Orange Bowl, Saturday: Oklahoma vs. Alabama in Miami Gardens, Florida, Crimson Tide 45-37. This is a monumental task. To win this game, Lincoln Riley’s offense either has to score on more than half its possessions, which never happens against Alabama, or the defense has to play so far over its head, it stretches the bounds of believability. Remember how well Knight and Co. played down in New Orleans? That Sooner offense scored five touchdowns and kicked a field goal on 13 possessions. This Sooner offense will have to do more.
Cotton Bowl, Saturday: Notre Dame vs. Clemson, in Arlington, Texas, Tigers 26-21. Notre Dame is an underrated team, Clemson is an overrated team. But that doesn’t mean the Fighting Irish are better.
Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri in Memphis, Tennessee, Tigers 41-31. The Cowboys have played great against the four good-to-great teams on their schedule. The Cowboys have played mostly poor against the rest of the field. Seems like Mizzou is closer to good.
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1: Texas vs. Georgia in New Orleans, Bulldogs 31-20. Can the Longhorns catch Georgia unfocused? Not likely. For all the splendor over the last two Georgia seasons, the Bulldogs aren’t all that accustomed to major bowls. Before last season, Georgia had gone a decade without playing in a major bowl.
Alamo Bowl, Friday: Iowa State vs. Washington State, in San Antonio, Cyclones 27-22. Two teams carried by their defenses, of all things. But Iowa State looks on this season as a plum; the Cougars consider it a disappointment.
Camping World Bowl, Friday: West Virginia vs. Syracuse, in Orlando, Orange 33-24. WVU quarterback Will Grier bolted on his team for this bowl. Not a good look for leadership.
Texas Bowl, Thursday: Baylor vs. Vanderbilt in Houston, Commodores 27-25. The SEC jerry-rigged the bowl assignments so that Missouri would get OSU and Vandy would get Baylor. The SEC is trying to win both games.
Cheez-It Bowl, Wednesday: California vs. TCU in Phoenix, Horned Frogs 26-21. Third-team quarterback Grayson Muehlstein beat OSU, why not Cal?