Previewing the bowl games as bowl season starts this weekend | LSU

For many people, most bowl games seem more than a little redundant in the age of the college football playoffs, which will triple in size in just two years.

But remember, college football fanatics: There are only 43 games left this college football season. Once someone lifts the CFP trophy, the helmets and shoulder pads will be put away by the end of August.

In other words, give me all you got college football.

Give us the mascots and the silly sponsor names. The loud sports jackets and louder bands. Give us the matchups, the nail biters, the blowouts, the excitements.

Even give me some overtime here and there – as long as I don’t have to cover them on time.

This year, the bowl season follows a satisfactorily correct geographic arc. The first bowl game begins in the East just after the sun has risen over the Atlantic. Miami (Ohio) meets UAB at 10:30 a.m. in the Bahamas Bowl. The bowl season concludes in Los Angeles just after the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean with the CFP Championship game at the Rams and Chargers’ glittering SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

In between, there’s plenty to please, obsess, tease, and, yes, bet. Here is an example of what is to come:

The Smartass Bowl: There weren’t enough mediocre football teams to fill all the bowl slots, so the Rice Owls slipped to last place. Despite a 5-7 record, the Owls will play Southern Miss at Saturday’s Lending Tree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama because they had the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) of any 5-7 team. “It looks like the intellectual brutality of Rice Football is finally paying off,” said the student newspaper Rice Thresher. It’s the first bowl of rice since the 2014 Hawaii Bowl.

Why Bowls on January 2nd?: Because January 1st is a Sunday and don’t want to play bowls against the NFL. So just accept this gift of four Monday Bowls — the Citrus between LSU and Purdue, the Cotton between Tulane and USC, the ReliaQuest, and the Rose — as a final Christmas gift to extend your holiday weekend.

The ‘We’ll Be Right Back’ Shells: Both LSU and Florida State bowl in Orlando. The Seminoles play Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl on December 29. The Tigers and Seminoles will be back in Orlando on September 3 to face off in the 2023 season opener. Good chances that they will meet as top 10 teams.

The Covet Thy Rival’s Average-ness Bowl: Florida plays Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. As nice as the Citrus is, this is the bowl LSU fans would want the Tigers in if they weren’t going to make it to the CFP. Instead, it goes to a 6-6 Florida team that has struggled under first-year and former UL coach Billy Napier. A double digit dog for the state of Oregon, the Gators play punt, pass and kick from where they set the lines on the Vegas Strip. Without the volatile quarterback Anthony Richardson signed up for the NFL, it looks like Napier’s first season at Gainesville will be a loss.

The Hello Goodbye Bowl: Deion Sanders coaches undefeated Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Jackson State against North Carolina Central at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on Saturday and then flies to Colorado, where he has just accepted the job of rebuilding the ailing Buffaloes. Colorado is #2 in’s mocking Bottom 25, behind only UMass. Will Coach Prime have the buffs in a bowl in his freshman year?

The I’d Rather Lose Bowl: The winning coach in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl between Maryland and North Carolina State is dunked with a cooler full of mayonnaise that’s been cut with some water to help it flow. Yes, it’s as disgusting as it sounds. If I were the winning coach, I’d be faking an allergy. That year, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl folks allowed fans to apply to be a dunker. Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl volunteered quickly and humorously. I’d rather have my oil changed quickly than get drenched in a high-calorie condiment.

Do not adjust the set bowl: No bowl lives up to its name better than this year’s Orange Bowl. In this corner we have Tennessee dressed in orange, and in this corner we have Clemson dressed in orange. I’m assuming one team or another is sporting solid orange helmets, jerseys and shorts. I may have to avert my eyes.

The It Takes Guts Bowl: Mississippi state players have reportedly decided they want to play Illinois in Monday’s ReliaQuest Bowl despite the death of coach Mike Leach. It’s going to be quite an emotional afternoon for the Bulldogs in Tampa, Florida. To be honest, I don’t know if there was a bowl game like this. How focused State’s players will be is another question. Perhaps that’s one reason the Illini, who marginalized Michigan in November, are a 2-point favorite.


All times central


Bahamas bowl

10:30 a.m. ESPN

Nassau, Bahamas

Miami, Ohio (6-6) vs. UAB (6-6)

Line: UAB-11.0

healing bowl

2 p.m. ESPN


No. 24 Troy (11-2) vs. No. 25 UTSA (11-2)

Line: Troy -1.5


Fenway bowl

10 p.m., ESPN


Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Louisville (7-5)

Lead: UL-2.0

celebration bowl

11 p.m., ABC


Jackson State (12-0) vs. NC Central (9-2)

Line: JSU -14.0

Las Vegas Bowl

1:30 p.m. ESPN

Las Vegas

Florida (6-6) vs. No. 14 Oregon State (9-3)

Line: OSU-10.0

LA bowl

2:30 p.m., ABC

Inglewood, California

Washington State (7-5) vs. Fresno State (9-4)

Line: FSU-4.0

Loan tree bowl

4:45 p.m. ESPN

Mobile, Alabama

Rice (5-7) vs. Southern Miss (6-6)

Line: USM-6.0

New Mexico bowl

6:30 p.m. ABC

Albuquerque, New Mexico

SMU (7-5) vs. BYU (7-5)

Line: SMU -3.5

Frisco bowl

8:15 p.m. ESPN

Frisko, Texas

North Texas (7-6) vs. Boise State (9-4)

Line: BSU -10.5


Myrtle Beach Bowl

1:30 p.m. ESPN

Conway, South Carolina

Marshall (8-4) vs. Connecticut (6-6)

Line: MU -10.0


Idaho Potato Bowl

2:30 p.m. ESPN

Boise, Idaho

Eastern Michigan (8-4) vs. San Jose State (7-4)

Line: SJSU-3.5

Boca Raton bowl

6:30 p.m. ESPN

Boca Raton, Fla

Liberty (8-4) vs. Toledo (8-5)

Line: UT -5.0


New Orleans bowl

8 p.m. ESPN

Caesar’s Superdome

Western Kentucky (8-5) vs. South Alabama (10-2)

Line: US -4.5

December 22

Armed Forces Bowl

6:30 p.m. ESPN

Fort Worth, Texas

Baylor (6-6) vs Air Force (9-3)

Line: BU -5.5

23rd of December

independence bowl

2 p.m. ESPN


UL (6-6) vs. Houston (7-5)

Line: UH-6.5

Gasparilla bowl

5:30 p.m. ESPN

Tampa, Fla

Wake Forest (7-5) vs. Missouri (6-6)

Line: Wake -1.0

24th of December

hawaiian bowl

7 p.m. ESPN


Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs. San Diego State (7-5)

Line: SDSU-7.0

December 26th

Quick Lane Bowl

1:30 p.m. ESPN


New Mexico State (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (6-6)

Line: BGSU-3.0

December 27th

camellia bowl

11 p.m. ESPN

Montgomery, Alabama

Georgia Southern (6-6) vs. Buffalo (6-6)

Line: GSU-3.5

First Responder Bowl

2:15 p.m. ESPN


Memphis (6-6) vs. Utah State (6-6)

Line: UM -7.0

Birmingham bowl

5:45 p.m. ESPN

Birmingham, Alabama

Coastal Carolina (9-3) vs. East Carolina (7-5)

Line: ECU -8.0

Guaranteed rate bowl

9:15 p.m. ESPN


Wisconsin (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)

Line: UW-3.0

December 28th

military bowl

1 p.m. ESPN

Annapolis, Maryland

UCF (9-4) vs. Duke (8-4)

Line: Duke -2.0

liberty bowl

4:30 p.m. ESPN

Memphis, Tennessee

Kansas (6-6) vs. Arkansas (6-6)

Line: UA-3.0

holiday bowl

7 p.m. Fox

San Diego

No. 15 Oregon (9-3) vs. North Carolina (9-4)

Line: UO -14.0

Texas bowl

8 p.m. ESPN


Texas Tech (7-5) vs. Ole Miss (8-4)

Line: UM -3.5

December 29th

Pinstripe Bowl

1 p.m. ESPN

new York

Syracuse (7-5) vs. Minnesota (8-4)

Line: UM -7.5

Cheez-It Bowl

4:30 p.m. ESPN


Oklahoma (6-6) vs. No. 13 Florida State (9-3)

Line: FSU-7.5

Alamo bowl

8 p.m. ESPN

San Antonio

No. 20 Texas (8-4) vs. No. 12 Washington (10-2)

Line: UT -4.5

Dec 30

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

11 p.m. ESPN

Charlotte, North Carolina

Maryland (7-5) vs. No. 23 NC State (8-4)

Line: UM -1.5

sun bowl

1 p.m., CBS

El Paso, Texas

Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. No. 18 UCLA (9-3)

Line: UCLA-6.0

gator bowl

2:30 p.m. ESPN

Jacksonville, Fla

No. 21 Notre Dame (8-4) vs. No. 19 South Carolina (8-4)

Line: ND-2.0

Arizona bowl

3:30 p.m., barstool sport

Tucson, Ariz

Ohio (9-4) vs. Wyoming (7-5)

Line: select it

orange peel

7 p.m. ESPN


No. 6 Tennessee (10-2) vs. No. 7 Clemson (11-2)

Line: CU -7.0

Dec 31

sugar bowl

11 p.m. ESPN

Caesar’s Superdome

No. 5 Alabama (10-2) vs. No. 9 Kansas State (10-3)

Line: UA-3.0

Music City Bowl

11 p.m., ABC

Nashville, Tennessee

Iowa (7-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)

Line: Iowa -2.5

Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinals)

3 p.m. ESPN

Glendale, Arizona

No. 3 TCU (12-1) vs. No. 2 Michigan (13-0)

Line: UM -7.5

Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinals)

7 p.m. ESPN


No. 4 Ohio State (11-1) vs. No. 1 Georgia (13-0)

Line: UGA-6.5

January 2nd

ReliaQuest Bowl

11 p.m., ESPN2

Tampa, Fla

No. 22 Miss. State (8-4) vs Illinois (8-4)

Line: Illinois -2.0

citrus peel

noon, ABC


No. 17 LSU (9-4) vs. Purdue (8-5)

Line: LSU-10.5

cotton bowl

noon, ESPN

Arlington, Texas

No. 16 Tulane (11-2) vs. No. 10 USC (11-2)

Line: USC -1.5

rose bowl

4 p.m. ESPN

Pasadena, California

No. 11 Penn State (10-2) vs. No. 8 Utah (10-3)

Line: Utah -2.5

January 9th

CFP National Championship Game

6:30 p.m. ESPN

Inglewood, California

Georgia/Ohio State vs Michigan/TCU

Line: TBA

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