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Top 5 Non-New Year’s Six Bowl Matchups

Bowl season is officially here! While everyone is excited about the College Football Playoff, and rightfully so– there are other games to be played during this bowl season. We have 36 other games besides the College Football Playoff Semifinals, and the other New Year’s Six bowls.


These young men have worked extremely hard to earn their way into playing one final game for their respective schools this season. Yes, the transfer portal and coaching changes are underway and may have some effect on some games there are some interesting matchups this bowl season! Let’s look at my top five non-New Year’s Six bowls that I’m looking forward the most to see!

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: James Madison vs. Air Force (Dec. 23rd)

The Dukes are one of College Football’s feel good stories. James Madison made their first-year transition from FCS to FBS Division this year, and did not miss a beat going 11-1 on the season. The celebration of the accomplishments this season was short lived once the news of Head Coach Curt Cignetti took over the head coaching job at Indiana. What I like about this matchup is that it is your classic “something has to give” game. The Dukes give up a FBS-low 61.5 rushing yards per game. While Air Force with its triple option game is 2nd in FBS with 275.8 rushing yards per game.

TaxAct Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State (Dec.27th)

The Aggies and the Cowboys meet for the just the second time in a bowl game since 2012. Both teams are dealing with players either opting out of the game and/or dealing with the portal. Texas A&M will be impacted more by it as they transition to new Head Coach Mike Elko. This is another strength vs. strength kind of game as Oklahoma State Sophomore Running Back Ollie Gordon II coming off of his Doak Walker award averages 6.3 yards per carry while Texas A&M only gives up 3.9 yards per carry.

Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Arizona vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (Dec. 28th)

Arizona is coming in hot riding a six-game winning streak to end the regular season. While Oklahoma had a bounce back season in year two under Head Coach Brent Venables– including handing Texas their lone loss on the season. This is also one of three non-NY6 games where both opponents come in ranked. If you like offensive firepower this is the game for you. Arizona is averaging 34 points per game, and Oklahoma averages 43 points per game. The Sooners will be without Quarterback Dillon Gabriel as he is transferring to Oregon so the offense could possibly look different.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa State (Dec. 29th)

Memphis gets an extra home game, although two of the three losses for the Tigers were at home. Styles make fights in this matchup as well, Memphis has only been held to under 28 points twice. Meanwhile, Iowa State has only given up 28 points or more twice all season. The Tigers look to get to 10 wins on the season for only the fifth time in program history. This is also a rematch of the 2017 Liberty Bowl where Iowa State won 21-20.

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: No. 19 Oregon State vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (Dec. 29th)

This is the second of three ranked non-NY6 matchups that has a lot of uncertainties. Both teams are going to be missing their Quarterbacks who started the season. Sam Hartman is opting out, while DJ Uiagalelei entered the portal. Both teams play very well on defense, and can score on offense in a variety of ways, but if Notre Dame Junior Running Back Audric Estime suits up look for the Irish to give Estime a lot of touches.

Bowl kicks off Saturday December 16th! For more coverage on College Football at Back Sports Page click here.

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