While college football news is focused on the College Football Playoff, there are plenty of other great Bowl games happening around New Year’s that will certainly be worth watching. Along with the four-team playoff, the Selection Committee also brought four other marquee matchups to the table for the Cotton, Orange, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls.
In the Cotton Bowl, the Baylor Bears are getting one last opportunity for redemption after missing out of the College Football Playoff by one spot. They face the two-loss Michigan State Spartans. Considering the Spartans only two losses were to #2 Oregon and #4 Ohio State, the two teams seem to be very well-matched. Look for it to be a shoot-out, as both Baylor and Michigan State are big scorers.
TCU, another team that felt slighted by the Selection Committee, faces Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. Ole Miss appeared to be a top-flight team in the beginning of the year, but swiftly fell off after losing to LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas in a span of four weeks. TCU should be able to get their revenge for missing the playoffs in this matchup.
The Orange Bowl features formerly Mississippi State, at one point #1 in the country, versus unheralded Georgia Tech. Mississippi State seemed unbeatable for nine weeks, but Alabama edged the team out, and then they lost to Ole Miss two weeks later. Georgia Tech has a stellar run offense, but lost against Duke and North Carolina in two straight weeks, showing that they are certainly vulnerable to even less-than-stellar competition.
Finally, the Fiesta Bowl will pit Boise State against Arizona. Boise State is by far the lowest-ranked team to play one of these major Bowls and you won’t hear much about them in college football news, but they are perennially an exciting team that never loses easily. However, a top-flight program hasn’t really challenged Boise this year, aside from a loss vs Ole Miss. Arizona showed potential after beating Oregon early in the season and a few more wins over ranked opponents, but got dominated 51-13 only a week ago against Oregon. This matchup could be close, depending on which Arizona team shows up.
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