JD’s Bowl Bonanza Bonus Blitz

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JD’s Bowl Bonanza Bonus Blitz

Jeff Dantzler
Jeff Dantzler

Myrtle Beach Bowl

December 16 – 11 A.M.





Georgia Southern vs. Ohio

Conway, South Carolina






The Eagles got off to a great start and were sitting at 6-2 – with one of the losses at Wisconsin – following a huge win at Paulson Stadium over Georgia State the Thursday night prior to Georgia-Florida. It was a great night for Georgia Southern. Unfortunately for the Eagles, a pair of tight losses to Marshall and Old Dominion sidetracked any hopes at a shot at the Sun Belt title, as they lost their last four games. Jared Benko is a fantastic athletic director and Clay Helton has re-energized the football program. This is a shot to finish strong against one of the best teams in the MAC, break the losing streak and get the momentum going for 2024. The Bobcats head to the South Carolina coast at 9-3, winners of their last five.

‌Gasparilla Bowl

December 22 – 6:30 P.M.

Tech vs. UCF



For the first time since 2018, the Yellow Jackets are in a bowl game. Brent Key has done a good job in his short tenure on the Flats, turning around a morbid situation. The Yellow Jackets secured signature wins over Miami – just take the knee ‘Canes – and North Carolina, and gave Louisville and rival Georgia all they wanted in bookend losses. Hayne King is a very good dual threat quarterback and the Yellow Jackets have one of the nation’s best rushing attacks. Stopping the run has been Tech’s biggest issue. For UCF, famed as giant killers, it’s their first year in the Big XII. The week to week grind showed up. There was a signature win over Oklahoma State, two one-point losses and a two-point loss. Both teams are 6-6, seeking that winning record for the season.

‌Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

December 23 – 3:30 P.M.

Georgia State vs. Utah State

Boise, Idaho


The Panthers came out of the gates red hot, posting a 6-1 record through their first seven games. But that aforementioned loss to in-state rival Georgia Southern sent Georgia State into a bad run in the second half of the year. Starting with the loss in Statesboro, against a tough slate, the Panthers lost their final five games. Shawn Elliott, who became famous as an offensive line coach at Appalachian State and then South Carolina, has done a good job at GSU. Utah State, like Georgia State, is also 6-6. The Aggies got bowl eligible in the regular season finale at New Mexico, as they pulled out a 44-41 thriller in double overtime. Who knows what the weather will look like on the blue turf in Boise.

Texas Bowl

December 27 – 9 P.M.

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State



The Aggies lost by six to Alabama, fell by seven at Tennessee and came up three points short at Ole Miss. They went 7-5 and paid Jimbo Fisher and his staff, including Bobby Petrino, an insane amount of money to go away. Former Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko, who did a good job at Duke, has been named the new head coach in College Station. This is an old Big XII South battle. Oklahoma State had one of the more up and down bizarre seasons of any team in the country. They lost 33-7 to South Alabama and got shellacked 45-3 at UCF. The latter came a week after beating Oklahoma. The Cowboys played in the Big XII Championship Game, and went down to superior Texas 49-21 to drop their record to 9-4. Who knows what in the world to expect in this one?

‌Pop-Tarts Bowl

December 28 – 5:45 P.M.

N.C. State vs. Kansas State



These are two very good programs in power conferences that find themselves in the upper division of their leagues, who pull off an upset or two most every year. Kansas State is 8-4, with all of the losses coming by between three and eight points – including a 33-30 overtime heartbreaker at Texas. The Wolfpack are 9-3 and one hot football team. The losses are to Notre Dame, Louisville and at Duke. Following a 24-3 beating at the hands of the Blue Devils, the Wolfpack found the formula. They are riding a five game winning streak, beating Clemson, Miami, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. That’s a darn strong hit list if you know anything at all about ACC history. Both teams figure to be hungry, and this has the potential to be one of the best bowls of the season.

Alamo Bowl

December 28 – 9:15 P.M.

Oklahoma vs. Arizona

San Antonio


This one and the Holiday Bowl are almost always exciting games with down-to-the-wire finishes. Both Oklahoma and Arizona had resurgent years, and a win in San Antonio would be a great punctuation to the season. It’s year two for Brent Venables in Norman, and the Sooners rebounded from a losing record in 2022 to go 10-2 this season. A three-point loss in Bedlam and 38-33 heartbreaker at Kansas wound up costing Oklahoma a shot at a second victory over Texas and a crack at the playoff in the Big XII Championship Game. Arizona is 9-3 and riding a six game winning streak. How about their losses? The Wildcats fell 31-24 in overtime at Mississippi State, lost 31-24 to Washington and dropped a 43-41 triple overtime decision to Southern Cal. These two teams both had outstanding years, and are wondering what if, with the five combined losses all coming by seven or fewer points.

‌Gator Bowl

December 29 – Noon

Kentucky vs. Clemson

Jacksonville, Florida


Maybe the caller Tyler was a plant. It was not our friend Tyler Head, who has appeared on these pages and on our airwaves. But following the 24-17 loss to NC State, the Tigers rallied to win four straight to close out at 8-4. That includes a revenge win over South Carolina. Let’s keep in mind that the other three losses following the season-opening 28-7 head scratcher at Duke were mighty close. Clemson had one slip away and fell to Florida State 31-24 in overtime, lost in double OT at Miami and had the loss to the Pack. They are back on an upwards trajectory. Clemson has a good history in Jacksonville through the years. Kentucky started the season hot, but fell on hard times. Then the Wildcats hit the jackpot with a 38-31 win at rival Louisville to close out the regular season at 7-5.

‌Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

December 29 – 2 P.M.

Notre Dame vs. Oregon State

El Paso, Texas


This matchup brings back memories of Dennis Erickson’s Beavers blowing away the Fighting Irish 41-9 in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Oregon State, which got left behind in the dissolution of the PAC-12 posted an 8-4 regular season. The Beavers had a pair of three point losses at Washington State and at Arizona. In the next to last weekend of the regular season, they fell by two in a heartbreaker to Washington. That took the wind out of the sails, and Oregon rolled in the finale. For the Fighting Irish, it’s 9-3. The 17-14 loss to Ohio State in South Bend was brutal. Notre Dame put up a lot of points the last two weeks of the regular season, beating Wake Forest 45-7 and smashing Stanford – a future Atlantic Coast Conference foe in other sports – 56-23.

Cotton Bowl

December 29 – 8 P.M.

Missouri v Ohio State



Missouri is 10-2, Ohio State is 11-1. But no doubt, Mizzou has the happier fan base heading to Dallas. The Buckeyes were 11-0, but lost 30-24 at Michigan, costing them a shot at the playoff. It’s a third straight loss to Michigan, the first time that’s happened since 1995-1997. The series completely dominated by the Buckeyes in the 21st century turned the last three years, and it’s a dagger for Ohio State. Missouri has its best team since appearing in back to back SEC Championship Games in 2013 and 2014. The Tigers lone two losses came at home to LSU and against Georgia in Athens. Both teams are big and physical up front. Mizzou may have more “want to” in this one. Kicker Harrison Mevis could be the difference for the Tigers

‌Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl

December 29 – Noon

Ole Miss vs. Penn State



This feels a bit like Mizzou and Ohio State. Both Ole Miss and Penn State are 10-2 but the Rebels have the much happier fan base. It’s a familiar tune for Penn State, outstanding season, 10-2 record, but clearly a level below Ohio State and Michigan. No shame in that. For Ole Miss, the Grove is rocking like the Johnny Vaught glory days. The Rebels two losses came at Alabama and at Georgia. They were able to come back strong and beat Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl to close out the season. Quinshon Judkins is one of the best running backs in the country, and will present problems for Penn State. Gary Stokan does an amazing job running the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, and he has a great game lined up with the Rebels and Nittany Lions.

Music City Bowl

December 29 – 2 P.M.

Auburn vs. Maryland

Nashville, Tennessee


Here are a pair of teams that played the kingpins really tough. Auburn, which is 6-6, must be having a hard time getting out of bed after the catastrophic “rush two with a spy” defense on fourth-and-31 in the staggering loss to Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Keeping their arch-rivals alive in the playoff picture didn’t garner them any friends in the college football world. Auburn also led Georgia by 10 in October, but the Bulldogs rallied back to win at Jordan-Hare.

Maryland is 7-5. The Terps lost a tight one to Michigan in College Park. Earlier in the year, they led Ohio State 10-0, but lost by 20. Just good enough to get you a pat on the back. Nashville is a fun destination.

‌ReliaQuest Bowl

January 1 – Noon

LSU vs. Wisconsin



The Bayou Bengals, led by sensational quarterback Jayden Daniels, went 9-3 this season, with the losses coming to Florida State, Ole Miss (in a heartbreaking shootout) and Alabama. This is a chance to close strong at 10-3. Of course, like with so many teams, the big question is just how many players will sit this one out. LSU has a lot more speed and talent, and this one looks like a mismatch. But Wisconsin, which was a disappointing 7-5 in the first year of the Luke Fickell regime, showed some fight down the stretch, winning the final two games of the season against Nebraska and at Minnesota. The Big Ten West just never had that consistent contender step up. Now the PAC-12 is coming to town.

‌Citrus Bowl

January 1 – 1 P.M.

Tennessee vs. Iowa



The Volunteers had sky high expectations after going 11-2, beating Alabama and downing Clemson to win the Orange Bowl a year ago. An upset loss at Florida, where the Volunteers haven’t won in 20 years sidetracked the season. They lost at Alabama, got beat bad at Missouri and fell to Georgia 38-10 in Knoxville. There is no shame in 8-4 in the rugged SEC, but the manner of the losses left a sour taste in the mouths of the Vol faithful. Iowa posted a 10-2 regular season, despite fielding one of the worst offenses in major college football. It was on full display in the Big Ten Championship Game, where the Hawkeyes fell to Michigan 26-0, dropping the record to 10-3. The big questions here, can Iowa score enough, and who will we see at QB for Tennessee?

‌Fiesta Bowl

January 1 – 1 P.M.

Oregon vs. Liberty

Glendale, Arizona


Two three point losses to Washington cost Oregon a playoff berth. Dan Lanning, Kirby Smart’s defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs 2021 national championship team, has done an outstanding job for the Ducks. Liberty, meanwhile, is that Group of Five representative. What a job this program has done in ascending through the ranks over the last four decades. It would’ve been a stretch at the turn over the century that Liberty would be in a major bowl game taking on a power from the PAC-12. Which is dissolving. Oregon has more firepower and talent, the key to this one is just how interested they are. Liberty’s schedule isn’t the most challenging, but they found a way to go 13-0, including a 49-35 win over New Mexico State in the Conference USA Championship Game.

CFP-SEMI – Rose Bowl

January 1 – 5 P.M.

Alabama vs. Michigan

Pasadena, California


Michigan got in despite having its head coach twice suspended for three games. We all know the story. Alabama got in. The Crimson Tide pulled off back-to-back 27-24 thrillers, beating Auburn on the Plains and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Jalen Milroe has been tremendous at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. The Wolverines have a powerful running attack, but JJ McCarthy will have to throw it well if Michigan is going to win in Pasadena. Nick Saban has had an incredible career. How much longer will he keep going? For Jim Harbaugh, is this a “blaze of glory” deal at his alma mater. Three straight wins over the Buckeyes has the Wolverine faithful smiling.

CFP-SEMI – Sugar Bowl

January 1 – 8:45 P.M.

Washington vs. Texas

New Orleans


What a run for both the Huskies and Longhorns. In its last three games, Washington won by two at Oregon State, then by three over Washington State and then got a second three point win over Oregon this season, this one in the PAC-12 Championship Game to lock up the program’s second trip to the College Football Playoff. Texas made its mark early with the Week Two win at Alabama. Following the loss to Oklahoma, the Longhorns squeaked by in some close ones. But they found their way down the stretch, mauling Texas Tech in the regular season finale, and then pounding Oklahoma State in the Big XII Championship Game. What a way for Texas to leave the league. The winner of this one will likely be a fan favorite on January 8.





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