We’ll start off by noting we don’t include any of the New Year’s Six games in this article. All of those are bound to be fantastic games – yes, even the craziness that could be the Orange Bowl (#6 Wisconsin vs. #10 Miami). We should also mention that all Bowl games are great and you should watch them all, if that’s feasible. But, if you can only watch 5 of them – these are the ones we’d pick, in order of date.
Celebration Bowl – December 16th, 2017
Grambling State vs. North Carolina A&T
You might be saying “What? Starting out with the non-FBS Bowl game”. Yes, yes we are. This is the only bowl game featuring FCS teams. For those FBS football addicts, it’s a nice opportunity to watch teams you might not normally. The Celebration Bowl annually pits the winner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) against the winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – the 2 most-recognized conferences of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). Fun fact, Chicago Bears rookie sensation RB, Tarik Cohen was the offensive MVP in the first ever Celebration Bowl. So, lots of talent will be on display December 16th.
Foster Farms Bowl – December 27th, 2017
Purdue vs. Arizona
Purdue started the season with a high-flying offense, putting lots of points on the board. They slowed down, down the stretch, but head coach Jeff Brohm probably has a trick play or two saved for bowl season. We’re hoping Brohm channels his inner Chris Petersen this bowl season. Purdue will face an Arizona team that features speedy QB Khalil Tate. Need we say more? The 2018 Foster Farms Bowl is destined for offensive greatness.
Alamo Bowl – December 28th, 2017
#13 Stanford vs. #15 TCU
Two of the highest ranked non-New Years Six teams. Two small schools. A Texas team vs. a team with 9 Texans on the roster, playing in the Alamo bowl. A team lead by 2017 Heisman-nominated RB Bryce Love versus a team that many thought was bound for a CFB Playoff spot earlier in the season. TCU could have been able to secure a New Year’s Six game if it hadn’t been for their Big 12 Championship loss to Oklahoma, which bumped them from #11 to #15. Stanford just came off a hard fought 31-28 loss to USC in the Pac-12 Championship. So, both teams have something to prove. There’s lots of storylines here. Oh, and on top of all that, it’s the battle of possibly the 2 greatest mascots in the NCAA, Super Frog the Horned Frog vs. Stanford’s unofficial mascot, The Stanford Tree.
TaxSlayer Bowl – December 30th, 2017
#23 Mississippi State vs. Louisville
This bowl features a Mississippi St. team that had 3 of its 4 loses coming at the hands of powerhouses Georgia, Auburn and Alabama (keeping the Crimson Tide to a one-score game) versus a Louisville team that features 2016 Heisman trophy winner (and 2017 Heisman-nominated) QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson, the NCAA leader in Total Offense will be playing in (likely) his last college game in what should be a great TaxSlayer Bowl.
Citrus Bowl – January 1st, 2018
#14 Notre Dame vs. #17 LSU
A somewhat down-and-up LSU team (they held a very powerful Auburn team to within 4 points but also lost at home to Troy) vs. a somewhat up-and-down Notre Dame team (they held a very powerful Georgia team to within 1 point but also lost by 33 to Miami). LSU started slow, losing 2 of their first 5 games and then gained momentum. Notre Dame started strong and then barreled out at the end, losing 2 of their final 3 games. This is a pretty interesting match-up and should make for a great bowl game.
Which 2017-18 Bowl game are you looking forward to most? Let us know on Twitter @legendrings.