College Football Bowl season is well underway
The GIST: Bowl season’s been going strong for a week now and we’re still hyped. Besides the main dish CFP semis, there are several not-to-miss sides to serve up next weekend before bidding farewell to the collegiate gridiron season.
🤠 Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 21 Texas Longhorns vs. No. 12 Washington Huskies, Thursday, Dec. 29th at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN): This may be the best non–New Year’s Six bowl. Expect a tight toss-up between two rising programs with dynamite offenses led by top QBs — Huskie Michael Penix Jr. and Longhorn Quinn “Dude, where’s my car?” Ewers.
🐊 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: No. 19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 20 South Carolina Gamecocks, Friday, Dec. 30th at 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): Both the Irish and the Gamecocks fell hard this season before notching impressive dubs, so it’s extra satisfying to see the year’s redemption kings face off in Jacksonville, FL.
- Both squads bring ferocity, but bedlam could ensue after each team lost top players to the transfer portal and the NFL draft, leaving this game deliciously unpredictable.
🍬 Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 11 Kansas State Wildcats, Saturday, Dec. 31st at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN): Let’s call this a battle of talk vs. action. Bama may be a perennial powerhouse, but the Tide sat home on conference champ weekend practically begging for a CFP spot while the Wildcats were busy upsetting No. 3 TCU to take the Big 12 title.
- With not one, but two, phenomenal QBs in smarty-pants Adrian Martinez and can’t-believe-he’s-a-backup Will Howard, Kansas State could show Bama head coach (HC) Nick Saban that actions speak louder than words.
🌹 Rose Bowl: No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. No. 7 Utah Utes, Monday, Jan. 2nd at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN): In their second-straight trip to the “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Pac-12 champ Utes may have the edge over Penn State. While the Nittany Lions’ run game could give the Utes’ Pac-12 best run defense a headache, PSU’s defense leaves much to be desired.
- And with Utah’s offense led by two-time USC-vanquisher QB Cam Rising, the Lions will need to magically unearth their defensive roar to eke out a rosie dub.