Know Your Bowls: College Football Playoff, Bowl Game Quick Previews

Know Your Bowls: College Football Playoff, Bowl Game Quick Previews

Bowls College Football Playoff

Know Your Bowls: College Football Playoff, Bowl Game Quick Previews


Quick previews at every bowl team with the basics of what you need to know for the 2018-2019 bowl and College Football Playoff season.

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Gildan New Mexico Bowl

Saturday, December 15
2:00, ESPN, Branch Field at Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM

North Texas

The high-powered Mean Green should’ve been in the Conference USA championship – and won it. Instead, it lost a few close games to just barely miss out, but their three losses on the season were by a combined 13 points – and one of them was to Old Dominion.

The is a high-powered offensive team with a terrific passing game and the top-scoring offense in Conference USA. However, the offensive line is just okay and the secondary can be hit hard.

Utah State

It was a fantastic year for Utah State – right up until head coach Matt Wells decided to bolt for Texas Tech. Even so, the Aggies had one of the nation’s top scoring offenses, almost beat Michigan State, and only missed out the Mountain West championship appearance after losing to Boise State. For all the good things the team did, though, it play a layup of a schedule. Even so, it should put on an offensive show.
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AutoNation Cure Bowl

Saturday, December 15
2:30, CBS Sports Network, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL


The Willie Fritz era made the turn with a bowl appearance. The running game isn’t quite as unstoppable as it was expected to be when Fritz took over a few years ago, but it was good enough to win four of the last five games of the season. The defense isn’t a rock, but it can get behind the line. As long as the run D is strong, this team can win.


Losers of the Sun Belt Championship to Appalachian State, the Ragin’ Cajuns still came up with a terrific first season under first year head coach Billy Napier. The won four of the last five games to get to the title game, overcoming an okay defense with a running attack that keeps on coming. However, the run D can be beaten up and run through.
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Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl

Saturday, December 15
3:30, ABC, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Fresno State

Jeff Tedford took a woeful program that fell flat fast to the Mountain West championship game in just one year, and won it in his second. His offense improved as QB Marcus McMaryion got better, but it was the defense that got the Bulldogs to Vegas, allowing 17 points or fewer in nine games and lever allowed more than 27. The two losses were on the road to Minnesota and Boise State by just seven points each.

Arizona State

The first season under Herm Edwards was terrific. For all the jabs and all the naysayers, he had a better run than Kevin Sumlin at Arizona, and he had a way better year than Chip Kelly at Oregon. His team plays hard, it’s great on the lines, and it has a dangerous offensive balance, but there’s a chance star WR N’Keal Harry sits this one out to get ready for the NFL. RB Eno Benjamin, though, is worth the price of admission.
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Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

Saturday, December 15
5:30, ESPN, Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL

Eastern Michigan

The Eagles went a long stretch where it couldn’t play an uninteresting game. A ridiculous six games in a row were all decided by a touchdown or less, and then the defense kicked it in late in the year on a run of five wins in the last six games. However, they lost to Army and its option attack, and outside of a shocking comeback over Purdue, almost all of the wins were against the weak and the sad.

Georgia Southern

The option offense rumbled through a fabulous season, with the only loss coming to Clemson until November, but a few clunker against ULM and Troy spoiled the party – and a stunning blowout win over eventual Sun Belt champion Appalachian State. The D allowed 17 points or fewer seven games – all wins – mostly because the offense almost always has the ball.
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R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Saturday, December 15
9:00, ESPN, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Middle Tennessee

The Blue Raiders might have stumbled in the Conference USA Championship against UAB, and it had a misfire against FIU, but it was a strong season with a good, talented offense that and a terrific passing game. The biggest issue was the SEC – losing to Vanderbilt, Georgia and Kentucky – and it fattened up on a whole slew of bad teams. But the program will show up – it won last year’s bowl over Arkansas State with a big offensive showing.

Appalachian State

Will the Mountaineers still have their head coach? Scott Satterfield is getting the full court press – or, is at least on the short list – for seven job openings after turning ASU into a Sun Belt powerhouse. His conference championship team had a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Penn State and it couldn’t handle the Georgia Southern option – that was it. It’s a rock-solid squad across the board with a defense that allowed fewer than 20 points in every game but the two losses.
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