December 23, 2016
If you aren’t suffering from college-football bowl fatigue, you can still watch plenty of games. The quality of football might be questionable at times, but drink it all in because when it is gone, it will be gone until next fall.
Since so many games are coming up, here is a brief schedule from Monday, Dec. 26, to Wednesday, Dec. 28.
The first game to feast on is the St. Petersburg Bowl, which kicks off at 10 a.m. on ESPN. Check out my http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/weblogs/sports/2016/dec/22/st-petersburg-bowl-preview/">recent preview of the game between Mississippi State University and Miami University in Ohio.
After the St. Petersburg Bowl, check out the Quick Lane Bowl at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN. This game is the first to feature teams from Power Five conferences.
Boston College and the University of Maryland enter the game with identical 6-6 records. The Eagles and Terrapins were once conference foes in the ACC, but Maryland is now a member of the Big Ten.
The final game on Dec. 26 is the Independence Bowl at 4 p.m. on ESPN2 between North Carolina State University and Vanderbilt University. This is an ACC against SEC matchup with two more 6-6 teams.
In fact, no team that plays on Dec. 26 enters the game with a winning record, and Mississippi State has a losing record. Both the Wolfpack and Commodores beat in-state rivals, which made them become bowl eligible.
College football on Dec. 27 begins with the Heart of Dallas Bowl between the United States Military Academy and the University of North Texas at 11 a.m. on ESPN. No one will say this is the sexiest bowl matchup of the season.
The Army is playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2010 and just the second time since 1997. That should lead to a highly motivated Black Knights squad.
North Texas beat the Army earlier this season at 35-18 but enters this game with a 5-7 record. The Army comes into this bowl game with a 7-5 record, which makes it the first team with a winning record to play this week.
Continue watching bowl games with the Military Bowl at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. The game features Wake Forest University battling Temple University and may focus more on off-the-field issues than action on the field.
Wake Forest just fired Tommy Elrod, who was the color analyst on the team’s radio broadcast. Elrod was giving the Demon Deacons’ game play to opposing teams, and he was a former player and coach at the university.
Temple, on the other hand, just lost head coach Matt Rhule, who is taking over the dumpster fire that is Baylor University football. The Owls shocked the Navy to win the AAC Championship Game, but with their coach bolting, are they mentally going to be in this game?
Two normally cold-weather teams clash in the Holiday Bowl from San Diego at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Washington State University faces off against the University of Minnesota in sun instead of snow.
This is a game with two teams that own solid winning records. The Golden Gophers out of the Big Ten are 8-4 and the Cougars out of the Pac-12 are also 8-4.
It could push four hours long, as Washington State likes to throw the ball a lot. But Minnesota is known to run the ball more than pass, which could even things out.
If you can stay up late enough, Boise State University plays Baylor University, finishing off the day in the Cactus Bowl. The Broncos are 10-2, with both losses coming down to the wire. Baylor, on the other hand, is a reverse Miami University.
The Bears began the season with six straight wins but come into this game suffering six straight losses. If Baylor hasn’t completely given up on the season, there is a chance that Boise State will keep them in the game since the Broncos are turnover prone.
The Pinstripe Bowl kicks things off on Wednesday, Dec. 28, with a matchup between the University of Pittsburgh and Northwestern University. The main reason you should watch this game at 1 p.m. on ESPN is Pittsburgh running back James Conner.
This will be the final college game in Conner’s career, as he returned to football this season after beating cancer. It will be the feel-good story of the bowl season, as Conner leads the 8-4 Panthers one last time.
The Wildcats are a 6-6 team that found some offense late in the season and became bowl eligible. But can Northwestern knock off a team that beat both Pennsylvania State University and Clemson University in the regular season?
Two former conference foes face off in the Russell Athletic Bowl on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. West Virginia University and University of Miami were formerly members of the Big East Conference.
During the conference realignment, the Big East slowly lost teams to other conferences. In the end, the Big East became just a basketball conference, and the few football teams from that conference formed the American Athletic Conference.
This game is a chance to remember the Big East as a football conference, as Miami is now in the more prestigious conferences. West Virginia is now in the Big 12 the same conference that the University of Texas keeps stopping expansion as that program flounders in the wilderness.
Do Indiana University fans care enough about the Foster Farms Bowl to tune in, or are Hoosier fans now wrapped up in basketball? The University of Utah should have plenty of fans at the game and tuning in at 7:30 p.m. on Fox.
The Utes bring an 8-4 record into this matchup and is the last team to beat the University of Southern California. The Hoosiers lost to Wake Forest to early in the season because not even Indiana can get game plans from an evil former player Elrod.
Utah is a better team than the 6-6 Hoosiers and should win this game. But crazy things tend to happen in bowl games, so it could be worth the watch.
If you can stay up late enough, end the day with the Texas Bowl at 8 p.m. on ESPN. This game features Texas A&M University against Kansas State University in a SEC versus Big 12 battle.
The Wildcats feature legendary coach Bill Snyder, who might not be around much longer. Snyder has done a marvelous job in the “Little Apple” of Manhattan, Kansas.
Texas A&M suffered another late season slide and could really use a win in this game. After beating the University of Tennessee, the Aggies went 2-4 for the rest of the season, with those four losses all being in the SEC. It would be nice for Texas A&M to beat up on someone not named the University of New Mexico or the University of Texas, San Antonio.
There you have it: your bowl viewing schedule for Dec. 26 to Dec. 28. Next week, we will finish up the regular bowl schedule, and in another post, break down the New Year’s Six bowls.
Enjoy the holiday and see you Monday, Dec. 26, as MSU faces Miami early in the morning.