As 2014 fades into its waning hours, the dawn of college football bowl game season is upon us. The following weeks will be packed with 76 teams, 38 bowl games, a newly-formatted national championship and a constant, humbling reminder that every broken tackle, every seemingly-impossible reception and every goal-line stand in these NCAA bowl games.
If we take a look back in history, College football first came to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses on January 1st, 1902, when two of the best teams from the east and west of the country met in what is considered the first major post-season bowl game. Michigan, which had outscored its opponents 501-0 during the regular season, faced off against Stanford in front of about 8,000 fans.
By 1923, the annual football game’s popularity had grown so much that tournament organizers moved the playing field from Pasadena’s worn Tournament Park field to a newly constructed Rose Bowl stadium. The New Years Day showdown would thereafter be known as the Rose Bowl.
The next two decades saw tournament organizers across the country forge some of America’s staple college bowl games. The Festival of Palms Bowl, later renamed the Orange Bowl, kicked off in 1933 in Miami, when the University of Miami narrowly defeated Manhattan College 7-0. New Orleans hosted the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935. El Paso, Texas was home to the first Sun Bowl in 1936 and Dallas held the first Cotton Bowl in 1937.
This year there will be 38 standard post-season bowl games played as part of the new College Football Playoff post-season structure. Two of these bowl games – the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl – will be considered semi-final games for the College Football Playoff National Championship, to be held on Jan. 12 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The following is a quick review of the next College Bowl Games to watch for:
|12/24||Popeyes Bahamas Bowl||C. Michigan vs. W. Kentucky||*TBD|
|12/24||Hawaii Bowl||Fresno State vs. Rice||$650,500|
|12/26||Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl||Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech||$1,100,000|
|12/26||Quick Lane Bowl||Rutgers vs. North Carolina||$1,200,000|
|12/26||Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl||NC State vs. UCF||$537,500|
|12/27||Military Bowl||Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech||$1,000,000|
|12/27||Hyundai Sun Bowl||Arizona State vs. Duke||$2,150,000|
|12/27||Duck Commander Independence Bowl||Miami vs. South Carolina||$1,200,000|
|12/27||New Era Pinstripe Bowl||Boston College vs. Penn State||$2,000,000|
|12/27||National University Holiday Bowl||Nebraska vs. USC||$2,825,000|
|12/29||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||Texas A&M vs. West Virginia||$1,437,500|
|12/29||Russell Athletic Bowl||Oklahoma vs. Clemson||$2,275,000|
|12/29||AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl||Arkansas vs. Texas||$3,000,000|
|12/30||Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl||Notre Dame vs. LSU||$2,750,000|
|12/30||Belk Bowl||Georgia vs. Louisville||$1,700,000|
|12/30||Foster Farms Bowl||Maryland vs. Stanford||$2,212,500|
|12/31||Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl||Ole Miss vs. TCU||**See below|
|12/31||Vizio Fiesta Bowl||Boise State vs. Arizona||$18,000,000|
|12/31||Capital One Orange Bowl||Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech||$18,000,000|
If you are interested in doing some betting on the Bahamas Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl to take place on December 24th, check out these betting odds:
Bahamas Bowl :
Central Michigan +1.5 o -105
W. Kentucky -1.5 u -105
Fresno St. -2 o -107
Rice +2 u -103
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