Breaking down the Bowl Schedule | Part IV | Thurs. Dec. 29 – Fri. Dec. 30

By Amy Daughters -

We’ve only had to wait through 12 days of the bowl schedule to arrive at a game that features two ranked teams. That momentous occasion is slated for Thursday, when (12) Oklahoma State takes on (10) Colorado in the Alamo.

All in all, seven ranked teams will participate in the eight games that span from Thursday, Dec. 29 through Friday, Dec. 30. Though wild anticipation is rightly building towards the CFB Playoff Semifinals on New Year’s Eve, don’t make the mistake of overlooking Friday night’s Orange Bowl clash between (6) Michigan and (11) Florida State.

Despite the serious lack of leading to anything bigger, it may be one of the best games of the postseason.

Thursday, Dec. 29


USF (10-2) vs. South Carolina (6-6) – AAC vs. SEC – Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala. – 2:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 2006

Previous names: Bowl (2006-10), BBVA Compass Bowl (2011-14)

Most appearances: Pittsburgh (3)

Last year’s result:  Auburn 31 – Memphis 10

Stadium capacity:  71,594

Last year’s attendance: 59,430

The Teams

USF all-time bowl record: 4-3

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Miami Beach – lost to (25) Western Kentucky 45-35

South Carolina all-time bowl record: 8-12

Last bowl appearance:  2014 Independence – beat Miami (Fla.) 24-21

The Matchup

All-time series record: South Carolina 1-0

Line:  USF -10

The Cocks and Bulls have only met once previously, a 2004 regular season game that South Carolina won 34-3 in Columbia. USF is 1-5 all-time vs. the SEC, the only win came in 2007 when it upset (17) Auburn. South Carolina has won four straight bowl games, last losing the 2010 Chick-fil-A to (23) Florida State. The Gamecocks’ Will Muschamp is 1-1 all-time as a head coach in bowl action. The win dates back to 2014 while he was at Florida – his Gators beat East Carolina 28-20 in the Birmingham.


Arkansas (7-5) vs. (22) Virginia Tech (9-4) – SEC vs. ACC – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC – 5:30PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 2002

Previous names: Continental Tire Bowl (2002-04), Meineke Car Care Bowl (2005-10)

Most appearances: North Carolina (4)

Last year’s result:  Mississippi State 51 – NC State 28

Stadium capacity:  75,412

Last year’s attendance: 46,423

The Teams

Arkansas all-time bowl record: 15-23-3

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Liberty – beat Kansas State 45-23

(22) Virginia Tech all-time bowl record: 12-17

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Independence – beat Tulsa 55-52

The Matchup

All-time series record: 0-0

Line:  Virginia Tech -7

Arkansas and (22) Virginia Tech meet on the gridiron for the first time in history in the Belk. The Razorbacks have only played the current membership of the ACC eight times total and have won only once. The victory was over Georgia Tech in the 1959-60 Gator Bowl. Arkansas is 0-1 vs. Duke, 1-1 vs. the Yellow Jackets, 0-3 vs. Miami (Fla.) and 0-2 vs. North Carolina.

The Hokies are 29-53-5 vs. the current SEC. Other than Arkansas, the only other two SEC teams Virginia Tech has never played are Mississippi State and Missouri.


(12) Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. (10) Colorado (10-3) – BIG 12 vs. PAC 12 – The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas – 9:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1993

Most appearances: Oklahoma State and Iowa (4 each)

Last year’s result:  (11) TCU 47 – (15) Oregon 41

Stadium capacity:  65,000

Last year’s attendance: 64,569

The Teams

(12) Oklahoma State all-time bowl record: 16-10

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Sugar – lost to (16) Ole Miss 48-20

(10) Colorado all-time bowl record: 12-16

Last bowl appearance:  2007 Independence – lost to Alabama 30-24

The Matchup

All-time series record: Colorado 26-19-1

Line:  Colorado -3

The 27th bowl game of the postseason, the Alamo is the first bowl game featuring two ranked teams. (12) Oklahoma State and (10) Colorado are old friends, sharing membership in the Big Eight from 1960-95 and the Big 12 from 1996-2011. This is only the third time they’ve met outside of conference play, the other two occasions dating back to 1933 and 1920.

The Buffaloes haven’t won a bowl game since the 2004 Houston, a 33-28 win over UTEP. They haven’t beaten a ranked team in a bowl since 1999, when they knocked off (25) Boston College in the Insight.

Friday, Dec. 30


Georgia (7-5) vs. TCU (6-6) – SEC vs. BIG 12 – Liberty Bowl Stadium, Memphis, Tenn. – Noon EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1959

Most appearances: Arkansas (5)

Last year’s result:  Arkansas 45 – Kansas State 23

Stadium capacity:  59,308

Last year’s attendance: 61,136

The Teams

Georgia all-time bowl record: 29-19-3

Last bowl appearance: 2015 TaxSlayer – beat Penn State 24-17

TCU all-time bowl record: 15-5-1

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Alamo – beat (15) Oregon 47-41

The Matchup

All-time series record: Georgia 3-0

Line:  Georgia -1

The eighth oldest bowl game in the land, the Liberty offers up the first meeting between Georgia and TCU in 28 years. It’s also a rematch of the 1941-42 Orange Bowl when the Bulldogs upended the Horned Frogs 40-26. Georgia finished that season 9-1-1, ranked No. 14 in the final AP. It was their first ever appearance in the final poll, which had been established in 1934. The Bulldogs haven’t lost a bowl game since 2013 when they fell to Nebraska in the Gator. For TCU, it was the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings, a narrow 17-16 loss to Michigan State.

Georgia is 1-2 all-time in the Liberty, the Horned Frogs are 1-0.


(18) Stanford (9-3) vs. North Carolina (8-4) – PAC 12 vs. ACC – Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas – 2:00PM EST – CBS

The Bowl

First year: 1935

Most appearances: Texas Tech (9)

Last year’s result:  Washington State 20 – Miami (Fla.) 14

Stadium capacity:  51,500

Last year’s attendance: 41,180

The Teams

(18) Stanford all-time bowl record: 13-13-1

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Rose – beat (6) Iowa 45-16

North Carolina all-time bowl record: 14-18

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Russell Athletic – lost to (18) Baylor 49-38

The Matchup

All-time series record: Tied at 1-1

Line:  Stanford -3

(18) Stanford and North Carolina have only met twice, a home-and-home in 1997-98. The Tar Heels are 2-2 vs. ranked opponents this season and haven’t won a bowl game since beating Cincinnati in the 2013 Belk. It’s only the 11th time in history that UNC has played a current Pac-12 member, holding a 5-5 all-time record. The Cardinal haven’t lost a game since falling 10-5 to Colorado on Oct. 22.

The Sun, Orange and Sugar Bowls all date back to 1935, second only to the Rose, which kicked off in 1902. This is Stanford’s fourth Sun Bowl appearance and North Carolina’s fifth.


Nebraska (9-3) vs. (21) Tennessee (8-4) – BIG TEN vs. SEC – Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn. – 3:30PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1998

Most appearances: Kentucky (4)

Last year’s result:  Louisville 27 – Texas A&M 21

Stadium capacity:  67,700

Last year’s attendance: 50,478

The Teams

Nebraska all-time bowl record: 26-26

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Foster Farms – beat UCLA 37-29

(21) Tennessee all-time bowl record: 27-24

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Outback – beat (12) Northwestern 45-6

The Matchup

All-time series record: Nebraska 2-0

Line:  Tennessee -4

With 103 combined appearances, Nebraska and (21) Tennessee have more bowl experience than any other combo this postseason. The two have never met in the regular season, the previous meetings limited to the 2000 Fiesta and the 1998 Orange, both wins for the Cornhuskers. The Volunteers haven’t lost a bowl game since 2010, when they fell to North Carolina in double overtime in the Music City. Nebraska fell as recently as the 2014 Holiday, a 45-42 loss to (24) USC.


South Alabama (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3) – Sun Belt vs. MWC – Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz. – 5:30PM EST – ASN/CI

The Bowl

First year: 2015

Last year’s result:  Nevada 28 – Colorado State 23

Stadium capacity:  55,675

Last year’s attendance: 20,425

The Teams

South Alabama all-time bowl record: 0-1

Last bowl appearance: 2014 Camellia – lost to Bowling Green 33-28

Air Force all-time bowl record: 11-13

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Armed Forces – lost to Cal 55-36

The Matchup

All-time series record: 0-0

Line:  Air Force -14

This is the first-ever meeting between South Alabama and Air Force. South Alabama didn’t field a football team until 2009 and didn’t join the FBS ranks until 2012, when it signed on with the Sun Belt. This is the Jaguars’ second-ever bowl appearance; they’ve never won a postseason game. Air Force is 5-0 all-time vs. the current membership of the Sun Belt; 1-0 vs. Georgia State and 4-0 vs. Idaho.


(6) Michigan (10-2) vs. (11) Florida State (9-3) – BIG TEN vs. ACC – Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla. – 8:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1935

Most appearances: Oklahoma (19)

Last year’s result:  (1) Clemson 37 – (4) Oklahoma 17

Stadium capacity:  65,326

Last year’s attendance: 67,615

The Teams

(6) Michigan all-time bowl record: 21-23

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Citrus – beat (19) Florida 41-7

(11) Florida State all-time bowl record: 26-16-2

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Peach – lost to (14) Houston 38-24

The Matchup

All-time series record: Tied at 1-1

Line:  Michigan -7

(6) Michigan and (11) Florida State have played twice all-time, regular season games in 1986 and 1991, both in Ann Arbor. The Seminoles haven’t won a bowl game since beating (2) Auburn in the final BCS Championship game in 2013. FSU has played three times as many ranked opponents as Michigan has this season – the Wolverines are 1-1 against the Top 25 vs. the ‘Noles 3-2 mark.

This is Michigan’s third trip to the Orange Bowl and Florida State’s tenth.

Historical statistics courtesy of and Lines courtesy of

Comments (16)

I like the Orange & Liberty Bowls broke attendance records, I got Michigan beating FSU.
Hard to believe that Colorado has not been to a bowl in 9 years, I remember that game Bama winning 30-24 & has never looked back.
We have gotten a couple of old Big-12 teams playing the Big-12 again, K-State/A&M & Colorado/Okla St.

Music City Bowl should be a good one, too. Big Red Fans travel well and the game is in Tennessee, so even though the teams did not meet pre-season expectations by fans and media, if Vol fans come it could be close to a sellout.

Oklahoma State vs, Colorado si a nice match up of teams. Colorado is trending up while, in with Mason Rudolph, OSU seems to have stagnated a bit under Mike Gundy, or is 9-3 their ceiling?

Alamo Bowl is a near sellout each season as they usually try to have a Texas team participating. See how this one goes. But it should be a good game.

And Michigan is 3-1 vs. Top 10 opponents not 1-1 vs. top 25. Maybe Ms. Daughters was looking at the ESPN/SEC rankings.


Sec is 1-4 in Bowls with the one victory over a 6-6 Mac team and needing to block a FG in the final second to get the win.

Just love when I hear over and over again how Vandy, Missouri, South Carolina and Arkie would dominate every other conference which i hear so often on this site and many others….

They put USF (ACC) a 10-2 team against SC (SEC) 6-6 team. USF squeaked out on OT win.
I’ll admit, the SEC was not as strong this year as usual. But if SC played a 6-6 team from the ACC, SC probably wins. Get real! The SEC has been dominant for years. 5 SEC teams have won 11 National Championships over the last 20 years. I call that domination!

Just like I stated above with you SEC Fanboys. Your hypothetical argument of “The SEC probably will do this if,”

So let me clear a few of your hypotheticals up so you can go back to the porch.

“But if SC played a 6-6 team from the ACC, SC probably wins.”

ACC vs. SEC – – ACC 8 SEC 3

USF is in the AAC not ACC.

Back to the porch Junior. Come back when you have some facts.

The SEC sure has messed the bed in their early bowl games. I think they are kind of proving out that other than Nick Saban, the coaching in this league is dreadful. Case in point is that Arkansas game. How do you dominate a half and then come out in the second acting like you have never put pads on before? That said, there is still a lot of bowl season left and the SEC can certainly right the ship in some of their more marquee matchups. Should be fun to watch!

Arkansas has been doing this all year, not sure what the problem is, dominate the 1st half & lay an egg in the second. There are a lot of coaches in the SEC that should not be head coaches, they are more like coordinators & such. As long as Magic Nick is around, it will be hard for any other SEC team to win or be really great. Like when Steve Spurrier or Ubran Myer coached Florida. Not the best start for the SEC, this coming from an SEC homer.

The SEC is fine.

Tennessee beat a Nebraska team that had more wins that the Vols.

Georgia beat TCU.

The only game the SEC didn’t show up for was Vandy and that’s almost expected.

Had a 10-2 SEC team beat a 6-6 team, you wouldn’t give them credit for it… but because a 10-2 team beat a 6-6 SEC team, well the SEC must suck, right?

Give me a break.

The SEC will be fine. If anyone is laying an egg this postseason it’s the Big Ten. But they do this every year, so I’m not sure it’s even news anymore.

Tennessee was ranked and Nebraska was not.

Georgia Tech sure would be fine in the SEC. 4-4 in the ACC.

3-0 vs SEC East…

Tennessee is ranked by the playoff committee, but Nebraska is ranked in both AP and Coaches polls where Tennessee was not.

Again, you don’t establish dominance over the course of three games. You establish dominance over the course of fifteen years. The SEC has done that.

Anyone that supposedly knows the definition of the words “best” and “dominant” should know that.

Georgia & Tennessee had good wins.
Hopefully Kentucky & LSU can get it done. Bama just needs to keep winning in order to keep the NC with the SEC & that will be all she wrote.

SEC is 5-5 in Bowls.

6-9 vs. P5 teams in regular season.

I would call that the most dominate or best league if I did not know the definitions of “best” or “dominant”.

Eight national titles in the last ten years.

Might make that nine of the last 11.

In fact, if you go back to 2003, when LSU beat Oklahoma, LSU, Florida, and Alabama have individually won more national titles than any other conference.

Alabama has won more national titles in that time than all of the Power 5 conferences, minus the SEC…


Yeah, the SEC is clearly not the dominant conference. I mean, it’s completely obvious that all the other conferences are just as good. The Big Ten is having another terrible bowl season. But clearly, they are just as good as the SEC. The Big 12, Is obviously on par with the SEC. Just because half the conference left and they considered adding Tulane and UConn doesn’t mean anything. And the PAC-12 is probably just as good as the SEC at worst… at best they are the equal of the AFC West.

The only conference that is close to the SEC is the ACC and that’s because they recruit the same kids, play a similar style of game, and have pretty much the same sort of fan bases.

But the ACC still isn’t close. Even if Clemson beats Alabama, they would have to do that for the next six or so years to make that argument.

But yeah, the SEC is hardly dominating the sport. Unless you count national championships… and most people do… and then it’s not even close.

At all.

Let’s also point out that in the last two years, the Big Ten hasn’t scored a single point in the college football playoff. Michigan State lost last year to Alabama 38-0 and this year Ohio State lost 31-0 to Clemson.

The Big Ten has also lost at least FIVE bowl games the last seven seasons. In fact, going back to 2007, the last year ESPN has posted, only twice has the Big Ten won more bowl games than they have lost.

Basically, you have a conference that should be at risk of losing their Power 5 status. Seriously, could they possibly have been more pathetic on the big stage over that period of time?

Meanwhile, over the same period, the SEC lost five bowl games only three times and twice still ended up with more wins than losses. They have nor, in that span, lost more games than they have won during the bowl season.

That is how you build dominance. You can’t point to a single year. Dominance is built over the course of time and since 2003, the SEC has dominated the sport like no other conference ever has.