After a wild November weekend that saw two of the top three football teams in the nation lose, the four spots in the college football playoff games are all but solidified. With that in mind, we should take a quick look forward to the upcoming bowl games that are a mere six weeks away. Those who narrowly miss out on the CFP games will certainly make one of the other big-name bowl games taking place throughout the country. Read on to find out more about the New Year’s Day games as well as a few other important ones.
When: December 29, 2017 @ 8:30 pm ESTWhere: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TexasConference Affiliations: At-large vs. At-Large
For the 82nd time, the Cotton Bowl Classic will kick off the nation’s biggest bowl games. You’ll see two at-large teams face off against each other, which means that they’ll be chosen by the College Football Playoff committee. If your team lands in the top 10 but ends up missing the CFP, they’ll likely end up here or in Glendale, Arizona for our next game.
When: December 30, 2017 @ 4:00 pm ESTWhere: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, ArizonaConference Affiliations: At-large vs. At-Large
The Fiesta Bowl, the other non-CFP game chosen by the committee, will see two more at-large teams face off at University of Phoenix Stadium. In its 47th iteration, this bowl game will certainly be one of the more exciting non-playoff games of the year.
When: December 30, 2017 @ 8:00 pm ESTWhere: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FloridaConference Affiliations: ACC vs. Big Ten or SEC or Notre Dame
Vying for the coveted Orange Bowl Trophy will be the top seed from the ACC and the second-ranked team from either the Big Ten or SEC, assuming those teams aren’t already selected for a playoff game. The SEC or Big Ten team that is higher in the final CFP rankings will face off against the ACC squad.
When: January 1, 2018 @ 12:00 pm ESTWhere: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FloridaConference Affiliations: Big Ten vs. SEC
Since 1995, this bowl has been known as the Outback Bowl and has been a part of Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium since 1999. This year, the game will take place between a Big Ten team and an SEC team chosen from the remaining teams in each conference after the CFP committee and associated bowls have made their selections.
When: January 1, 2018 @ 12:30 pm ESTWhere: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GeorgiaConference Affiliations: At-large vs. At-large
Celebrating its 50th year, the Peach Bowl will be the final game between two at-large teams chosen by the CFP committee. Its 50th iteration also happens to be the first to take place in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, after spending the last 25 years in the historic and soon-to-be demolished Georgia Dome.
When: January 1, 2018 @ 1:00 pm ESTWhere: Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FloridaConference Affiliations: SEC vs. Big Ten or ACC or Notre Dame
After taking place on New Year’s Eve last season, the Citrus Bowl returns to its rightful New Year’s Day slot. This bowl holds the honor of first selection from the SEC and Big Ten after the CFP selection process has concluded. However, there’s also a small chance that this game could host an ACC team, replacing the Big Ten representative. And, as with many other bowls, there’s always a chance that FBS independent Notre Dame could take a spot.
When: January 1, 2018 @ 5:00 pm ESTWhere: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CaliforniaConference Affiliations: #1 seed vs. #4 seed OR #2 seed vs. #3 seed (College Football Playoff)
By New Year’s Day evening, the true excitement will begin, as the first College Football Playoff semifinal will kick off. We’ll know much more about this game after the final CFP committee selections, including whether the game will take place between the #1 and #4 seeds or the #2 and #3 seeds.
When: January 1, 2018 @ 8:45 pm ESTWhere: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LouisianaConference Affiliations: #1 seed vs. #4 seed OR #2 seed vs. #3 seed (College Football Playoff)
In New Orleans, you’ll find the other CFP semifinal game. The selection and information process is the same as the Rose Bowl, which means we won’t know much about this matchup until the committee has made its final selections.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GeorgiaWhen: January 8, 2018 @ 8:00 pm ESTConference Affiliations: Winner of Sugar Bowl vs. Winner of Rose Bowl
This is the moment of truth. Winner takes all. The final college football game of the season. If it’s anything like a year ago, when the Clemson Tigers beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller, you’ll want to stay glued to your TV or streaming device for this one.
With 40 FBS bowl games in total, you’ll have a multitude of exciting games to watch, starting on December 16 with games like the Las Vegas Bowl and the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The major games don’t start until December 29, but there’s enough football to keep you busy until then.
(Image courtesy of Brendan Ross via Flickr.)