Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma finished the regular season as the top-4 best teams in the nation, respectively, meaning we will be seeing the #1 Tigers take on the #4 Sooners in a College Football Playoff semifinal in the Capital One Orange Bowl, while the #2 Crimson Tide will face the #3 Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Both NCAA football matchups are set to take place on December 31st, with college football betting enthusiasts waiting with bated breath to see which two teams will make it to the NCAAF Playoff Final. But what about the bowl games for the also-ran teams? Which games will be most watchable or least watchable? Here’s a rundown of how to tune in to the 40 college football bowl games, considering essential elements like quality, importance of game, rivalry of opponents and competitiveness, among other reasons.
Reviewing the 2015-2016 NCAA Football Bowl Odds Watchability Ranks
Complete bowl matchups: all 40 bowls, including 3 5-7 teams & an all MWC Arizona Bowl. Enjoy https://t.co/apvWi2eOpu
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 6, 2015
Best of the Best
1. Oklahoma vs. Clemson, ORANGE BOWL
2. Michigan State vs. Alabama, COTTON BOWL
Given that these games will decide the eventual finalists of this year’s national trophy and the team that will win it all, it is unquestionable that these will be the most watchable bowl games.
Best of the Rest
3. Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, FIESTA BOWL
Overrated or not, the bottom line is that the Bucks are still a good team, which should make for an interesting game against the Fighting Irish team that narrowly missed out on the playoffs after a solid run on the year (albeit hiccups due to key injuries).
4. Oregon vs. TCU, ALAMO BOWL
You are looking for an explosive offensive game that is highly likely to litter the scoreboard with mega scores and high-tempo plays, this is the matchup to watch.
5. Iowa vs. Stanford, ROSE BOWL
The Hawkeyes have been one of the most interestingly successful stories and balanced teams of the year, but it remains to be seen if they will have answers for Stanford’s defensive-minded and run-oriented attacking unit. Added to the glamour, beauty and tradition that comes with the Rose Bowl, your new year couldn’t be spent any better than watching this 5:00 PM thriller.
6. North Carolina vs. Baylor, RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
Despite the injuries of some key players on both ends of the field, this game presents two impressive offensive teams in NC and Baylor, who are the two national leaders in yards per play, thus still promising a lot of fun on the field.
7. Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss, SUGAR BOWL
Ole Miss has made it to the New Year Six bowl for a consecutive time and most fans will be feeling it’s a big honor, given the Rebels started strongly but finished the season with three regular season losses like last year. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, can be considered as overachievers, as most people never pegged them to finish as one of the best teams in the Big 12. Don’t expect an explosive or highly entertaining encounter from the two teams, but the contrasting styles of play for the Cowboys and Rebels should be good enough to satisfy your football appetite on the night of January 1st.
8. Michigan vs. Florida, CITRUS BOWL
Two rookie SEC head coaches, Jim McElwain and Jim Harbaugh, will be squaring it off clashing in a mouthwatering encounter that will pit two of the best SEC defenses and two football programs that are hungry to finish the season on a high note. Had it not been for the fact that this Michigan vs. Florida matchup is not slated at the same time on New Year’s Day like the Ohio State vs. Notre Dame game, this compelling confrontation could have ranked higher on this list.
9. Houston vs. Florida State, PEACH BOWL
Watching Jimbo Fisher of Florida State square it off against Tom Herman of Houston is guaranteed to be a cracker of a game, especially with both teams playing it out on a Thursday Noon game, as we await the playoff semifinals.
10. Utah vs. BYU, LAS VEGAS BOWL
Who would not want to watch Utah and BYU renew their recently discontinued rivalry on a Saturday afternoon? Definitely not me, and am guessing you feel the same way too.
11. Northwestern vs. Tennessee, OUTBACK BOWL
12. Nebraska vs. UCLA, FOSTER FARMS BOWL
13. USC vs. Wisconsin, HOLIDAY BOWL
14. Duke vs. Indiana, PINSTRIPE BOWL
15. Pittsburgh vs. Navy, MILITARY BOWL
16. Boise State vs. Northern Illinois, POINSETTIA BOWL
17. Texas Tech vs. LSU, TEXAS BOWL
18. Texas A&M vs. Louisville, MUSIC CITY BOWL
19. Miami vs. Washington State, SUN BOWL
20. West Virginia vs. Arizona State, CACTUS BOWL
21. Kansas State vs. Arkansas, LIBERTY BOWL
22. Arizona vs. New Mexico, NEW MEXICO BOWL
23. Air Force vs. California, ARMED FORCES BOWL
24. Toledo vs. Temple, BOCA RATON BOWL
25. Penn State vs. Georgia, TAXSLAYER BOWL
26. San Diego State vs. Cincinnati, HAWAII BOWL
27. Mississippi State vs. North Carolina State, BELK BOWL
28. Memphis vs. Auburn, BIRMINGHAM BOWL
29. Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech, INDEPENDENCE BOWL
30. Louisiana Tech vs. Arkansas State, NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Watch ONLY If You Must!
31. Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern, GODADDY BOWL
32. Southern Mississippi vs. Washington, HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
33. South Florida vs. Western Kentucky, MIAMI BEACH BOWL
34. Ohio vs. Appalachian State, CAMELLIA BOWL
35. Connecticut vs. Marshall, ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
36. Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan, BAHAMAS BOWL:
37. Central Michigan vs. Minnesota, QUICK LANE BOWL
38. Utah State vs. Akron, POTATO BOWL
39. Colorado State vs. Nevada, ARIZONA BOWL
40. Georgia State vs. San Jose State, CURE BOWL