Breaking down the Bowl Schedule | Part V | Sat. Dec. 31 – Mon. Jan. 2

By Amy Daughters -

After 26 bowl games in 13 days, it will only take six hours on Saturday night to decide which two teams move on to the CFB National Championship game.

Regardless of which games actually mean something, don’t forget to tune into the non-Playoff games on Saturday and Monday that may turn out to be just as exciting as the semi-final contests. Chief among these are the Citrus at 11:00AM EST on New Year’s Eve (No. 20 LSU vs. No. 13 Louisville), the Rose at 5:00PM EST on Monday (No. 9 USC vs. No. 5 Penn State) and the Sugar at 8:30pm EST on Monday night (No. 14 Auburn vs. No. 7 Oklahoma).

Saturday, Dec. 31


(20) LSU (7-4) vs. (13) Louisville (9-3) – SEC vs. ACC – Camping Field Stadium, Orlando, Fla. – 11:00AM EST – ABC

The Bowl

First year: 1947

Previous names: Tangerine Bowl (1947-82), Capital One Bowl (2003-14)

Most appearances: Georgia and Florida (6 each)

Last year’s result:  (14) Michigan 41 – (19) Florida 7

Stadium capacity:  65,000

Last year’s attendance: 63,113

The Teams

(20) LSU all-time bowl record: 24-22-1

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Texas – beat Texas Tech 56-27

(13) Louisville all-time bowl record: 20-10-9

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Music City – beat Texas A&M 27-21

The Matchup

All-time series record: 0-0

Line:  LSU -3

LSU and Louisville have never met on the gridiron. The Tigers haven’t met a ranked opponent in a bowl game since the 2012 when they fell to (14) Clemson 25-24 in the Chick-fil-A. They haven’t won such a game since the 2010-11 Cotton, a 41-24 win over (18) Texas A&M. The Cardinals’ last bowl win over a Top 25 foe dates back to the 2012 Sugar, a memorable upset of (4) Florida.

This is LSU’s fourth Citrus Bowl appearance and Louisville’s first-ever.


Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5) – ACC vs. SEC – EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla. – 11:00AM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1946

Previous names: Gator Bowl (1946-2013)

Most appearances: Florida and Clemson (9 each)

Last year’s result:  Georgia 24 – Penn State 17

Stadium capacity:  67,246

Last year’s attendance: 58,212

The Teams

Georgia Tech all-time bowl record: 24-19

Last bowl appearance: 2014 Orange – beat (8) Mississippi State 49-34

Kentucky all-time bowl record: 15-8-7

Last bowl appearance:  2011 Compass – lost to Pitt 27-10

The Matchup

All-time series record: Georgia Tech 11-7-1

Line:  Georgia Tech -3.5

Not only have Georgia Tech and Kentucky never met in the postseason, they’ve never played a non-conference game against each other. The 20 previous meetings spanned from 1923-60, all while the two shared membership in the Southern (1923-32) and the SEC (1933-63).

The TaxSlayer snaps a five-season bowl drought for Kentucky. The Wildcats haven’t won a bowl game since 2008, when they downed East Carolina. They haven’t beaten a Power 5 team in a bowl since the 2007 Music City, a win over Florida State.


(4) Washington (12-1, PAC-12 Champions) vs. (1) Alabama (13-0 SEC Champions) – PAC 12 vs. SEC – The Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga. – 3:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1968

Most appearances: Clemson (8)

Last year’s result:  (18) Houston 38 – (9) Florida State 24

Stadium capacity:  74,228

Last year’s attendance: 71,007

The Teams

(4) Washington all-time bowl record: 17-17-1

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Heart of Dallas – beat Southern Miss 44-31

(1) Alabama all-time bowl record: 37-24-3

Last bowl appearance:  2015 CFB Championship – beat (1) Clemson 45-40

The Matchup

All-time series record: Alabama 4-0

Line:  Alabama -14

(1) Alabama and (4) Washington haven’t met since the 1986 Sun Bowl. Their inaugural meeting was in the 1925-26 Rose Bowl, a game Alabama won 20-19 to capture its first-ever national championship.

The Tide haven’t dropped a bowl game since the 2013-14 Sugar, a 42-35 loss to (5) Ohio State. For Washington, it was the 2014 Cactus, a 30-22 loss to Oklahoma State. The Huskies haven’t beaten a Power 5 team in a bowl game since knocking off (17) Nebraska in the 2010 Holiday. They haven’t beaten a Top 5 opponent since downing (3) USC early in the 2009 season.


(3) Ohio State (11-1) vs. (2) Clemson (12-1, ACC Champions) – BIG TEN vs. ACC – University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. – 7:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1971

Most appearances: Ohio State (8)

Last year’s result:  (7) Ohio State 44 – (8) Notre Dame 28

Stadium capacity:  63,400 (expandable to 72,200)

Last year’s attendance: 71,123

The Teams

(3) Ohio State all-time bowl record: 23-24

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Fiesta – beat (8) Notre Dame 44-28

(2) Clemson all-time bowl record: 20-19

Last bowl appearance:  2010 CFB Playoff Championship – lost to (2) Alabama 45-40

The Matchup

All-time series record: Clemson 2-0

Line:  Ohio State -3

(3) Ohio State and (2) Clemson have met exclusively in the postseason. Their most recent clash was in the 2013-14 Orange, a 40-35 Clemson win – also Ohio State’s most recent loss in a bowl game. Before that it was the 1978 Gator, a 17-15 win for the Tigers.

Clemson has won three straight games over ranked opponents, vs. Ohio State’s six. The Buckeyes haven’t lost to a Top 25 foe since falling to (9) Michigan State at home on Nov. 21, 2015.

Monday, Jan. 2


(17) Florida (8-4) vs. Iowa (8-4) – SEC vs. BIG TEN – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. – 1:00pm EST – ABC

The Bowl

First year: 1986

Previous names: Hall of Fame Bowl (1986-95)

Most appearances: Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin (5 each)

Last year’s result:  (23) Tennessee 45 – (13) Northwestern 6

Stadium capacity:  65,890

Last year’s attendance: 53,302

The Teams

(17) Florida all-time bowl record: 21-21

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Citrus – lost to (17) Michigan 41-7

Iowa all-time bowl record: 14-14-1

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Rose – lost to (5) Stanford 45-16

The Matchup

All-time series record: Florida 2-1

Line:  Florida -3

Not only have (17) Florida and Iowa have never met outside of the postseason, two of their three clashes have come in the Outback. They’ve played in the 1983 Gator (Florida won), the 2003-04 Outback (Iowa won) and, most recently, the 2005-06 Outback (Florida won).

Iowa has dropped four straight bowl games, last winning the 2010 Insight over (14) Missouri. Florida won as recently as the 2014 Birmingham (over East Carolina), but hasn’t beaten a Power 5 team in a bowl since beating Ohio State in the 2011 Gator.


(15) Western Michigan (13-0, MAC Champions) vs. (8) Wisconsin (10-3) – MAC vs. BIG TEN – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas – 1:00pm EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1937

Most appearances: Texas (22)

Last year’s result:  (2) Alabama 38 – (3) Michigan State 0

Stadium capacity:  80,000

Last year’s attendance: 82,812

The Teams

(15) Western Michigan all-time bowl record: 1-6

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Bahamas – beat Middle Tennessee 45-31

(8) Wisconsin all-time bowl record: 13-14

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Holiday – beat USC 23-21

The Matchup

All-time series record: Wisconsin 3-1

Line:  Wisconsin -8

(15) Western Michigan and (8) Wisconsin played four regular-season games from 1963-2000, all in Madison. WMU’s one and only win came in 1988. The Broncos beat two Big Ten opponents earlier this season, downing Northwestern and Illinois, both on the road, in Weeks 1 and 3. They haven’t beaten a ranked team since they moved up from “NCAA University Division (Small College)” to “NCAA University Division (Major College)” in 1962.

Wisconsin hasn’t lost a bowl game since 2013, falling to (8) South Carolina in the Capital One. Western Michigan’s win over Middle Tennessee in last season’s Bahamas is its only bowl win in program history.


(9) USC (9-3) vs. (5) Penn State (11-2, Big Ten Champions) – PAC 12 vs. BIG TEN – Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, Calif. – 5:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1902

Previous names: Tournament East-West Football Game (1902, 1916-1922)

Most appearances: USC (34)

Last year’s result:  (6) Stanford 45 – (5) Iowa 16

Stadium capacity:  92,542

Last year’s attendance: 94,268

The Teams

(9) USC all-time bowl record: 34-18

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Holiday – lost to (23) Wisconsin 23-21

(5) Penn State all-time bowl record: 28-16-2

Last bowl appearance:  2015 TaxSlayer – lost to Georgia 24-17

The Matchup

All-time series record: USC 5-4

Line:  USC -7

The 2016-17 Rose Bowl is a rematch of the 1922-23 Rose Bowl (then known as the Tournament East-West game, USC won), the 2008-09 Rose Bowl (USC won) and the 1981-82 Fiesta Bowl (Penn State won). The Trojans and Nittany Lions have also met six times in the regular season, games stretching from 1990-2000.

USC last won a bowl game in 2014, a 45-42 win in the Holiday over (25) Nebraska. For Penn State, it was also 2014, a 31-30 overtime victory over Boston College in the Pinstripe. The Nittany Lions haven’t beaten a ranked team in a bowl game since 2009, when they won over (13) LSU in the Capital One.

This is USC’s 34th Rose Bowl appearance and Penn State’s fourth. The Trojans are 24-9 in the Granddaddy of them all, while the Nittany Lions have only won once, a 38-20 victory over (12) Oregon in 1995.


(14) Auburn (8-4) vs. (7) Oklahoma (10-2, Big 12 Champions) – SEC vs. BIG 12 – The Superdome, New Orleans, La. – 8:30pm EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1935

Most appearances: Alabama (15)

Last year’s result:  (12) Ole Miss 48 – (16) Oklahoma State 20

Stadium capacity:  73,208

Last year’s attendance: 72,117

The Teams

(14) Auburn all-time bowl record: 23-15-2

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Birmingham – beat Memphis 31-10

(7) Oklahoma all-time bowl record: 28-20-1

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Orange – lost to (1) Clemson 37-17

The Matchup

All-time series record: Auburn 1-0

Line:  Oklahoma -3

This is a rematch of the 1971-72 Sugar Bowl, a game then-(3) Oklahoma won 40-22 over (5) Auburn. It was also the only-ever meeting between the two schools. Auburn hasn’t beaten a ranked team in a bowl game since the 2010 BCS title game, a 22-19 win over (2) Oregon. Oklahoma has dropped two straight bowl appearances, last winning the 2013 Sugar over (3) Alabama.

It’s Auburn’s sixth Sugar Bowl (the Tigers are 2-2-1) and Oklahoma’s eighth (5-2).

Historical statistics courtesy of and Lines courtesy of

Comments (3)

Nice to see it went back to just being the Citrus Bowl again, now if they would just change the Taxslayer bowl back to the Gator Bowl.
Bama 24
Washington 10

Clemson 34
OSU 24

Good luck all & Happy New Years!

I believe this is only 7th Cotton Bowl that did not have a team from Texas, Arkansas, or Oklahoma.

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”.