Bowl Games 2022: 12 Games of Bowlmas

In this edition, we’ll preview the next 12 bowl games on the calendar, starting from Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve Eve Eve.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Monday, December 26

2:30: New Mexico State vs. Bowling Green (Quick Lane Bowl @ Detroit, MI; ESPN): Obviously this game exists as a prelude to for ESPN to remind you that there’s somehow a 3rd straight day of NFL football, even if you’re kind of tired of after watching the somewhat dreadful Christmas Day slate. This game as a more interesting storyline, at least. Neither of these teams has bowled often or for a while (see below), and at least with this caliber a team there’s a good chance their best players will play. (We will ignore concerns about the quality of said players.) Either way, I think going to bowls is just more important to NMSU, and that’ll propel to the win.
SP+ line: Aggies -4.5
Vegas line: BGSU -2.5
Watchability tier: I
Previous meetings: This is the first meeting between these teams.
Last bowl game: This is the fifth bowl ever for the Aggies. Their last bowl game was the 2017 Arizona Bowl, where they beat Utah State 26-20. For BGSU, this is their first bowl game since the 2015 Godaddy.com Bowl, where they lost 58-27 to Georgia Southern.
Announcers: John Schriffen and Rene Ingoglia

Tuesday, December 27

12:00: Buffalo vs. Georgia Southern (Camellia Bowl @ Montgomery, AL; ESPN): While Montgomery right now (or ever, really) is no one’s idea of a tropical paradise, it might be preferable to what’s going on in Buffalo right now. My best to anyone affected by the storm there. Down here, I’m taking GATA.
SP+ line: Southern -3.9
Vegas line: Creek Water -3.5
Watchability tier: I
Previous meetings: This is the first meeting between these teams.
Last bowl game: The Bulls went to the 2020 version of this game and won 17-10 over Marshall. The Eagles went to the 2020 New Orleans Bowl and beat Louisiana Tech 38-3.
Announcers: Drew Carter and Aaron Murray

3:15: Utah State vs. Memphis (First Responder Bowl @ Dallas, TX; ESPN): See that SP+ line down there? Yeah. Tigers all the way.
SP+ line: Memphis -19.9
Vegas line: Memphis -7.5
Watchability tier: I
Previous meetings: Seven, all from 1965 through 1977. Memphis leads the all time series 4-3 and won the most recent meeting 31-26.
Last bowl game: The Aggies beat Oregon State in last season’s LA Bowl, 24-13. Memphis’s last postseason appearance was the 2020 Montgomery Bowl, where they beat Florida Atlantic 25-10.
Announcers: Mike Monaco and Charles Arbuckle

6:45: East Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina (Birmingham Bowl @ Birmingham, AL; ESPN): This is starting to get more interesting. ECU sort of came out of nowhere this season and put together a run to this bowl. Coastal wasn’t quite up their standards last year, but their star QB, Grayson McCall, is going to give it one last ride in this bowl game. Motivation matters a lot in bowl games, and I think CCU will have it.
SP+ line: ECU -2.5
Vegas line: ECU -10.5
Watchability tier: II
Previous meetings: This is the first meeting between these teams.
Last bowl game: ECU hasn’t been to a bowl game since the 2014-15 Birmingham Bowl, where they 28-20 to Florida. This is the third bowl in a row for Coastal, going back to the 2020 Cure Bowl, where they lost 37-34 to Liberty. Last season they won the Cure Bowl 47-41 over Northern Illinois.
Announcers: Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker

10:15: Wisconsin vs. Oklahoma State (Guaranteed Rate Bowl @ Phoenix, AZ; ESPN): So the deal with getting to a game featuring teams you’ve heard of is that, well, Wisconsin is going through a coaching transition right now and they’ve got tons of players transferring and/or opting-out. It’s hard to get a read on this, but if we’re talking about motivation, OSU’s starters against whatever roster the Badgers manage to scrape up for an interim coach might just be too much to overcome. (That does remind me that I should check if Barry Alvarez is going to be the interim again.)
SP+ line: OSU -3.2
Vegas line: Wisky -3
Watchability tier: III
Previous meetings: This is the first meeting between these teams.
Last bowl game: The Badgers have now been to 21 straight bowl games, dating back to the 2002 Alamo Bowl, where they beat Colorado 31-28. Last season they beat Arizona State 20-13 in the Las Vegas Bowl. This is the 17th straight bowl game for the Pokes, dating to the 2006 Independence Bowl, where they beat Alabama 34-31. Last season they beat Notre Dame 37-35 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Announcers: Beth Mowins and Kirk Morrison

Wednesday, December 28

2:00: Duke vs. Central Florida (Military Bowl @ Annapolis, MD; ESPN): This game is more or less a pick ’em. I don’t think either of these teams is that good, seeing as how they collectively went 1-1 against Georgia Tech this season. I’m giving an extremely slight edge to Duke.
SP+ line: UCF -3.8
Vegas line: Duke -1
Watchability tier: III
Previous meetings: This is the first meeting between these teams.
Last bowl game: This is Duke’s first bowl game since the 2018 Independence Bowl, where they beat Temple 56-27. This is the seventh straight bowl game for the Knights, dating to a 31-13 loss to Arkansas State in the 2016 Cure Bowl. Last season they beat Florida 29-17 in the Gasparilla Bowl, a result that I’d imagine they will stop talking about after this game. Maybe.
Announcers: Keven Brown and Hutson Mason

5:30: Kansas vs. Arkansas (Liberty Bowl @ Memphis, TN; ESPN): Arkansas had a bizarre end to their season that involved losing to Liberty (the score was 21-19, but it was bad), a close loss to LSU, WOMPin’ Ole Miss, and then a loss to Missouri? I have no idea. KU more or less just started losing once they ran into real competition in the Big 12. That said, what this game is REALLY about is whether it’s “Ar-kan-saw” or “Ar-kansas”. And unfortunately for my Kansas relatives, I think it’ll likely be the latter.
SP+ line: Womp -9.2
Vegas line: Womp -3
Watchability tier: III
Previous meetings: For two teams in roughly the same region, there’s just been two all-time meetings. And we have to go back, way back. The first was a 6-0 Kansas win in 1905, followed by a 37-5 win by the Jayhawks a year later.
Last bowl game: Bowl games are somewhat few and far between for the Jayhawks, for whom this is their first postseason game since the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, where they beat Minnesota 42-21. The Razorbacks last called the postseason hogs in last season’s 24-10 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl.
Announcers: Dave O’Brien and Dan Mullen

8:00: North Carolina vs. Oregon (Holiday Bowl @ San Diego, CA; FOX): I always consider the holiday the unofficial start of the “real” bowl season, when the bowls start featuring power conference teams with records well north of barely just qualifying. Plus, it’s nice to think about San Diego. That said, SP+ and Vegas think this going to be all Ducks, and I’m inclined to agree.
SP+ line: Ducks -14
Vegas line: Ducks -14
Watchability tier: III
Previous meetings: This is the first meeting between these teams.
Last bowl game: This is the fourth straight bowl game for the Tarheels, dating to the 2019 Military Bowl, where they beat Temple 55-13. Last season they lost 38-21 to South Carolina in the Mayo Bowl. This game will make it six straight for the Ducks, dating to a 38-28 loss to Boise State in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl. Last season they 47-32 to Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.
Announcers: Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt

9:00: Texas Tech vs. Mississippi (Texas Bowl @ Houston, TX; ESPN): I don’t have a great idea of what’s going on with either of these teams, but that could well produce an interesting game to watch. I agree Ole Miss is the favorite though.
SP+ line: Ole Miss -7.9
Vegas line: Ole Miss -3.5
Watchability tier: II
Previous meetings: Six times, dating to the 1986 Independence Bowl. They met again in the 1998 Independence Bowl, then played a home-and-home in 2002 and 2003. They then met in a bowl that decidedly wasn’t in Shreveport in the 2008-09 Cotton Bowl, and then played a neutral-site season opener in 2018. Ole Miss holds a 4-2 series lead and win the 2018 game 47-27.”
Last bowl game: Texas Tech beat Miss State 34-7 in last season’s Liberty Bowl. Their opponent this season, the other SEC from Mississippi, will be making their third straight bowl game. That started with a 26-20 win over Indiana in the 2020-21 Outback Bowl. Last season they lost to Baylor 21-7 in the Sugar Bowl.
Announcers: Roy Philpott and Andre Ware

Thursday, December 29

2:00: Syracuse vs. Minnesota (Pinstripe Bowl @ New York, NY; ESPN): My favorite thing about this game is likely going to be the two guys with a Georgia Tech connection on the call, otherwise, I think the Gophers are more likely to just dominate this game.
SP+ line: Gophers -13.5
Vegas line: Gophers -7.5
Watchability tier: II
Previous meetings: Five times. They played two sets of home-and-homes in 1995-96 and then again in 2009 and 2012. Their last meeting was the 2013 Texas Bowl, where the Orange won 21-17, but the Gophers still hold a 3-2 series lead.
Last bowl game: Syracuse last appeared in a bowl game in 2018, beating West Virginia 34-18 in the Camping World Bowl. The Gophers beat West Virginia as well, but last year in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, 18-6.
Announcers: Wes Durham and Roddy Jones

5:30: Florida State vs. Oklahoma (Cheez-It Bowl @ Orlando, FL; ESPN): So this is a bit of a helmet game, which might make it worth watching on its own. Otherwise, this feels like two teams going in opposite directions. FSU improved as the year went on, and they figured some stuff, whereas Oklahoma just seems to have lost the plot. I like FSU here.
SP+ line: Noles -1.6
Vegas line: Noles -7.5
Watchability tier: III
Previous meetings: They’ve met seven times, and as you’d expect mostly in big bowl games. The first was the 1965 Gator Bowl. 1976’s game was a 24-9 win for the Sooners in Norman, but then in 1980, 1981, and 2001 they met in the Orange Bowl. Most recently, they played a home-and-home in 2010 and 2011. FSU won the first contest 36-19, but it’s been all Sooners ever since, including most recently 23-13.
Last bowl game: As the owners of the sport’s longest bowl streak ever (36 straight seasons from 2018 through 2017), it’s a bit weird that this is FSU’s first bowl game since the 2019 Sun Bowl, where they lost 20-14 to Arizona State. The Sooners are the owners of the second longest active streak, with this being the 24th straight game. The streak dates to the 1999 Independence Bowl, where they lost to Ole Miss 27-25. They beat Oregon 47-32 in last season’s Alamo Bowl.
Announcers: Bob Wischusen and Dan Orlovsky

9:00: Texas vs. Washington (Alamo Bowl @ San Antonio, TX; ESPN): I think this game is going to be an absolutely cracker of a game. Texas is better than you might think this year, and if Ewers and Penix both go this has all the makings of a fun shootout just down the street from the Alamo. I think the ‘Horns in the end, but I think the journey will be fun.
SP+ line: Texas -7.2
Vegas line: Texas -4.5
Watchability tier: IV
Previous meetings: This will be the first meeting since a 47-43 Longhorns victory in the 2001 Holiday Bowl. Before that, they met in 1974 and 1975 in home-and-home fashion, and then the Huskies notched their only victory with a 14-7 margin in the 1979 Sun Bowl.
Last bowl game: Texas last bowled in 2020, beating Colorado 55-23 in the Alamo Bowl. The Huskies last appeared in the postseason in 2019, defeating Boise State 38-7 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Announcers: Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, and Cole Cublic

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