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I am informed by increasingly more folks how meaningless bowl video games have turn into every faculty soccer season. With the Faculty Soccer Playoff subject set to broaden to 12 groups in 2024, this sentiment will solely develop extra prevalent — and I get it. You may by no means be certain which groups will take it severely, and lots of the greatest gamers decide out of the video games to organize for the NFL Draft.

However, you recognize what? I really like bowls. Each single one in all them. I really like faculty soccer, and bowl video games are faculty soccer video games. I do not care if the crew’s main rusher has determined to take a seat out. That solely means I get to see what the brand new man brings to the desk. It additionally offers me an opportunity to see extra faculty soccer.

Should you’re a fan of school soccer, what’s to not love? Bowl Season is not the common season or the playoff, but it surely’s a beautiful time of 12 months. There are video games on almost day by day of the week at random instances! That is unimaginable! That is one thing to be celebrated!

Yearly, I select to have a good time it by watching all of them, however I cowl faculty soccer for a dwelling. I do know most individuals aren’t in a position to dedicate that a lot time to those video games, which is why I rank the bowls for you right here at CBS Sports activities yearly. Now, as I mentioned, all these video games are unimaginable and value your time, however should you’re on a funds, hopefully my helpful information may also help you determine which video games to observe and why. All instances under Japanese

41. First Responder Bowl: Memphis vs. Utah State

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 3:15 p.m. — This recreation has an opportunity to be thrilling, but it surely’s exhausting to inform which model of every crew will present up. Memphis and Utah State regarded like a unique crew every week, which helps clarify why each completed the common season with 6-6 data. The excellent news is we must always know the way this recreation will go fairly rapidly. Utah State’s six wins tended to be shut battles, however the losses got here by a mean of 23 factors every.

40. Bahamas Bowl: UAB vs. Miami (OH)

Friday, Dec. 16, 11:30 a.m. — UAB will probably be a way more fascinating crew to comply with subsequent season when Trent Dilfer takes over as coach. The Blazers went 6-6 this season and are led by working again DeWayne McBride, who rushed for 1,713 yards and 19 touchdowns. They have been a lot better at dwelling, the place they went 5-1.

As for the RedHawks, it has been an up-and-down marketing campaign as properly. They beat Northwestern in September, which appeared like a much bigger deal on the time, however they had been solely 4-4 within the MAC. Nonetheless, they did win three of their final 4 video games to earn bowl eligibility.

39. Myrtle Seaside Bowl: Marshall vs. UConn

Monday, Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m. — He is not going to win any of them, however UConn’s Jim Mora ought to get consideration for Coach of the Yr awards. Mora took over a UConn program that had gone 4-31 in its final three seasons (it did not play in 2020) and guided the Huskies to a bowl recreation. That is a surprising turnaround! In addition they improved because the 12 months went on, beginning 1-4 and going 6-2 down the stretch whereas choosing up wins over eventual Mountain West champ Fresno State and Boston Faculty.

Marshall is 8-4 and had a profitable first season within the Solar Belt. The Herd beat Notre Dame in South Bend early within the season and took down a James Madison squad that among the finest within the Solar Belt. They’ve received 4 in a row due to the churning legs of Khalan Laborn (1,423 yards speeding, 16 TD) and a sturdy protection. The one cause I’ve this recreation ranked this low is that I believe there is a good likelihood Marshall will run away with it.

38. LendingTree Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Rice

Saturday, Dec. 17, 5:45 p.m. — Lastly, in spite of everything these years, the rivalry is renewed! OK, so there is not any actual rivalry, however Southern Miss was once in Convention USA earlier than shifting to the Solar Belt this season, the place it went 6-6 general however limped to the end line. The Eagles have misplaced three of their final 4 however nonetheless have an thrilling participant in working again Frank Gore Jr.

Rice is the one 5-7 crew to achieve the postseason this 12 months, however none of these 5 wins got here in opposition to a crew with a profitable file. The Owls have additionally misplaced their final three and 4 of their final 5, so, yeah, it isn’t the sexiest matchup you will discover.

37. Birmingham Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. East Carolina

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. — This recreation would rank so much larger if Coastal Carolina nonetheless had coach Jamey Chadwell and quarterback Grayson McCall, however their standing is up within the air. Chadwell has accepted the teaching job at Liberty, and I do not think about he’ll stick round to guide the Chanticleers on this one. As for McCall, he is one of many extra thrilling gamers within the nation however suffered what was believed to be a season-ending harm earlier this 12 months solely to return for the 45-26 Solar Belt Championship Recreation loss to Troy. Enjoyable truth in regards to the Chants: They’re 9-3 on the season, however after blowout losses of their final two video games, they’ve some extent differential of -12 on the season. I can not think about there have been many nine-win groups with a adverse level differential prior to now.

East Carolina is led by one in all my favourite gamers within the nation, QB Holton Ahlers. Ahlers has performed for the Pirates for what seems like 25 years, and he is been a productive participant in every of these 25 seasons. Nonetheless, none of these seasons — and it has solely been 5, in fact — have led to a bowl recreation till this 12 months. That is East Carolina’s first postseason look for the reason that 2014 Birmingham Bowl.

36. Frisco Bowl: Boise State vs. North Texas

Saturday, Dec. 17, 9:15 p.m. — Boise State’s total season rotated following a 27-10 loss to UTEP in September. That is when Hank Bachmeier misplaced the beginning QB job, and the crew fired its offensive coordinator earlier than bringing again Dirk Koetter. Since then, Taylen Inexperienced and the Broncos offense have been far more harmful, if inconsistent. Inexperienced’s a giant play ready to occur on every snap, however the Boise protection is the perfect unit on the sphere on this recreation. Sadly for the Broncos, after going 8-0 in convention play through the common season, they misplaced within the MWC championship to Fresno State 28-16 after beating the Bulldogs within the common season.

It is a feeling to which North Texas can relate; the Imply Inexperienced reached the Convention USA Championship Recreation themselves however had been routed by UTSA 48-27. Sadly for coach Seth Littrell, reaching the convention championship was not sufficient to avoid wasting his job as he was fired on Dec. 4. The Imply Inexperienced offense is led by QB Austin Aune, who has thrown for 3,309 yards and 32 touchdowns this season on the age of 29. Aune was a TCU commit out of highschool however was drafted by the New York Yankees within the second spherical of the 2012 MLB Draft. He opted to play baseball however returned to soccer in 2018 after his baseball profession did not pan out.

35. Fast Lane Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Bowling Inexperienced

Monday, Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m. — This isn’t the sexiest matchup on paper, however we all know one factor: Each of those groups will probably be glad to be right here. Bowling Inexperienced is 6-6 and taking part in in its first bowl recreation for the reason that Falcons reached the GoDaddy Bowl in 2015. They received 10 video games that season however have not received greater than 4 video games in a season till this 12 months.

They’re going to face a New Mexico State crew taking part in solely the fifth bowl recreation in program historical past. The final look got here in 2017, which was the Aggies’ final season within the Solar Belt. They have been Impartial for the final 5 years and have discovered life very troublesome. They went 8-30 from 2018-21, however Jerry Kill has turned this program round rapidly in his first season. The Aggies began the 12 months 1-5 earlier than profitable 5 of their final six to get right here.

34. Camellia Bowl: Georgia Southern vs. Buffalo

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 12 p.m. — A matchup of 6-6 groups with some upside. For many who do not pay shut consideration to the Solar Belt (and why do not you?), Georgia Southern is now led by former USC coach Clay Helton, who helped the Eagles get off to a stunning begin. This is similar Georgia Southern crew that went to Lincoln, Nebraska, earlier this season and ended the Scott Frost Period with a 45-42 win over the Cornhuskers. That was a part of a 3-1 begin to the season, however the Eagles hit exhausting instances after that. Nonetheless, they seem to be a enjoyable crew that scores factors almost as rapidly because it permits them, which might make for a enjoyable bowl expertise.

Then there’s Buffalo, which has given new which means to the working of the Bulls. Buffalo began the season 0-3 earlier than profitable 5 straight. Then, the Bulls dropped three in a row and had been on the verge of lacking bowl season totally earlier than coming again to beat Akron in a recreation that had been postponed resulting from 6 ft of snow falling within the Buffalo space earlier in November. One thing tells me there will not be snow within the forecast for this recreation.

33. Hawaii Bowl: Center Tennessee vs. San Diego State

Saturday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m. — There isn’t any custom larger than getting the household collectively on Christmas Eve, gathering across the hearth and opening the reward that’s the Hawaii Bowl. Positive, the matchup is not all the time nice, and you will have a tough time explaining to your family how Rick Stockstill is an establishment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, however don’t be concerned. You may also inform them in regards to the time that the Blue raiders beat the Miami Hurricanes 45-31 earlier this season, and since they seem to be a informal fan, they will not even understand that is not a giant deal anymore. In truth, they’re going to most likely suppose it is one of many largest upsets of all time. Allow them to suppose in order a small reward to them.

Your relative may additionally acknowledge San Diego State coach Brady Hoke as “the man who coached Michigan, proper? after they had been unhealthy?” You may verify that but additionally make clear that Mr. Hoke has finished a strong job with the Aztecs. Positive, they’re solely 7-5, however their 5 losses this season got here in opposition to groups that went a mixed 42-21, together with two convention champions (Utah and Fresno State).

32. Independence Bowl: Houston vs. Louisiana

Friday, Dec. 23, 3 p.m. — This is my concern about this recreation: When the Cougars are on, they’re pleasing to observe. They’ll put up factors in a rush, and QB Clayton Tune (3,845 yards passing, 491 speeding, 42 whole TD) is a stud, as is receiver Tank Dell (1,354 yards, 15 TD). However you by no means know which Houston goes to point out up. Dana Holgorsen’s crew is tougher to foretell than a random quantity generator, and it’s important to query how excited this crew will probably be for an Independence Bowl in opposition to Louisiana. In the event that they care, we have a shot at having enjoyable right here; if they do not, we’ll slog by.

The identical query might be requested of the Ragin’ Cajuns. Whereas this is not a program more likely to take a bowl look without any consideration, the Cajuns spent the previous few seasons taking part in for Solar Belt titles. This 12 months, they wanted a 41-13 win over Texas State within the season’s last recreation to earn bowl eligibility. This recreation has a excessive ceiling however a low ground, too.

31. Armed Forces Bowl: Baylor vs. Air Pressure

Thursday, Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m. — Baylor received the Massive 12 final 12 months and reached the Sugar Bowl thanks primarily to a protection that was among the finest within the nation. This 12 months, the Bears are solely 6-6 as a result of that protection deserted them. Whereas this recreation seems to be nice on paper, I believe there’s larger blowout potential right here than most will assume. 

Baylor ranked 99th within the nation this 12 months in success fee in opposition to the run and 92nd in anticipated factors added (EPA) per rush try. That is not nice when going through an possibility crew like Air Pressure! The Falcons are 9-3 on the season behind their speeding assault. They run the ball extra typically than any crew within the nation (88.8% of the time!) and rank 14th in yards per carry (5.40) and thirteenth in EPA per rush (0.14).

30. Potato Bowl: San Jose State vs. Japanese Michigan

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 3:30 p.m. — Early within the season, San Jose State regarded like among the finest groups within the Mountain West. The Spartans had been 4-2 with shut highway losses to Auburn and Fresno State. Then tragedy struck when working again Camdan McWright was struck and killed by a bus. The loss had a profound affect on the Spartans’ season, however they completed the season 7-4 behind quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, working again Kairee Robinson and receiver Elijah Cooks.

Japanese Michigan completed the common season 8-4 and 4 factors shy of taking part in for a MAC title. The Eagles completed with the identical 5-3 file in convention play that Toledo did, however their 27-24 loss to the Rockets served because the tie-breaker. Nonetheless, the Eagles recovered from that loss with three wins to complete the common season, and look to complete with 9 wins for the primary time since going 10-2 in 1987.

29. Pinstripe Bowl: Minnesota vs. Syracuse

Thursday, Dec. 29, 2 p.m. — I’ve a sense within the pit of my abdomen that these groups may mix to make this rating look very silly when bowl season ends. Whereas they’re each Energy 5 groups, this is not probably the most thrilling matchup. Syracuse does an ideal job defensively of limiting explosive performs, and Minnesota’s offense is not constructed on massive performs. We’re more likely to see numerous clock-churning drives on this one, however on the intense aspect, that ought to hold issues shut.

On a fair brighter aspect, it is one other likelihood to see among the finest working backs within the nation. Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim tore his Achilles final season however returned this 12 months to hurry for 1,594 yards and 19 touchdowns. His 144.91 speeding yards per recreation ranks second nationally. The battle between him and Syracuse working again Sean Tucker (1,060 yards, 11 TD) must be enjoyable.

28. Gasparilla Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Missouri

Friday, Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. — Enjoyable truth about Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman. He missed time early within the season resulting from an undisclosed medical situation. Hartman shared the information after the common season of needing a rib eliminated, conserving it in his freezer and planning to have a necklace made out of it. So, you recognize that now! Congratulations! You must also know that Hartman has been one of the vital productive QBs within the nation for a number of years now, and this Wake Forest offense is able to placing up numerous factors when taking part in properly. It is also able to turning the ball over with alarming regularity, which makes it entertaining 100% of the time so long as you do not have a rooting curiosity.

The issue right here is Missouri. The Tigers went 6-6, however outdoors of a 23-10 win over South Carolina, they do not have many wins to get enthusiastic about. They’re sturdy sufficient defensively to maintain most video games shut, however we have seen a major variety of Tigers gamers hit the switch portal for the reason that season ended. The questions on who will probably be out there for this recreation make it exhausting for me to rank it a lot larger than this.

27. Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo vs. Liberty

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. — This recreation has a low ground however could possibly be very entertaining if each groups present up. Liberty started the season 8-1 and entered the Faculty Soccer Playoff Rankings after beating Arkansas 21-19. That win amplified the rumors about Hugh Freeze leaving to take the Auburn job, and the Flames misplaced their last three video games of the season. That features a 49-14 loss to New Mexico State through which the crew regarded prefer it had been informed by its coach that he was leaving, they usually did not take it very properly. What Liberty crew reveals up for this recreation? Will it’s a crew that desires to impress new coach Jamey Chadwell or a crew that simply needs to complete the season?

Toledo may crush the Flames if they do not present up able to play. The Rockets received the MAC, beating Ohio 17-7 within the title recreation after going 5-3 in convention play and 8-5 general. That is an inconsistent crew, however they have been a lot better when QB Dequan Finn (2,127 yards passing, 608 speeding, 30 TD) has been wholesome. He performed in opposition to Ohio and must be nearer to 100% well being by the point this recreation is performed.

26. Army Bowl: Duke vs. UCF

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2 p.m. — Desire a peek backstage? With regards to these bowl rankings, the ten greatest and the ten worst are often fairly apparent, after which the 21 video games within the center are principally the identical. I may’ve informed you that way back, however I wished to put it aside as a reward for many who learn this far. Nicely, until you are a Duke or UCF fan who scanned this far simply to see the place your recreation is ranked. Should you did, that is dishonest; return to the start and begin over.

The purpose is that this recreation has all of the potential on the planet to be nice, however I’m wondering in regards to the matchup. UCF is a crew that had a lot larger hopes than a Army Bowl look. It is also a crew that runs the ball so much and can face a Duke crew that completed thirty fourth nationally in EPA per rush on protection. Additionally, I might be remiss if I did not shout out Duke coach Mike Elko for the unbelievable job he is finished in his first season with the Blue Devils. That is Duke’s first bowl recreation since 2018, and the Blue Devils have received extra video games this season (eight) than they did the final two years mixed (5). In addition they went 5-3 within the ACC, giving them their first profitable file in convention play since 2014.

25. Assured Price Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m. — Should you’d have informed me earlier than the season that we had been getting a bowl recreation between Oklahoma State and Wisconsin, I might have assumed it was in a New Yr’s Six bowl. Wisconsin was the favourite within the Massive Ten West and Oklahoma State was a severe menace to win the Massive 12. As a substitute, the Badgers went 6-6 and fired coach Paul Chryst through the season, and enter this recreation with beginning QB Graham Mertz who opted to enter the switch portal. Oklahoma State began 6-1 however misplaced 4 of 5 to complete the common season.

I don’t know what to anticipate right here. Neither of those offenses carried out properly in 2022, and it is exhausting to think about a pair weeks of bowl practices will probably be sufficient to determine it out. 

24. New Mexico Bowl: BYU vs. SMU

Saturday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. — We have got potential right here. SMU averaged 38.4 factors per recreation this season (thirteenth nationally) whereas BYU scored 31.9 (fortieth). Defensively, the Mustangs allowed 34.7 per recreation (123rd) and BYU allowed 30.0 (a hundredth). Should you’re the betting sort, you may wish to have your head examined should you’re contemplating the below as a result of I do not see numerous punts flying by the large blue skies of Albuquerque when these two meet.

The Mustangs received six of their final eight video games to complete the season 7-5 and have one of the vital gifted receivers within the nation in Rashee Rice (96 receptions, 1,355 yards, 10 TD). He is more likely to hear his title referred to as early within the NFL Draft this spring. For the Cougars, control QB Jaren Corridor, who threw for 31 touchdowns. He seems to be to be the subsequent in an extended line of prolific BYU passers.

23. New Orleans Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Alabama

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 9 p.m. — Ever had a good friend who listens to a bunch of musicians you have by no means heard of? They’re going to inform you about this live performance they noticed at this tiny venue that includes an act with a reputation that is mindless and say it was a life-changing expertise. You will shrug it off, “Greg being Greg” or no matter, however deep down inside you will concern you are lacking out. What if Greg’s proper? What if Greg is onto one thing you’d love if solely you gave it a shot?

Greg is basically into the New Orleans Bowl this 12 months. Greg needs you to know all about South Alabama. The Jaguars did not win the Solar Belt, however they’re the second-best crew within the league, at worst. They simply play within the mistaken division. They’re 10-2, and their lone losses had been a one-point loss at UCLA and a four-point loss to Solar Belt champion Troy. The protection is fierce. Operating again LaDamian Webb is a beast. You must see them. You additionally have to see them in opposition to a Western Kentucky offense that writes some loopy songs. They’ll rating on anyone. Austin Reed threw for 4,247 yards and 36 touchdowns. You have to see him stay, man. Greg is aware of. Hearken to Greg.

22. Gator Bowl: (21) Notre Dame vs. (19) South Carolina

Friday, Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. — South Carolina completed the season with a bang. The Gamecocks began 6-3, however none of their six wins had been that spectacular until you are actually excessive on South Carolina. After a 38-6 loss to Florida, this crew regarded destined to complete 6-6 with video games in opposition to Tennessee and Clemson remaining. Then the Gamecocks went and beat Tennessee 63-38 and adopted it up with a 31-30 highway win over Clemson. In consecutive weeks, the Gamecocks destroyed the playoff hopes (nevertheless faint) of a division rival and a state rival. It is the stuff of which goals are made.

Now they get a shot to take down one of the vital adorned packages in faculty soccer historical past after they face Notre Dame within the Gator Bowl. So why am I rating this recreation so low? Nicely, Notre Dame beginning QB Drew Pyne is within the switch portal, and he started the season because the backup. We may additionally see different draft prospects on this recreation decide out, which hurts the potential. I will not be shocked if it is shut, however I can not rely on it being thrilling.

21. Arizona Bowl: Ohio vs. Wyoming

Friday, Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m. — Each season, I fall in love with a crew as a result of I work out that it is higher than all people realizes and win a bunch of cash betting on it. This season that crew was Ohio, which lined the unfold in 9 straight video games by a mean of 14 factors every earlier than lastly falling within the MAC Championship Recreation in opposition to Toledo. I’ll all the time love Kurtis Rourke and the 2022 Bobcats, and I’ll most likely guess on them on this recreation out of gratitude. The issue is Rourke has missed the final couple of video games with an harm, and I do not know what his availability will probably be for this one.

That is necessary in opposition to a Wyoming crew that’s saltier than a Chicago avenue in winter. After I watch Craig Bohl’s Cowboys, I get the impression they’d somewhat win a recreation 9-7 than 42-3. When it really works, it is nice, however when it does not, issues get ugly. Solely one in all Wyoming’s 5 losses this season was a one-score loss. Solely two of their video games noticed not less than 50 factors scored. So that they’re often taking part in low-scoring blowouts or aggressive affairs, however the level is that they’re nearly all the time low-scoring. Laborious to rank a recreation a lot larger than this when you do not anticipate many fireworks.

20. Citrus Bowl: (17) LSU vs. Purdue

Monday, Jan. 2, 1 p.m. — It is a battle of two groups that exceeded expectations, however one in all them will not be as enthusiastic about it. No person was anticipating an excessive amount of of LSU in Brian Kelly’s first season, however the Tigers upset Alabama to assist them win the SEC West. The issue is that a number of weeks in the past, the Tigers thought they’d a shot to achieve the Faculty Soccer Playoff due to it however misplaced to a nasty Texas A&M crew 38-23. They adopted it up with a 50-30 loss to Georgia within the SEC Championship Recreation, and are actually driving a two-game dropping streak as they put together to play the Citrus Bowl. Will their high guys sit this one out, or may we see a wave of opt-outs?

Purdue was a shock winner of the Massive Ten West this season, but it surely wasn’t the results of dominance. The Boilermakers went 6-3 in convention and hung with Michigan for a half within the Massive Ten Championship Recreation earlier than getting steamrolled within the second half. It is a crew that is lengthy made a behavior of pulling off upsets over higher-ranked groups, and it has an thrilling offense that may put factors on the board, so LSU higher take it severely. Nonetheless, there is a potential downside right here. The Louisville job got here open this week when Scott Satterfield left for Cincinnati, and Purdue’s Jeff Brohm — a former Louisville QB — was seen as the highest goal for Louisville earlier than it employed Satterfield. The Cardinals are sure to have an interest once more, so will Brohm flip down his alma mater twice?

19. Sugar Bowl: (5) Alabama vs. (9) Kansas State

Saturday, Dec. 31, 12 p.m. — If these groups had been taking part in at full power, this is able to be a top-five recreation in these rankings, no questions requested. Nicely, Kansas State — the Massive 12 champion who ended TCU’s undefeated run — is perhaps at full power for this recreation, and it could like to make one other assertion by ending the season with a win over mighty Alabama. However how mighty will this Alabama be? This can be a program that desires to win the SEC and a nationwide title each season. It completed neither this 12 months, and we’re most likely going to see numerous gamers decide out of this recreation, together with final 12 months’s Heisman winner Bryce Younger and one of many nation’s greatest defensive gamers in Will Anderson.

That may stink as a result of Kansas State is a genuinely good crew, and it may beat Alabama even when the Tide did not have gamers decide out. Regardless, I would like one other likelihood to see Younger and Anderson play in an Alabama uniform, and I do not suppose we’ll get that likelihood. It takes numerous the shine off this recreation. Now, that mentioned, it is nonetheless Alabama. The reserves are fairly gifted, too, so there’s nonetheless a shot this recreation is nice.

18. Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. — Let me begin by saying that, if reviews are to be believed, it’s extremely lame that Missouri refused to play Kansas in a bowl recreation as a result of that may’ve been nice. That mentioned, that is most likely a greater matchup than that recreation would’ve been! The Jayhawks had been the darlings of the primary half of the season after opening the 12 months 5-0, however they went 1-6 down the stretch after dropping QB Jalon Daniels to harm. If Daniels is wholesome and out there for this recreation, nevertheless, the Jayhawks have one of the vital entertaining offenses within the nation.

However so does Arkansas with QB Okay.J. Jefferson. Combining these explosive and fascinating offenses with the 2 defenses on the sphere, we’re probably in for a tennis match. There is a sturdy likelihood this recreation turns into a type of “final crew with the ball wins” sort of video games, and in a mid-tier bowl recreation with low stakes, what extra are you able to ask for than that?

17. Music Metropolis Bowl: Iowa vs. Kentucky

Saturday, Dec. 31, 12 p.m. — OK, so here is the factor. As a connoisseur of every kind of school soccer, this matchup pursuits me. I do not want high-octane offenses and a bunch of touchdowns to be entertained. I am the sort of one that can tune right into a field-position battle and revel in that simply as a lot as I’d a 49-48 recreation. So these two offenses do not scare me away.

The issue is we simply noticed this recreation final 12 months as Kentucky defeated Iowa 20-17 in a really entertaining Citrus Bowl. Having the rematch a 12 months later takes a number of the shine off it. We won’t even go along with the angle of Mark Stoops going through his alma mater as a result of it was crushed to demise final 12 months. Moreover, Iowa QB Spencer Petras will not play within the recreation due to harm, and we’d see Kentucky QB Will Levis sit it out, too. Whereas it isn’t perfect, it does improve the percentages of this recreation getting actually bizarre and ending with an 11-5 rating or one thing. Silly soccer might be unimaginable leisure.

16. Duke’s Mayo Bowl: (23) NC State vs. Maryland

Friday, Dec. 30, 12 p.m. — This rating will rise rapidly if both Dave Doeren or Mike Locksley guarantees to let anyone dump a cooler of mayonnaise on their head like South Carolina’s Shane Beamer did final season; that shouldn’t be a one-time-only factor. In truth, each bowl recreation ought to dump regardless of the product of the first sponsor is over the coach after the sport. Positive, that may be terrible information for the profitable coach of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, however if you wish to make an omelet, it’s important to crack a number of eggs.

The matchup right here is an ACC reunion of two fascinating groups. NC State is without doubt one of the most fascinating groups of 2022 as a result of there is not any rational cause for it to be 8-4 contemplating the accidents it is suffered. Doeren is clearly a practitioner of the darkish arts. Then there’s Maryland, which sports activities some NFL expertise on the receiver place and a QB in Taulia Tagovailoa who is not afraid to place the ball up there, for higher or worse. This one is ranked No. 16 to begin, however I will not be shocked if it is a top-five recreation in my post-bowl rankings.

15. Texas Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 9 p.m. — I am glad Lane Kiffin stayed at Ole Miss as an alternative of leaving for Auburn. Nothing in opposition to Auburn; I simply suppose Ole Miss is a greater match for him. He can chill and put collectively enjoyable, thrilling groups with out coping with the madness of Auburn. What does that need to do with the Texas Bowl? Nothing, however I am 5,700 phrases into this factor, all proper? My mind goes to wander in some unspecified time in the future. Don’t be concerned, although, as a result of I am about to get again on observe.

So, yeah, I like this matchup. If you have not seen Ole Miss but in 2022, it is an explosive offense. In contrast to 2021, nevertheless, it is constructed extra on working the ball than vertical passing routes. It will be up in opposition to a Texas Tech crew that was a licensed ache within the butt within the Massive 12 this season. The Purple Raiders did not win each recreation, however Joey McGuire’s crew fought you for each level you scored. It did so thanks largely to a rush protection that ranked thirty ninth nationally in success fee in opposition to the run, so this will probably be a enjoyable matchup to comply with.

14. Fenway Bowl: Louisville vs. Cincinnati

Saturday, Dec. 17, 11 a.m. — Enjoyable truth, this recreation got here in at No. 20 in my preliminary rankings. It felt like an ideal “center of the order” bowl recreation. Then, the information arrived Monday morning that Louisville coach Scott Satterfield was leaving to take the job at Cincinnati. Impulsively, a principally nameless bowl recreation in a baseball stadium took on much more which means. All of which begs one query, and one query solely:

Can Satterfield coach each groups?

It will most likely be an excessive amount of work to deal with all of the head-coaching duties, however perhaps Satterfield might be “all-time play caller” such as you had an “all-time QB” when taking part in with your folks as a baby. Positive, it could be awkward for Louisville gamers and close to inconceivable for Cincinnati gamers to run performs from a playbook they have not seen but, however it could make for excellent tv. Moreover, if we do not, this will probably be two groups taking part in below interim coaches with motivational questions. Having Satterfield coach each groups without delay solves the issue!

13. Solar Bowl: (18) UCLA vs. Pitt

Friday, Dec. 30, 2 p.m. — UCLA does not play boring video games. OK, it began the season with boring wins over Bowling Inexperienced and Alabama State, and had a boring win over Stanford, however that was extra on the opponents. Each different recreation was a curler coaster. There have been bangers in opposition to South Alabama, Washington, Utah, Oregon and USC, simply to call a number of. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a thrill journey and Zach Charbonnet is terrific as this offense is stuffed with enjoyable surprises.

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi goes to hate it! Narduzzi does not even prefer to see his personal crew rating factors. Nonetheless, simply because their coach does not like them, that does not imply Pitt is not keen to get right into a shootout with you, and it might put factors on the board too. Operating again Israel Abanikanda completed the season with 1,431 yards and a national-best 20 speeding touchdowns.

12. Orange Bowl: (6) Tennessee vs. (7) Clemson

Friday, Dec. 30, 8 p.m. — It’s a literal Orange Bowl. In an ideal world, each groups would come out in all-orange uniforms and we would see how properly they’d have the ability to inform good friend from foe. It will be hilarious. After all, we may additionally see Tennessee come out in its grey uniforms and Clemson in purple, which might actually damage the vibe. And I am undecided what number of vibes this recreation can afford to lose as a result of whereas it is a matchup of top-10 groups, it does not crack the highest 10 of those rankings.

Tennessee is not the identical crew with out quarterback Hendon Hooker, although it is doable that with an additional month of preparation Joe Milton and the offense can perform on the similar excessive stage it did with Hooker. However whereas many issues might be mentioned about Clemson’s offense, few adjectives used to explain it are complimentary, although with five-star freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik being named the starter after his efficiency within the ACC Championship Recreation after DJ Uiagalelei was benched, that might change in a rush. 

11. Cheez-It Bowl: (13) Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Thursday, Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. — Florida State followers want there was a button they may hit that may begin the season over with the Seminoles taking part in at this stage proper now. If that occurred, the ‘Noles would most likely find yourself profitable the ACC and will even sneak into the Faculty Soccer Playoff as a result of it has been among the finest groups within the nation for over a month. There have been shut losses to NC State and Clemson in October, then 5 straight wins to complete the season, most in blowout style. QB Jordan Travis has ascended to a different stage and is without doubt one of the most fun gamers to observe within the nation.

So whereas there’s an opportunity this recreation turns right into a blowout, despite the fact that Oklahoma is barely 6-6, it has an offense able to scoring in a rush. This recreation has the potential to be an thrilling shootout if the Sooners are wholesome. I perceive there’s additionally a great likelihood I appear to be a moron for rating this recreation so extremely if Dangerous Oklahoma reveals up and Florida State wins by a billion. No matter occurs, not less than I really feel assured the ultimate rating will not be 13-2.

10. Reliaquest Bowl: (22) Mississippi State vs. Illinois

Monday, Jan. 2, 12 p.m. — Whereas it is an SEC/Massive Ten matchup, it isn’t a recreation that includes both convention’s perennial powers. Nonetheless, each the Bulldogs and Illini had wonderful seasons and current an fascinating matchup for each other. Mississippi State is 8-4 and the poster youngster for a crew with wonderful résumé losses to LSU, Georgia and Alabama. It was a crew that misplaced to the groups you’d anticipate however beat those a great crew is meant to beat and completed the 12 months with a win over rival Ole Miss.

Illinois is without doubt one of the largest surprises of 2022. The Illini are 8-4 and making their first bowl look since 2019. They received right here behind among the finest defenses within the nation, and that is the place the matchup will get fascinating. Mississippi State will run Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense in opposition to an Illini protection that led the nation in defensive passing effectivity at 89.8 (Penn State was second at 104.0). In the meantime, Illinois’ offense is constructed on a bodily speeding presence led by Doak Walker finalist Chase Brown however faces a Mississippi State crew that ranked forty seventh in EPA per rush on protection. If kinds make fights, this will probably be a enjoyable combat.

9. Alamo Bowl: (20) Texas vs. (12) Washington

Thursday, Dec. 29, 9 p.m. — This is the factor in regards to the Alamo Bowl: The matchup is sort of all the time nice, however you typically run into the issue of the groups not being thrilled to be there as a result of they’d been competing for convention titles and fell brief. Nonetheless, I will take my possibilities right here with a recreation that provides an unimaginable quarterback matchup between Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Texas’ Quinn Ewers. Penix has the sort of arm power that can make you gasp not less than twice per recreation, whereas Ewers routinely flings balls on a rope with a easy flick of his wrist. I hope each play and play properly as a result of, in the event that they do, we’re in for a deal with.

As for motivation, I do know this was a disappointing season for Texas seeing they missed out on taking part in for the Massive 12 title, but it surely’s a younger crew that may profit from taking part in an opponent like this. Plus, let’s not overlook that Texas coach Steve Sarkisian used to educate at Washington, so I am certain he’ll do the whole lot he can to maintain his crew’s consideration on this recreation. As for the Huskies, they’re already taking part in with home cash, as no person was anticipating this crew to be 10-2 in Kalen DeBoer’s first season. A win would give the Huskies their first 11-win season since they reached the Faculty Soccer Playoff in 2016.

8. LA Bowl: Washington State vs. Fresno State

Saturday, Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m. — Have you ever ever seen Fresno State QB Jake Haener? He is an amalgamation of each underdog quarterback you have seen in a film or tv present a few soccer crew. Haener is listed as 6-foot-1 and 201 kilos, which is perhaps beneficiant. Nonetheless, Haener is a gamer no matter measurement. I’ve seen this child take so many photographs throughout his profession, however he will get up each time and retains going. Generally he will get up slower than others, and typically he strikes gingerly, however he will get up each time. I really like him. He is the guts and soul of this Fresno State crew that received the Mountain West.

I additionally love Washington State QB Cam Ward, who transferred to Wazzu from Incarnate Phrase earlier than the season. He did not put up the identical numbers within the Pac-12 that he put up there, however he is an entertaining watch on a troublesome Washington State crew. The Cougars misplaced 5 instances this 12 months, however the 5 losses got here to Oregon, USC, Oregon State, Utah and Washington — groups that had been a mixed 49-11. It is a greater crew than its 7-5 file signifies, and I like this recreation’s possibilities of being entertaining.

7. Las Vegas Bowl: (14) Oregon State vs. Florida

Saturday, Dec. 17, 2:30 p.m. — The Pac-12 received numerous consideration this 12 months due to strong seasons from USC, Oregon, Washington, Utah and UCLA, however Oregon State nonetheless managed to fly below the radar regardless of having simply pretty much as good of a season! The Beavers went 9-3 and almost knocked off USC and Washington. Jonathan Smith has finished a unbelievable job constructing this program; its win whole has elevated each season since he took over in 2018, apart from the 2020 COVID season. The 9 wins the Beavers have already picked up are their most in a season since going 9-4 in 2012, and in the event that they choose up a win right here, it will be this system’s first 10-win season since 2006.

To get that win, it will need to get previous a Florida crew with a excessive ceiling. Florida opened the 12 months with a win over Utah, and whereas it was spectacular, it most likely raised expectations too rapidly. The Gators got here again right down to earth in SEC play, ending with a 3-5 mark, and went solely 2-4 within the SEC East. The Gators will probably be making an attempt to select up a seventh win to complete over .500, however that may have been extra probably if QB Anthony Richardson, who was projected by many to be a first-round NFL Draft choose, did not determine to skip this recreation.

6. Vacation Bowl: (15) Oregon vs. North Carolina

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 8 p.m. — Hurry up and guess the over earlier than it will get larger as a result of I can assure the whole will get larger. The season didn’t finish the way in which both of those groups hoped it could a month in the past. Again then, Oregon was 8-1 with the Pac-12 title and a doable playoff berth in attain. Then the Geese misplaced by three at dwelling to Washington, Bo Nix sprained his ankle and the crew actually limped to the end line at 9-3. North Carolina was 9-1 with a QB in Drake Maye whom many had been pegging as a future No. 1 draft choose. They had been wins in opposition to Georgia Tech and NC State away from being 11-1. They then misplaced to each to fall to 9-3 and completed by getting trounced 39-10 by Clemson within the ACC Championship Recreation.

These groups are mirror pictures of each other who reside on reverse ends of the nation. Two prolific offenses paired with defenses that may’t cease anyone. Women and gents, we’d see 100 factors scored on this recreation. You could possibly find yourself telling your grandchildren about it at some point.

5. Cotton Bowl: (10) USC vs. (16) Tulane

Monday, Jan. 2, 1 p.m. — It was once that we anticipated the Group of 5 champion that earned the New Yr’s Six berth to get spanked within the bowl recreation as a result of that was once what occurred. Then UCF occurred, and final 12 months Cincinnati made the CFP. We have all wisened as much as the concept these groups should be taken severely in spots like this, and USC can be well-served to take Tulane severely, principally as a result of USC’s protection should not take anyone or something without any consideration. Did you see these guys attempt to sort out Utah gamers within the Pac-12 Championship Recreation?

The Inexperienced Wave received the American due to a enjoyable offense and a very good move protection, however that protection did not come throughout many passing assaults like USC. Caleb Williams is without doubt one of the greatest QBs within the nation and will win the Heisman Trophy this week. He has a cavalcade of weapons surrounding him on offense, and I anticipate the Trojans will put up factors. However will the Trojans cease Tulane’s Tyjae Spears? Once more, did you see them attempt to sort out vs. Utah? There is a good likelihood this recreation comes right down to the ultimate minutes.

4. Treatment Bowl: (24) Troy vs. (25) UTSA

Friday, Dec. 26, 3 p.m. — HIPSTER ALERT! Get able to be condescending as all hell, people, as a result of all of the individuals who do not understand how unimaginable this recreation goes to be aren’t worthy of your time! Oh, you are a Troy and UTSA fan? Title three of their albums. I will wait.

Critically, it is a battle of convention champions. UTSA went 11-2 this season to win Convention USA because the Roadrunners have now gone 17-1 in convention video games during the last two seasons. They’re one of the vital entertaining offenses within the nation. Frank Harris runs it to perfection, and receiver Zakhari Franklin will catch balls within the NFL quickly. Then there’s Troy, which went 5-7 final 12 months however completed 11-2 this 12 months in Jon Sumrall’s first season en path to a Solar Belt title. The Trojans lead with their protection, however do not suppose they don’t seem to be able to placing up factors themselves. Belief me, I perceive that almost all of you studying this most likely have not seen both of those groups play, however take a while out of your schedule to be sure to tune into this recreation. You will not remorse it.

3. Rose Bowl: (8) Utah vs. (11) Penn State

Monday, Jan. 2, 5 p.m. — I do know it is cool to hate the Rose Bowl nowadays as a result of it was scapegoated as the one factor standing in the way in which of the playoff increasing to 12 groups as so many individuals wished, however I really like the Rose Bowl. I’ll all the time love the Rose Bowl. Whether or not it is a part of the playoff or not, I do not care. I do not even want it to have the standard matchup of Massive Ten vs. Pac-12 (although I desire it). This recreation has all the time been close to my coronary heart, and it all the time will probably be. It is one of the vital lovely scenes in faculty soccer yearly, and it tends to have a superb matchup to go along with all of the aesthetics.

This 12 months is not any totally different. Now we have Pac-12 champion Utah — the one crew to beat USC (doing so twice) this season — going in opposition to Penn State. The Nittany Lions are 10-2, however whereas their losses had been by a mean of 18.5 factors in opposition to Michigan and Ohio State, they dominated all people else on the schedule. These are two bodily, gifted soccer groups more likely to placed on an epic efficiency in an unimaginable ambiance. Do not even consider lacking it.

2. Fiesta Bowl: (2) Michigan vs. (3) TCU

Saturday, Dec. 31, 4 p.m. — The Fiesta Bowl gives a matchup of two groups which can be extra comparable than you assume due to the model they like to play. TCU is an expansion offense with numerous Air Raid parts offensively, however working the ball remains to be elementary to the whole lot the Frogs do offensively — very similar to the Michigan offense, which is seen because the old-school, smash-mouth offense typically related to the Wolverines and the Massive Ten.

The largest distinction this season is that TCU has been way more explosive by the air than Michigan, however the Wolverines have begun to point out flashes in that division in current weeks. Nonetheless, the important thing will probably be what these groups do within the purple zone. Each have struggled to complete drives with touchdowns at instances this 12 months, and it is made some video games tougher than they needed to be. The crew that does the higher job right here will win and transfer on to the title recreation.

1. Peach Bowl: (1) Georgia vs. (4) Ohio State

Saturday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. — If this is not a battle of heavyweights, then what’s? Positive, some individuals are mad at Ohio State being chosen for the Faculty Soccer Playoff regardless of getting beat handily at dwelling by Michigan to complete the common season, however ignore that. Have a look at this matchup for what it’s. It is a recreation between the defending champion with an elite protection in opposition to one of the vital gifted groups within the nation full of future NFL gamers.

If you cannot get enthusiastic about watching QB C.J. Stroud and Ohio State’s receiving corps going in opposition to the Georgia protection, what are you even doing studying these rankings? That is exactly the sort of recreation you dream of seeing if you watch faculty soccer. Playoff recreation or not, it is a banger.


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