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

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Rose Bowl

Tuesday, January 1st
5:00, ESPN, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

Ohio State

Ohio State has been strong at overcoming disappointment with big bowl games – like last year’s 24-7 stomping over USC – but this is a special game even if it’s not the College Football Playoff. It’s Urban Meyer’s first Rose Bowl, and it’s … the Rose Bowl. The team with as much NFL offensive skill talent as anyone in college football has the firepower to make this a moment to prove to the world that it probably belonged in the final four.

The defense has been shaky, and there’s a toughness factor on the lines that’s been a bit lacking, but when Dwayne Haskins and the O get on a roll, it’s breathtaking. As the first 12-win Power Five conference champion to not get into the College Football Playoff, motivation won’t be a problem.

Washington

Defense, defense, defense. Jake Browning and the Washington offense are okay, and the running game is outstanding, but the Huskies have the D to go up against Ohio State and give it a massive test. The Pac-12 Championship was the culmination of a great year, stuffing Washington State in the snow for 15 points, and not allowing more than 24 in 12 of the 13 games – only Oregon scored 30.

This is the third straight big bowl game for the Huskies, and now there’s a little bit of a prove-it factor after getting rolled by Alabama in the 2016 College Football Playoff and losing to Penn State in last year’s Fiesta. This has been a great run so far under head coach Chris Petersen, but beating Ohio State in the Rose Bowl would be a signature moment.
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Sugar Bowl

Tuesday, January 1st
8:30, ESPN, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, New Orleans, LA

Texas

The Longhorns lost the Big 12 Championship to Oklahoma, but even if they won they were going to be in the Sugar Bowl. So no matter what, they are where they’re supposed to be in a great second year under Tom Herman.

The defense has been good enough in the high-octane Big 12, and the offense should be even better with time for QB Sam Ehlinger’s injured shoulder to get a little better.

But how good is Texas? The four losses were to OU, but a total of four points to Oklahoma State and West Virginia, and in the opener against Maryland by six with late turnovers proven costly. The team is good enough, and now, with everyone sure to think Georgia will roll, it’s playing with house money.

Georgia

Okay, Georgia. If you’re one of the four best teams, then go prove it. The team that pushed Alabama to the brink probably should’ve been in the CFP on a “four best team” theory, but it’s not, and now it has to show the committee what it missed out on. The Dawgs lost to LSU by 20, but they beat everyone else by double-digits before the SEC Championship. In this, it’ll be all about focus.

The offense has a magnificent set of skill talents with speed and NFL talent across the board, and for all the amazing stars on the field in Atlanta against Alabama, QB Jake Fromm might have had the best game of anyone.

And don’t think perception doesn’t matter. A blowout over Texas in this might get more of the “four best team” benefit of the doubt if Georgia is in the same spot next year.
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NEXT: College Football Playoff: Cotton, Orange

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