NCAA

Why you need to watch every bowl game; a guide from the weird and wacky to the College Football Playoff

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USA TODAY Sports

Why you need to watch every bowl game; a guide from the weird and wacky to the College Football Playoff

Bowl season is upon us and while you think there may be too many or matchups you don't like, I'm here to give you a reason to watch every single game.

Plus a pick if, you know, you're "tangentially interested."

Let's get weird. 

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: BOWL GUIDE ON TV

Saturday, December 16th

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, 1 p.m. ET on ESPN 
Who: North Texas vs. Troy 
Why: It has been a week since Army-Navy and you need your scratch that college football itch. I get it, man. You don't have to explain yourself to me.
Pick: North Texas (+6.5)

AutoNation Cure Bowl, 2:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
Who: Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State
Why: You want to justify paying for CBS Sports Network.
Pick: Western Kentucky (-6.5)

Las Vegas Bowl, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Who: No. 25 Boise State vs. Oregon 
Why: Neither of these teams like each other. Remember that LeGarrette Blount punch? So does Boise State.
Pick: Oregon (-7)

GILDAN New Mexico Bowl, 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Marshall vs. Colorado State
Why: It can't be worse than watching the Chicago Bears set football back 50 years in the same time slot.
Pick: Colorado State (-5.5)

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Arkansas State vs. Middle Tennesse State
Why: Last chance to watch a bowl game for a few days and these two should put on a pretty fun offensive show for you thanks to ASU QB Justice Hansen and MTSU QB Brent Stockstill.
Pick: Arkansas State (-4)

Tuesday, December 19th

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Florida Atlantic vs. Akron
Why: Lane freakin' Kiffin. You know he's going to be celebrating early on the sideline as FAU runs up the score.
Pick: Florida Atlantic (-22.5)

Wednesday, December 20th

DXL Frisco Bowl, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: SMU (7-5) vs. Louisiana Tech (6-6)
Why: SMU WR Courtland Sutton will likely have a big day. Also, the endless opportunities to see DJ Khaled "DXL" commercials. 
Pick: SMU (-5)

Thursday, December 21st

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Temple  (6-6) vs. Florida International (8-4)
Why: I'm sorry, did you miss the title sponsor? Bad. Boy. Mowers. Gasparilla. Bowl. Think of the disdain the announcers are going to have by halftime for repeating that over and over. 
Pick: Temple (-7)

Friday, December 22nd

Bahamas Bowl, 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: UAB (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)
Why: UAB wasn't a program last year. They went 8-4 in their first season back after a two-year hiatus. That's awesome.
Pick: UAB (+7.5)

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Wyoming (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (8-4)
Why: You get a chance to see Blake Bortles Josh Allen before your favorite team overdrafts him in April! 
Pick: Wyoming (PK)

Saturday, December 23rd

Birmingham Bowl, 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: South Florida (9-2) vs. Texas Tech (6-6)
Why: Defense will be set to "Optional" for what could be the most entertaining offensive game of the bowl season.
Pick: South Florida (-2.5)

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, 3:30 p.m ET on ESPN
Who: San Diego State (10-2) vs. Army (9-3)
Why: If you like to be efficient with your time, this game should be over in under three hours. Army may not attempt a pass. 
Pick: Army (+7)

Dollar General Bowl, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Toledo (11-2) vs. Appalachian State (8-4)
Why: I have a tough time finding a reason to steer you away from Aaron Rodgers against the Vikings, but maybe you went to Toledo or Appalachian State. Or, maybe you are an Ohio State fan still gleeful about the Mountaineers win over Michigan. To each their own.
Pick: Toledo (-7.5)

Sunday, December 24th

Hawai'i Bowl, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Fresno State (9-4) vs. Houston (7-4)
Why: There is no Sunday Night Football and you've already seen Home Alone a dozen times by now. 
Pick: Fresno State (+2.5)

Tuesday, December 26th

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl, 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Utah (6-6) vs. West Virginia (7-5)
Why: You can't be guilted to wear that awful sweater your Aunt Mildred got you in public if you don't leave the couch.
Pick: Utah (-6.5)

Quick Lane Bowl, 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Duke (6-6) vs. Northern Illinois (8-4)
Why: Duke's David Cutcliffe didn't leave for Tennessee and it is never a bad time to poke fun at Tennessee for that coaching search.
Pick: Northern Illinois (+5.5)

Cactus Bowl, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Kansas State (7-5) vs. UCLA (6-6)
Why: Chip Kelly is back at the college ranks; plus, a look at future top-10 pick QB Josh Rosen.
Pick: Kansas State (-2.5)

Wednesday, December 27th

Walk-On's Independence Bowl, 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Southern Miss (8-4) vs. Florida State (6-6)
Why: To see the team Alabama fans spent hours arguing was the key to propping up Alabama's strength of Schedule and why the Crimson Tide made the playoff. A 6-6 Florida State team!
Pick: Southern Miss (+15.5)

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN 
Who: Iowa (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Why: To see the other reason Alabama fans spent days arguing they deserved to be in the playoff -- Iowa! 
Pick: Iowa (-3)

Foster Farms Bowl, 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX
Who: Purdue (6-6) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Why: Arizona QB Khalil Tate is a cheat code. He didn't start the first four games, but finished with almost 1,300 passing yards and 1,400 rushing yards. He is a human highlight reel. 
Pick: Purdue (+3.5)

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Missouri (7-5) vs. Texas (6-6)
Why: Because Texas might be ... BACK! (Probably Not)
Pick: Missouri (-3)

Thursday, December 28th

Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman, 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Navy (6-6) vs. Virginia (6-6)
Why: You love America, that's why.
Pick: NAvy (+1)

Camping World Bowl, 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 19 Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech (9-3)
Why: We have our first matchup between ranked teams and it should be a fun contrast of styles.
Pick: Oklahoma State (-4.5)

Valero Alamo Bowl, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 13 Stanford (9-4) vs. No. 15 TCU (10-3)
Why: Bryce Love was a Heisman finalist and you probably haven't watched him yet because you live on the East Coast and the Pac-12 Network does not exist here.
Pick: TCU (-2.5)

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, 9 p.m. ET on FS1
Who: No. 18 Washington State (9-3) vs. No. 16 Michigan State (9-3)
Why: Hopefully you have multiple TV's so you can watch both of these games. Also, Mike Leach is a pirate and conspiracy theorist. 
Pick: Washington State (-2.5)

Friday, December 29th

Belk Bowl, 1 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Wake Forest (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
Why: The Belk Bowl has the best twitter account and you should reward good tweets.
Pick: Wake Forest (-3)

Hyundai Sun Bowl, 3 p.m. ET on CBS
Who: No. 24 North Carolina State (8-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5)
Why: Maybe a chance to find out if Herm Edwards really knew the mascot for Arizona State was the Sun Devils before he accepted the job.
Pick: North Carolina State (-6)

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: Kentucky  (7-5) vs. No. 21 Northwestern (9-3)
Why: Northwestern RB Justin Jackson will keep your interest if nothing else.
Pick: Northwestern (-7)

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, 5:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
Who: New Mexico State (6-6) vs. Utah State (6-6)
Why: New Mexico State hasn't been in a bowl game since 1960, which oddly enough was against Utah State. Revenge game for Utah State?
Pick: New Mexico State (+4)

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 8 USC (11-2) vs. No. 5 Ohio State (11-2)
Why: A top-10 matchup of two teams that had legitimate shots at the playoff and both probably had better profiles than Alabama. Plus, future No. 1 pick Sam Darnold!
Pick: Ohio State (-7.5)

Saturday, December 30th

TaxSlayer Bowl, Noon ET on ESPN
Who: Louisville (8-4) vs. No. 23 Mississippi State (8-4)
Why: Lamar Jackson. You know he is going to do something insane one more time in college football and it is your last chance to see him. 
Pick: Mississippi State (+6.5)

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Who: Iowa State (7-5) vs. No. 20 Memphis (10-2)
Why: Iowa State's Matt Campbell and Memphis' Mike Norvell aren't going to be at these schools long before they go up to bigger programs.
Pick: Memphis (-3.5)

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 11 Washington (10-2) vs. No. 9 Penn State (10-2)
Why: A few of my bosses are Penn State fans and I like seeing them upset when they lose. 
Pick: Penn State (-2)

Capital One Orange Bowl, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 6 Wisconsin (12-1) vs. No. 10 Miami (10-2)
Why: Two words -- Turnover Chain.
Pick: Miami (+6.5)

Monday, January 1st

Outback Bowl, Noon ET on ESPN2
Who: Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (8-4)
Why: You're probably still going to be hungover and on the couch and don't want to move. Oh, and BLOOMIN' ONION MAN!https://twitter.com/Outback/status/938123729716023297?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sbnation.com%2Flookit%2F2017%2F12%2F5%2F16740134%2Flocal-man-achieves-his-dreams-becomes-bloomin-onion-mascot-thanks-to-10000-retweets
Pick: South Carolina (+7.5)

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 12 UCF (12-0) vs. No. 7 Auburn (10-3)
Why: UCF has a chance to go for an undefeated season and send Scott Frost out to the cornfields of Nebraska in style.
Pick: UCF (+9.5)

Citrus Bowl presented by Overton's, 1 p.m. ET on ABC
Who: No. 14 Notre Dame (9-3) vs. No. 17 LSU (9-3)
Why: Can you imagine how angry Brian Kelly will be if Notre Dame loses?
College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, 5 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 3 Georgia (12-1) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (12-1)
Why: The Granddaddy of Them All is way less of a mouthful than the official title and way more fun to say in Keith Jackson's voice. Also, and this is probably more important, it is the first playoff game and Baker Mayfield is facing an SEC defense.
Pick: Oklahoma +2

College Football Playoff at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, 8:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
Who: No. 4 Alabama (11-1) vs. No. 1 Clemson (12-1)
Why: You know why.
Pick: Clemson +2.5

Cavaliers hold Georgia Tech to 48 points, win comfortably on the road

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USA Today Sports

Cavaliers hold Georgia Tech to 48 points, win comfortably on the road

ATLANTA -- De'Andre Hunter scored 17 points and No. 2 Virginia won its ninth straight game, 64-48 over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.

It was another defensive masterpiece by the Cavaliers (17-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who limited Georgia Tech to 40.5 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.

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Virginia snapped a four-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 3-2).

After making the first basket of the game, Georgia Tech quickly got an idea of what kind of night it would be. The Jackets missed their next eight shots and turned it over four times before Josh Okogie finally broke a nearly eight-minute scoreless drought with a dunk off a backdoor pass.

Virginia led 28-19 at halftime, and Georgia Tech never got any closer the rest of the way.

The last gasp for the home team essentially came in the closing seconds of the first half. It looked as though the Jackets would go to the locker room on a bit of a high after Curtis Haywood hit his second 3-pointer of the first half, closing the gap to 24-19.

But Hunter got free in the corner and knocked down a trey with 0.1 seconds left in the half, turning it into a four-point play when Abdoulaye Gueye foolishly went for the block and sent the Virginia player sprawling to the court.

The free throw gave the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the half.

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They steadily pulled away over the final 20 minutes. Ty Jerome added 12 points, while Devon Hall and Kyle guy had 11 apiece.

Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech with 14 points. No one else was in double figures.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers held an opponent under 50 points for the eighth time this season. They came into the night allowing the fewest points of any Division I team, and actually improved on their 52.9 average.

Georgia Tech: Okogie, averaging 18.8 points per game, struggled to get open and finished with just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting. Big man Ben Lammers had an even tougher night, hitting just 1 of 5 shots and finishing with four points. It was an especially disappointing performance considering the Yellow Jackets drew their first sellout of the season at 8,600-seat McCamish Pavilion.

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George Washington tops George Mason in Revolutionary Rivalry

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George Washington tops George Mason in Revolutionary Rivalry

WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- Yuta Watanabe scored 19 points, Terry Nolan Jr. had 18 points, six steals and six assists and George Washington beat George Masson 80-68 Wednesday night in the Revolutionary Rivalry.

Nolan started the scoring with a 3-point play, Watanabe made back-to-back layups and George Washington (9-10, 2-4 Atlantic 10) began with an 11-2 run. The lead swelled to 22-10 before the Patriots reduced the deficit to 29-28 with a 3-pointer from Javon Greene with 4:20 left before halftime. Ian Boyd scored seven points during the 18-7 run. George Washington closed out the half with a 15-7 run and led 44-29 at the break.

Jaire Grayer and Greg Calixte made back-to-back jumpers and the Patriots closed to 56-48, Goanar Mar had a 3 to make 68-60, but the Colonials led by double figures most of the second half.

Bo Zeigler scored 18 and missed just 2 of 11 shot attempts and Jair Bolden scored 16 for George Washington.

Mar led George Mason (9-10, 3-3) with 17 points, Justin Kier 13, Grayer 11 and Boyd had 10. The Patriots fell to 0-9 against George Washington since joining the conference.