Virginia Tech needed to win their final two games to get bowl eligibility at 6-6. Cincinnati meanwhile had one of the best seasons in program history, winning ten games. Everywhere you look, the Bearcats have the advantage, but the Hokies showing their mettle at the end of the year, promises a bright future. The Hokies will have a decided home-field edge playing this game in Annapolis. Look for, Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente to come up with the right game plan for the upset.
Watchability Factor: Surely there has to be something better to do besides watching a 6-6 team play in a bowl game at noon on New Year’s Eve. Cincinnati had a great season, while freshman Desmond Ridder showed promise at quarterback, but this one feels like a game that will be a letdown in more ways than one.
2018 Hyundai Sun Bowl
Stanford 30 Pittsburgh 20
It was a somewhat disappointing season for Stanford, as Bryce Love, a pre-season Heisman favorite dealt with injuries all season. Love will not play in the Sun Bowl, as he hopes to improve his draft stock at the combine and show NFL owners he can get past his history of injuries. The Cardinal did win their last three games to finish at 8-4. Pitt meanwhile played in the ACC Championship Game but was hardly a strong team going 7-6. Look for K.J. Costello to have a strong game as Stanford hopes to look for something to build on for next season.
Watchability Factor: The last time Pitt played in the Sun Bowl they lost 3-0, it won’t be that bad, but it won’t be a great game either. If you need to make last-minute runs for the New Year, it is best to do so during this stinker.
2018 Redbox Bowl
Oregon 27 Michigan State 10
Much to the chagrin of NFL teams looking for a quarterback, Justin Herbert announced he will be returning to Oregon. The NFL’s loss is Oregon’s gain, as the Ducks will certainly be a favorite in the Pac-12 next season. With the Redbox Bowl being played in the same stadium as this year’s National Championship Game, the Ducks hope next season they can be a factor in the CFP. With Herbert return that is possible. Next year begins now for Oregon, and that means lighting up Michigan State, as the Ducks fly high in Santa Clara.
Watchability factor: For those wanting to get a jump on the 2019 NCAA season watching this game will be interesting after, Justin Herbert announced he will be back in Eugene next season. Michigan State’s offense meanwhile has not been good as of late, meaning this one will get ugly fast, so you only need to watch the first half.
2018 AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Missouri 44 Oklahoma State 30
With Justin Herbert returning to Oregon, NFL scouts can now look at other prospects, which includes Drew Lock of Missouri. While the Tigers were not one of the top teams in the SEC, they had a very good year. In the Liberty Bowl they will take on a rival from the past in Oklahoma State out the Big XII. The Cowboys were one of the most inconsistent teams in the NCAA this year compiling a 6-6 record. Look for Lock go all out to catch the attention of the NFL by picking apart the porous Okie State secondary in Memphis.
Watchability Factor: Watching Drew Lock may be the only reason to watch this battle of former Big XII rivals, as Oklahoma State will do nothing to make the needle move as they get rolled up by a solid Missouri team.
2018 San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl
Northwestern 17 Utah 13
To the winners go the roses, to the losers go the poinsettias as the losers of the Big Ten and Pac-12 Title games meet in the Holiday Bowl. Northwestern and Utah are similar teams with a heavy focus on defense. Expect this one to become a slobber knocker. Pat Fitzgerald is always good at getting his Wildcats up for a bowl game, look for this one to be tight and low scoring as Northwestern wins a bowl game for the third straight season, as Utah’s questionable quarterback situation will do them in.
Watchability Factor: If you like scoring and are scoring on New Year’s Eve, you will have no interest in watching this game. However, if you are alone and looking for good old-fashioned black and blue hard-hitting football, this game is for you.
2018 Tax Slayer Gator Bowl
Texas A&M 30 NC State 20
Texas A&M may be the best 8-4 team in the nation as two of their four losses have come against the teams playing in the National Championship Game. Against Clemson, the Aggies had their chance to get the upset, losing 28-26 while two weeks later they lost to Alabama 45-23, which was the Tide’s closet game in the regular season. NC State against an easier schedule went 9-3 and were mauled by Clemson 41-7. Look for Texas A&M to begin its climb as Jimbo Fisher leads them to a Gator Bowl win.
Watchability Factor: Texas A&M has been involved in some of the most thrilling games during the season, if that trend can continue, look for this one to be exciting as it was bowl games used to be two solid teams with strong seasons playing on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.