Bowl Season: Setting the Stage
An early look at the potential College Football Playoffs and other key numbers for bowl games this season.
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Outside of the top 25 chaos and conference rivalry game craziness that this season, there’s also the more simplistic goal of bowl eligibility that starts to get checked off this time of year. Not every team is Georgia and the FBS landscape is vast, so six wins is enough to have your program in postseason play. Cue the Andy Williams music cause Bowl Season is truly “the most wonderful time of the year” and we’re closer to it’s arrival than you may think. Bowl game #1 kicks off on Saturday 12/16…so now is the time to start prepping for Bowl Season contests. (promo for bowl contest)
Let’s get into the craziness of predicting who might be in the playoff for the biggest of Bowl Games, while also paying tribute to little guys just vying to be a participant in the Pop Tarts Bowl (yes, that’s real). It’s a delightful assortment of weird bowl names with strangely wedged in sponsors, and the holiday smorgasboard of football we so desperately need.
The early committee rankings have not had much of any movement, just some minor shifting within the top four of Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan and Florida State. Interestingly enough, current playoff predictors have Ohio State and Florida State as two teams with a very strong chance to make the final four by far…and after that it gets murky. With Michigan vs. Ohio State head to head guaranteed and conference championship games that aren’t even set yet in the remaining power five conferences, there’s endless computations to spit out who the eventual four playoff teams are that are in the playoff. However it shakes out, the January 1st semis and January 8th championship will be producing some electric matchups that act as the crescendo. Here’s my ¾ pole prediction on the final four playoff teams:
- Ohio State - takes care of business against Michigan and in the Big 10 Championship game.
- Georgia - Quietly runs the table again and wins a hard fought SEC title game
- Texas - Conducive on them running the table and winning the Big 12
- Oregon - Avenging the UW loss and getting the one that matters
Bowl Season by the Numbers
44: Total games of bowl season awesomeness to be played this season, including the National Championship. 45 if you throw in the FCS Celebration Bowl, which I’ll surely have a pick for.
7: There are not one but two Saturdays with SEVEN bowl games on the slate, so plan accordingly for December 16th and December 23th, those are couch imprint days. Also of note, everyone’s favorite daydream to paradise, the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl, has moved from its traditional Christmas Eve night spot to the night capper on 12/23, aka Festivus.
17: Our 2023 Bowl Season magic carpet ride is going to take us to a third of the states in the union, from Hawaii to Boston and Miami to Boise, we;re trekking across the nation this holiday season. Sadly the Bahamas Bowl is being played in Charlotte, NC this year (seriously) so we will not be taking the journey internationally. There’s always next year.
Bowl Season Odds and Ends
As with college football every bowl season, you step outside of the biggest games and find a lovably weird collection of sponsors and figures tagged to games to bring some intrigue. For instance, The LA Bowl has a new celebrity host replacing Jimmy Kimmel at SoFi Stadium - none other than GRONK. If he has it his way the winning team will spike the trophy into the ground and have coolers of energy drinks on the sidelines for the second half.
Bowl Season will also get you hungry if nothing else…and food sponsors are running rampant these days. While we all know and will look forward to staple games like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the blue field and the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, there’s more food to love in 2023. Cheez-It has moved their sponsorship to the Citrus Bowl making way for the all-new Pop-Tarts Bowl to be played in Orlando on 12/28. The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl will have you reaching for cereal, and don’t ever forget that the winning coach of the Duke’s Mayo Bowl winner gets a vat of mayo dumped on them. Fun times! Add in Avocados from Mexico and Scooter's Coffee getting bowl sponsorships and you have yourselves an entire buffet of bowl season partners.
That’s all the hype I need to be ramped and ready for Bowl Season, and there’s no better time to get your contests prepped for when 44 postseason games come our way. Get your shoes shined cause we’re about to go bowling in a matter of weeks.
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