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5 college football bowl games you didn’t know you needed to watch

Profile Picture: Nick Roush

December 11th, 2019

This holiday season 40 bowl games will be played across North America. There is no better time to be a football fan. We'll all be watching the College Football Playoff matchups, but to make the most of the bowl season, you must learn to love even the most inconsequential of bowls. You might not be able to catch every  one, but you can at least enjoy these five.

Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force (-2.5) vs. Washington State, December 27, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Last year’s Cheez-It Bowl produced chaos. I expect the same this year, when the stars of Pac-12 after dark take on a military academy. The Air Force Falcons run a triple option and average 9.5 pass attempts per game. That ranks 129th in the FBS out of 130 teams. Mike Leach’s air raid offense at Washington State throws it more than any other team in the country, with 55.6 attempts per game. It’s the perfect recipe for more late-night college football chaos.

Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo (-6.5) vs. Charlotte, December 20, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Ever since this bowl debuted in 2014, with a wild 85-yard touchdown as time expired (Central Michigan still lost after failing to convert the two-point conversion), the Bahamas Bowl has been must-watch television. This year the Friday day game will feature one team playing in its first bowl game. This is how Will Healy celebrated after Charlotte got its seventh win.
After seeing that, you’ve gotta take the 49ers and the points.

Belk Bowl: Virginia Tech (-3) vs. Kentucky, December 31, noon ET (ESPN)

Bud Foster will be coaching in his final game as the Virginia Tech defensive coordinator. The mastermind behind the Hokies’ legendary lunch-pail defense has been on the sideline since 1995. His final test is no cupcake. The Wildcats are 5-2 since wide receiver Lynn Bowden assumed quarterbacking duties. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns during that stretch and was named the winner of the Paul Hornung Award, given each year to the nation’s most versatile player.

Las Vegas Bowl: Washington (-3.5) vs. No. 19 Boise State, December 21, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Chris Peterson’s final game as Washington’s head coach is against the team that made him a household name. The game will probably not produce another Statue of Liberty walk-off win, but it will have two high-powered offenses. The Broncos are a talented team that overachieved, despite uncertainty at quarterback. The Huskies have underachieved, despite excellent quarterback play from former Georgia gunslinger Jacob Eason. Something’s got to give. Will the emotion carry Peterson’s team to one more win, or will Boise get the last laugh?

Hawaii Bowl: BYU (-1.5) vs. Hawaii, December 24, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Is it really Christmas Eve if the Hawaii Bowl isn’t muted in the background at your holiday party? I don’t think so. This year’s game features a smash-mouth BYU defense against a high-flying Hawaii offense that ranks sixth in the nation in passing. Even though the Rainbow Warriors are playing on their home turf, you might want to lay some coin on the Cougars. The two teams’ only common opponent is Boise State. Hawaii lost each matchup by an average of 21.5 points, while the Cougs handed Boise its only loss of the season.

Bowl season means seemingly endless betting opportunities! Check out all the NCAAF matchups at BetAmerica!