1. Hyundai Sun Bowl (Dec. 30, El Paso, Texas) North Carolina vs #18 Stanford
This game is still as exciting as all of the other matchups even with Christian McCaffrey deciding to sit this one out for the NFL. The discussion on that is for another day but this factor has definitely dropped the appeal for this one.
For UNC fans it is one last time to see all of their favorite seniors take the field. It’s the last time to maybe see Mitch Trubisky don the Carolina blue. It’s number one on this list for the mere fact that we are going to miss all of these great players on this Tar Heel team.
In most lists this would rank number one, but this is a North Carolina site so Clemson vs. OSU takes a back seat here. This game has the makings to be an incredible matchup.
Personally, I believe that it is the better of the two semifinal playoff games. Urban Meyer vs. Dabo Swinney for a date to play for it all. Could it get any better?
3. Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (Dec. 31, Orlando, Florida) #13 Louisville vs #20 LSU
I was personally very excited when this game was announced. Leonard Fournette sitting this one out is disappointing, but that was not the reason fans were initially drawn to this game.
Everyone wants to see what Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson can do against a stingy LSU defense. It’s essentially the consolation of seeing Jackson go up against Alabama’s defense, seeing as that was blown up weeks ago. It is a second chance for fans to see what happens when a great offensive threat takes on a notoriously great defense.
4. Capital One Orange Bowl (Dec. 30, Miami Gardens, Florida) #11 Florida State vs #6 Michigan
Florida State has turned their season around and is looking to win their fifth straight game against an angry Michigan team. The Wolverines are mad about the playoffs and will look to take that out on the Seminoles. If Harbaugh can beat them by 100 to make a statement to the committee that they got it all wrong, then he will.
5. Russell Athletic Bowl (Dec. 29, Orlando, Florida) Miami vs #16 West Virginia
Miami looks to cap off Mark Richt’s first season on the right note, winning five in a row and beating a 10-win West Virginia team. The Mountaineers are coming into this game following a blowout loss to Oklahoma at home 56-28, and 24-21 close win over an ailing Baylor team.
6. Belk Bowl (Dec. 29, Charlotte, North Carolina) #22 Virginia Tech vs Arkansas
Virginia Tech looks to win 10 games in their first season under Justin Fuente, which would be a remarkable task. This game may turn into a shootout and look for both quarterbacks, Austin Allen and Jerod Evans to show out.
7. New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28, New York) #23 Pitt vs Northwestern
Pitt will look to finish the season strong here against the Wildcats, looking for their first bowl win under Pat Narduzzi. Northwestern is looking to gain momentum into next season with a win over a top-25 opponent.
8. Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman (Dec. 27, Anapolis, Maryland) Wake Forest vs #24 Temple
This game will be interesting for a few reasons. The first is that Temple will be without coach Matt Rhule, as he took the job at Baylor. The second is because I am sure every other (WakeyLeaks) word (WakeyLeaks) will (WakeyLeaks) be (WakeyLeaks) about (WakeyLeaks) WakeyLeaks (WakeyLeaks).
9. TaxSlayer Bowl (Dec. 31, Jacksonville, Florida) Georgia Tech vs Kentucky
Georgia Tech looks to beat their third SEC opponent this year after defeating Vanderbilt and Georgia this season. A 9-win season would be pretty impressive for a Yellow Jackets team that started off the season 3-3 this year.
10. Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26, Detroit) Boston College vs Maryland
Boston College is in their third bowl game in four years under coach Steve Addazio. Unfortunately, they have never come out of a bowl game victorious under him. Maybe this is the year as they take on a Maryland team that is limping into the bowl season winning just one of their last five games. That one win came against 2-10 Rutgers.
11. Camping World Independence Bowl (Dec. 26, Shreveport, Louisiana) NC State vs Vanderbilt
Obviously the least interesting of all of the bowl games. Go Commodores!