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Bowl Rankings: Because You Love College Football, No. 31 to 40


Ranking The College Football Bowl Matchups: Because You Love College Football


What are best college football bowl matchups of the 2015-2016 season? If you’re forced to spend time with your family, and if you have to go buy things, these are the games to watch on your phone as you’re doing your holiday shopping.


Ranking The Bowls

Top Ten Bowl Matchups | No. 11 to 20: The Good Bowls | No. 21 to 30: Just Bowls
Bowl Matchups, TV Schedule | Bowl Predictions, Lines, First Reactions
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40. Connecticut vs. Marshall

St. Petersburg Bowl
Dec. 26, St. Petersburg, Fla.

I won’t be shocked if this ends up on somewhere in the top 15 bowl games after this is all over, but it’s hard to get up for a defensive battle. This isn’t the Marshall of the past few years – the offense just isn’t there – and while UConn has been solid, it’s going to make this game a slugfest. One team’s D will have its A game, the other won’t, and you’ll have to talk to your family the day after Christmas. That’s not okay.

39. Boise State vs. Northern Illinois

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 23, San Diego, Calif.

Northern Illinois has been a horrible bowl team over the last three years, and now it doesn’t have a starting quarterback, or a backup. Boise State has won six of its last seven bowls and should have a chip on its shoulder. The Broncos have lost two of their last three games – with both losses at home – while the NIU offense has gone bye-bye with all the QB injuries. Hope for the best, expect the worst bowl game of the season if Boise State gets rocking and rolling early.

38. Northwestern vs. Tennessee

Outback Bowl
Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla.

At best, watching a Northwestern game this year is like sitting through the three hours and 19 minutes of a dance recital after your kid’s thing is first. NU football is gritty, tough, and it finds ways to get the job done, but it’s also ragged football viewing. This has all been fun, but it’s about to spend the next eight months removing the atomic wedgie applied by a Tennessee offense that’ll get all the points it needs in the first ten minutes. Think last season’s TaxSlayer Bowl when the Vols ripped Iowa 45-28, only without the 28.

37. San Jose State vs. Georgia State

Cure Bowl
Dec. 19, Orlando, Fla.

Georgia State was, for all intents and purposes, the last team in among the six-win teams, while San Jose State was absolutely the last one in based on APR. San Jose State RB Tyler Ervin is always worth the price of admission, but if the phenomenal Spartan pass defense plays like it has all year, this could get brutally one-sided in a hurry.

36. Ohio vs. Appalachian State

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Dec. 19, Montgomery, Ala.

These two are coming in hot, but it’s also a matchup stuck among four other bowls. Appalachian State is fantastic and is finally getting a chance to show the world just how good it is. But I just can’t do Ohio bowl games after the last two years. Yeah, they were great against Utah State in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato, but the Bobcats were in blowouts three of the last four bowl trips.

35. Akron vs. Utah State

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Dec. 22, Boise, Idaho

Defense = boring non-playoff bowl games. There were too many times this year when Akron just couldn’t score, and while it’s been great against the weak and the sad, Utah State’s defense is overdue for a good game. The Aggies lost three of their last four and aren’t exactly rolling.

34. Kansas State vs. Arkansas

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Jan. 2, Memphis, Tenn.

I know I’m supposed to care that this might be Bill Snyder’s final game he ever coaches, but that only matters if his team doesn’t stink. Kansas State gave good bowl last year in the loss to UCLA, but Snyder’s teams have been AWFUL losing seven of their last eight bowl appearances. Arkansas is going to win this game by 30 – the only excitement will be the Bret Bielema windbreaker vs. the Snyder dickie.

33. Central Michigan vs. Minnesota

Quick Lane Bowl
Dec. 28, Detroit, Mich.

This is supposed to be a matchup between a mediocre Big Ten team and mediocre ACC team. Instead it’s a bad Big Ten team and a decent MAC team. I’ll be the first to admit that this might be way, way, way too low considering the last five Central Michigan bowl games have been decided by a total of 13 points, and this was an amazing bowl for seven straight years when it was the Little Caesars – all the games were decided by five points or fewer. Even so, I’m going through 5-7 bowl hate at the moment.

32. Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa

Camping World Independence Bowl
Dec. 26, Shreveport, La.

Tulsa has enough of a high-powered offense to keep up any pace, but Virginia Tech is going to come out jacked for Frank Beamer’s last game. I’m not sure how watching Beamer coach is going to translate into an entertaining bowl experience. Power 5 with something to play for vs. Group of 5 that overachieved. Uh-oh.

31. Washington vs. Southern Miss

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Dec. 26, Dallas, Tex.

The best team Southern Miss beat this year? Louisiana Tech. The second best? Rice. Yeah, the Golden Eagles have an offense, but Washington has Chris Petersen as its head coach with a young team that’s going to try.