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College football viewing guide: bowl season

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A look at all of the bowl action on tap for this week.

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

The college football season is coming to a close, but there still remains a little over a week’s worth of bowl games to tune in for. This week has a whole host of games running from Tuesday through Saturday that should keep you occupied over the New Year’s holiday.

Here is a quick breakdown of all of the games still remaining on the schedule.

Tuesday, Dec. 29

Cheez-It Bowl

No. 21 Oklahoma State (7-3) vs No. 18 Miami (8-2) —> 4:30 p.m. CST on ESPN

The Cheez-It Bowl has given college football fans some good laughs and crazy finishes the past few seasons, and this year’s matchup could result in another great game. Both Oklahoma State and Miami have had strong seasons, and will look to finish the year off right with a a bowl victory.

Valero Alamo Bowl

No. 20 Texas (6-3) vs Colorado (4-1) —> 8 p.m. CST on ESPN

Remember when Colorado was in the Big XII? Well these two teams were very familiar with one another for a long time (hello 1990s and early 2000s), but since the Buffaloes switched to the Pac-12 they haven’t played. The spread right now is in favor of Texas, but Colorado has had a really nice season under first year head coach Karl Dorrell and are feisty.

Wednesday, Dec. 30

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Wake Forest (4-4) vs Wisconsin (3-3) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN

The most important game for most Badgers fans, Wisconsin will look to get back on a winning streak in bowl games. Wake Forest has a really good offense, but has only played two games since Halloween, both of which they lost. The Badgers finally got things going on offense against Minnesota last weekend, can they keep it going against the Demon Deacons?

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

No. 7 Florida (8-3) vs No. 6 Oklahoma (8-2) —> 7 p.m. CST on ESPN

One of the better matchups of this bowl season, Florida and Oklahoma square off in what could be a really fun Cotton Bowl game. Both teams have high powered offenses, and this game could be a track meet inside the dome at AT&T Stadium. With the Iowa/Missouri game canceled, this game is the only other game to watch after the Badger game on Wednesday.

Thursday, Dec. 31

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

No. 24 Tulsa (6-2) vs Mississippi State (3-7) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN

Tulsa is coming off a narrow loss to Cincinnati, and will look to put on a show while representing the American Athletic Conference. Mississippi State is one of four SEC teams under .500 to accept a bowl bid. One would have to imagine that Tulsa has more to play for in this game, but maybe Mike Leach’s offense can get back to how it looked early in the season.

Offerpad Arizona Bowl

Ball State (6-1) vs No. 22 San Jose State (7-0) —> 1 p.m. CST on CBS

Two of the more surprising teams in the country, Ball State and San Jose State have both been great stories this season. Ball State is coming off winning their first MAC title since 1996, and has a bunch of momentum. San Jose State just won their first ever Mountain West conference title, and is a really fun team to watch. This is a sneaky good matchup of conference champions.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

West Virginia (5-4) vs Army (9-2) —> 3 p.m. CST on ESPN

Army finally worked themselves into a bowl game. The Black Knights were left out of a bowl after a large chunk of games were canceled, but wound up filling in to allow the Liberty Bowl to still go on with West Virginia. The Mountaineers haven’t won a game since November 14, while Army has won three straight. This game features very different styles of play on offense, but rely heavily on their strong defenses.

Mercari Texas Bowl

Arkansas (3-7) vs TCU (6-4) —> 7 p.m. CST on ESPN

Sam Pittman has Arkansas playing much better football this season, but the Razorbacks are still under .500 yet again. A bowl win over TCU would be a huge step towards conference relevancy for Arkansas, but TCU and head coach Gary Patterson have a pretty strong bowl record of late. Many Badger fans still aren’t over the 2011 Rose Bowl game.

Friday, Jan. 1

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

No. 9 Georgia (7-2) vs No. 8 Cincinnati (9-0) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN

Another really fun pairing this bowl season, Georgia and Cincinnati should be a great game. The Bulldogs have the recruiting stars, but have lost two of their last three bowl games. Cincinnati is a touchdown underdog, a status they are not used to after running through the AAC for a conference title unscathed. The Bearcats and Luke Fickell have a really good thing going, and a huge win over a marquee SEC team would certainly raise some eyebrows heading into 2021.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl

Auburn (6-4) vs No. 14 Northwestern (6-2) —> 12 p.m. CST on ABC

If you are into defenses, this game might just be for you. Northwestern and Auburn both sit inside the top-40 in scoring defense, while their offenses have been fairly pedestrian. The Wildcats are a field-goal favorite in this game, and I would anticipate that it is close throughout.

CFP Semifinal (Rose Bowl) from Arlington, Texas

No. 4 Notre Dame (10-1) vs No. 1 Alabama (11-0) —> 3 p.m. CST on ESPN

Notre Dame has had a really good year as they took their talents to the ACC for the first time. While they have been a great story and have a stout defense, the offensive skill that Alabama has is unmatched in college football this season. Three Alabama players were in the top-5 of Heisman Trophy ballots, and the Crimson Tide are nearly three touchdown favorites in this one. Of the two semifinal games, this one appears to be the most lopsided on paper.

CFP Semifinal (Sugar Bowl) from New Orleans, Louisiana

No. 3 Ohio State (6-0) vs No. 2 Clemson (10-1) —> 7 p.m. CST on ESPN

Ohio State and Clemson meet again for a chance to make it to the National Title Game. Outside of a close loss to Notre Dame without Trevor Lawrence, Clemson has been dominant this year and appear to be one of the most likely contenders to win it all. Ohio State has not been nearly as invincible as they were last year in the regular season after missing some key pieces. The Buckeyes are still unhappy with how things ended last year at the hands of Clemson, can they get revenge?

Saturday, Jan. 2

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

No. 23 NC State (8-3) vs Kentucky (4-6) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN

NC State has the upper hand in most offensive categories of this game, but Kentucky is the perceived favorite going in. The Wolfpack have won four straight games, and are playing some of their best football of the season. Kentucky had a really tough back half of their schedule, losing to Georgia, Alabama, and Florida in three of their last five games. Which team wants this more will be important to watch in this one.

Outback Bowl

Ole Miss (4-5) vs No. 11 Indiana (6-1) —> 11:30 a.m. CST on ABC

Indiana has had one of their best seasons in program history, with the lone loss coming in a close defeat to Ohio State. Despite the great year, Indiana was screwed over in bowl selection and placed in the Outback Bowl. The Hoosiers will need to win this game to support the Big Ten, because the last thing that the conference can have is one of the top teams from the conference losing to a below .500 Ole Miss team.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

No. 25 Oregon (4-2) vs No. 10 Iowa State (8-3) —> 3 p.m. CST on ESPN

Oregon ended up winning the Pac-12 Championship despite losing 40% of their regular season games, and enter as underdogs in the Fiesta Bowl. Iowa State has really played well since their opening game loss to Louisiana, and are now positions to potentially win a huge bowl game if they can put it all together one last time. Matt Campbell has the Cyclones playing confident, and should with Brock Purdy and Breece Hall moving the chains on offense.

Capital One Orange Bowl

No. 5 Texas A&M (8-1) vs No. 13 North Carolina (8-3) —> 7 p.m. CST on ESPN

Another really underrated matchup, Texas A&M and North Carolina could be a really fun game. Both teams have had good seasons, with A&M’s singular loss at the hands of Alabama and North Carolina continuing to improve under Mack Brown. The Aggies have managed to win most of their games despite uneven play at times. If Texas A&M wants to prove that they should have been No. 4 in the CFP than a win over North Carolina is a great way to let the results do the talking.