College Football Bowl Games: Ranking All 39. How Good Is Your Bowl?

College Football Bowl Games: Ranking All 39. How Good Is Your Bowl?

Bowl Projections

College Football Bowl Games: Ranking All 39. How Good Is Your Bowl?

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Ranking all 39 college football bowl games or the 2019-2020 season from the best-looking to the worst. How good is your bowl game?


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Future College Football Playoff Sites & Dates

Ranking Every Bowl Game: Pre-Bowls

No, really, how good is your bowl matchup?

Here’s how this all works.

Silly people complain that there are too many bowl games – because they have nothing else to do.

And then they all watch – because they have nothing else to do.

And then they all go shopping for stupid holiday gifts that their loved ones will return for credit.

And then they realize that bowl games, while meaningless until the College Football Playoff, are still better than anything else they’re going to do, and then they decide they like the bowl season and are sad when it’s over.

All these bowl games are wonderful in their own, magical way. If you invest, there’s a little slice of happiness and fun for you just about every day for a solid three weeks.

Last year, we totally nailed it on the Cheez-It in the rankings before the bowl, and, as always, we’ll rank them after the bowl season from the classics right down to the total duds.

Here’s how these things are categorized …

Buzz, your girlfriend, woof
Oh why the hell not?
Bowls. Nothing more, nothing less
Bowls that won’t suck
Watch or die

BEST BOWL GAMES: BUZZ, YOUR GIRLFRIEND, WOOF …

39. Quick Lane Bowl

Thursday, December 26
8:00 ET, ESPN, Ford Field, Detroit, MI 
Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan

This could shock and surprise because all Pitt games seem to be close, but this is an absolutely miserable bowl matchup all due to Penn State going to the Cotton. If that doesn’t happen, there’s a Big Ten team here available to play Pitt, and it might have been Michigan State with the storyline of Mark Dantonio vs. Pat Narduzzi. Instead we get an ACC team vs. a MAC team, and not even a good one.

Line: Pitt -11, o/u: 50
Last Season: Minnesota 34, Georgia Tech 10
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 24
Last year final bowl season ranking: 34
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

38. NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Tuesday, December 31
4:30 ET, CBS Sports Network, Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Georgia State vs. Wyoming

Has anyone actually seen this bowl ever? (I can actually ask this now after being a part of all of this when it first got started and got to be a talking head at the opening press conference … I know, you’re happy for me.)

It’s always on at the same time as a few other big bowl games, and it’s almost always good. This one could be tough, mainly because nobody scores in Wyoming games. However, it might be kept close.

Line: Wyoming -7,  o/u: 50
Last Season: Nevada 16, Arkansas State 13 OT
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 19
Last year final bowl season ranking: 3
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

37. LendingTree Bowl

Monday, January 6
7:30 ET, ESPN
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Miami University vs. Louisiana 

It’s the last game before the national championship a week later, and by this point, most of America will be done with this whole bowl thing. However, you love bowls, and you’re going to dive right into the MAC Champion vs. the Sun Belt runner-up … and you’ll probably be chasing.

Line: Louisiana -13.5, o/u: 56.5
Last Season: Troy 42, Buffalo 32
Last year pre-bowl season ranking:
Last year final bowl season ranking:
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

36. New Mexico Bowl

Saturday, December 21
2:00 ET, ESPN
Branch Field at Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
Central Michigan vs. San Diego State

A MASSIVE disappointment last year – this should’ve been a wild shootout – the New Mexico Bowl has no chance to fail to live up to expectations. San Diego State games are sort of dull as is – to a point. The final score will be 20-13 in some way with neither offense going to do anything interesting. The big problem? We just sort of saw this with Miami University slowing down CMU in the MAC Championship.

Line: San Diego State -3.5, o/u: 40.5
Last Season: Utah State 52, North Texas 13
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 2
Last year final bowl season ranking: 35
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

35. Redbox Bowl

Monday, December 30
4:00 ET, FOX, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Illinois vs. Cal

It’s as if the bowl people thought, “Gee, that Oregon 7-6 win over Michigan State last year had TOO much offense. Let’s see if we can slow that down a little bit.” Illinois will care, and Cal can’t play a worse bowl than the 2018 Cheez-It, but the final score might be 3-2.

Line: Cal -6.5, o/u: 43
Last Season: Oregon 7, Michigan State 6
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 33
Last year final bowl season ranking: 16
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

34. Walk-On’s Independence Bowl

Thursday, December 26
4:00 ET, ESPN. Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA 
Miami vs. Louisiana Tech

Expect the worst and hope something that isn’t totally miserable. There are two concerns here. 1) Louisiana Tech – even with players back from suspension – beat a fat load of no one, could be overrated, and could get destroyed. Or 2) Miami will continue to wear the Suck Chain in bowl games. The program has lost eight of its last nine going back to the – wait for it – 2006 MPC Computers Bowl.

Line: Louisiana Tech -7.5, o/u: 49.5
Last Season: Duke 56, Temple 27
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 34
Last year final bowl season ranking: 24
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

33. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Saturday, December 21
9:00 ET, ESPN, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
UAB vs. Appalachian State

Okay, UAB. A skeptical nation has its eyes on you after that Conference USA championship performance against Florida Atlantic. Here’s the main issue – UAB doesn’t really score. So either 1) the Eli Drinkwitz-less Mountaineers win this in a walk, or 2) it’s a low-scoring slugfest. Surprise us, kids.

Line: Appalachian State -16.5, o/u: 47
Last Season: Appalachian State 45, Middle Tennessee 13
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 29
Last year final bowl season ranking: 33
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

32. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl

Friday, December 20
7:30 ET, ESPN2
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Kent State vs. Utah State

This was supposed to be the worst bowl going into last post-season, and it made a big push not to disappoint. Kent State will give is a push, but if Utah State QB Jordan Love goes off in his final game before turning pro, this could be uh-oh time in a real hurry.

Line: Utah State -8.5, o/u: 64.5
Last Season: Ohio 27, San Diego State 0
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 39
Last year final bowl season ranking: 38
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

31. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Friday, January 3
3:30 ET, ESPN, Lyle Smith Field at Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Ohio vs. Nevada

It’s a bowl game two days after all the New Year’s Day fun and several days after the College Football Playoff matchups – and it’s this. Nevada will be missing three defensive starters to suspension and another for a half, and neither team is all that good … but it’s a stand-alone game on a Friday afternoon, and you’re not going to be back at work yet. Enjoy.

Line: Ohio -6.5, o/u: 55.5
Last Season: BYU 49, Western Michigan 18
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 37
Last year final bowl season ranking: 31
Bet on this with BetMGM | Get Bowl Tickets

Oh why the hell not?
Bowls. Nothing more, nothing less
Bowls that won’t suck
Watch or die

NEXT: Bowls … why the hell not?

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