How good are the bowl games? Ranking all the bowl matchups from the worst-looking to the best, continuing with the bowls ranked 21st to 30th.
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Ranking The 2017-2018 Bowls: 21-30
Pre-Bowl Season Rankings
Ranking all the bowls on the awesomeness, how much do you have to watch them scale, here’s the next tier. The matchups aren’t so lousy that you can ignore them, but if you just so happen to miss one of them, you can be forgiven.
In order from the ones because-you-have-to, to the ones because-you-HAVE-to, here we go …
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30. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Northwestern vs. Kentucky -7.5, o/u: 51
This is a tough one, and it should probably be higher considering Northwestern is the master of the close overtime game. Kentucky doesn’t have an offense, and NU keeps most games close, so it should be tight, just not very good. Just like the country and/or western music that’ll be played at all times to shove the theme of the bowl name in your face.
29. Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Arkansas State -3 vs. Middle Tennessee, o/u: 62.5
There’s a chance this ends up being on the list of top ten of the most awesome bowl list at the end of the rainbow – if Middle Tennessee’s offense shows up. It’s been a bit spotty throughout the year, and Arkansas State might turn the lights out in a hurry if the machine gets warmed up.
It’s low on the list because I’m preemptively mad that this might be a blowout. After a long day with five bowl games – along with being berated for some stupid thing I’ll tweet about the Celebration not being a real bowl – this could be a long, lonely way to close up a Saturday.
28. NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
New Mexico State vs. Utah State -3.5, o/u: 61
New Mexico State is in a bowl for the first time in 57 years. That’s a LOT of bad New Mexico State football, and they’re going to wing it all around the yard in what should be a solid game that about four people will watch.
Having been a part of the unveiling in Tucson of the bowl back in the Campus Insiders (sky point) days, I’ll always like this thing. But it’s played while three other better games are going on. That, along with figuring out what channel CBS Sports Network is, makes this too much work.
27. Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman
Virginia vs. Navy (No Line Yet)
This is all on you, Bronco Mendenhall. If you’re the head coach of the ACC team vs. the American Athletic team, and you have several weeks to prepare your smart, veteran defense to stop the option, there’s no excuse not to win this thing in a walk.
The best part? Each player gets a combat-proven RQ-4 Global Hawk German Full Scale Demonstrator in his swag bag.
26. Belk Bowl
Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M -3, o/u: 64.5
To the Belk people who honk at me – I’M SORRY. I don’t mean to mock or insult your bowl game in any way, but the Be Better Than The Belk line just rolls easier than Be Better Than The Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman.
Wake Forest is fun, and a rudderless Texas A&M probably won’t be. The hope is for a shootout, but games with interim head coaches always feel like true exhibitions.
By the way, no truth to the rumor that Jimbo Fisher – because he has to provide his e-mail; email@example.com – isn’t taking full advantage of the belk.com offer of $10 off a $20 purchase.
25. New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Boston College vs. Iowa -3, o/u: 46
Will this be the Iowa that screwed up the Big Ten with its blasting of Ohio State, or the one that scored 19 points or fewer in six of its last nine games? Want a hint? Iowa has lost its last five bowl games by a combined score of 172-75.
Boston College won last year’s Quick Lane over Maryland, but before that it lost five straight bowls going back to 2007. The Eagles played UConn in Fenway in the second-to-last game of the season, and now they get to play in Yankee Stadium. I have no idea how that helps you and your condition.
24. Dollar General Bowl
Toledo -7.5 vs. Appalachian State, o/u: 63
We JUST did this. This is the part where I say Toledo’s offense is amazing and should be way too much for poor old Appalachian State, and then you point your finger and laugh at the doorknob who said the exact same thing last year at this time. And then poor old Appalachian State won your 2016 Camellia Bowl 31-28 over the Rockets, and I felt bad about myself.
You’ll be happy to know that when the private plane takes him to Dollar General, Jimbo Fisher will save $3 if he buys any three packages of Angel Soft Bath Tissue with Fresh Lavender Scent, 12 Big Roll from now until December 23rd.
23. Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
West Virginia vs. Utah -4, o/u: 55.5
West Virginia has a fantastic offense, and Utah’s O is excellent when it gets rolling – when they have their quarterbacks.
The Mountaineers will likely be without Will Grier, and Utah is hoping Tyler Huntley will be all good after suffering a shoulder problem.
So, basically, the program that has won its last four bowl games, and 13 of its last 14, has its quarterback, and the program that lost five of its last seven bowls probably won’t have its star. Yippee.
22. Hyundai Sun Bowl NC State
NC State -6.5 vs. Arizona State, o/u: 59.5
You will watch this bowl, or Herm Edwards will show up at your house, forget your nickname, and yell something motivational.
The assistants are still there for ASU, and they’ll be the ones doing things when Herm does Herm – don’t expect the Sun Devils to get flattened without the head man around yet.
More entertaining, though, will be the reaction of the Tennessee fans on Twitter – considering the coaching dalliance with Wolfpack head man Dave Doeren – if NC State wins or loses this in a blowout.
21. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy -5.5 vs. North Texas, o/u: 60
And away we go. It’s the kickoff of the bowl season, and it’ll be a fun one with North Texas and its offense about to drag out the O from a Troy team that likes to play defense and keep it close to the vest. Nope – not in this. It’ll be an offensive firefight.
If the first of five on the day, and the pressure is on. Be awful early, R+L Carriers New Orleans, and the world will quickly pivot to the AutoNation Cure, or the Las Vegas, and then the Gildan New Mexico, and then the Raycom Media Camellia.
Pre-Bowl Season Rankings