Put some new batteries in the remote control. Make an extra run to the grocery store for snacks. Go ahead and ask your wife for forgiveness because she is not going to understand.

Bowl season starts Saturday with five games. Can you name them? (New Orleans, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Famous Idaho Potato, Camelia). It ends with the College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Tex.

If you’re keeping score at home that’s 39 games in the next 23 days.

People always ask me why we play all of these games when only three–Sugar, Rose, CFP championship–impact the national title.

Here’s why: A long time ago former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer reminded me that the vast majority of bowls are really meant for only three groups of people: The two schools involved, their fans and family, and the community that hosts the games. If anybody else is interested then that’s gravy.

Bowl games were created by cities to generate tourism in December. It is also a chance for the schools, their players, and their fans to get away from home and do something fun over the Holidays. You don’t think Western Kentucky and Central Michigan are excited about playing in the Bahamas? How many of the kids who play for Rice and Fresno State have ever been to Honolulu? Yes, there are some trips to less-than-tropical locales but those communities usually work twice as hard to make it a special trip for the players.

It’s easy programming and the ratings are pretty good for these games because after a two-week layoff (except for Army-Navy) the public is hungry for college football again.

So it’s Bowl Season. Have fun. Be of good cheer. And here, as an early Christmas present, here are my SEC/ACC Bowl picks. Feel free to share yours. Merry Christmas.

 

Date…………………….Bowl…………………………………Prediction

Dec. 26…………………Quick Lane (Detroit)…………..North Carolina 24, Rutgers 20

Dec. 26………………….Bitcoin (St. Petersburg)……..UCF 31, N.C. State 28

Dec. 27………………….Military (Annapolis)……………..Cincinnati 28, Virginia Tech 24

Dec. 27…………………..Sun (El Paso)……………………..Duke 35, Arizona State 31

Dec. 27…………………..Independence (Shreveport)…..South Carolina 31, Miami 30

Dec. 27…………………..Pinstripe (Bronx, NY)…………….Boston College 20, Penn State 17

Dec. 29……………………Liberty (Memphis)………………..Texas A&M 38, West Virginia 35

Dec. 29…………………….Russell Athletic (Orlando)………Clemson 28, Oklahoma 21

Dec. 29……………………..Texas (Houston)……………………Arkansas 21, Texas 17

Dec. 30………………………Music City (Nashville)……………LSU 28, Notre Dame 24

Dec. 30……………………….Belk (Charlotte)……………………Georgia 31, Louisville 27

Dec. 31……………………….Peach (Atlanta)…………………….Ole Miss 27, TCU 24

Dec. 31……………………….Orange (Miami)…………………….Miss. State 31, Georgia Tech 28

Jan. 1………………………….Outback (Tampa)…………………..Auburn 38, Wisconsin 24

Jan. 1…………………………..Citrus (Orlando)…………………….Missouri 27, Minnesota 17

Jan. 1…………………………..Rose (Pasadena)…………………..Oregon 38, Florida State 34

Jan. 1……………………………Sugar (New Orleans)………………Alabama 28, Ohio State 17

Jan. 2……………………………..Armed Forces (Ft. Worth)……….Pittsburgh 27, Houston 24

Jan. 2………………………………Tax Slayer (Jacksonville)………..Tennessee 31, Iowa 21

Jan. 3……………………………….Birmingham………………………….Florida 31, East Carolina 24

 

Why do we play all of these bowl games? Because they’re fun

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About The Author
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Tony Barnhart, known as “Mr. College Football,” is an analyst for The SEC Network.