College football’s Bowl Season is upon us!
Here’s your quick preview of all 40 games, from those you dare not watch to those you dare not miss.
Don’t Look Now
40. Heart of Dallas: Anything goes for Army after finally beating Navy. Will they finally beat North Texas, which whipped the Cadets in October, 35-18?
39. New Orleans: You truly love college football if you stay awake till midnight to see if 6-6 Southern Miss beats 6-6 Louisiana-Lafayette.
38. Hawaii: Last year in the Bahamas, this year in Hawaii: No one does bowl season better than Middle Tennessee State!
37. Arizona: Air Force strafes South Alabama on the American Sports Network. Is this the latest incarnation of Castleman D. Chesley’s network?
36. New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment offers up New Mexico playing in its home stadium. But they bring the nation’s top rushing offense.
35. St. Petersburg: Mississippi State plays here thanks to its stellar academic record. The Bulldogs didn’t grade out as well on the field. Miami (Ohio) finished with six straight wins—to finish 6-6.
34. Bahamas: This one you’d always rather watch in person. Old Dominion appears in its first bowl game, against Eastern Michigan, in its first since 1987.
33. Quick Lane: Boston College and Maryland both went 6-6, went 5-12 in conference play, and rank 87 and 88 in footballoutsiders.com’s rankings. Call it the Mediocrity Bowl.
32. Cactus: This one kicks off at 10:15. You’re college football’s biggest fan if you stay up to watch Baylor lose its seventh straight. Wonder how long Boise State will stay awake?
31. Dollar General: Ohio’s 72-year-old Frank Solich faces Troy coach Neal Brown, who’s half his age. A better idea: these two play BC and Maryland.
Look In If You Get a Chance
30. Famous Idaho Potato: Idaho hosts Colorado State and coach Mike Bobo. Tune in to see what Georgia’s offense used to look like.
29. Miami Beach: Who thought it wise to send the Golden Hurricane to Miami? Tulsa faces poor Central Michigan, which went 3-5 in MAC play.
28. Cure: The Comeback Bowl. Central Florida went winless last year. Arkansas State started 0-4 this year.
27. Armed Forces: Over the past fortnight Navy’s lost its quarterback, slot back, and a 14-year winning streak against Army. Now they try to stop the third-ranked passing attack of Louisiana Tech.
26. Poinsettia: Hey! It’s the 20th anniversary rematch of BYU’s overtime win over Wyoming in the 1996 WAC Championship game!
25. Independence: Another pair of 6-6 teams, but NC State and Vanderbilt ended their seasons by dusting their archrivals. Their reward: Shreveport!
24. Military: Wake Forest finished 1-5. Temple won its last six, beat Navy to win the American Athletic Conference title, and watched their head coach bail for Baylor, leaving the Owls both good and mad.
23. Birmingham: South Carolina finished 1-2. South Florida finished 4-0, and watched their coach bail for Oregon, leaving the Bulls both good and mad.
22: Foster Farms: Utah finished 1-4. Indiana finished 1-2, and 3-5, and watched their coach get fired, leaving Indiana both poor and happy.
21. Pinstripe: Pitt beat Clemson and Penn State. Northwestern beat one team with a winning record—Iowa.
Do Try to Watch
20. Camellia: A fun matchup: Appalachian State is 15th in total defense, Toledo 4th in total offense.
19. Holiday: This bowl always amuses, and with Washington State’s offense on the premises, this year should be no exception.
18. Liberty: The Disappointment Bowl. Will TCU or Georgia want to be here less?
17. Boca Raton: Memphis and Western Kentucky combined average 84.6 points per game. Don’t miss a possession.
16. TaxSlayer: Kentucky and Georgia Tech both finished with exciting upset wins over archrivals. Both should be excited to play.
15. Belk: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema left Virginia Tech off his final coaches poll ballot. Oopsie.
14. Texas: Bill Snyder’s Kansas State finished strong. Kevin Sumlin’s Texas A&M team never does.
13. Outback: This game could set offensive football back 20 years. Florida ranks 115th in total offense; Iowa ranks 120th. Florida’s superior punting game could be decisive.
12. Music City: Once traditional powers Tennessee and Nebraska get together and reminisce about the good ol’ days.
11. Russell Athletic: Miami (Florida) hasn’t won a bowl game in 10 years. West Virginia makes it 11.
10. Sun: A year after getting gashed for a bowl-record 645 yards rushing, North Carolina tries to stop Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.
9. Las Vegas: How did San Diego State and Houston get slotted on Opening Day?
8. Alamo: A matchup worth staying awake for: Oklahoma State’s offense against Colorado’s defense.
7. Citrus: A matchup worth getting up for: LSU’s defense against Louisville’s offense.
6. Sugar: Let’s see what wrinkles Auburn’s Gus Malzahn can devise to slow Oklahoma.
5. Cotton: Here’s a potential charmer: Western Michigan carries the Group of Five banner against mighty Wisconsin.
4. Orange: Jimbo Fisher might wish he’d left FSU once Michigan arrives in Miami.
3. Rose: Southern Cal and Penn State, a fun matchup between two hot, hot teams playing very, very well.
2. Peach: Do we really need to see Alabama pummel yet another hapless victim?
1. Fiesta: Ohio State and Clemson ring out the year with a classic.