10 Bowl Games You Should Absolutely Be Excited About

It is officially bowl season. We have made it through the regular season and conference championships, and now we are moving to the final stages of college football 2020. It’s been a fun ride, but it isn’t done yet.

The bowl schedule was completed and released on Sunday, which means we now have plenty of matchups to break down, watch and enjoy. In fact, the first game –which features North Texas and Appalachian State — starts on Monday in the newly-created Myrtle Beach Bowl.

These matchups are only going to get better from there. Below are 10 of the upcoming bowls you should absolutely be excited to watch.

1. UCF vs. No. 16 BYU

Bowl: Boca Raton Bowl

Location: FAU Stadium (Boca Raton, Fla.)

Date: Dec. 22

Breakdown: I really wish BYU was playing a Power Five team in a bowl, but it should be a fun game to watch nonetheless. The Dillon Gabriel versus Zach Wilson quarterback battle should provide plenty of offensive fireworks.

The two have combined for 60 passing touchdowns and only seven interceptions. In fact, the quarterback play is a major reason why these two teams are ranked No. 5 and No. 6 in scoring offense, respectively. The 72.5-point over/under might not be enough.

2. Liberty vs. No. 12 Coastal Carolina

Bowl: Cure Bowl

Location: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

Date: Dec. 26

Breakdown: It was unfortunate to see the Sun Belt Championship canceled due to COVID-19, but we’ll get one more chance to see the Chanticleers in 2020. This is one of the last five remaining undefeated teams. They are 11-0, including a shocking win over No. 16 BYU.

Liberty, on the other hand, is sitting at 9-1, having lost only to Power Five opponent NC State. It’s still possible these two head coaches, Hugh Freeze and Jamey Chadwell, could end up landing big-time, Power Five jobs during the offseason, but this small school matchup should be enjoyable in the meantime.

3. No. 21 Oklahoma State vs. No. 18 Miami (FL)

Bowl: Cheez-It Bowl

Location: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

Date: Dec. 29

Breakdown: Miami might be disappointed in this bowl. At one point, the Hurricanes were in a position to play in a New Year’s Six bowl, but a 62-26 loss to North Carolina all but ended those hopes. Unfortunately, the team’s two star pass rushers, Quincy Roche and Jaelen Phillips, have opted out of the game to train for the upcoming NFL draft.

The Oklahoma State offense is going to provide a tough challenge as a result. This is a team that started the season 4-0, but fell off late, going 3-3 in the final six games. The Cowboys aren’t as explosive as many had hoped, but they should still be able to move the ball against a depleted Miami defense.

4. No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Florida

Bowl: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Tex.)

Date: Dec. 30

Breakdown: Yet again, the offensive fireworks should make this one intriguing. Oklahoma is ranked No. 9 in scoring offense (41.8 points per game) while Florida isn’t far behind at No. 11 (41.6 points). Florida, however, fields college football’s most prolific passing attack, averaging 388.4 yards per game.

Based on recent results — and this is going to be weird to say — the Sooners actually have the better defense of the two teams. The return of junior defensive end Ronnie Perkins has been a complete game-changer under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. In five games, Perkins has 5.5 sacks and six quarterback hurries.

5. No. 8 Cincinnati vs. No. 9 Georgia

Bowl: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)

Date: Jan. 1

Breakdown: A Group of Five team will once again get a chance to prove against an SEC team that it belongs in the College Football Playoff. First, it was an undefeated UCF beating Auburn back in 2018. Then, it was a second Golden Knights squad holding its own against Joe Burrow and LSU the following year.

As long as early opt-outs don’t plague this Georgia defense, the Bearcats’ balanced offensive attack will have their hands full. But if they win, they will probably claim a national title without actually having to play for it. That’s a plus, right?

6. Ole Miss vs. No. 11 Indiana

Bowl: Outback Bowl

Location: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)

Date: Jan. 2

Breakdown: This is an odd matchup from a record standpoint. Indiana was the second-best team in the Big Ten and came close to beating Ohio State en route to an undefeated season. This same 6-1 squad is now playing a sub-.500 Ole Miss team that sits at 4-5 on the year.

Right or wrong (it’s wrong, trust me), this one will still be worth watching. The Rebels field the nation’s No. 6 passing offense, but the Hoosiers have a solid defense that made Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields looked pedestrian. Plus, Matt Corral has two games with five or more interceptions.

7. No. 25 Oregon vs. No. 10 Iowa State

Bowl: PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

Location: State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)

Date: Jan. 2

Breakdown: I would’ve loved to have seen this Oregon team without all the opt-outs. The team was hit hard with Brady Breeze, Jevon Holland, Thomas Graham Jr. and star left tackle Penei Sewell all choosing to skip the season.

Still, they’re Pac-12 champions with a recognizable brand, and that will make this game worth watching. Sophomore Kayvon Thibodeaux is a wrecking ball who looks like a future top 5 pick, so it will be interesting to watch how he impacts the Iowa State offense.

8. No. 5 Texas A&M vs. No. 13 North Carolina

Bowl: Capital One Orange Bowl

Location: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Date: Jan. 2

Breakdown: This is a chance for Texas A&M to make a statement, but will they actually make it? Jimbo Fisher needs to make sure that they do. Notre Dame’s brand, not its ability, won out in determining who deserved the fourth and final Playoff spot, after all.

The main draw here is the Aggies’ defensive front going against Sam Howell and the North Carolina passing attack. UNC also has a complementary run game, so A&M will need to be careful. North Carolina’s struggling defense should provide Kellen Mond some opportunities to make this one interesting.

9. No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Notre Dame

Bowl: The Rose Bowl

Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Tex.)

Date: Jan. 1

Breakdown: Two of college football’s most storied programs will once again face off with national championship implications on the line. The last time these two teams met, Alabama handed Notre Dame a 42-14 beatdown. That was way back in 2012, but the Fighting Irish surely haven’t forgotten.

Regardless of motivation, Notre Dame is coming off a rough outing in a 34-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship. Many now think that the Irish don’t have a chance against the Crimson Tide, and Vegas backs that up with a 20-point line. We did hear something similar with Ohio State back in 2014, however.

10. No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State

Bowl: Allstate Sugar Bowl

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, La.)

Date: Jan. 1

Breakdown: Clemson and Ohio State played in the semifinals last season. The result? One of the best college football games of the year. After a little controversy and a few lead changes, the Tigers came out with a 29-23 victory before going on and losing big to LSU in the national title.

Now, the Buckeyes will have a chance to do two things: 1) get revenge from last year’s defeat and 2) prove they are, in fact, one of the best four teams in the country after winning only six games in the regular season. This should be another classic.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

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  1. Bowl season is my favorite time of the year, not only do most of these games turn out to be very good, we also get NFL and College basketball sprinkled in. How many Mondays of the year do you have a very good college football game kicking at 2:30pm.

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