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CFP, New Year’s Bowls Open Thread

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Comment along with your fellow Husky fans watching the major bowl games this weekend

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Cincinnati Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

It has been one heck of a week for those of you in the greater Seattle area. Depending on where exactly you live you’ve likely between 5-12 inches of snow and endured 4-5 straight days of below freezing temperatures. We also have seen the highest COVID-19 positivity rates of any point during the pandemic. Add those things together and it’s probably not a bad idea to spend New Year’s Eve and Day glued to the couch in your own home watching some college football.

We’ve got the lineup for you below so you know what game is on when and you can follow along in the comments to discuss the action with your fellow Husky fans.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31st

Gator Bowl: #17 Wake Forest (-16) vs. Rutgers, 8:00a PT, ESPN

The Demon Deacons were supposed to play Texas A&M before they pulled out due to a COVID outbreak. However, 5-7 Rutgers answered the call and are filling in to get their butts kicked for money. Yay money!

Sun Bowl: Washington State (-7) vs. Central Michigan, 9:00a PT, CBS

The Cougars had their scheduled opponent (Miami FL) cancel because of COVID issues in the program and they managed to get a replacement with Central Michigan. In case you were wondering if Jacob Sirmon could avenge the Huskies, he was benched a few games into the season and has since transferred to Northern Colorado.

CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl: #4 Cincinnati vs. #1 Alabama (-13.5), 12:30p PT, ESPN

We finally get to see what it looks like for a G5 team to make the College Football Playoff and if the betting line is any indication then most expect it will look about like it does when most #4 seeds play Alabama. The key matchup to watch will be Bryce Young and Jameson Williams against Cincy’s talented corners. If they can actually match-up in man to man coverage then it might give their pass rush enough time to get home against a shaky Bama offensive line.

CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl: #3 Georgia (-7.5) vs. #2 Michigan, 4:30p PT, ESPN

The hope is that this is going to be the more competitive game. Both teams have a single loss on the year. Georgia looked like the surefire best team in the country up until Alabama cleaned their clocks in the SEC title game. Michigan finally got over the hump and defeated archrivals Ohio State. Georgia’s defensive front is impossibly scary but Michigan has perhaps the best offensive line in the country so who wins the trench war when those sides face off may decide the game. If Michigan is able to find success on the ground it is a hit to new Oregon HC and Georgia DC Dan Lanning.

Saturday, January 1st

Outback Bowl: Penn State vs. #21 Arkansas (-2), 9:00a PT, ESPN2

I don’t really have much to say about this one. Penn State had another down season but still has plenty of talent. The Razorbacks were a fun story this year but faltered against the best teams on their schedule.

Fiesta Bowl: #9 Oklahoma State vs. #5 Notre Dame (-2), 10:00a PT, ESPN

This is going to have a weird tone to it as the Irish lost head coach Brian Kelly while Oklahoma State had their star DC poached by Ohio State. The Cowboys were literally less than a yard away from likely a spot in the College Football Playoff in a Big 12 title game loss to Baylor. We’ll see if they still come out fired up.

Citrus Bowl: #15 Iowa vs. #22 Kentucky (-3), 10:00a PT, ABC

I’ll admit that I am extremely confused why the game between the top-10 teams who both were extremely close to making the CFP is on ESPN while this game is on ABC. Anyways, Iowa plays an absolutely brutal style of football that is a lot more fun if you aren’t a fan of Iowa. Expect some defensive scores and abhorrent offensive performances.

Rose Bowl: #11 Utah vs. #6 Ohio State (-4), 2:00p PT, ESPN

Can the Pac-12 have 2 separate teams defeat Ohio State in the same season? I’ll sure as hell be rooting for that outcomes. Ohio State has several of their top players including their pair of likely 1st round pick wide receivers opting out of this game to preserve their draft stock and not risk injury. That’s going to give Utah a fighting chance although the Buckeyes have a horde of younger 5-star players that are going to get more opportunities because of the opt-outs. Go Utes!

Sugar Bowl: #7 Baylor vs. #8 Ole Miss (-1.5), 2:00p PT, ESPN

This should be a fun styles makes fights battle with the high powered Ole Miss offense squaring off against defensive mastermind Dave Aranda’s team. Lane Kiffin lost his OC to Oklahoma and it will be interesting to see how much of an effect if any that has on their potency. Overall this isn’t a blue bloods matchup but a fun way to close off the New Year’s 6 bowl slate.