December 16, 2016
After watching bowl games all Saturday, there is no reason to stop during the next week. Except for Christmas Day—that is for NFL games—there are bowl games every day from Dec. 19 to Dec. 24.
There are eight bowl games with three in the afternoon and five during the primetime hours of 7 to 10 p.m.
Outside of fans of the teams playing, most people don’t truly care about these games. They’re a great way to waste three-and-a-half to four hours. Nothing says “happy holidays” like an insane amount of video reviews and teams you probably didn’t watch all season.
Just in case you are on the fence about watching these bowl games, here are some reasons to tune in to every game. These facts have been gleaned from bowl previews around the web.
Looking for a reason to call in sick or leave early from work on Monday, Dec. 19? How about being home to watch the Miami Beach Bowl on ESPN at 1:30 p.m.
This game features Central Michigan University out of the MAC and the University of Tulsa out of the AAC—two “Group of Five” teams entering the postseason on opposite trends.
The UT Golden Hurricane enters the matchup on a two-game winning streak but the CMU Chippewas enter having lost four of the last five games played. Why should you watch?
Central Michigan beat Oklahoma State University on a controversial Hail Mary with a lateral in one of the craziest games of the year. If this game is close at the end, it could provide a memorable finish for the Chippewas.
Tulsa is playing for a 10-win season, and wide receiver Josh Atkinson needs just 73 receiving yards to make the Golden Hurricane the first team with two 1,000-yard running backs, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 3,000-yards passing quarterback. Who doesn’t like seeing history made?
The Boca Raton Bowl shouldn’t need much to get you to tune in to ESPN at 6 p.m. on Dec. 20. This game features 10-3 Western Kentucky University from C-USA and the 8-4 University of Memphis out of the AAC.
There will be plenty of offense on display as both teams average 40 points per game. Both have also returned interceptions and kick returns for touchdowns this season. Pour some spiked eggnog and enjoy the fireworks.
There are former conference foes battling in the Poinsettia Bowl at 8 p.m., Dec. 21, on ESPN, as Brigham Young University, formerly of the Mountain West Conference, takes on the University of Wyoming still in the MWC.
The score should be close late in the game since both teams have played seven games that were decided by eight-points or less. The Cougars lost four games by a combined eight points.
Wyoming is in its first bowl game in five years, and a win would put the program at 7-7 for bowl games. The Cowboys knocked off Boise State University in an exciting game.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be played on Boise State’s “Smurf turf” on Dec. 22 at 6 p.m., airing on ESPN. This could end up being a snow game if the weather cooperates and rains down a blizzard on both teams.
There are a few reasons to watch this game. Most of those reasons involve the 8-4 University of Idaho out of the Sun Belt Conference than 7-5 Colorado State University from the Mountain West.
Idaho is dropping down to the FCS in 2018 after years of struggling at the FBS level. The Vandals are playing in just their third bowl game in program history and are undefeated in their other two bowl appearances.
This could be the last time Idaho is in a bowl game if they don’t make one in 2017, which makes for more possible bowl history to watch.
Colorado State spanked MWC champion San Diego State University 63-31 to end the season. The CSU Rams reached 60 points before the fourth quarter began, and the Idaho Vandals have given up more points than they have scored.
A trio of games is in store for Dec. 23 on ESPN beginning at noon with the Bahamas Bowl. This game features two teams that are just happy to be in a bowl game at all, much less one with such a great location.
Old Dominion University didn’t start its football program until 2008 and is playing in the first bowl game in program history. Eastern Michigan University hasn’t been in a bowl game since 1987.
The EMU Eagles are breaking a bowl drought of 29 years after finishing 7-5 in the MAC. The ODU Monarchs are looking for a 10-win season after finishing 9-3 in C-USA. This isn’t the sexiest bowl game, but it is better than watching “A Christmas Carol” for the 100th time.
After the Bahamas Bowl, stick around for the Armed Forces Bowl, as we kiss the Bahamas good-bye for Fort Worth, Texas. Extreme differences feels like the perfect metaphor for this game.
Louisiana Tech University out of C-USA is going to throw the ball all over the field, while the United States Naval Academy out of the AAC is going to run the ball all over the field with the triple option.
The Bulldogs gave up 235 rushing yards to Western Kentucky University in the C-USA championship game. Navy ranks 104th in pass defense, giving up 242.2 yards per game.
This game is old school against new school, Generation X versus Millennials, smash-mouth rushing football against finesse passing football—you get the point. This is a game of opposite teams.
It should be an interesting watch in this day of pass-happy offenses to see how this game plays out. Both teams have to bounce back from end-of-season losses.
End your Dec. 23 with the Dollar General Bowl at 7 p.m. on ESPN. This game features 8-5 Ohio University from the MAC against 9-3 Troy University from the Sun Belt.
36-year-old head coach Neal Brown leads Troy, and Ohio head coach is 72-year-old Frank Solich. Under Solich, the Bobcats are defensive-minded, and the Trojans led the Sun Belt in offensive yards.
It is a contrast in styles and head-coaching ages. If Solich sounds familiar, you might remember him leading Nebraska to the 2001 title game and getting booted two years later. The Cornhuskers have been average ever since.
Finally, spend your Christmas Eve in Hawaii—or at least watching the Hawaii Bowl. It seems perfectly logical to kill time waiting for Christmas morning by watching the 6-7 University of Hawaii from the MWC take on 8-4 Middle Tennessee State University from C-USA.
Hawaii has traveled 47,000 miles this season, or about two trips around the Earth. A home game right before the holidays sounds like a win to me after that travel schedule.
The Rainbow Warriors are also playing their first bowl game in six years. End-of-the-year fatigue might be Hawaii’s enemy, as the team plays in its 14th game after all the travel.
Middle Tennessee knocked off a bad SEC team in the University of Missouri to highlight its season. The Blue Raiders rely on former University of Mississippi transfer running back I’Tavius Mathers on offense.
Mathers has rushed for more than 1,500 yards and caught 500 yards in passes to become just the seventh player in FBS history to accomplish the feat. If MTSU gets quarterback Brent Stockstill back, this should be a run-away win for the Blue Raiders.