Bowl season is one of my favorite times of the year. We get all these crazy match-ups that we’ve always wanted — or have maybe never considered — and with that, we get to see what’s what.
We start this season with arguably the most interesting bowl match-up in the Group of 5, Sun Belt Champ Troy vs. C-USA Champ UTSA. If you’re not fired up for that, then maybe try our new As For Football Bowlmania League via ESPN.Com! I’ve set it to use Confidence Intervals, so it’s MAXIMUM DIFFICULTY.
Join us if you dare!
As always, we’ve cut FCS match-ups from the list. I get that it’s FCS Playoffs, but they’re still outside the scope of what AFF is trying to cover. We’ve also listed the lines against their direction of movement. For example, UTSA at Army opened as a 2-point line and then slid to Army (+2.5). We therefore listed it on the Army side because Army (+2.5) is obviously a better bet than Army (+2).
Editor’s Note: This post is part of this week’s Patreon-exclusive Games & Locks of the Week column. So if you’re wondering what we do over on Patreon, well, here’s a sample. Games & Locks is my favorite column of the week.
College Football Schedule: Bowl Games (Part 1)
Friday, December 16th
11:30 am Bahamas Bowl: UAB (-10.5) vs. Miami (Ohio) (ESPN)
3:00 pm Cure Bowl: #24 Troy vs. #25 UTSA (+1.5) (ESPN)
Like I said, we’ve got something like a Group of 5 Championship Game here with the Cure Bowl. It’s a really good early bowl game, and it seems likely to be the most interesting game of the season postseason, at least until we get past Christmas.
The Bahamas Bowl is less interesting, except that it’s cold and dark in the Northeast right now, so maybe watching all that sun on TV will improve my mood.
? MATCHUP LOCKED IN ? The Duluth Trading Cure Bowl matchup has been set between @TroyTrojansFB and @UTSAFTBL— Duluth Trading Cure Bowl (@CureBowl) December 4, 2022
Make sure to get your tickets today! Get your tailgate tickets, fanfest, and travel plans ready for game day! pic.twitter.com/5ZhTYHMPKj
Saturday, December 17th
11:00 am Fenway Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Louisville (-1) (ESPN)
2:30 pm Las Vegas Bowl: #14 Oregon State vs. Florida (+10) (ESPN)
3:30 pm LA Bowl: Washington State vs. Fresno State (-3) (ABC)
5:45 pm LendingTree Bowl: Rice (+6.5) vs. Southern Mississippi (ESPN)
7:30 pm New Mexico Bowl: SMU vs. BYU (+5.5) (ABC)
9:15 pm Frisco Bowl: Boise State vs. North Texas (+10.5) (ESPN)
Cincy vs. Louisville is another really interesting game, and one that restarts a traditional rivalry over the Keg of Nails. It’s kind of a shame that two schools located just 90 miles apart have to go all the way to Boston to play, but at least they’re playing. It looks like we might get a little winter weather for the game, too, so if you missed getting snow for Army-Navy, this might be your last, best chance.
SMU vs. BYU also looks interesting, especially if you’re arguing that the new-look American Athletic Conference is gonna be better than the new-look Pac-12. I don’t know that I personally believe that, but I do think the Mustangs might pull out a victory this weekend.
A rivalry renewed.— Wasabi Fenway Bowl (@FenwayBowl) December 4, 2022
Excited to welcome @louisvilleFB & @GoBearcatsFB to our inaugural Wasabi Fenway Bowl? Ticket info is in our bio! pic.twitter.com/cCGFzsWw5I
Monday, December 19th
2:30 pm Myrtle Beach Bowl: Marshall vs. UConn (+10) (ESPN)
UConn is gonna surprise some folks, friends. I might take them to win this one outright. Seems like Vegas is still sleeping on the Huskies. Which is amazing.
? MATCHUP LOCKED IN ? The #MBBowlGame matchup has been set between @UConnFootball and @HerdFB See you on Dec. 19. ?— Myrtle Beach Bowl Game (@MBBowlGame) December 4, 2022
⏰: 2:30 p.m.
?: Brooks Stadium#BowlSeason #ESPNEvents #HuskyRevolution #WeAreMarshall
Get your tickets here: https://t.co/PcejHUCv8O pic.twitter.com/WH3CM71rul
Tuesday, December 20th
3:30 pm Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: E. Michigan vs. SJSU (-3.5) (ESPN)
7:30 pm Boca Raton Bowl: Liberty (+4.5) vs. Toledo (ESPN)
Liberty falls off a cliff every year at the end of the season. Will they be better under Head Coach Jamey Chadwell, formerly of Coastal Carolina? Is former HC Hugh Freeze even gonna be on the sideline for this one?
I mean, Coastal also collapsed in the last month of the season, so…
? OFFICIAL: The stage is set!— RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl (@BocaBowl) December 4, 2022
? Toledo // @ToledoFB
? Liberty // @LibertyFootball
? Tuesday, December 20 | 7:30 p.m. ET | FAU Stadium
? Tix on Sale – https://t.co/NMBjjcC3S7#bocabowl #football #bowlgame #selectionsunday #southflorida #florida #MACtion pic.twitter.com/up5DyMfCUC
Wednesday, December 21st
9:00 pm New Orleans Bowl: S. Alabama vs. W. Kentucky (+8) (ESPN)
Interesting match-up, especially if you like offensive football from two pass-happy teams. However, you’re asking a lot of me if you want me to stay up to midnight to see the finish.
???? ?????@WKUFootball is headed to New Orleans to take on South Alabama in the @NewOrleansBowl on December 21!#CUSAFB pic.twitter.com/dMvpzeiprc— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) December 4, 2022
Thursday, December 22nd
7:30 pm Armed Forces Bowl: Baylor vs. Air Force (+6.5) (ESPN)
I’d definitely watch this one if I was gonna be home, but my wife and I will be skiing starting on Thursday. I kinda doubt they’ll have this on at the B&B, but I suppose anything is possible.
Good for the Zoomies getting this match-up. Rob Robinson thinks they’re gonna get smoked. Personally, I think they might keep it close. We’ll see.
?WE HAVE A MATCHUP? Get ready to see @BUFootball and @AF_Football— LM Armed Forces Bowl (@ArmedForcesBowl) December 4, 2022
battle it out in Fort Worth, TX at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN. Get your tickets now!
?: https://t.co/TKmIZIxTs2#BowlForTheBrave x #SICEM x #FLYFIGHTWIN pic.twitter.com/ks0selXyd1
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