Pope: Five bowl games to catch over winter break

Keegan Pope

Keegan Pope
Keegan Pope

As you veg out on your couch over winter break, here’s a list of five bowl games you’ll want to tune into as you enjoy having no tests, homework assignments or 10-page papers to worry about.

1)      Colorado State vs. Utah, Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 20 (ABC) 1:30 p.m. MT


This one is a no-brainer. If you’re a true CSU fan, you’ll be recovered enough from your post-finals week hangover to tune in at 1:30 p.m. MT on Saturday. Not only will CSU be looking for its first 11-win season in 17 years, but this game also features one of the top quarterback-wide receiver duos in the country (Rashard Higgins and Garrett Grayson), but also two of the best pass rushers in the country in Utah’s Nate Orchard and Hunter Dimick.

2)      Oregon vs. Florida State, Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 1 (ESPN) 3 p.m. MT

Is there a team everyone dislikes more than Florida State? Jameis Winston and Co. have not only had their fair share of run-ins with the law but have also barely squeaked by a weak conference schedule. On the other side is Marcus Mariota, who barring something catastrophic, will win this year’s Heisman Trophy. And how could I forget that this is one of two semifinals in the inaugural College Football Playoff?

3)      Ohio State vs. Alabama, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan 1. (ESPN) 6:30 p.m. MT

The other half of the College Football Playoff semifinals promises to be a dandy. Alabama and Ohio State are two of the hottest teams in college football over the last two months. The Buckeyes are down to their third-string quarterback in Cardale Jones, but romped over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game 59-0. This game is also an SEC rematch between Alabama coach Nick Saban and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who was previously at Florida.

4)      Ole Miss vs. TCU, Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Dec. 31 (ESPN) 10 a.m. MT

Two teams who were in the hunt for a national title are now playing each other for a consolation prize on New Year’s Eve day. However, this will pit one of the most explosive offenses in the entire country (TCU) versus an elite defense in Ole Miss. TCU will surely be out for revenge after being left out of the College Football Playoff and Ole Miss will look to finish off one of its best seasons in school history on the right note.

5)      Michigan State vs. Baylor, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Jan. 1 (ESPN) 10:30 a.m. MT

The Spartans and Bears are two more teams who were expecting to be in the CFP, but were sadly disappointed to see their names not among the final four teams. Baylor has one of the best offensives in the country and the Spartans present a defense that might be able to slow it down.

The Pope has spoken.


Collegian Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at kpope@collegian.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.