We all know about the famed New Year’s Six bowl games which teams will fight over and hang banners for. But there are a couple of dozen bowl games to watch this season and plenty of high-quality teams that did not make the top six bowl games but will look to finish their season strong. While some have been played, you’ve still got to keep your eyes on others. Here are our top three college football bowl games outside of the big six.
Holiday Bowl – 15) Oregon Ducks vs North Carolina
Wednesday, December 28
The Oregon Ducks blew it down the stretch this season and now they have a chance to end the year on a high note. The Ducks lost a few games they simply shouldn’t have, and it burned them in the end. The good news is that Bo Nix announced that he is staying for one final season in Eugene, and he should ball out in this game against North Carolina. The Tar Heels had a good year, but they could really put an exclamation mark on it if they pulled off an upset over the Ducks. There should be lots of great commits at this game and it could be a chance for UNC to sway them with a big win. The Tar Heels finished first in the ACC Coastal division but then suffered a massive loss to Clemson in the championship. I still think the talent scale tips towards Oregon.
Alamo Bowl – 12) Washington vs 20) Texas
Thursday, December 29
This will be a great battle between two top 20 teams who took steps forward in 2022. Michael Penix Jr. was an Indiana transfer who proved that he still had a whole lot of game. Washington proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12. Meanwhile, Texas didn’t dominate in the way that some thought they would but they were a win away from playing in the Big 12 Championship game. Quinn Ewers looked brilliant at times this year and flat at others. I am excited to see how Texas faces off against a Huskies team that boasts a really good defense. This game will come down to which team can be more efficient on offense. Texas will be without Bijan Robinson, but they still have an impressive backfield and plenty of weapons waiting to show off. In the end, the Pac-12 will reign supreme and show that they can compete with the future SEC opponent. Prediction: Washington 30 Texas 27
Gator Bowl- 19) South Carolina Vs 21) Notre Dame
Friday, December 30
Shane Beamer went from coaching for his job to pulling off two of the biggest upsets of the college football season which ultimately had massive College Football Playoff implications with Clemson and Tennessee. Spencer Rattler certainly impressed this season with the Gamecocks and there is another chance for him to add a high-profile performance against Notre Dame. Marcus Freeman had a rollercoaster year in season one after replacing Brian Kelly. Knocking off an SEC foe would go a long way for this fanbase who can be ruthless at times. ND is dealing with lots of transfers now which is why I’m leaning towards South Carolina. Prediction: SC 35 ND 30