No more projections, no more intrigue, no more pondering who could play and where.
The 2023-24 college football postseason is fully upon us for a hefty heap of intersectional gridiron matchups during the most wonderful time on the calendar.
This year’s bowl games feature some extremely compelling matchups, from a delightful set of College Football Playoff semifinals to an incredible Orange Bowl meeting between top teams, plus a host of Group of 5 sides facing off against each other or their Power 5 brethren.
Who has the edge and what should you watch for in each matchup?
Here’s a look at every bowl game and an early pick for each contest.
Check out the complete schedule with dates, times, and TV channels below. And return for the results of every game.
(All times are ET)
SATURDAY, DEC. 16
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Georgia Southern vs. Ohio
The pick: Ohio
The result: Ohio wins, 41-21
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana
The pick: Jacksonville State
The result: Jacksonville State wins, 34-31, OT
Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl
Miami-Ohio vs. Appalachian State
The pick: Miami-Ohio
The result: Appalachian State wins, 13-9
Isleta New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico State vs. Fresno State
The pick: NMSU
The result: Fresno State wins, 37-10
LA Bowl Hosted by Gronk
UCLA vs. Boise State
The pick: Boise State
The result: UCLA wins, 35-22
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
Cal vs. Texas Tech
The pick: Texas Tech
The result: Texas Tech wins, 34-14
MONDAY, DEC. 18
Famous Toastery Bowl
2:30 p.m. on ESPN (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion
The season was quite the rollercoaster for both teams, but the Monarchs came closer to reaching their ceiling in a much more difficult league. The Pick: ODU.
TUESDAY, DEC. 19
Scooters’s Coffee Frisco Bowl
9 p.m. on ESPN (Frisco, Texas)
UTSA vs. Marshall
Jeff Traylor and Charles Huff are two of the best head coaches at the Group of 5 level, and this could be a nice preview of a bigger game down the road. This should be an excellent chance for Roadrunners QB Frank Harris to have a nice swan song, too. The Pick: UTSA.
THURSDAY, DEC. 21
Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl
8 p.m. on ESPN (Boca Raton, Florida)
USF vs. Syracuse
We’ll see what impact the coaching change will have for the Orange, but this has a chance to be one of the higher scoring games given the style of offense with both teams. The Pick: USF.
FRIDAY, DEC. 22
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl
6:30 p.m. on ESPN (Tampa, Florida)
Georgia Tech vs. USF
Will George O’Leary do the coin toss for this one? The Knights will certainly revel in the opportunity to get a bowl win down I-4 at rival USF’s stadium if nothing else. The Pick: UCF.
SATURDAY, DEC. 23
12 p.m. on ABC (Birmingham, Alabama)
Troy vs. Duke
Points are likely to be at a premium given that the Blue Devils have one of the better defenses in the ACC and the Trojans have one of the best in the entire Group of 5. The Pick: Troy.
12 p.m. on ESPN (Montgomery, Alabama)
Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois
Butch Jones really turned things around in Jonesboro this season and enters the Camellia Bowl with an impressive amount of momentum against an NIU side which scrapped its way to eligibility. The Pick: Arkansas State.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
3:30 p.m. on ABC (Fort Worth, Texas)
Air Force vs. James Madison
This just might be one of the best matchups among the Group of 5 teams, pitting two programs that were in the mix to nab that New Year’s Six berth. Curt Cignetti’s departure for Indiana puts a bit of a damper on things, but this still should be a fun meeting. The Pick: Air Force.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
3:30 p.m. on ESPN (Boise, Idaho)
Georgia State vs. Utah State
The vast majority of games the Aggies played came down to the fourth quarter, and that could be the case in this one against a very evenly matched Sun Belt side like GSU. The Pick: Utah State.
68 Ventures Bowl
7 p.m. on ESPN (Mobile, Alabama)
Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama
Nice additional home date for the Jaguars against an Eagles team which is scrappy as can be. Don’t be surprised if both head coaches involved in this one wind up at bigger programs in the near future. The Pick: EMU.
SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
7:30 p.m. on ABC (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Utah vs. Northwestern
One of the nation’s longest tenured head coaches (Kyle Whittingham) meets one of the newest after David Braun had his interim tag taken off. Who knows the state of the rosters in this one, but expect a close one in Sin City decided by a few key trick plays. The Pick: Utah.
Easypost Hawai’i Bowl
10:30 p.m. on ESPN (Honolulu, Hawai’i)
Coastal Carolina vs. San Jose State
A fond farewell just before Christmas for Hawaii native and dynamic signal-caller Chevan Cordiero as the Spartans and Chants clash following an impressive surge in the second half of the year. The Pick: SJSU.
TUESDAY, DEC. 26
Quick Lane Bowl
2 p.m. on ESPN (Detroit, Michigan)
Bowling Green vs. Minnesota
BGSU has been among the more overlooked teams in the MAC this season, coming closer than expected to capturing a division title. There is still have a tall task at hand, however, even with the Gophers backing into the bowl at 5-7. The Pick: Minnesota.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
5:30 p.m. on ESPN (Dallas, Texas)
Texas State vs. Rice
Hats off to the Bobcats for reaching their first ever bowl game, which will appropriately come in the state of Texas against their I-10 rivals to the East. The Pick: Texas State.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
9 p.m. on ESPN (Phoenix, Arizona)
Kansas vs. UNLV
Andy Kotelnicki’s departure for Penn State means this will be our first chance to see what the Jayhawks offense looks like with a new playcaller. The Rebels will be hoping to end the year on a high note after that MWC title game loss, too. The Pick: Kansas.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27
Military Bowl Presented by Go Bowling
2 p.m. on ESPN (Annapolis, Maryland)
Virginia Tech vs. Tulane
When it comes to wanting to play in this game more, you have to figure the Hokies are ecstatic over their postseason return, while the Green Wave have to be a tad disappointed about missing out on the AAC title, losing their coach and landing here. The Pick: Virginia Tech.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
5:30 p.m. on ESPN (Charlotte, North Carolina)
North Carolina vs. West Virginia
Does Drake Maye play in this game one more time in Carolina blue before heading to the NFL Draft? Even if he doesn’t, this has the potential to be a fun back-and-forth between two offenses that know how to find the end zone. The Pick: West Virginia.
DIRECTV Holiday Bowl
8 p.m. ET on FOX (San Diego, California)
USC vs. Louisville
Couldn’t have asked for a better matchup on FOX in what might be a game between two of the best offensive playcallers in college football — Jeff Brohm and Lincoln Riley. The Pick: Louisville.
TaxAct Texas Bowl
9 p.m. on ESPN (Houston, Texas)
Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State
Mike Elko will have a close eye on his new team in this one, as the Aggies aim to get a victory over their former Big 12 rivals, while the Cowboys will look to put their performance against Texas well behind them. The Pick: Oklahoma State.
THURSDAY, DEC. 28
Wasabi Fenway Bowl
11 a.m. on ESPN (Boston, Massachusetts)
SMU vs. Boston College
Poor SMU, which memorably won its first conference title since 1984 but is sent to the newest bowl game around, playing an Eagles side very lucky to make it to .500 on the year. The Pick: SMU.
Bad Bow Mowers Pinstripe Bowl
2:15 p.m. on ESPN (The Bronx, New York)
Rutgers vs. Miami
Greg Schiano will be thrilled to head over to the Bronx and rekindle an old Big East rivalry against the Hurricanes, whose motivation may be similar to a team arriving at Yankee Stadium on a getaway day. The Pick: Rutgers.
5:45 p.m. on ESPN (Orlando, Florida)
N.C. State vs. Kansas State
If you love scrappy, hard-nosed football, this is the bowl game for you. Quarterback drama takes away somewhat from the matchup, but it’s still a great one. Plus, there’s an edible Pop Tart mascot to look forward to at the end. The Pick: Kansas State.
Valero Alamo Bowl
9:15 p.m. on ESPN (San Antonio, Texas)
Oklahoma vs. Arizona
No doubt about it, this is the best of the non-New Year’s Six bowls as it pits two teams that were right near the cutoff line for the selection committee. There’s a fascinating chess match between the two head coaches, too, given their specialties on either side of the ball. The Pick: Oklahoma.
FRIDAY, DEC. 29
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
12 p.m. on ESPN (Jacksonville, Florida)
Clemson vs. Kentucky
We’re going to read way too much into this game for whoever emerges victorious, but there’s little question that it could be huge for both head coaches to take a little momentum into the offseason. The Pick: Clemson.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
2 p.m. on CBS (El Paso, Texas)
Oregon State vs. Notre Dame
Sombreros for everybody! This is an excellent matchup between top-20 teams out in El Paso, and the first bit of good news in the past month for the Beavers in particular. The Pick: Notre Dame.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
3:30 p.m. on ESPN (Memphis, Tennessee)
Memphis vs. Iowa State
Matt Campbell had one of the better coaching jobs in the Big 12 to get ISU to this game, while the Tigers quietly improved by a good amount to contend in the AAC. The Pick: Iowa State.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl
8 p.m. on ESPN (Dallas, Texas)
Missouri vs. Ohio State
How motivated will the Buckeyes be, and will key players like Marvin Harrison Jr. be around for this one? Don’t sleep on the Tigers trying to validate their season and notch a first major bowl victory. The Pick: Missouri.
SATURDAY, DEC. 30
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
12 p.m. on ESPN (Atlanta, Georgia)
Ole Miss vs. Penn State
This has a chance to be a compelling meeting of one of the best offenses in the country against one of the best defenses. Typically the latter travels better as the Nittany Lions get some more wind in their sails going into 2024. The Pick: Penn State.
Transperfect Music City Bowl
2 p.m. on ABC (Nashville, Tennessee)
Auburn vs. Maryland
Defense might just be optional in this one given the two head coaches involved, who also enjoy calling plays. The Pick: Auburn.
Capital One Orange Bowl
4 p.m. on ESPN (Miami Gardens, Florida)
Georgia vs. Florida State
Will the ‘Noles proclaim themselves national champions if they emerge victorious in this one? Both sides can play up the “nobody believes in us” card ahead of this extremely compelling CFP-caliber bowl. The Pick: Georgia.
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl
4:30 p.m. on Barstool (Tucson, Arizona)
Toledo vs. Wyoming
The Rockets can at least see the silver lining in a trip to Tucson despite their MAC title game loss, but they’ve got a tough opponent to get past in a scrappy Cowboys outfit. The Pick: Wyoming.
MONDAY, JAN. 1, 2024
12 p.m. on ESPN2 (Tampa, Florida)
LSU vs. Wisconsin
Will this game feature the Heisman Trophy winner? Even if it doesn’t, this is a nice opportunity for Luke Fickell to showcase that he’s got the Badgers back on track, while opposite number Brian Kelly is certainly hoping not to put an exclamation point on a disappointing year. The Pick: LSU.
Cheez-It Citrus Bowl
1 p.m. on ABC (Orlando, Florida)
Iowa vs. Tennessee
You can’t spell Citrus without UT this year, as the Vols are going to be looking for yet another win in the Sunshine State. More intriguing will be seeing what the Hawkeyes will have going on offense after a month to figure out literally anything on that side of the ball. The Pick: Tennessee.
VRBO Fiesta Bowl
1 p.m. on ESPN (Glendale, Arizona)
Liberty vs. Oregon
Even if Bo Nix and a handful of other NFL players opt out of this one, stick around for the chess match that comes from Dan Lanning’s defense trying to stop what Jamey Chadwell does on offense, as the Flames try to cap off their first year in C-USA as an undefeated. The Pick: Oregon.
College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl
5 p.m. on ESPN (Pasadena, California)
Michigan vs. Alabama
It’s hard to dream up a better matchup, with Jim Harbaugh and the winningest FBS team taking on the grandmaster himself in Nick Saban, and the most successful CFP team of this era. Throw in that beautiful sunset at the Grandaddy of them all, and the first of the two semifinals will be hard to top. The Pick: Alabama.
College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl
8:45 p.m. on ESPN (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Washington vs. Texas
There’s an incredible collection of skill position talent on hand down in New Orleans, plus the added storyline of Steve Sarkisian facing his former program. Both the Huskies and Longhorns played each other in a bowl last year and, even with some new faces, that could inform who has the upper hand when it comes to winning this one and advancing to Houston. The Pick: Washington.
MONDAY, JAN. 8
College Football Playoff national championship
7:30 p.m. on ESPN (Houston, Texas)
Bryan Fischer is a college football writer for FOX Sports. He has been covering college athletics for nearly two decades at outlets such as NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NFL.com among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.
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