The college football bowl season has finally arrived, with plenty to discuss. While most fans will be counting down the days until the College Football Playoff, they’re a few bowl games that could result in great games.
Here are the top 10 under-the-radar bowl matchups that every fan should have an eye on.
10. Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl: UTSA vs. 24 San Diego State
Jeff Traylor has been voted the Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading UTSA to a 12-1 record and the league championship this season.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) December 8, 2021
The Roadrunners of UTSA had a magical season that ended with the team claiming the C-USA conference championship completing a 12-1 season. The Roadrunners will meet another group of 5 conference winners when San Diego State takes the field on December 21.
Two teams looking to prove they belong with the big boys of college football will be looking for a statement win.
9. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: No. 20 Houston vs. Auburn
— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) November 27, 2021
The SEC will meet the AAC when the No. 20 Houston Cougars meet Auburn’s Tigers.
Both teams attempted to play spoiler and crash the playoff dreams of Cincinnati and Alabama. The Cougars will be looking to cap off a successful season with a win over an SEC program.
8. SDCCU Holiday Bowl: UCLA vs. No. 18 NC State
PVO (positive vibes only) about going to the @HolidayBowl 😎
— NC State Football (@PackFootball) December 7, 2021
A game that could be the best on December 28 will be between NC State and the UCLA Bruins. While rumors are swirling that UCLA coach Chip Kelly could be returning home to Oregon, coach Kelly could leave the Bruins with a big win over a quality ACC opponent.
7. Wasabi Fenway Bowl: Virginia vs. SMU
Bowl prep underway 😈 pic.twitter.com/TWz9p7Uu4g
— SMU FootbaII (Bahston-Bound!) (@SMU_Football) December 8, 2021
The pony express will be making its way to Boston when they meet Virginia at Fenway Park. A football game at a baseball stadium could give nightmare flashbacks to a Raiders fan. While the setting will be a little different, this game could be a sneaky good game.
6. Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. South Carolina
— Duke’s Mayo Bowl (@DukesMayoBowl) December 5, 2021
The possibility of seeing the winning coach receive a mayonnaise shower is enough for any fan to check this one out. Plus, a matchup between two fan bases that aren’t necessarily fond of one another. The Gamecocks and Tar Heels will be looking for bragging rights throughout the Carolinas.
5. Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Boise State
We're headed to Tucson & we want you there! Our “Official Travel Agency of Boise State Athletics” @harmontravel has packages ready for purchase from now until 12 PM tomorrow. Just click a button & you’re in! Act fast; they'll fill up quick!
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) December 6, 2021
The Arizona Bowl will, without question, be home to the greatest halftime show of the whole bowl schedule. Yes, the matchup of Central Michigan and Boise State could ignite some fireworks; seeing Scott Stapp return to the halftime show festivities is enough for everyone to grab some Barstool swag and have some fun.
4. Vrbo Citrus Bowl: No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 5, 2021
A pair of teams that are just sitting on the outside of the New Year’s Six bowl games will meet up when the Wildcats and Hawkeyes meet in the Citrus Bowl. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops stated this game is very important to him. Stoops will be seeing his alma mater for the first on the opposite sideline as a head coach.
3. TransPerfect Music City Bowl: Tennessee vs. Purdue
REMINDER: No @JeffBrohm Show this week, but we’ll be back at Wolfies Grill next Wednesday.
It will be the final show of the season, a special Signing Day and @MusicCityBowl Preview edition!
🗓 Dec. 15
⏰ 6 PM pic.twitter.com/vGoZdnnlS4
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) December 8, 2021
Nashville will be welcoming the Purdue Boilermakers and the Tennessee Volunteers to town for a Music City Bowl meeting. Purdue played spoiler to a few teams in the Big 10 this season and are looking to topple an SEC foe when they meet the Volunteers.
2. Cheez-It Bowl: No. 19 Clemson vs. Iowa State
Y’all have your tickets yet?? pic.twitter.com/Y8neSqVLBl
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) December 7, 2021
Clemson had a down year, according to fans of the Tigers. 9-3 just isn’t up to the standards that many Clemson fans have come to expect. The underachieving Tigers will meet one of the best running backs in college football when they meet Breece Hall and Iowa State. Expect a great game in this one.
1. Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Oregon vs. No. 16 Oklahoma
Who's with us? Alamo Bowl tickets are on sale now!
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 7, 2021
The Alamo Bowl will match up two teams who had bigger aspirations before the start of the season. Oklahoma and Oregon are now starting new eras with new head coaches but want to finish 2021 with a win to forget the dreadful end to their seasons. This game will not get the buzz it deserves and could be an offensive showcase.