GO­ING BOWL­ING

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY RALPH D. RUSSO

Do­ing its best to chal­lenge the premise that there can never be enough col­lege football, the bowl sys­tem gives fans 40 FBS games from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2 that in­clude 17 teams with 6-6 records and two more that went 5-7.

Too much, you say. Non­sense.

Ev­ery game is spe­cial in its own way, and for the third straight year, we are here with a rea­son to watch each and ev­ery one.

DE­CEM­BER 17

New Mex­ico Bowl

UTSA vs. New Mex­ico, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

You can’t watch them all if you miss the first one. Duh. Las Ve­gas Bowl

San Diego State vs. Hous­ton, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Aztecs star Don­nel Pumphrey, all 5-foot-9, 180 pounds of him, can break the FBS ca­reer rush­ing record held by Wis­con­sin’s Ron Dayne (6,397) with 108 yards in his last col­lege game — and do it in his home­town. Camel­lia Bowl

Toledo vs. Ap­palachian State, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Rock­ets rusher Ka­reem Hunt is go­ing to run for 1,000 yards for an NFL team at some point in the near fu­ture and you will look like a ge­nius when you have him on your fan­tasy team. Cure Bowl

UCF vs. Arkansas State, 5:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

Dis­ney World is in Or­lando, so there is at least a chance for a Dis­ney char­ac­ter ap­pear­ance. Might not be a big enough game for Mickey. Feels more like a Goofy as­sign­ment. New Orleans Bowl

South­ern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The Ra­gin’ Ca­juns had gone to — and won — four straight New Orleans Bowls be­fore miss­ing last year’s. And it just was not the same with­out them.

DE­CEM­BER 19

Mi­ami Beach Bowl

Tulsa vs. Cen­tral Michi­gan, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Chippe­was have pulled off two of the cra­zi­est last-play of the game touch­downs in re­cent years, first at the Bama­has Bowl two years ago and then to beat Ok­la­homa State this sea­son. Never count them out.

DE­CEM­BER 20

Boca Ra­ton Bowl

Mem­phis vs. Western Ken­tucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

See the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence’s next ris­ing-star coach: 35-year-old Mike Norvell of Mem­phis.

DE­CEM­BER 21

Poin­set­tia Bowl BYU vs. Wy­oming, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Old WAC ri­vals play­ing in San Diego, so the in­gre­di­ents are here for some old-school Hol­i­day Bowl mad­ness.

DE­CEM­BER 22

Fa­mous Idaho Potato Bowl

Idaho vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The other Coach Petrino had a pretty good sea­son, too. Paul Petrino, brother of Bobby, led the Van­dals to a bowl for the first time since 2009.

DE­CEM­BER 23

Ba­hamas Bowl

Eastern Michi­gan vs. Old Do­min­ion, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

The Ea­gles have only one bowl ap­pear­ance in pro­gram his­tory and it came al­most 30 years ago. And now they’re go­ing to the Ba­hamas. Hap­pi­est. Team. Ever. Armed Forces Bowl

Navy vs. Louisiana Tech, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Po­ten­tial to be one of the most en­ter­tain­ing bowls if Navy’s tripleop­tion can get rolling again with­out in­jured quar­ter­back Will Worth. Dol­lar Gen­eral Bowl

Ohio vs. Troy, 8 p.m. (ESPN) Ohio’s 72-year-old Frank Solich tries to beat a coach half his age — 36-year-old Neal Brown of Troy.

DE­CEM­BER 24

Hawaii Bowl

Mid­dle Ten­nessee vs. Hawaii, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Jeop­ardy: This Ole Miss trans­fer is av­er­ag­ing more yards from scrim­mage than Chris­tian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Don­nel Pumphrey. Who is I’Tav­ius Mathers of MTSU?

DE­CEM­BER 26

St. Peters­burg Bowl

Mis­sis­sippi State vs. Mi­ami Univer­sity, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

The RedHawks started the sea­son 0-6 and could end it on a seven-game win­ning streak. Play­ing an SEC team is not ideal, but, hey, who thought they would have got­ten this far?

Quick Lane Bowl

Bos­ton Col­lege vs. Mary­land, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Two 6-6 teams with zero com­bined vic­to­ries against win­ning FBS op­po­nents. Well, it’s bet­ter than wait­ing in line to re­turn those ugly sweaters you got for Christ­mas.

In­de­pen­dence Bowl

N.C. State vs. Van­der­bilt, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Watch or Com­modores All-Amer­ica Line­backer Zach Cun­ning­ham will tackle you. Ac­tu­ally, even if you do watch he might tackle you. He pretty much tack­les ev­ery­one.

DE­CEM­BER 27

Heart of Dal­las Bowl

Army vs. North Texas, Noon (ESPN) You recorded the reg­u­lar-sea­son meet­ing be­tween the Black Knights and Mean Green, but your 6-year-old erased it from the DVR to record a Doc McStuffins marathon be­fore you could watch it. Lucky you. They’re play­ing again.

Mil­i­tary Bowl

Wake For­est vs. Tem­ple, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

De­fen­sive back-turned-de­fen­sive end Has­san Red­dick of Tem­ple leads the na­tion in tack­les for loss (21.5). Wake has the sec­ond-worst of­fense of any bowl team. Watch to see Red­dick’s draft stock im­prove. Hol­i­day Bowl

Min­nesota vs. Wash­ing­ton State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The Golden Go­phers threw eight TD passes this sea­son. Cougars quar­ter­back Luke Falk has thrown at least half that many in a game 12 times in his ca­reer. Cac­tus Bowl

Boise State vs. Bay­lor, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

The Bears try to avoid a seven-game los­ing streak in a game that will es­sen­tially bring the Art Briles’ era to a close.

DE­CEM­BER 28

Pin­stripe Bowl

North­west­ern vs. Pitts­burgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Pitt star and cancer sur­vivor James Con­ner plays his last col­lege game in Yan­kee Sta­dium. Pretty cool.

Rus­sell Ath­letic Bowl

Mi­ami vs. West Virginia, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Hur­ri­canes are in­volved so one day this game could be the sub­ject of an ESPN 30-for-30.

Fos­ter Farms Bowl

In­di­ana vs. Utah, 8:30 p.m. (FOX) The first game as In­di­ana head coach for former de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Tom Allen.

Texas Bowl

Kansas State vs. Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Get a pre­view of a Kansas State team that will be a trendy dark horse pick to win the Big 12 next sea­son.

DE­CEM­BER 29

Birm­ing­ham Bowl

South Florida vs. South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Like watch­ing Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner La­mar Jack­son play? Then you will en­joy USF quar­ter­back Quin­ton Flow­ers. Belk Bowl

Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

If the game gets bor­ing fol­low @ belk­bowl, the most en­ter­tain­ing bowl on Twit­ter.

Alamo Bowl

Ok­la­homa State vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Is this the end of Mike Gundy’s mul­let? Or the first step to­ward a Bon Jovi cover band for the Cow­boys’ coach?

DE­CEM­BER 30

Lib­erty Bowl

Ge­or­gia vs. TCU, Noon (ESPN) The Bull­dogs (7-5) try to avoid their worst sea­son since 2010, co­in­ci­den­tally the last time they went to the Lib­erty Bowl — which they lost to fin­ish 6-7. Sun Bowl

North Carolina vs. Stan­ford, 2 p.m. (CBS)

Chris­tian McCaffrey’s last game at Stan­ford and you won’t have to stay up late to watch it.

Mu­sic City Bowl

Ten­nessee vs. Ne­braska, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Two fan­bases that seem to be in a con­stant state of ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis. And one of them will end what looked not long ago like a promis­ing sea­son with a two-game los­ing streak.

Ari­zona Bowl

Air Force vs. South Alabama, 5:30 p.m. (ASN)

Air Force de­fen­sive back We­ston Steel­ham­mer is ex­actly the type of player you would ex­pect a guy named We­ston Steel­ham­mer who plays for Air Force to be.

Or­ange Bowl

Florida State vs. Michi­gan, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

It is not a play­off game, but it feels a lot like one.

DE­CEM­BER 31

Cit­rus Bowl

LSU vs. Louisville, 11 a.m. (ABC) La­mar Jack­son against one of the most tal­ented and ath­letic de­fenses in the coun­try is what’s for break­fast.

TaxSlayer Bowl

Ken­tucky vs. Ge­or­gia Tech, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

This sea­son’s bowl most likely to be con­fused for pre-sea­son NIT bas­ket­ball in the TV list­ings.

Peach Bowl

Col­lege Football Play­offs semi­fi­nals Alabama vs. Wash­ing­ton, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

You are run­ning out of chances to see Nick Sa­ban yell at Lane Kif­fin.

Fi­esta Bowl

Col­lege Football Play­offs semi­fi­nals Clem­son vs. Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN) Tigers-Buck­eyes crowded bar with $100 cover charge

JAN­UARY 2

Out­back Bowl

Florida vs. Iowa, 1 p.m. (ABC)

If the New Year’s Eve party turned into a New Year’s Day party, the ex­pected Ga­tors-Hawkeyes punt-fest should help you nap off that hang­over.

Cot­ton Bowl

Western Michi­gan vs. Wis­con­sin, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

So Western Michi­gan is known as the Bron­cos and their slo­gan is Row the Boat? This will all make sense af­ter you see coach P.J. Fleck give his pregame speech.

Rose Bowl

Penn State vs. South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Ev­ery sea­son there is a bowl that is al­most cer­tain to send the win­ner into the fol­low­ing sea­son with an ex­or­bi­tant amount of hype. This is that bowl. Sugar Bowl

Ok­la­homa vs. Auburn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

There was a lot of talk about this be­ing a down year for the SEC. You will be able to hear those “S-E-C!” chants all the back in Nor­man if an 8-4 team that stum­bled into the Sugar Bowl beats the Big 12 cham­pion.

JAN­UARY 9

in Tampa,

Na­tional Cham­pi­onship

Florida

Semi­fi­nals win­ners, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Coach Ken Ni­u­mat­alolo leads Navy into the Armed Forces Bowl against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 23.

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