The binge-worthy college football bowl season is upon us, with 80 teams scheduled to begin play Saturday in a record 40 bowl games, plus the College Football Playoff championship game Jan. 11.
With such a large number of bowls, organizers scrambled to fill slots with three teams that finished with losing records — but decent academic scores.
So welcome 5-7
Here are the games, in chronological order, with predicted winners:
Camellia, Ohio (8-4) vs. Appalachian State (10-2), Saturday, 2:30 p.m., ESPN: Ohio's Frank Solich continues to show that Nebraska might have erred letting him go. See: Callahan, Pelini and Riley eras. Appalachian State is making its first bowl appearance. Predicted winner: Appalachian State. Final score: Appalachian State 31, Ohio 29
Cure, San Jose State (5-7) vs.
Miami Beach, South Florida (8-4) vs. Western
Boca Raton, Temple (10-3) vs. Toledo (9-2), Tuesday, 4 p.m., ESPN: All-American linebacker Tyler Matakevich helped Temple defeat
GoDaddy.com, Bowling Green (10-3) vs. Georgia Southern (8-4), Dec. 23, 5 p.m., ESPN: Dino Babers rolled out of Bowling Green to become coach at
Sun, Miami (8-4) vs.
Heart of Dallas, Washington (6-6) vs. Southern
Foster Farms, Nebraska (5-7) vs.
Military, Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Navy (9-2), Dec. 28, 11:30 a.m., ESPN: This game should be dubbed the Keenan Reynolds Bowl in honor of record-breaking Navy quarterback who will be playing his final game in Annapolis. Predicted winner: Navy. Final score: Navy 44, Pittsburgh 28.
Quick Lane, Minnesota (5-7) vs. Central Michigan (7-5), Dec. 28, 2 p.m., ESPN2: Central Michigan says 75% of its roster are Michiganders, so a bowl trip to Detroit is considered a reward for the team and fans. Minnesota played four opponents that won at least 10 games. Predicted winner: Central Michigan. Final score: Minnesota 21, Central Michigan 14.
Armed Forces, Air Force (8-5) vs. California (7-5), Dec. 29, 11 a.m., ESPN: Cal Coach Sonny Dykes signed an extension and got a raise last week after he reportedly interviewed at Missouri. Cal beat Air Force in the 2007 Armed Forces bowl. Predicted winner: California. Final score: California 55, Air Force 36.
Texas, Texas Tech (7-5) vs.
Music City, Louisville (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (8-4), Dec. 30, 4 p.m., ESPN: Louisville started the season with losses to Auburn, Houston and Clemson. Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, once regarded by some as USC's top candidate to succeed
Holiday, Wisconsin (9-3) vs. USC (8-5), Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m., ESPN: A repeat of the classic 1963
Peach, Houston (12-1) vs.
Orange, Clemson (13-0) vs.
Citrus, Michigan (9-3) vs. Florida (10-3), Jan. 1, 10 a.m., Channel 7: Both first-year coaches revitalized their programs. Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines lost to Utah, Michigan State and Ohio State. Florida's Jim McElwain was SEC coach of the year. Predicted winner: Florida. Final score: Michigan 41, Florida 7.
Fiesta, Ohio State (11-1) vs.
Rose, Iowa (12-1) vs. Stanford (11-2), Jan. 1, 2 p.m., ESPN: Hawkeyes fans descend on Pasadena for the first time since 1990 season. National television audience finally gets a decent TV window to see Christian McCaffrey and what all the Heisman buzz was about. Predicted winner: Stanford. Final score: Stanford 45, Iowa 16.
Sugar, Mississippi (9-3) vs. Oklahoma State (10-2), Jan. 1, 5:30 p.m., ESPN: Mississippi beat Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same season for the first time. Oklahoma State has not played in the
TaxSlayer, Penn State (7-5) vs. Georgia (9-3), Jan. 2, 9 a.m., ESPN: Georgia is playing between the Mark Richt and Kirby Smart eras. Penn State is 3-0 against interim-coached teams this season, defeating
Alamo, Texas Christian (10-2) vs.
Cactus, West Virginia (7-5) vs.
College Football Championship, Jan. 11, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Prediction: With Derrick Henry running the ball and Alabama's defense controlling the line of scrimmage against Clemson,
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