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You’re Nuts: Which non-CFP bowl game are you most interested in watching?

Your (almost) daily dose of good-natured, Ohio State banter.

NCAA Football: Conference USA Football Championship-New Mexico State at Liberty Brian Bishop-USA TODAY Sports

With the revealing of the College Football Playoff matchups on Sunday, the rest of the bowl schedule was set soon after. The bowl season will kick off on Saturday December 16 with the Myrtle Beach Bowl between Georgia Southern and Ohio being the first bowl game of the season. Five other bowl games will take place on that day, and by the time bowl season wraps up in early January, over 40 bowl games will have been played.

This year’s bowl season will be the last that will accompany the four-team College Football Playoff. It will be interesting to see how schools approach the 12-team playoff starting next year, especially after the changes we have seen after the introduction of the College Football Playoff at the end of the 2014 season. Along with the playoff, the transfer portal and more players sitting out bowl games to focus on the NFL Draft have changed how bowl games are treated by teams.

Despite some of the prestige of bowl games being diminished by changes over the last decade, the final couple weeks of college football for nine months still can be a ton of fun. Not only does it provide people with something to watch during the holidays, it can also be a hit with gamblers if they are on the right side. There are also some interesting sponsors for bowl games. Just look at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. You don’t have much of a pulse if you don’t want to see the winning coach showered with a bunch of mayo.

Today we want to know which bowl game outside the College Football Playoff you are most interested in watching this year. Maybe you want to get a look at one of the teams joining the Big Ten, or another conference, this offseason. It could be a battle between a couple of college football’s top programs. Or you could be a fan of a team that is going to have a lot of turnover in the transfer portal, so you want to see who could be next in line at a certain position. There’s no wrong answer, since if you’re spending the holidays watching college football bowl games then you are already on the right side.

Today’s question: Which non-CFP bowl game are you most interested in watching?

We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.


Brett’s answer: Liberty v. Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl

This New Year’s Six bowl game already received a shot in the arm when Oregon head coach Dan Lanning revealed quarterback Bo Nix wants to play in the New Year’s Day game. After starting for multiple years at Auburn and Oregon, there really isn’t much to be gained from Nix playing in this game aside from Nix wanting to finish out his college career with his teammates on the field and not on the sidelines. Even though things could change between now and when the game kicks off on the first day of 2024, it sounds like Oregon is taking this game seriously.

On the other side, Liberty will not only be trying to pull a huge upset, as they head into this game as two-touchdown underdogs, they also will be trying to finish the season undefeated. In Jamey Chadwell’s first season as head coach, Liberty has a high-powered offense that has scored at least 30 points in 12 of 13 games so far this year. Sophomore quarterback Kaidon Salter has not only thrown for 2,750 yards and 31 touchdowns this year, he has added 1,064 yards and 12 scores on the ground.

Another reason this game is so interesting to me is because the Group of Five team playing in a New Year’s Six bowl always seems to bring it. At the end of the 2015 season, Houston beat Florida State. UCF beat Auburn to cap off an undefeated 2017 season, and then pushed LSU to the limit the next year. Last year Tulane stunned Caleb Williams and USC 46-45 in the Cotton Bowl. Even if they aren’t able to beat Oregon, Liberty should at least make this contest interesting in Oregon’s last game as a member of the Pac-12.


Matt’s answer: Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Northwestern

I think the easy answer here would be something along the lines of the Orange Bowl with a pair of disgruntled teams who both feel that they should have been included in the College Football Playoff field. However, that’s too easy, so I’m going with a bit of a deep cut.

Yes, I know that this probably won’t be an enjoyable game to watch if you like a bunch... or any offense, but I don’t know how you can be a college football fan and not root for David Braun and Northwestern. He was thrown into an absolutely horrendous situation that he had no hand in creating and still led his team to a bowl game while earning Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. Now, the university has removed the interim tag and he is the Wildcats’ full-time head coach. In the new B1G alignment, will he ever have the success that Pat Fitzgerald did? Honestly, it’s doubtful, but that doesn’t diminish that accomplishment of this season.

Then there’s the Utah Utes. Obviously playing in the Las Vegas Bowl two days before Christmas isn’t what Kyle Whittingham and his team had in mind coming into the season Coming off of back-to-back Pac-12 titles, I am sure they wanted to close out the conference as the definitive top dog out West. However, the fact that Cam Rising never fully recuperated from his ACL tear suffered in last year’s bowl game essentially led to the Utes never being able to capitalize on a top-notch defense.

So, while there likely won’t be a ton of offensive fireworks in this one, it features a couple of coaches that you have to respect and root for, or at least I do, which is why I am interested in watching this one, even if it won’t be the most aesthetically pleasing game on the 2023-24 bowl schedule.