There are a lot of college football bowl games this week leading up to the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs on Saturday. With all the talk of players such as Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery skipping bowl games, you as a casual college fan might think these games are not important enough to watch. But you would be wrong
On Tuesday, we have a good one between the Boise State Broncos and the Baylor Bears. The Broncos come in at 10-2 and the Bears are limping in at 6-6. But baylor has a new coach coming in Tuesday in Matt Rhule who led the Temple Owls to the American Conference Championship this season. Coincidentally, the Owls take on Wake Forest, who has been in the news a lot recently as well, in the Military Bowl. So that’s two interesting games on Tuesday.
On Wednesday we have the Russell Athletics Bowl featuring the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Miami Hurricanes. These two former Big East Conference rivals will put on a good show in Orlando. Mark Richt wraps up a fairly successful first season in Miami in this game and a win would certainly be a bog boost going into recruiting season. West Virginia stayed in the Big 12 race until late in the season and will be looking to snap a five game losing streak to the Canes. Canes quarterback Brad Kaaya will be looking to improve his draft stock with one more good game in college.
On Thursday we have the South Florida Bulls and the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Birmingham Bowl in legendary Legion Field. Charlie Strong takes over the Bulls in his first game since being fired as coach of the Texas Longhorns at the end of the regular season. How good would it feel to watch Strong get a bowl win while Longhorns fans are missing out on the bowl season?
Then on Friday, we have the Sun Bowl in El Paso where the Stanford Cardinal will battle the North Carolina Tar Heels. This game has gotten a lot on ink because of who will not be playing in it. Stanford’s Christian McCaffery will forego the game to get ready for the NFL Draft. Many have come down on both sides on this issue. Some feel he is quitting on his team while others feel like risking injury is not worth it for a potential first round pick. Whatever side you may fall on, this game has certainly taken on added importance either way.
Yes, we know that the Orange Bowl is later on Friday Night, but that is one of the big ones no matter the day it is played. Fans will watch the Orange Bowl. We are talking about games fans might not watch and then be sorry they missed.
On Saturday, we have the two semifinal playoff games. But before that we also have a couple of interesting games at 11:00 AM. The Kentucky Wildcats will take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Gator Bowl while the Louisville Cardinals battle the LSU Tigers in the Citrus Bowl. The Citrus Bowl has Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson leading the Cards against LSU who will be without Leonard Fournette, who like McCaffery is skipping the game to get ready for the draft. And Kentucky is a feel good story as well as Tech just for getting this far. Both Tech and UK pulled off big wins in their rivalry games with the cats beating Louisville and Tech knocking off Georgia. Both did it in thrilling fashion, scoring late in the fourth quarter to win.
So those games should get you pumped up and ready for the semifinal games which begin on Saturday afternoon.