8 p.m.; Fox 8. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Arlington, Texas): No. 9 Missouri (10-2) vs. No. 7 Ohio State (11-1); Fri., Dec. 29, 8 p.m.; ESPN 7. Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.): North Carolina (8-4) vs. West Virginia (8-4); Wed., Dec. 27, 5:30 p.m.; ESPN 6. Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Phoenix): Kansas (8-4) vs. UNLV (9-4); Tue., Dec. 26, 9 p.m.; ESPN 5. Valero Alamo Bowl (San Antonio): No. 14 Arizona (9-3) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (10-2); Thu., Dec. 28, 9:15 p.m.; ESPN 4. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Atlanta): No. 11 Ole Miss (10-2) vs. No. 10 Penn State (10-2); Sat., Dec. 30, noon; ESPN 3. Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, Fla.): No. 6 Georgia (12-1) vs. No. 5 Florida State (13-0); Sat., Dec. 30, 4 p.m.; ESPN 2. CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans): No. 3 Texas (12-1) vs. No. 2 Washington (13-0); Mon., Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m.; ESPN 1. CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential (Pasadena, Calif.): No. 4 Alabama (12-1) vs. No. 1 Michigan (13-0); Mon., Jan. 1, 5 p.m.; ESPN References

After ranking the top 10 college matchups of each weekend this past season, it’s only fair that we mark the end of a wild, chaotic, controversial, realignment- and scandal-infused year in proper fashion: ranking all 41 bowl games. Every bowl, first to last, save for the yet-to-be-decided national championship matchup. And unlike the College Football Playoff selection committee, there are no flaws in my formula.

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I love bowl season. We all do. I can still close my eyes and hear ESPN’s old “most wonderful time of the year” commercial jingle that has somehow been lost to the deep recesses of the internet. (I searched.) Picking the best bowls was relatively easy — especially the obvious choice of putting the CFP semifinals at the top of the list. But the sad realization I came to while doing this exercise is how terrible so many of these matchups are. Of the 82 bowl teams, 21 have a record of 6-6. That’s more than a quarter of bowl participants. Another one is 5-7, which we’ll get to. So if the program you root for didn’t reach bowl eligibility this season? Yikes. But also, you’ll probably survive without a trip to the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl.

Not that it will stop the rest of us from tuning in.

Speaking of sponsors, I’m adding a few elements, including breakout charts on the most-delicious-food sponsors, a Very Sickos Committee New Year and a quiz on how well you know your bowl promoters. The answer key for the quiz is near the end of the article.

Without further ado, let’s rank all 41 games, from the Quick Lane Bowl to The Granddaddy of Them All.

Note: All times Eastern.

41. Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit): Bowling Green (7-5) vs. Minnesota (5-7); Tue., Dec. 26, 2 p.m.; ESPN

The only reason Minnesota is in a bowl game with a 5-7 record is because there weren’t enough six-win teams this season and Minnesota has the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) of the five-win teams. Props to the Gophers for the educational achievement, truly, but it earns this bowl last place on our list.

Line: Minnesota -4, over/under 38.5

40. Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.): Arkansas State (6-6) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6); Sat., Dec. 23, noon; ESPN

The camellia is the state flower of Alabama, and this year’s game fittingly features former Alabama Crimson Tide offensive analyst Butch Jones as the coach of Arkansas State. Also featured is NIU running back Antario Brown, who is second in the MAC in rushing yards (1,164) and has announced he will return to the Huskies in 2024.

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Line: Arkansas State -1, O/U 53.5

39. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise): Georgia State (6-6) vs. Utah State (6-6); Sat., Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m.; ESPN

We’ll see if the winning coach can look as iconic as former Ohio coach Frank Solich receiving the ceremonial french fry bath back in 2020. Georgia State will be without stud running back Marcus Carroll, who transferred to Missouri.

Line: Utah State -1, O/U 62.5

Frank Solich gave us one of the greatest college football photos of all-time: pic.twitter.com/yr0OuxhYmN

— Steve Helwick (@s_helwick) July 14, 2021

38. 68 Ventures Bowl (Mobile, Ala.): South Alabama (6-6) vs. Eastern Michigan (6-6); Sat., Dec. 23, 7 p.m.; ESPN

QUIZ TIME: What is 68 Ventures? (Other than almost — but not quite — nice.) South Alabama’s Kane Wommack leads the Jaguars in back-to-back bowl games for the first time in the program’s 12-year FBS history. And EMU’s Chris Creighton has led the Eagles to six bowl games in his 10 seasons at a program with only one other bowl appearance, way back in 1987. (Quiz answers below.)

Line: South Alabama -16, O/U 47

37. Famous Toastery Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.): Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Old Dominion (6-6); Mon., Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m.; ESPN

Old Dominion linebacker Jason Henderson leads the FBS with 170 tackles and is tied for fourth with 19 1/2 tackles for loss, garnering a slew of All-America honors including second team from us here at The Athletic. Also, I have never eaten at a Famous Toastery.

Line: Old Dominion -2.5, O/U 55.5

Most delicious bowl sponsorships

1. Tony the Tiger (AKA Frosted Flakes)

2. Chick-fil-A

3. Cheez-It

4. Duke's Mayo

5. Pop-Tarts

6. Famous Idaho Potato

7. Scooter's Coffee

8. Avocados From Mexico

9. Famous Toastery

36. RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl (Boca Raton, Fla.): South Florida (6-6) vs. Syracuse (6-6); Thu., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; ESPN

The beauty of the RoofClaim.com Bowl is in the eye of the 6-6 beholder. Syracuse is hitting the reset button, firing Dino Babers and hiring Fran Brown late last month. USF is soaking up the bowl experience after first-year coach Alex Golesh eclipsed the Bulls’ win total of the previous three seasons combined.

Line: Syracuse -3, O/U 61

35. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.): Georgia Tech (6-6) vs. UCF (6-6); Fri., Dec. 22, 6:30 p.m.; ESPN

Hardly the most exciting matchup on paper, but again, it’s all relative. Georgia Tech reaches its first bowl game since 2018, and UCF wins six games in the program’s first season in the Big 12.

Line: UCF -4.5, O/U 64.5

34. Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.): Cal (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (6-6); Sat., Dec. 16, 9:15 p.m.; ESPN

QUIZ TIME: What is Radiance Technologies? Hint: Not a tanning salon. Disappointing year for Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders, who entered the season as a Big 12 dark horse but are in danger of finishing below .500.

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Line: Texas Tech -2.5, O/U 58

33. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas): Texas State (7-5) vs. Rice (6-6); Tue., Dec. 26, 5:30 p.m.; ESPN

Nice first year for Texas State coach G.J. Kinne, who led the Bobcats to a season-opening upset over Baylor and the program’s first bowl game in its dozen-year FBS history.

Line: Texas State -4.5, O/U 60.5

32. Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl (The Bronx, N.Y.): Rutgers (6-6) vs. Miami (7-5); Thu., Dec. 28, 2:15 p.m.; ESPN

A showdown between a pair of former Big East foes whose seasons started brightly … before each seemingly stepped into an empty elevator shaft. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, indeed.

Line: Miami -1.5, O/U 41

31. TransPerfect Music City Bowl (Nashville, Tenn.): Auburn (6-6) vs. Maryland (7-5); Sat., Dec. 30, 2 p.m.; ABC

QUIZ TIME: What is TransPerfect? The most defining thing about each of these teams is the big game they didn’t win late in the season. Maryland played Michigan as tough as anyone but lost by 7, and Auburn managed to give up a fourth-and-31 touchdown pass to keep Alabama’s Playoff hopes alive.

Line: Auburn -2.5, O/U 50.5

30. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans): Jacksonville State (8-4) vs. Louisiana (6-6); Sat., Dec. 16, 2:15 p.m.; ESPN

Jacksonville State and coach Rich Rodriguez won eight games in the program’s first season at the FBS level. The Gameco*cks were technically ineligible for postseason play due to their FBS transition but were granted a bowl berth because of a lack of six-win teams.

Line: Jacksonville State -3, O/U: 59.5

29. Myrtle Beach Bowl (Conway, S.C.): Georgia Southern (6-6) vs. Ohio (9-3); Sat., Dec. 16, 11 a.m.; ESPN

The first kickoff of bowl season, and one I’ll be watching intently as an Ohio alum. The Bobcats will be without standout quarterback Kurtis Rourke, who entered the transfer portal. Former UCF transfer Parker Navarro will get the start.

Line: Georgia Southern -3.5, O/U 49.5

28. Military Bowl Presented by GoBowling.com (Annapolis, Md.): Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulane (11-2); Wed., Dec. 27, 2 p.m.; ESPN

QUIZ TIME: What is GoBowling.com? And why are there multiple sponsors who include the “dot com” in their name? Everything has a website. This one is also a reminder of how thin the margins are for even really good Group of 5 teams. If Tulane beats SMU in the AAC championship, the Green Wave will be playing in a second straight New Year’s Six game.

Line: Virginia Tech -7.5, O/U 46.5

27. Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas): UTSA (8-4) vs. Marshall (6-6); Tue., Dec. 19, 9 p.m.; ESPN

After a slow start, losing three of its first four, UTSA won seven of its last eight. It’s a wonder it’s managed to hold on to coach Jeff Traylor for this long, finishing out his fourth season.

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Line: UTSA -13, O/U 52.5

26. EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu): Coastal Carolina (7-5) vs. San Jose State (7-5); Sat., Dec. 23, 10:30 p.m.; ESPN

The Spartans are riding a six-game win streak after a 1-5 start, good enough to force a three-way tie atop the Mountain West standings, but computer rankings locked SJSU out of the title game. Coastal will be without quarterback Grayson McCall, the three-time Sun Belt player of the year and program’s all-time passing leader, who recently transferred to North Carolina State.

Line: SJSU -10, O/U 53.5

25. Wasabi Fenway Bowl (Boston): No. 24 SMU (11-2) vs. Boston College (6-6); Thu., Dec. 28, 11 a.m.; ESPN

QUIZ TIME: What is Wasabi? Hint: This one is not Japanese horseradish. I covered last year’s Fenway Bowl, which is a cool setting and environment right up until kickoff, at which point it becomes a weird football game on a strangely positioned field. Both benches are on the same sideline.

Line: SMU -11, O/U 51

24. Starco Brands LA Bowl (Inglewood, Calif.): UCLA (7-5) vs. Boise State (8-5); Sat., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.; ABC

QUIZ TIME: What is Starco Brands? Hint: I looked it up and I’m still not sure. Also confounding: Boise State fired its head coach and lost its starting quarterback to an injury, then won the Mountain West championship.

Line: UCLA -4, O/U 48.5

23. SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas): Utah (8-4) vs. Northwestern (7-5); Sat., Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.; ABC

It feels like this is the hinge point in the rankings where the bowls start to become more intriguing. Utah quarterback and former walk-on pig farmer Bryson Barnes entered the transfer portal but will remain with the Utes through this game.

Line: Utah -6.5, O/U 41.5

22. Isleta New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, N.M.): New Mexico State (10-4) vs. Fresno State (8-4); Sat., Dec. 16, 5:45 p.m.; ESPN

QUIZ TIME: What is Isleta? New Mexico State will be the only team outside of the national championship participants to play 15 games this season. The Aggies played 13 regular-season games because of the Hawaii rule, which allows programs that travel to Hawaii to add a home game to offset travel costs. NMSU then made the CUSA title game, which it lost to Liberty.

Line: NM St -3.5, O/U 51.5

21. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas): James Madison (11-1) vs. Air Force (8-4); Sat., Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m.; ABC

QUIZ TIME: What (who?) is Lockheed Martin? The Dukes were barred from the Sun Belt championship due to their FBS transition but, like Jacksonville State, were granted a bowl game. And it’s still the Year of James Madison: The men’s basketball team is 9-0 and ranked 20th in the AP Top 25.

Line: James Madison -2.5, O/U 41

20. Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl (Orlando, Fla.): Miami Ohio (11-2) vs. Appalachian State (8-5); Sat., Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m.; ABC

A banner season for the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks: a MAC championship, their first rivalry win over Cincinnati in 16 years and 11-win season in 20 years — despite losing quarterback Brett Gabbert to injury in late October — and kicker Graham Nicholson won the Lou Groza Award.

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Line: Appalachian State -6.5, O/U 44.5

19. 76 Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.): Troy (11-2) vs. Duke (7-5); Sat., Dec. 23, noon; ABC

The Coaching Change Bowl. Duke hired Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to replace Mike Elko, who took the Texas A&M job, and will be led by interim coach Trooper Taylor. Troy is still searching for a head coach after Tulane recently hired away Jon Sumrall, and the Trojans will be led by interim coach Greg Gasparato.

Line: Troy -7.5, O/U 44.5

18. Cheez-It Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.): No. 17 Iowa (10-3) vs. No. 21 Tennessee (8-4); Mon., Jan. 1, 1 p.m.; ABC

One last ride for embattled Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, which is why I fully expect the Hawkeyes to drop 40 on Tennessee.

Line: Tennessee -7.5, O/U 36.5

A Very Sickos Committee New Year

1 p.m. ET kickoffs on Jan. 1Over/Under

No. 23 Liberty vs No. 8 Oregon

65.5, highest of all bowl games

No. 17 Iowa vs No. 21 Tennessee

36.5, lowest of all bowl games

17. AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Memphis (9-3) vs. Iowa State (7-5); Fri., Dec. 29, 3:30 p.m.; ESPN

Iowa State going 7-5 is one of the more impressive performances of the season. The Cyclones were rocked by an illegal gambling scandal this offseason that stripped them of several projected starters, most notably at quarterback, and still finished fourth in the Big 12.

Line: Iowa State -8.5, O/U 57.5

16. TaxAct Texas Bowl (Houston): Texas A&M (7-5) vs. No. 20 Oklahoma State (9-4); Wed., Dec. 27, 9 p.m.; ESPN

A&M hired Elko to replace Jimbo Fisher but will be led by interim coach Elijah Robinson, who will then depart to be the new defensive coordinator for Syracuse. How much will we see from Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon II, the Doak Walker Award winner and leading rusher in the FBS this season?

Line: Texas A&M -3, O/U 53.5

15. Vrbo Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.): No. 23 Liberty (13-0) vs. No. 8 Oregon (11-2); Mon., Jan. 1, 1 p.m.; ESPN

Oregon quarterback and Heisman finalist Bo Nix is expected to play in this game, which is awesome unless you play for Liberty. The Flames had the weakest strength of schedule in FBS this season, and the Ducks will be the first and only Power 5 opponent Liberty faces.

Line: Oregon -17.5, O/U 65.5

14. ReliaQuest Bowl (Tampa, Fla.): Wisconsin (7-5) vs. No. 13 LSU (9-3); Mon., Jan. 1, noon; ESPN2

QUIZ TIME: What is ReliaQuest? If we see LSU’s Heisman-winning quarterback, Jayden Daniels, and star receiver Malik Nabers on the field, expect it to be brief. Nabers is just 21 yards short of LSU’s record for career receiving yards, currently held by Josh Reed. Nabers (and maybe Daniels) could suit up just long enough to get the record before moving on to the NFL.

Line: LSU -8.5, O/U 55.5

13. Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl (Tucson, Ariz.): Toledo (11-2) vs. Wyoming (8-4); Sat., Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m.; CW/Barstool

Wyoming coach Craig Bohl announced he will retire after this game, ending a 21-year head-coaching career, the last 10 with the Cowboys. Before that, he spent 11 seasons at the FCS level with North Dakota State, including three straight FCS national championships from 2011 to 2013.

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Line: Wyoming -3, O/U 44.5

12. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas): No. 19 Oregon State (8-4) vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (9-3); Fri., Dec. 29, 2 p.m.; CBS

How does Kellogg’s decide to dub this the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl instead of the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? An otherwise intriguing matchup has been ravaged by transfers and opt-outs, particularly for Oregon State, which lost coach Jonathan Smith to Michigan State. Oregon State’s Ben Gulbranson and Notre Dame’s Steve Angeli will start at quarterback.

Line: Notre Dame -6.5, O/U 42.5

11. Pop-Tarts Bowl (Orlando, Fla.): No. 18 North Carolina State (9-3) vs. No. 25 Kansas State (8-4); Thu., Dec. 28, 5:45 p.m.; ESPN

This should be a fascinating game between ranked teams, but most important is the edible Pop-Tarts mascot that the winning team can eat on the field after the game. I’m all in.

Line: Kansas State -3, O/U 47.5

Bowl sponsorship quiz

SponsorshipWhat is it?

68 Ventures

A real estate development and construction firm

Radiance Technologies

A cyber security company

TransPerfect

A translation and language services company

GoBowling.com

A website connecting people to the fun of bowling. Really.

Wasabi

A cloud data storage provider

Starco Brands

A branding and marketing enterprise. I think.

Isleta

A resort and casino

Lockheed Martin

An aerospace, arms, defense and information security corporation

ReliaQuest

Another cyber security company

10. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.): No. 22 Clemson (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5); Fri., Dec. 29, noon; ESPN

Clemson will play in a 19th straight bowl game, but there are questions at cornerback. Nate Wiggins declared for the NFL Draft; Sheridan Jones, Jeadyn Lukus and Branden Strozier are sidelined by injury; and Toriano Pride Jr. entered the transfer portal.

Line: Clemson -5.5, O/U 46.5

9. DIRECTV Holiday Bowl (San Diego): No. 15 Louisville (10-3) vs. USC (7-5); Wed., Dec. 27, 8 p.m.; Fox

USC will be without star quarterback Caleb Williams, leading rusher MarShawn Lloyd and leading receiver Brenden Rice, all of whom opted out. Louisville, on the other hand, doesn’t anticipate any notable opt-outs for the bowl game.

Line: Louisville -7.5, O/U 57.5

8. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Arlington, Texas): No. 9 Missouri (10-2) vs. No. 7 Ohio State (11-1); Fri., Dec. 29, 8 p.m.; ESPN

The Buckeyes will be without starting quarterback Kyle McCord, who entered the transfer portal, and most likely without star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who many expect will declare for the draft. But they will have receiver Emeka Egbuka and cornerback Denzel Burke, among others, against an ascendent, top-10 Missouri squad that was one of the surprises of the season.

Line: Missouri -2.5, O/U 48.5

7. Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.): North Carolina (8-4) vs. West Virginia (8-4); Wed., Dec. 27, 5:30 p.m.; ESPN

With all due respect to West Virginia and coach Neal Brown, I think we all want to see a victorious North Carolina coach Mack Brown get a bucket of mayonnaise dumped on him.

Line: WVU -6, O/U 56.5

GO DEEPERCan bowls reinvent themselves in the Playoff era? 'Bowl games are meant to be fun, right?'

6. Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Phoenix): Kansas (8-4) vs. UNLV (9-4); Tue., Dec. 26, 9 p.m.; ESPN

In year one, UNLV coach Barry Odom has eclipsed the program’s win total of the past three seasons combined and led the Rebels to their first bowl since 2013. Kansas coach Lance Leipold has led the Jayhawks to their most wins since 2008, which is also the last time the program reached a bowl game in back-to-back seasons.

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Line: Kansas -12.5, O/U 64.5

5. Valero Alamo Bowl (San Antonio): No. 14 Arizona (9-3) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (10-2); Thu., Dec. 28, 9:15 p.m.; ESPN

Bowl season has gifted us an appointment-viewing clash of young quarterbacks: Oklahoma five-star true freshman Jackson Arnold, starting in place of transfer Dillon Gabriel, and Arizona redshirt freshman Noah Fifita.

Line: Arizona -3, O/U 62.5

4. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Atlanta): No. 11 Ole Miss (10-2) vs. No. 10 Penn State (10-2); Sat., Dec. 30, noon; ESPN

This is one of the best pairings of bowl season between teams that would be in the Playoff under next year’s 12-team format. It’s also an opportunity for both coaches — Penn State’s James Franklin and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin — to claim the type of marquee win each has struggled to secure.

Line: Penn State -3.5, O/U 48.5

3. Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, Fla.): No. 6 Georgia (12-1) vs. No. 5 Florida State (13-0); Sat., Dec. 30, 4 p.m.; ESPN

This could be a tough one for the Seminoles, who won’t have quarterback Jordan Travis and have had a few significant opt-outs. But unlike the CFP selection committee, I won’t make any restrictive assumptions about how this game will unfold.

Line: Georgia -14, O/U 44.5

2. CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans): No. 3 Texas (12-1) vs. No. 2 Washington (13-0); Mon., Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m.; ESPN

We get to watch Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. against Texas’ Quinn Ewers at quarterback, with Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and Texas coach Steve Sarkisian dueling as play callers. Holiday blessings.

Line: Texas -4, O/U 64.5

1. CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential (Pasadena, Calif.): No. 4 Alabama (12-1) vs. No. 1 Michigan (13-0); Mon., Jan. 1, 5 p.m.; ESPN

As disappointing as it was to see Florida State get left out of the Playoff, there’s no denying the decision delivered a tantalizing matchup between two of the most storied programs in college football history. I suppose hypocrisy is the price we have to pay for this one.

Line: Michigan -1.5, O/U 45.5

GO DEEPERCan bowls reinvent themselves in the Playoff era? 'Bowl games are meant to be fun, right?'

(Photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

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Ranking all 41 college football bowl games: So many bowls, so little time (2024)

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