The only downside to the expansion of bowl games is schedule clutter. I know it’s part of the branding, but I still welcome college football clearing out some of the underbrush on December 31st/January 1st.
In each of the past seven years, there have been 10 to 12 bowls played on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. However, this season there will be only eight — with five of those games played in exclusive time slots.
The only bowls played on Dec. 31 will be part of the playoff’s six New Year’s-specific bowls. The Peach will have the early kickoff, followed by the Fiesta and then the Orange. Exact game times have not been determined.
On Jan. 1, the Outback and Capital One bowls are expected to start between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET, sources said. It’s expected the Outback will be on ESPN2 and Capital One on ABC. Both games will go head-to-head with the Cotton Bowl on ESPN.
The playoff semifinal bowls are the Rose and Sugar. The Rose will start about 5 p.m. ET, followed by the Sugar.
That suits me. I like the big bowls having the stage to themselves on New Year’s… at least as long as there aren’t any five-touchdown blowouts.