Know Your Bowls: College Football Playoff & Bowl Games Quick Previews

Know Your Bowls: College Football Playoff & Bowl Games Quick Previews

Teams & Conferences

Know Your Bowls: College Football Playoff & Bowl Games Quick Previews

College Football Playoff & Bowl Game Quick Previews


Quick previews at every bowl team with the basics of what you need to know for the 2016-2017 bowl and College Football Playoff season.


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Click on each bowl for history, projection, preview and pick.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM, 2:00 ET, ESPN

UTSA, Conference USA, 6-6

In one of the biggest surprises of the season, the Roadrunners overcame a 1-3 start to get the offense just enough to beat enough of the bad teams on the schedule to go bowling for the first time … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

New Mexico, Mountain West, 8-4

You know exactly what you’re getting. The New Mexico running game is getting better and better under Bob Davie, finishing first in the nation averaging 361 yards per game … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Las Vegas Bowl

Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV, 3:30 ET, ABC

San Diego State, Mountain West, 10-3

The Aztecs could’ve and should’ve challenged for the Group of Five champion spot in the New Year’s Six … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Houston, American Athletic, 9-3

The Cougars might have come out flat in the regular-season finale against Houston, but the defense has been stellar almost all season … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL, 5:30 ET, ESPN

Toledo, MAC, 9-3

The Rockets had their shot. Even with a loss to Ohio, they put themselves in a position to not only ruin Western Michigan’s dream season, but to also win the West and go off to the MAC championship … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Appalachian State, Sun Belt, 9-3

Co-Sun Belt champs, the veteran Mountaineers showed just how good they were from the start, almost beating Tennessee on the road in an overtime loss to start the season, and getting past a loss to Miami to win eight of their last nine games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, FL, 7:00 ET, CBS Sports Network

UCF, American Athletic, 6-6

How are the Knights doing it? The defense has been just good enough against the bad teams to survive. You have to beat the teams on your schedule, but UCF doesn’t have a win over a bowl bound team … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Arkansas State, Sun Belt, 6-5

The Red Wolves managed to roar after a miserable 0-4 September, getting a piece of the Sun Belt title winning seven of their last eight games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Monday, December 19, 2016

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, 9:00 ET, ESPN

Southern Miss, Conference USA, 6-6

This was supposed to be the star of the conference, but it fell flat over the second half … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Louisiana-Lafayette, Sun Belt, 6-6

The Ragin’ Cajuns struggle to score, and they can be beaten by a swarming pass rush, but they managed to do what they needed to do winning three of their last four games to get bowl eligible … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Miami Beach Bowl

Marlins Park, Miami, FL, 2:30 ET, ESPN

Tulsa, American Athletic, 9-3

The offense averages 41 points per game, scoring 35 or more in each of the last six games going 5-1 in the stretch … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Central Michigan, MAC, 6-6

Known mostly this season for shocking Oklahoma State in one of the season’s wackiest finishes, the Chippewas looked great to start the season, but lost six of their final nine games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Marmot Boca Raton Bowl

FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL, ESPN

Memphis, American Athletic, 8-4

It was supposed to be a rebuilding season, but under Mike Norvell in his first season, the team has a chance to equal last year’s 9-4 record … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Western Kentucky, Conference USA, 10-3

The two-time Conference USA champion will bomb, bomb, and bomb away more … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
– Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA, 9:00 ET, ESPN

BYU, Independent, 8-4

It was supposed to be a brutal season with the hardest-looking schedule in college football, but the Cougars survived the rocky start to roll … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Wyoming, Mountain West, 8-5

Just when it seemed like head coach Craig Bohl was on a mega-hot season in a win-or-else campaign, the Cowboys won … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Albertson’s Stadium, Boise, ID, 7:00 ET, ESPN

Idaho, Sun Belt, 8-4

The Vandals might be getting booted out of the Sun Belt and the FBS, but they’re looking to go out with a bang in close to home in the 25th anniversary of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Colorado State, Mountain West, 7-5

Just when it appeared that the wheels were going to come flying off – with the season going nowhere in a 3-4 start – the offense picked it up … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Friday, December 23, 2016

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl

Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas, 1:00 ET, ESPN

Old Dominion, Conference USA, 9-3

It’s the first year in a fantastic season for the school that hasn’t been at the FBS level for all that long. Winners of eight of their last nine, the offense got rolling … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Eastern Michigan, MAC, 7-5

One of the season’s most pleasant surprises, the perennial doormat showed this would be a different year and a different team with a 4-1 start … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX, 4:30 ET, ESPN

Navy, American Athletic, 9-3

Can Navy close strong? It had a home game for the American Athletic title, and maybe a shot at the Cotton Bowl, but fell flat against Temple … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Louisiana Tech, Conference USA, 8-5

It’s a whole bunch of fun. The Bulldogs have one of the nation’s most explosive and effective passing games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Dollar General Bowl

Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL, 8:00 ET, ESPN

Ohio, MAC, 8-5

The Bobcats gave Western Michigan all it could handle in the MAC Championship, but they’re the bridesmaid once again … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Troy, Sun Belt, 9-3

Just when it seemed like Troy would be one of the most interesting stories of the college football season – starting out 8-1 with the only loss a dogfight to Clemson – it sputtered and struggled … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hawai’i Bowl

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI, 8:00 ET, ESPN

Middle Tennessee, Conference USA, 8-4

It stinks that star QB Brent Stockstill isn’t healthy and able to roll, but the offense kept it all going without him, closing out the year with a 77-56 win over Florida Atlantic … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Hawaii, Mountain West, 6-7

It wasn’t always pretty, but so what? The first season of the Nick Rolovich era is ending with a bowl game … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Monday, December 26, 2016

St. Petersburg Bowl

Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL, 11:00 am ET, ESPN

Miami University, MAC, 6-6

A phenomenal turnaround story, the RedHawks are going bowling again. On a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season, the defense turned in an amazing run … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Mississippi State, SEC, 5-7

So the Bulldogs got into a bowl game on their APR – Academic Progress Report – whatever. The team wins with the extra practices and the positive momentum for next year … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Quick Lane Bowl

Ford Field, Detroit, MI, 2:30 ET, ESPN

Boston College, ACC, 6-6

The Eagles had to wait until late October to get their first ACC win in two seasons, but the victory over NC State turned into the catalyst for a good-enough finishing kick … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Maryland, Big Ten, 6-6

The Terps are in a bowl game. Don’t get any further into it than that. This isn’t a good team, but it’s a step just to get here … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Camping World Independence Bowl

Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA, 5:00 ET, ESPN2

NC State, ACC, 6-6

The Wolfpack managed to pull the season out of the fire with an excellent performance to beat North Carolina. Had they lost, this would’ve been an ugly offseason coming off a wildly disappointing losing season … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Vanderbilt, SEC, 6-6

The Commodores did it. They didn’t have an offense, their defense wasn’t a brick wall, and they didn’t have the all-around talent to make much noise, but they’re in a bowl game … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl

Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX, 12:00 ET, ESPN

Army, Independent, 6-5

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but when the rushing attack works, it’s been good enough to win some amazing games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

North Texas, Conference USA, 5-7

In because of its Academic Progress Report, it doesn’t care. The program needs as many positive steps forward, and this is certainly a big one … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman

Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MD, 3:30 ET, ESPN

Wake Forest, ACC, 6-6

This isn’t a flashy team that’ll get anyone fired up, but it’s a good, solid squad that doesn’t make mistakes, plays solid defense, and capitalizes on everyone’s mistakes … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Temple, American Athletic, 10-3

A bridesmaid in last year’s American Athletic championship game, the Owls roared past Navy to win this year to close out with a seven-game winning streak in impressive fashion … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

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National Funding Holiday Bowl

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA, 7:00 ET, ESPN

Minnesota, Big Ten, 8-4

The Gophers had plenty of chances to make this a special year, but it’s been a season of near-misses … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Washington State, Pac-12, 8-4

The Cougars were behind the 8-ball all season long after losing to Eastern Washington to start the year and a loss to Boise State to follow, but everything picked up in a big hurry … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Motel 6 Cactus Bowl

Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ, 10:15 ET, ESPN

Baylor, Big 12, 6-6

It’s been an ugly year all the way around with the off-the-field issues continuing, the wins going bye-bye once the schedule got tougher, and the injuries started kicking in … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Boise State, Mountain West, 10-2

The Broncos were supposed to be good enough to potentially challenge for College Football Playoff consideration, and they were at least supposed to be in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, 2:00 ET, ABC

Pitt, ACC, 8-4

As exciting as any team in the country, the Panthers can bomb away with everyone, and get bombed on by anyone … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Northwestern, Big Ten, 6-6

After a disastrous start, a great middle, and an awful end, it’s been a strange year for a team with a dangerous passing game … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Russell Athletic Bowl

Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL, 5:30 ET, ESPN

Miami, ACC, 8-4

The team is too young, In Mark Richt’s first season, he had to deal with a slew of true freshmen on his defensive front seven, and without enough depth to fill in the gaps at times … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

West Virginia, Big 12, 9-2

There was a time when the Mountaineers looked like the possible best team in the Big 12, but got outclassed by the Oklahoma teams and settled into third place, also-ran status … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Foster Farms Bowl

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, 8:30 ET, FOX

Indiana, Big Ten, 6-6

Well, now what? With head coach Kevin Wilson shockingly dismissed, the program is in limbo as it needs to find another coach who can crank up the same success … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Utah, Pac-12, 8-4

The Utes were the last team to beat USC. Other than that, it’s been a non-descript season full of misses opportunities … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX, 9:00 ET, ESPN

Kansas State, Big 12, 8-4

The Wildcats quietly had a solid year with one of the Big 12’s top defenses and effective ground games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Texas A&M, SEC, 8-4

What kind of shape is the program in? After starting out 6-0 and ranked fourth in the first College Football Playoff rankings, but the wheels came off … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Birmingham Bowl

Legion Field, Birmingham, AL, 2:00 ET, ESPN

South Carolina, SEC, 6-6

There’s absolutely nothing pretty about the Gamecocks, mucking it up with a mediocre offense, and getting by with an okay defense … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

South Florida, American Athletic, 10-2

The Bulls got run on by Florida State and Temple. Other than that, the defensive front has been terrific. The secondary? Not so much. You can throw on the Bulls … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Belk Bowl

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC, 5:30 ET, ESPN

Virginia Tech, ACC, 9-4

The Hokies gave it a run. They might have lost to Clemson in the ACC Championship, but they didn’t give up in the 42-35 loss that almost turned the College Football Playoff season upside-down … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Arkansas, SEC, 7-5

Good luck trying to figure out the Razorbacks. They were just dangerous enough to rise up and stomp a Florida team that went on to win the SEC East, and just flaky enough to not show up in key losses … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Valero Alamo Bowl

Alamodome, San Antonio, TX, 9:00 ET, ESPN

Oklahoma State, Big 12, 9-3

Known mostly for the loss to Central Michigan on an epic Hail Mary, the Cowboys were just good enough to have been in the College Football Playoff chase … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Colorado, Pac-12, 10-3

The Buffaloes might be disappointing to miss out on the College Football Playoff and the Rose Bowl – at least the hope of the CFP – but they’re playing with house money … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hyundai Sun Bowl

Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX, CBS

North Carolina, ACC, 8-4

The Tar Heels looked like a possible ACC title contender at times, but they couldn’t stop the run, and they failed to gear it up in the two big rivalry games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Stanford, Pac-12, 9-3

It was supposed to be a rebuilding year after losing everyone but Christian McCaffrey, but did anyone listen? Not really … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN, 12:00 ET, ESPN

TCU, Big 12, 6-6

A young team that that’s going to be a senior-loaded one next year, getting to a bowl game is a big, big deal for all the extra practices … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Georgia, SEC, 7-5

The team should’ve been better. Kirby Smart’s first season wasn’t supposed to need a rebuild in a bad SEC East, but that’s what it had to do with a passing game that didn’t light it up … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN, 3:30 ET, ESPN

Tennessee, SEC, 8-4

8-4 with a good bowl appearance would be a massive success in normal seasons for most teams, but this was the year Tennessee was supposed to put it all together and get into the College Football Playoff hunt … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Nebraska, Big Ten, 9-3

This was the turnaround Mike Riley needed to show. After a first year finding ways to lose, this year’s team didn’t have the talent, the identity, or the schemes to really and truly challenge for anything big … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ, Campus Insiders

South Alabama, Sun Belt, 6-6

The Jaguars needed to beat New Mexico State to get bowl eligible, and they hung on to get it done. How’d they get here? Defense … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Air Force, Mountain West, 9-3

In a season full of streaks, this is the hottest team in the Mountain West going into the bowl season. The offense is rolling again … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
– Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL, 11:00 ET, ABC

LSU, SEC, 7-4

The Tigers should’ve been in the College Football Playoff. There’s too much NFL talent and too much experience to only be 7-4, but it’s still impressive to get to a high-level bowl – and reasonably close to the New Year’s Six – considering the early-season coaching change … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Louisville, ACC, 9-3

If it’s possible to have a successful disappointment of a season, this has been it. The Cardinals were the IT team over the first month, and didn’t drop much after a fight of a loss to Clemson, but a blowout loss to Houston and a puzzling meltdown changed things … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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TaxSlayer Bowl

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL, 11:00 ET, ABC

Kentucky, SEC, 7-5

Just when it seemed like the Mark Stoops era was over and the program was going to take a different direction after an 0-2 start, all of a sudden, Kentucky started winning … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Georgia Tech, ACC, 8-4

The Yellow Jackets are going to come at you with the option over and over and over again – it’s just a question of whether or not you can stop them … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Outback Bowl

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL, 1:00 ET, ABC

Iowa, Big Ten, 8-4

All things considered, 2016 is ending a lot better than it started. Now it has to close with a bang … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Florida, SEC, 8-4

Don’t get too hung up by a second straight year of ugliness to close out the regular season. Florida State and Alabama might have hammered the Gators, but they were in the thick of things in late November … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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New Year’s Six Bowls

Saturday, December 30, 2016

Capital One Orange Bowl

New Miami Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL, 8:00 ET, ESPN

Florida State, ACC, 9-3

The Seminoles were supposed to be deep in the hunt for the national title, but instead, they suffered a slew of early injuries, got bombed by Louisville, and never got the groove back until it was too late … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Michigan, Big Ten, 10-2

Is this one of the four best teams in college football? It looked like it at times, but the offense fell flat at times against the big boys – Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa. With a dominant defense, and time off to get the offense healthy again, watch out … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, 4:30 ET, ESPN

Penn State, Big Ten, 11-2

So how did this happen? How did Penn State go from being an also-ran to Big Ten champs in such a blur? It’s simple – the team figured out how to adjust in the second halves of games … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

USC, Pac-12, 9-3

There was a time – guilty as charged – when Clay Helton seemed all but fired. USC went 1-3 with a blowout loss to Alabama and tough road losses to Stanford and Utah, and the meat of the schedule didn’t start to kick in … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, 8:30 ET, ESPN

Oklahoma, Big 12, 10-2

The Sooners might not want the time off. They ripped through the Big 12 on the way to the tenth conference championship under Bob Stoops, and now they have the league’s honor to deal with … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Auburn, SEC, 8-4

It’s easy to forget now, but Gus Malzahn might have been really, really close to getting fired. 1-2 to start the season, if the clock didn’t flicker a millisecond the other way, Auburn would’ve lost to LSU and the season would’ve been vastly different … rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Goodyear Cotton Bowl

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX, 1:00 ET, ESPN

Western Michigan, MAC, 13-0

They did it. The Broncos came into the season as the favorites to win the MAC, and they pulled it off in dominant fashion – at least they did up until the conference title game… rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Wisconsin, Big Ten, 10-3

The schedule that looked impossible to navigate before the season started – with games against LSU, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa away from home, and Nebraska and Ohio State in Camp Randall, no one expected much… rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

College Football Playoff

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA, 3:00 or 7:00 ET, ESPN

Alabama, SEC, 13-0

No, this isn’t Nick Saban’s best team, but it’s not all that far off. No, it’s not unbeatable, but no one’s been all that close to beating it. Here’s the thing, though – the SEC is way down… rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Washington, Pac-12, 12-1

The Huskies might not have played the toughest schedule, but it’s a Power Five champion that went 12-1 – there has yet to be one in the College Football Playoff era who didn’t make it into the final top four… rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

Saturday, December 31, 2016

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ, 7:00 ET, ESPN

Clemson, ACC, 12-1

It wasn’t always easy, but the Tigers did it. They got back to the College Football Playoff in what turned into a grind… rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.

Ohio State, Big Ten, 11-1

The resume is the best in college football, and the talent, speed and athleticism are undeniable, but the Buckeyes are also coming into the post-season a wee bit average… rest of the quick initial breakdown and video preview.
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Monday, January 9, 2017

College Football Playoff National Championship

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL, 8:30 ET, ESPN
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More Bowl Projections
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