Bowl Grades For Every Team, Conference: How Did Everyone Do?

Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Bowl Grades For Every Team, Conference: How Did Everyone Do?

Bowls College Football Playoff

Bowl Grades For Every Team, Conference: How Did Everyone Do?

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What grade did each college football team and conference earn this 2022-2023 bowl season? Which leagues and teams did the best job?


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This was the weirdest bowl season ever, and it’s one going to get more interesting going forward with the transfer portal playing a bigger role, NIL money being a factor, and with the expanded College Football Playoff coming in the 2024 season.

What programs showed up for their bowl games and which ones mailed it in?

We assign a grade for each team based on relative performance. Winning the game is all that really matters, but did the team play up to its capabilities, or did it have to push a bit too hard against an inferior opponent? Did the losing team come up with a strong fight, or did it get embarrassed?

These were the final exams. How did everyone do?

2022-2023 Team, Conference Bowl Grades
ACC | American | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USAInd
MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt
Top 100 Bowl Players | Ranking all the Bowl Games
Final Rankings:
CFN 1-131 | CFN Season | AP | Coaches
Top 150 National Champions of All-Time

ACC Bowl Grades

ACC Bowl Grade: B

ACC Straight Up: 5-4
ACC Against The Spread: 6-3

It took down the games it was supposed, to, and it was competitive in some of the bigger ones, but it didn’t do enough in the one it needed to have – the Orange.

Pitt’s wild comeback in the Tony the Tiger Sun over UCLA – a 37-35 win – was the high point, but Clemson got rolled by Tennessee in the Orange, Florida State was meh in its Cheez-It win over Oklahoma, and North Carolina couldn’t come though against Oregon in the Holiday.

Give the league credit for some splash, though. Duke roasted UCF in the Military, Wake Forest got an SEC win over Missouri in the Gasparilla, and Louisville hit the layup against a depleted Cincinnati in the Fenway.

Clemson Bowl Grade: C-

Capital One Orange Bowl
Prediction: Clemson 34, Tennessee 30
Line: Clemson -6, o/u: 61
Final Score: Tennessee 31, Clemson 14
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

For all the talk about transfers and opt-outs and how Clemson does things, this was a bad, bad performance. Tennessee was missing a slew of key parts – more than Clemson – and it didn’t matter much. The Tiger defense was fine and the offense cranked up yards with QB Cade Klubnik the unquestioned starter, but the results weren’t there. With the way Klubnik played, call this loss a step back to take a big leap forward.


Duke Bowl Grade: A

Military Bowl
Prediction: Duke 30, UCF 20
Line: Duke -3, o/u: 62.5
Final Score: Duke 30, UCF 13
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

So how’s that for a bowl game to close out the season with a ninth win? To be fair, UCF was totally gutted and didn’t play like its normal self, but the Blue Devils showed up with a terrific, tight game with no turnovers, one penalty, and a stunningly easy win.


Florida State Bowl Grade: B

Cheez-It Bowl
Prediction: Florida State 34, Oklahoma 20
Line: Florida State -10.5, o/u: 66
Final Score: Florida State 35, Oklahoma 32
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

It’s not like it was a bad game for the Seminoles – they won – but that wasn’t your normal Oklahoma team on the other side. It should’ve been a whole lot easier to get the win. However, the win accomplished two key things: 1) It jacked up the fan base in a big way for 2023, and 2) Jordan Travis – and his 418-yard day – is going to be a major factor next season. It’s a bowl win, and Florida State showed it’s on the upswing.


Louisville Bowl Grade: A

Wasabi Fenway Bowl
Prediction: Louisville 23, Cincinnati 20
Line: Louisville -2, o/u: 39.5
Final Score: Louisville 24, Cincinnati 7
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means 

Louisville lost its head coach, it didn’t have a slew of key stars, and it was hardly going to be its normal self out there, but Cincinnati had even more problems. The Cardinal did exactly what they were supposed to, the running game was great, and the defense was fantastic. It was one of the more dominant non-big bowl wins of the season.


North Carolina Bowl Grade: B

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
Prediction: Oregon 41, North Carolina 30
Line: Oregon -13, o/u: 76
Final Score: Oregon 28, North Carolina 27
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

The offense didn’t quite work as well as it should’ve, but it was still a good performance in a fun back-and-forth game. The defense couldn’t come up with the stop late in a blast of a fourth quarter, and the O settled for field goals, but that was a good Oregon team on the other side. Let’s put it this way – the Tar Heels were supposed to be blown out, and they easily covered.


NC State Bowl Grade: C

Maryland vs NC State
Prediction: NC State 27, Maryland 20
Line: NC State -2, o/u: 45.5
Final Score: Maryland 16, NC State 12
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

The Wolfpack should’ve been able to pull this off. It was a wildly frustrating game, but the defense did its part to hold the high-powered Terps to just 16 points. However, a slew of Maryland’s top receivers were gone – this wasn’t the same O from the regular season. NC State did nothing on the ground, the offense only managed four field goals, and the team could never create that one big breakthrough moment.


Pitt Bowl Grade: A+

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
Prediction: UCLA 34, Pitt 20
Line: UCLA -8.5, o/u: 53.5
Final Score: Pitt 37, UCLA 35
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW. Pitt had no business being in this game. It was missing way too many key guys, UCLA had enough of its normal starters around to be good, and no one would’ve blinked if the team packed it in after a demoralizing pick-six for a 28-14 Bruin lead in the third. But the Panthers kept fighting, kept chipping away, and … it was over. UCLA scored with 40 seconds to go to survive and … nope. PK Ben Sauls became a legend,  and Pitt pulled off one of the guttiest wins of the bowl season.


Syracuse Bowl Grade: B-

Pinstripe Bowl
Prediction: Minnesota 27, Syracuse 13
Line: Minnesota -10, o/u: 44.5
Final Score: Minnesota 28, Syracuse 20
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

This was never supposed to be remotely close. The Orange were never really in it, but they managed to make this a bit interesting – and screw everyone with the wrong side of the spread – late, and they weren’t awful considering how badly they were undermanned. The run defense held up phenomenally well – and the team outgained the Gophers 477 yards to 215 – but one pick six turned into the killer. All things considered, it was a good effort.


Wake Forest Bowl Grade: A

Union Home Gasparilla Bowl
Predictions: Wake Forest 30, Missouri 27
Line: Wake Forest -2.5, o/u: 58.5
Final Score: Wake Forest 27, Missouri 17
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

It was a solid, even performance to keep hanging around before pulling away in the second half. Wake Forest got up 14-3, Missouri fought back, and then it was all ACC the rest of the way. Sam Hartman threw two touchdown passes – 13 unanswered points – the defense was terrific when it had to be, and it turned into a strong bowl win over an SEC team. Mizzou blinked, and Wake Forest didn’t.

2022-2023 Team, Conference Bowl Grades
ACC | American | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USAInd
MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt
Top 100 Bowl Players | Ranking all the Bowl Games
Final Rankings:
CFN 1-131 | CFN Season | AP | Coaches
Top 150 National Champions of All-Time

NEXT: American Athletic Bowl Grades

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