The biggest college football day of the year is here, as the Playoff is finally here. There are only four games on the docket, but the two biggest of bowl season will be here to help bring you into the new year wrapped in true bowl bliss.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights step in as a replacement opponent at the Gator Bowl for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. That’s thanks to RU’s APR score, which was the best amongst all 5-7 teams in college football. While Greg Schiano’s side will be a significant underdog, let’s hope what should be a cake win doesn’t dampen what was a terrific season for Dave Clawson and Wake Forest. They finished 2021 at 10-3 and as ACC Atlantic Division Champions for the first time.
The Sun Bowl is a mish-mash of two games as well, as the originally-Arizona Bowl-bound Central Michigan Chippewas take on Jayden de Laura and the Washington State Cougars. WSU went through plenty this season as head coach Nick Rolovich was terminated mid-year due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine. But the Coogs finished 7-5, and won three of their last four to reach the postseason.
And then we finish with the only two that technically count amongst the 42 scheduled bowl games in 2021. The SEC Champion Alabama Crimson Tide take on the first Group of Five team to ever play for the national championship in the BCS/CFP Era in the Cincinnati Bearcats. UC will be two-touchdown underdogs, and far too much about the status of non-Power Five football is likely to be extrapolated by the time the gun goes off in the Cotton Bowl.
And in the nightcap, we get one of the most anticipated semifinals in the eight-year history of the four-team playoff as the Georgia Bulldogs face the Michigan Wolverines. Georgia looked like a historically great defense before losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, while Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines finally shook the monkey of Ohio State off their backs on their way to their first Big Ten Championship Game win. It’s a battle of run games and defense that should be can’t miss television for offensive line coaches.
Odds for all New Year’s Eve bowl games are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Gator Bowl: No. 17 Wake Forest vs. Rutgers
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook: Wake Forest -16.5, Over/Under 62
Sun Bowl: Washington State vs. Central Michigan
Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati
Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia
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