One Reason to Watch Every Bowl Game

Well folks, bowl season starts tomorrow, and let’s be honest: all the people who say “there’s no such thing as bad football,” and “there can never be too many bowl games,” well, they’re liars. Dirty, filthy, awful liars. Heck, I didn’t even want to watch San Jose State, Minnesota, Nebraska and NC State and half of these teams during the regular season, and now you want me watch them in an extra game?

Give me a break. I’ve got better things to do.

Well, I don’t “technically” have better things to do, but I bet you do, and I bet that you’re struggling to think of a single reason to watch some of these games.

Thankfully though, that’s why I’m here, and ready to give you at least one good reason to watch all these games.

Sure, some of these reasons aren’t exactly “good” and some aren’t even technically reasons at all.

But it’s bowl season, and if you are going to tune in, you might as well do it with a purpose..

Here’s one reason to watch every single bowl game this holiday season.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. New Mexico

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s football, and we didn’t have football last Saturday, and man, do you remember how awful that was?

And because bowl season allows you to learn fun facts about teams you know nothing about. Like for example, did you know Bob Davie is the head coach at New Mexico?

Heck, did you know he was alive?

Well now you do.

And now you have a fun fact to drop at your New Mexico Bowl watch party Saturday afternoon. Or at least I do.

Quick pick: New Mexico 24, Arizona 21

Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. BYU

Why You Should Watch: Mormons! In Vegas! What’s better than that?

Not much, well, except for, Mormons, in Vegas, who genuinely hate each other!

I don’t know who’s going to win here, but this one could get wild.  

Quick pick: BYU 21, Utah 17

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Ohio vs. Appalachian State

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s Appalachian State’s first bowl game ever. And because Vegas has already set the over/under on “Number of References to the 2007 Michigan-Appalachian State game” at 37.5.

My hunch: Take the over.

Quick Pick: Appalachian State 34, Ohio 17

AutoNation Cure Bowl: Georgia State vs. San Jose State

Why You Should Watch: Because doesn’t “Georgia State vs. San Jose State” just feel like football?

(Don’t answer that).

And because San Jose State, who is 5-7 and playing 3,000 miles away from home, might set the record for the fewest number of visiting fans to ever travel to a bowl game. Even the players’ parents are like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to watch this one on TV.’

Quick Pick: Georgia State 21, San Jose State 10

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech

Why You Should Watch: Because after roughly 15 years, two coaching changes, a transfer, and 980 Will Muschamp sideline screaming sessions, this game marks the triumphant conclusion to Jeff Driskel’s career.

I don’t know what fact is more impossible to believe: That coming out of high school, Driskel originally committed to Urban Meyer… at Florida? Or that Driskel once led the Gators to a Sugar Bowl berth in the exact same building this game is played.

Bowl season really is wild sometimes, huh?

Quick pick: Louisiana Tech 31, Arkansas State 18

Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Florida

Why You Should Watch: Because this game is being played in Marlins Park, and the mid-Monday, pre-Christmas kickoff should give it a nice, round attendance figure in the hundreds, just like a real Marlins game!     

And because this game ended in a brawl last year, and we can all pray for the same in 2015, right?

That’s the only Christmas gift I want this holiday season.

Quick Pick: Western Kentucky 38, South Florida 31

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Akron vs. Utah State

Why You Should Watch: Because, well, umm… ahh… screw it. I don’t know anything about either of these teams, and don’t lie, you don’t either.

But what I do know is that there isn’t a better logo in sports than the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl’s. Look, it’s a little football! With sour cream on top!

How precious is that?

Quick Pick: Utah State 28, Akron 20

Boca Raton Bowl: Temple vs. Toledo

Why You Should Watch: Because when you take the time to consider that both these teams have been in the Top 25 at some time within the past month, this might be the best bowl game no one is talking about this season.  

It also features Toledo, who beat Arkansas earlier this year. And considering how the rest of the season played out, couldn’t you argue that the Rockets are the SEC’s second best team heading into bowl season?

Quick Pick: Toledo 21, Temple 17

Poinsettia Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Boise State

Why You Should Watch: Because if this game was four years ago, it would be one of the most talked about bowl games this year.

Unfortunately it’s not four years ago, and I can’t lie: I can’t think of a single good reason to watch.

Quick Pick: Northern Illinois 24, Boise State 21

Go Daddy Bowl: Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green

Why You Should Watch: Because there isn’t a single person reading this article who isn’t a Georgia Southern alum or degenerate gambler who was aware Georgia Southern is an FBS program. Heck, I’m guessing most alums, and most degenerate gamblers didn’t know either.

As for Bowling Green, well as my boss Clay Travis has told you all year, they are a damn cover machine.

Don’t bet on them at your own risk.

Quick Pick: Bowling Green 42, Georgia Southern 17

Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee State

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s P.J. Fleck! In the Bahamas! And because I’m 80 percent certain that he’ll coach this game in flip flops, with a little dab of sun screen on his nose.

And because after the way this game ended last year, there’s a 0.00000000 percent chance I’ll turn this one off until the clock hits zero.

Quick Pick: Western Kentucky 28, Middle Tennessee 24   

Hawaii Bowl: Cincinnati vs. San Diego State

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s Christmas Eve, and what else are you going to do? Watch ‘Elf’ with your family?

And because after I found out that Gunner Kiel won’t play in this game, I might just actually watch ‘Elf’ with my family instead.

Quick Pick: Cincinnati 34, San Diego State 21

St. Petersburg Bowl: UConn vs. Marshall

Why You Should Watch: Because I’m a UConn alum, we’re going bowling, and… can’t you just let me be happy for once!?!

Quick Pick: UConn 21, Marshall 17

Sun Bowl: Miami (FL) vs. Washington State

Why You Should Watch: Because a battle between Miami and Washington State just feels like the bowl matchup that nobody wanted, but everyone got anyway. Seriously, I can’t think of two programs who have less in common (well, other than that Dennis Erickson once coached them) than these two schools.

With all that said, I will still watch on the small chance that Mike Leach pulls a Lane Kiffin, and gets caught walking around town in a sombrero before this game.

Quick Pick: Washington State 38, Miami 30

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington vs. Southern Miss

Why You Should Watch: Because on second thought, forget Washington State-Miami, Washington-Southern Miss definitely is the weirdest matchup of bowl season.

And because have you seen Washington’s roster? It’s a minor coaching miracle that Chris Petersen got this team bowl eligible. Not only does Petersen deserve a raise for getting this team to a bowl game, he deserves a damn statue.

Quick Pick: Southern Miss 38, Washington 17

Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana vs. Duke

Why You Should Watch: Because admit it, when you heard “Indiana vs. Duke” you totally thought this was a basketball game, didn’t you?

And because rumor has it that if Indiana loses this game, Tom Crean is totally getting fired.

Quick Pick: Indiana 38, Duke 35

Independence Bowl: Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech

Why You Should Watch: Because when most people retire after 30 years, all they get is a lousy watch. Instead, Frank Beamer — who is retiring after 30 years following this game — gets a trip to Shreveport instead.

Frankly, I can’t decide which is worse.

Quick Pick: Tulsa 34, Virginia Tech 14

Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs. Nebraska

Why You Should Watch: Because I’ve seen a lot of things in my day, but I never thought I’d see the day where a 5-7 Nebraska team backdoors their way into a bowl game.  

And because when Nebraska goes 3-9 next year and Mike Riley is fired, his entire run in Lincoln will go down as the greatest 30 for 30 ever made.

Quick Pick: UCLA 38, Nebraska 21

Military Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Navy

Why You Should Watch: Because Keenan Reynolds got robbed of the Heisman!

Ok, maybe not, but how cool would it have been to see in him helicoptered into New York for the ceremony?

Quick pick: Navy 31, Pittsburgh 28

Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Minnesota

Why You Should Watch: Because I want to give a shout out to the Minnesota coaching staff! Sure, they may look like a bunch of overweight, cheese eating Midwesterners… and they are. But they are also overweight, cheese eating Midwesterners with a business sensibility.

Why do I say that? Because Minnesota’s coaching staff has to be the first, and only coach of a 5-7 team ever, to convince their bosses to give them their bowl bonuses.  

Seriously, 5-7 gets 90 percent of coaches fired in college football, and these guys get bonuses!

As they say, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Quick Pick: Minnesota 24, Central Michigan 14

Armed Forces Bowl: Cal vs. Air Force

Why You Should Watch: Because credit to Sonny Dykes: No one haphazardly threw their own name into more job searches, in a thinly-veiled attempt to get themselves a raise this off-season than Dykes did.

A quick Google search confirms that Dykes was a “candidate” at Missouri (no you weren’t, coach). And Virginia Tech (give me a break). And South Carolina (good lord, just stop it!). Heck, I’m half-convinced Dykes would have shown up at the Republican debate a few nights ago and declared himself a candidate for the GOP ticket if he thought it could have made him a few extra bucks from Cal.

Oh, and as for the game, the Bears win, probably.

Quick Pick: Cal 38, Air Force 24

Russell Athletic Bowl: Baylor vs. North Carolina

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s time for another edition of “Who will finish this game as Baylor’s quarterback?” Will it be a third-string wide receiver? The backup punter? A fan randomly pulled from the stands? Or will Art Briles secretly throw on the jersey of a walk-on, and lead the team to victory under an assumed name?

Tune in December 29th to find out!

Quick Pick: North Carolina 30, Baylor 24    

Arizona Bowl: Nevada vs. Colorado State

Why You Should Watch: Because for all the talk about how this bowl game is a matchup between two teams from the same conference, my favorite fun fact about this game is that it’s the only bowl this season — and maybe only live sporting event all year — that won’t be broadcast on national TV.

Seriously, it’s 2015, how will this game not be broadcast on national TV? We have roughly 82 sports channels, hundreds of other channels, and an infinite number of hours to fill, and yet every single TV exec in America was like, ‘Nah, we’re good. We’ll just run old episodes Golden Girls instead.’

Bowl season: Can you feel the excitement?!

Quick Pick: Random Mountain West Team You Can’t See on National TV 21, Other Random Mountain West Team You Can’t See on National TV 14

Texas Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech

Why You Should Watch: Because any game featuring both Leonard Fournette and Texas Tech’s defense could result in 200 combined points between these two teams.

And because with Les Miles in charge, you know this game will somehow end with a 13-10 final score, when one team blocks a field goal at the end of regulation.

Quick Pick: LSU 20, Texas Tech 17

Birmingham Bowl: Auburn vs. Memphis

Why You Should Watch: Because, “How will Auburn survive without Will Muschamp” is the biggest question no one asked this bowl season.

Seriously, I know you want a preview here, but I just can’t get over it: How the hell did Will Muschamp get another head coaching job this off-season? Does he have incriminating pictures of someone? Is his dad a high-ranking athletic department official that I don’t know about? Is he Steve Spurrier’s golfing buddy?

I need answers, dammit!

Quick Pick: Auburn 21, Memphis 20

Belk Bowl: Mississippi State vs. NC State

Why You Should Watch: Because I’m honestly going to miss watching Dak Prescott play. No joke to make here, I just genuinely like watching the kid.

As for NC State, well, umm, congratulations on getting bowl eligible. I don’t remember a single win you had all season.   

Quick Pick: Mississippi State 24, NC State 10

Music City Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Louisville

Why You Should Watch: Because some clever person on the internet will come up with a great meme of Uncle Sam saying: “We want you… to come play quarterback at Texas A&M!”

No, seriously: Do you have two arms, two legs and college eligibility?

You might actually be able to start this game.

Quick Pick: Louisville 20, Texas A&M 14

Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Wisconsin

Why You Should Watch: Because this game served as a breakout game last year, and because with another year under his belt, and an extra week off, I’m terrified to see what he’ll be capable of.

And because USC is going to be damn good next year.

This could — and should –be a statement game for the Trojans.

Quick Pick: USC 31, Wisconsin 14

Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl: Houston vs. Florida State

Why You Should Watch: Because this game is set to finally answer the question all of America wants to know: Will Tom Herman wear his gold grill on the sidelines?

And because… no, seriously: Will Tom Herman wear his gold grill on the sidelines!?

Quick Pick: Houston 24, Florida State 14

Outback Bowl: Tennessee vs. Northwestern

Why You Should Watch: Because if Butch Jones just got a massive raise after an 8-4 season that featured a grand total of one good win, what kind of raise will he get if his team actually wins a bowl game? Heck, will he become America’s first $10 million a year coach if they win by double-digits?

Quick Pick: Tennessee 31, Northwestern 14

Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida

Why You Should Watch: Forget Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest, how about ‘Rocking New Year’s Day with Jim Harbaugh?

To which I ask: Who’s got it better than us?

(To those who didn’t get it, that was a Jim Harbaugh joke)

And the answer to the question is no one.

Quick Pick: Michigan 27, Florida 14

Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State

Why You Should Watch: Because if playoff teams were determined solely on talent alone, and not on-the-field results, these two teams would be in the playoff.

Seriously, just look at these rosters. They’ve got more combined NFL talent than the Cleveland Browns.  

I don’t care if it’s New Year’s Day and the kids are out of school.

I don’t care if you’re hungover.

Find a way to watch this game.

Quick Pick: Ohio State 31, Notre Dame 28

Rose Bowl: Iowa vs. Stanford

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s one last chance to watch Christian McCaffrey play this season, and who doesn’t want that?

And because my favorite running subplot of the entire season involved my buddy who started betting on Iowa midseason, made a boatload of cash, and tried to force me to hop on the bandwagon. When I refused, my phone ended up getting texts like this and this for two months straight.  

Iowa football: Bringing friends together and tearing them apart. Since 2015.

Quick Pick: Iowa 28, Stanford 24

Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State

Why You Should Watch: Because this game should provide the dramatic conclusion to the Robert Nkemdiche saga, easily the single weirdest story of the college football season.

And because this will almost certainly be the last chance to watch Nkemdiche (if he plays), Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil in an Ole Miss uniform.

Wait a second, didn’t they just commit to Ole Miss like two hours ago?

Man, they grow up so fast, don’t they?

Quick Pick: Ole Miss 34, Oklahoma State 27

TaxSlayer Bowl: Penn State vs. Georgia

Why You Should Watch: Because this game wins the award for “bowl game that looks best on paper but will be boring as hell to watch in actuality.”

Seriously, “Georgia vs. Penn State” sounds great, but name me one thing you’re actually looking forward to in this game.

It’s impossible. You can’t.

Quick Pick: Georgia 14, Penn State 10

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas State

Why You Should Watch: Because the Bret Bielema-Sam Pittman media cat fight was the single greatest feud that wasn’t really a feud we’ve seen all off-season.   

And because while I don’t do guarantees, I just don’t see a single way Arkansas loses this game. As I said in a radio interview earlier this week, if Bret Bielema thought last year was “Borderline Erotic” I’m terrified what he’ll say about this one.

Quick Pick: Arkansas 38, Kansas State 14

Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. TCU

Why You Should Watch: Because if Vernon Adams was healthy all year, there’s a chance Oregon could be in the playoff right now. And because if Trevone Boykin was healthy all year, there’s a chance TCU would be in the playoff right now.

Basically, you’re getting an extra playoff game, for half the price!

Well technically, it’s not half price, it’s free.

Sorry, I’m getting tired here. But watch anyway.

Quick Pick: Oregon 38, TCU 34

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Arizona State vs. West Virginia

Why You Should Watch: Because it’s the last bowl game before the National Championship game, and what the hell else are you going to watch?

And because isn’t Motel 6 just the perfect sponsor for a bowl game featuring two non-descript teams that no one (other than diehard fans) really care about?  

Quick Pick: West Virginia 28, Arizona State 24

Orange Bowl (Playoff semifinal No. 1): Clemson vs. Oklahoma

Why You Should Watch: Because I literally can’t think of a single person on the planet who would be more fun to spend New Year’s Eve with than Dabo Swinney, and that’s exactly what we get here.

And because I can’t ever remember another time where so few people gave the No. 1 overall seed in any playoff less of a chance to win it.

Count me in as one of those people.

Quick Pick: Oklahoma 34, Clemson 24

Cotton Bowl (Playoff semifinal No. 2: Michigan State vs. Alabama

Why You Should Watch: Because Michigan State is clearly one of the four most deserving teams of a playoff berth, but are they one of the four best? Do you realize they won nearly half their games (six) by a touchdown or less?

And because I think Vegas got this right: It’s going to be a blood bath.

Quick Pick: Alabama 31, Michigan State 6  

Aaron Torres is a contributor to Outkick the Coverage and FOXSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_TorresFacebook or e-mail atmailto:ATorres00@gmail.com

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.