College Football Bowl Games: Ranking All 27. How Good Is Your Bowl?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Bowl Games: Ranking All 27. How Good Is Your Bowl?

Bowls College Football Playoff

College Football Bowl Games: Ranking All 27. How Good Is Your Bowl?

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Ranking all 27 – maybe 28? – college football bowl games for the 2020-2021 season from the best-looking to the worst. How good is your bowl game?


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Ranking Every Bowl Game: Pre-Bowls

Ohhhhhhhh, are there some doozies this year.

Teams that jumped the gun and took their bowl invites early, a ton of teams with losing records, too many good programs opting out, and all while hoping to just get each of these crazy things in during a raging pandemic.

This year, the “there are too many bowls” crowd needs to stay mum. Several of them aren’t able to go, the Rose Bowl isn’t even the Rose Bowl, and the whole thing gets shot out of a cannon a day after all the pairings were announced.

Oh, you’ll watch. You have nowhere to go and nothing else to do. Oh yes, you will watch.

Let’s go.

Here’s how these things are categorized …

Deep cuts
Sure, whatever
Bowls. Yes. Bowls
Bowls that won’t suck
Watch or die

Bowl Game Rankings: Deep Cuts

Union Home Mortgage Gasparillia Bowl

Saturday, December 26
ABC, 12:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
UAB vs TBD

This WAS UAB vs. South Carolina, but the Gamecocks had to opt out. We’ll rerank if there’s a replacement and if the game goes on.

Line: UAB -5, o/u: 43.5
Last Season: UCF 48, Marshall 25
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 30
Last year final bowl season ranking: 30

27. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Saturday, December 26
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
Louisiana vs UTSA

This was one of the most exciting bowl games of last season, but this time around it has the potential to be a problem. If UTSA’s offense gets going it might stay close, but the Ragin’ Cajuns might come out and show that the rankings all season long had it wrong. This is a one-loss team that beat the Fiesta Bowl-bound Iowa State Cyclones, and it’s – no offense, or anything, SERVPRO First Responder Bowl – here.

Line: Louisiana -13.5, o/u: 59
Last Season: WKU 23, Western Michigan 20
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 25
Last year final bowl season ranking: 2

26. Montgomery Bowl

Wednesday, December 23
ESPN or ESPN2, 7:00 pm
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL
Florida Atlantic vs Memphis

We’re setting the bar way low for you two. The problem is that Florida Atlantic is all about the defense. It’s coming off a shootout loss to a miserable Southern Miss team, but usually the D rules the day. The concern is that Memphis takes over right away and FAU is never quite in it. Go you Owls and make this ranking look silly.

Line: Memphis -9.5, o/u: 50
Last Season: No Bowl
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: No Bowl
Last year final bowl season ranking: No Bowl

25. Myrtle Beach Bowl

Monday, December 21
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC
Appalachian State vs North Texas 

Technically, this should probably be rated a little bit higher. It’s a Monday afternoon game, North Texas puts up a bazillion points, gives up a bazillion and 5, and this should be a wild shootout. However, it should also be an Appalachian State blowout.

Line: Appalachian State -21, o/u: 64.5
Last Season: No Game
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: No Bowl
Last year final bowl season ranking: No Bowl

24. Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Wednesday, December 30
ESPN, 12:00 pm
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Wake Forest vs Wisconsin

The problem is that Wisconsin still doesn’t really have all of its parts healthy, it still has a struggling offense, and it still has a defense that has the ability to turn the lights out on this Demon Deacon O. It might be a close game, but don’t confuse a tight score with an interesting football game. However, last year’s Belk wasn’t expected to be much, and it was a classic.

Line: Wisconsin -6.5, o/u: 55.5
Last Season: Kentucky 37, Virginia Tech 30
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 22
Last year final bowl season ranking: 4

23. LendingTree Bowl

Saturday, December 26
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
WKU vs. Georgia State 

Don’t be shocked if this turns into one of the surprise bowl games. WKU plays hard, Georgia State has an interesting offense, and this should be among the most unpredictable bowl games. If the WKU offense isn’t working, though, this could be a long day.

Line: Georgia State -4.5, o/u: 53.5
Last Season: Louisiana 27, Miami University 17
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 37
Last year final bowl season ranking: 28

22. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Wednesday, December 23
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Louisiana Tech vs Georgia Southern

At the very least, there should be a decent energy in the building in some way. Louisiana Tech hasn’t been all that great, and Georgia Southern runs its quirky option, but there’s a chance this game bogs down fast. Call this a We Hope To Be Wrong ranking and that it’s at least close late, even if it’s not scintillating.

Line: Georgia Southern -6, o/u: 50
Last Season: Appalachian State 31, UAB 17
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 33
Last year final bowl season ranking: 27

21. New Mexico Bowl

Thursday, December 24
ESPN, 3:30 pm
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Hawaii vs. Houston

San Diego State might have opted out, but it would’ve been a bit more interesting if the bowl had signed on the Aztecs from the Mountain West rather than Hawaii. However, don’t be shocked if this is far closer and far more interesting than the line. Hawaii will battle and Houston still has to prove its good.

Line: Houston -13, o/u: 60.5
Last Season: San Diego State 48, Central Michigan 11
Last year pre-bowl season ranking: 36
Last year final bowl season ranking: 37

Sure, whatever
Bowls. Yes. Bowls
Bowls that won’t suck
Watch or die

NEXT: Bowl Game Rankings: Sure. Whatever.

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