The 2020 college football season has reached that wonderful time of year known as Bowl Season. Of course, like everything else in college football and the world this year, it doesn’t look like the Bowl Season we’re used to seeing. Due to so many teams opting out of the postseason and plenty of other bowls canceling the festivities this season, we only have 28 bowls. Last year, we had 39 — and the number was supposed to increase in 2020.
Also, the regular season ended on Saturday, meaning Bowl Season starts less than 48 hours after the regular season ends. And it’s starting on a Monday afternoon in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Usually, when you find yourself in Myrtle Beach on a Monday afternoon, it means you just woke up from the night before with one hell of a headache.
Oh, and did I mention that the Rose Bowl is being played in Texas? Yeah, the Rose Bowl is being played in Texas this year. But other than all of that, this Bowl Season looks just like any other — except the term is now capitalized for some corporate reasons. And there’s the fact that a ton of teams with losing records are playing in games.
But I digress! If you’re looking for some normalcy, my method for ranking the bowls has not changed. I still approach this process by looking at three key areas that are more impactful.
- Strength of the teams: Generally speaking, games with good teams will more often lead to better games.
- Matchup quality: A team can be good and rated highly in my system, but if it’s going against a team that will be favored by at least two touchdowns over it, odds are the game won’t be that entertaining.
- Styles of play: Styles make fights, and every team has its style. Some may make for intriguing matchups, while others could lead to a dull, boring game.
Then when things are close, I take a look at potential storylines. You know, like when a coach is facing his former school or the game is being played inside an active volcano (maybe next year). So, now that you know how it works let’s get to ranking. All times listed are Eastern, and all dates are Gregorian.
Dec. 21, 2:30 p.m. — Congratulations, Myrtle Beach Bowl. Not only are you the first bowl of the season, but you’re the first on this list. Unfortunately, that means you’re also the worst. Listen, there’s nothing I love more than a football stadium with teal turf and an end zone that’s separated from a street by a chain-link fence, but this matchup isn’t very appealing. Appalachian State is a lot better than the 4-5 North Texas squad it’ll be facing. The spread in this game is roughly three touchdowns for a reason. It’s not likely to be close with the Mountaineers (8-3) a threat for a potential blowout. Appalachian State is 5-0 all-time in bowl games.
Dec. 23, 3 p.m. — You know, in a normal year, being rewarded with a free trip to New Orleans is something to be celebrated. I’m not so sure the city has the same charm when you’re socially distanced. Of course, I doubt the players will see much outside of the hotel lobby while in town anyway. Stylistically, there’s a chance for some fun here. Georgia Southern runs an…