If you are a fan of college football it doesn’t get any better than this week. There are 16 college football bowl games scheduled for play, including the College Football Playoff semi-final games. There are sure to be some incredible contests in store for your viewing pleasure. If you’re off for work, good for you. If you aren’t off for work, call in sick as soon as you can because you won’t want to miss this action.
Let’s take a look at the first two New Year’s Six Bowl Games and break down what will be so great about them.
Cotton Bowl – #7 Florida vs #6 Oklahoma – December 30
Before the season began, it wasn’t that hard to imagine these two teams in the College Football Playoff. Although they fell short, it works out well for us as these two exciting teams are facing each other in the Cotton Bowl. Florida has one of the top offenses in the nation and is led by quarterback Kyle Trask. Trask is up for the Heisman and this unit took Alabama to the wire in the SEC Championship Game. Oklahoma has young phenom Spencer Rattler who hasn’t had as successful of a season as the quarterbacks before him like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray or Jalen Hurts but this could be a signature game for him in his Oklahoma career.
Florida has the 11th highest-scoring offense in the nation while Oklahoma ranks 9th. Each average over 41 points per game. Both defenses are ranked 30th or worse, so points should be flying off the board. Although the Gators will be missing their top four receivers, this will be a shootout, there is no doubt about that. Florida’s coach Dan Mullen has gotten tons of heat for not parting ways with his defensive coordinator and if they can’t pull out a win here, boosters won’t be happy. These two haven’t faced each other since 2009 when the Gators won the BCS Championship Game.
Prediction: Florida 41 Oklahoma 38
Peach Bowl – #9 Georgia vs #8 Cincinnati – January 1
This is a game that would have seemed like a surprise at the beginning of the year, but Cincinnati is one of the few undefeated teams left in college football and this is one of the most intriguing matchups for fans of the Group of Five conferences. The last time we saw a Peach Bowl with this much anticipation was when UFC took down Auburn in 2017 and claimed that they were “National Champions.” While I don’t see the Bearcats taking that course, it should be a dogfight.
Georgia has lost two games this season and has had inconsistent play at quarterback which is a bit of a concern. Their defense allows under 20 points per game, which ranks 18th in the nation. Cincy, on the other hand, ranks 15th in scoring offense at 39 points per game and 7th in scoring defense allowing only 16 points per game. Bearcat quarterback Desmond Ridder has been sensational and should give the Georgia defense some major headaches. This should be a matchup that focuses much more on defense and the team that can put together drives in the crunch time will be the one who wins it. I like the Group of 5 and I think Cincinnati did not receive the respect they deserved for their season.
Prediction: Cincinnati 29 Georgia 23