Breaking down the Bowl Schedule | Part III | Tues. Dec. 27 – Wed. Dec. 28

By Amy Daughters -

The third subset of the 2016 bowl schedule features four ranked teams and two matchups between former conference rivals.

All of the games will be aired on ESPN with the exception of the Foster Farms on Wednesday which will be carried by FOX. It’s one of only four games not covered by the ESPN family of networks and the only bowl game on a FOX channel.

It’s an eight-game stretch over just two days. If you’re wondering which games to tune it to, check out the Russell Athletic (16 West Virginia vs. Miami Fla.) on Wednesday at 5:30PM EST and the Texas (Texas A&M vs. Kansas State) later that same night at 9:00PM EST. According to Vegas, which has assigned a three-point spread to each, these contests should be the most competitive.

Tuesday, Dec. 27


Army (6-5) vs. North Texas (5-7) – Independent vs. C-USA – Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, Texas – Noon EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 2011

Previous names: TicketCity Bowl (2011-12)

Most appearances: North Texas (2)

Last year’s result:  Washington 44, Southern Miss 31

Stadium capacity:  92,100

Last year’s attendance: 20,229

The Teams

Army all-time bowl record: 3-2

Last bowl appearance: 2010 Armed Forces – beat SMU 16-14

North Texas all-time bowl record: 2-5

Last bowl appearance:  2013 Heart of Dallas – beat UNLV 36-14

The Matchup

All-time series record: Army 4-1

Line:  Army -10

Army and North Texas are the only bowl combo that also played during the regular season, a game the Mean Green won 35-18 at West Point. It was also UNT’s only win in the history of the series, dating back to 1996. The Cotton Bowl is only 45 miles from the North Texas campus. The game also marks the end of Army’s five season bowl drought.


(24) Temple (10-3, AAC Conference Champions) vs. Wake Forest (6-6) – AAC vs. ACC – Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, Annapolis, Md. – 3:30PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 2008

Previous names: EagleBank Bowl (2008-09)

Last year’s result:  Navy 44, Pittsburgh 28

Stadium capacity:  36,387

Last year’s attendance: 36,352

The Teams

Temple all-time bowl record: 2-3

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Boca Raton – lost to Toledo 32-17

Wake Forest all-time bowl record: 6-4

Last bowl appearance:  2011 Music City Bowl – lost to Mississippi State 23-17

The Matchup

All-time series record: Temple 1-0

Line:  Temple -11.5

(24) Temple and Wake Forest haven’t played each other in 86 years, last meeting in 1930 in Philadelphia. The Owls won that game 36-0, meaning the Demon Deacons have never scored a point on Temple. Wake Forest hasn’t won a bowl game since downing Navy in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl (the previous name of the Military Bowl). It hasn’t beaten a ranked foe since upsetting (23) Florida State in 2011, dropping 17 such games since. Temple’s last bowl win was in 2011, beating Wyoming in the New Mexico.


Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4) – BIG TEN vs. PAC-12 – Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif. – 7:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1978

Most appearances: BYU (11)

Last year’s result:  Wisconsin 23, USC 21

Stadium capacity:  54,000

Last year’s attendance: 48,329

The Teams

Minnesota all-time bowl record: 6-12

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Quick Lane – beat Central Michigan 21-14

Washington State all-time bowl record: 7-5

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Sun – beat Miami (Fla.) 20-14

The Matchup

All-time series record: Washington State 3-2

Line:  Washington State -10

Minnesota almost didn’t play in this year’s Holiday Bowl, calling off a player’s boycott on Dec. 17 that could have propelled 5-7 Northern Illinois into the game as a replacement. The Golden Gophers and Cougars haven’t met since 1988, the last of a series of regular season games dating back to 1965 all played in Minneapolis. This is Washington State’s third Holiday Bowl and Minnesota’s first.


Boise State (10-2) vs. Baylor (6-6) – MWC vs. BIG 12 – Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz. – 10:15PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1989

Previous names: Copper Bowl (1989-96), Bowl (1997-2011), Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (2012-13)

Most appearances: Kansas State and Minnesota (3 each)

Last year’s result:  West Virginia 43, Arizona State 42

Stadium capacity:  48,519

Last year’s attendance: 39,321

The Teams

Boise State all-time bowl record: 11-5

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Poinsettia – beat Northern Illinois 55-7

Baylor all-time bowl record: 11-11

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Russell Athletic – beat (10) North Carolina 49-38

The Matchup

All-time series record: 0-0

Line:  Boise State -7.5

The first ever meeting between the two schools. Boise State is 4-2 all-time vs. the current Big 12 membership; 1-0 vs. Oklahoma and Iowa State and 2-2 vs. TCU. Baylor is 16-4 vs. the current Mountain West, the most recent loss in 2002 at New Mexico.

The Broncos have never played in what’s now called the Cactus Bowl. The Bears played in the third-ever Cactus (then the Copper) in 1991 and were blanked by Indiana 24-0.

Wednesday, Dec. 28


(23) Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Northwestern (6-6) – ACC vs. BIG TEN – Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY – 2:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 2010

Most appearances: Syracuse and Rutgers (2 each)

Last year’s result:  Duke 44, Indiana 41 (OT)

Stadium capacity:  54,251

Last year’s attendance: 37,218

The Teams

(23) Pittsburgh all-time bowl record: 13-19

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Military – lost to (21) Navy 44-28

Northwestern all-time bowl record: 2-10

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Outback – lost to Tennessee 45-6

The Matchup

All-time series record: Tied at 3-3

Line:  Pitt -5.5

Pitt and Northwestern haven’t met in 43 years, last playing a home-and-home series in 1972-73. The ’73 game was during Johnny Majors first season as the head coach at Pitt, taking a program that had won only one game the year before to a 6-5-1 record. Just three seasons later, in 1976, Majors would lead the Panthers to a 12-0 finish and a national championship.

Pitt has dropped two straight bowl games, last beating Bowling Green 30-27 in the 2013 Little Caesars. It hasn’t beaten a Power team in a bowl game since the 2010 season when it knocked off Kentucky in the Compass. Northwestern hasn’t won a postseason game since beating Mississippi State in the 2012 Gator.


(16) West Virginia (10-2) vs. Miami Fla. (8-4) – BIG 12 vs. ACC – Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla. – 5:30PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 1990

Previous names: Blockbuster Bowl (1990-93), Carquest Bowl (1994-97), MicronPC Bowl (1998-2000), Tangerine Bowl (2001-03), Champs Sports Bowl (2004-11)

Most appearances: NC State and Miami Fla. (5 each)

Last year’s result:  Baylor 49, North Carolina 38

Stadium capacity:  65,000

Last year’s attendance: 40,418

The Teams

(16) West Virginia all-time bowl record: 15-19

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Cactus – beat Arizona State 43-42

Miami (Fla.) all-time bowl record: 18-19

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Sun – lost to Washington State 14-20

The Matchup

All-time series record: Miami (Fla.) 16-3

Line:  Miami (Fla.) -3

(16) West Virginia and Pitt shared membership in the Big East from 1991-2003, this is the first-ever postseason meeting. The Hurricanes have won six straight over the Mountaineers, but have also dropped their last six bowl games. The most recent win came in the 2006 MPC Computers (now the Potato Bowl), a 21-20 triumph over Nevada. They haven’t scored a win over a Power team in a bowl game since the 2004 Peach, a 27-10 victory over (20) Florida.


Indiana (6-6) vs. (19) Utah (8-4) – BIG TEN vs. PAC-12 – Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif. – 8:30pm EST – FOX

The Bowl

First year: 2002

Previous names: San Francisco Bowl (2002-03), Emerald Bowl (2004-09), Fight Hunger Bowl (2010-13)

Most appearances: Boston College and UCLA (3 each)

Last year’s result:  Nebraska 37, UCLA 29

Stadium capacity:  68,500

Last year’s attendance: 33,527

The Teams

Indiana all-time bowl record: 3-7

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Pinstripe – lost to Duke 44-41

(19) Utah all-time bowl record: 15-4

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Las Vegas – beat BYU 35-28

The Matchup

All-time series record: Utah 2-1

Line:  Utah -7

Indiana and (19) Utah haven’t met since a home-and-home series in 2001-02, both wins for the Utes. The Hoosiers only-ever win came in 1975 in Bloomington. Utah has won three straight bowl appearances, last falling in the 2010 Las Vegas to (10) Boise State. Indiana is on the other end of the spectrum, dropping three straight bowl games, last winning 25 years ago over Baylor in the 1991 Copper. The Hoosiers’ most recent win over a ranked team came earlier this season when they beat (17) Michigan State 24-21 in overtime.


Texas A&M (8-4) vs. Kansas State (8-4) – SEC vs. BIG 12 – NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas – 9:00PM EST – ESPN

The Bowl

First year: 2006

Previous names: Texas Bowl (2006-10), Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (2011-12)

Most appearances: Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Kansas State and Minnesota (2 each)

Last year’s result:  LSU 56, Texas Tech 27

Stadium capacity:  71,795

Last year’s attendance: 71,307

The Teams

Texas A&M all-time bowl record: 17-20

Last bowl appearance: 2015 Music City – lost to Louisville 27-21

Kansas State all-time bowl record: 7-12

Last bowl appearance:  2015 Liberty – lost to Arkansas 45-23

The Matchup

All-time series record: Texas A&M 8-7

Line:  Texas A&M -3

These two were both members of the Big 12 from 1996-2011, splitting their in-conference meetings 5-5. Though this is their first bowl meeting, it’s not the first postseason game as the two played in a memorable Big 12 Championship contest in 1998 in St. Louis. The Aggies won 36-33.

Texas A&M last won a bowl game in 2014 when they knocked off West Virginia in the Liberty. For Kansas State it was the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings, a 31-14 win over Michigan. Kevin Sumlin is 3-1 in bowl action as the Aggie head coach vs. Bill Snyder’s 7-10 mark for K-State.

 Historical statistics courtesy of and Lines courtesy of

Comments (6)

Thank you Amy, I was looking forward to this.
I know a lot of people complain about the attendance in bowls but the Texas, Cactus, Military & Holiday killed it last year.

I concur.

I watch every bowl game on youtube whenever they become available as I cannot watch them live due to the fact that I live overseas (well, I could get up at 3am like I do for the regular season, but bowl games are a little different………unfortunately now it seems the playoff games only matter.)

And, as a former player, at the end of the season, especially your senior year when you know you are not going pro, it would of course be great with a stadium packed but that takes a backseat to playing one last time with the guys who will your buddies for life. So when we, the Iowa State Cyclones lost to Alabama in the 2001 Independence Bowl to Bama we were thrilled to be playing in a packed house for the last game of our lives…….

I would swap the bowl placements of Pitt and Miami so that we could have the Backyard Brawl in Orlando

That would have been a killer game. Bowl organizers always flip-flop the bowl order to get the match up they need. That was a big whiff on their part.