Bowl Games 2021-22: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Predictions for Top 25 Matchups

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 7, 2021

Bowl Games 2021-22: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Predictions for Top 25 Matchups

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    If you enjoyed conference championship weekend, then get ready for the next five weeks. Because it's bowl season, and there's going to be a ton of entertaining college football games taking place.

    This year, there will be 43 bowl games, including the College Football Playoff semifinals (the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl) and the CFP National Championship Game. Alabama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati are the four teams battling it out for the national title.

    There will be plenty of bowls before then, though. The first two will be the Bahamas Bowl and Cure Bowl, which both take place on Dec. 17.

    Here's a look at the schedule for bowl matchups featuring teams that finished in the top 25 of the CFP rankings, along with predictions for each of those games.

Schedule, Predictions for Top 25 Bowl Matchups

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Saturday, Dec. 18

    Independence Bowl: No. 13 BYU vs. UAB, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

    New Orleans Bowl: No. 23 Louisiana vs. Marshall, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Tuesday, Dec. 21

    Frisco Bowl: No. 24 San Diego State vs. UTSA, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Tuesday, Dec. 28

    Birmingham Bowl: No. 20 Houston vs. Auburn, noon ET, ESPN

    Holiday Bowl: No. 18 NC State vs. UCLA, 8 p.m. ET, Fox


    Wednesday, Dec. 29

    Cheez-It Bowl: No. 19 Clemson vs. Iowa State, 5:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Alamo Bowl: No. 14 Oregon vs. No. 16 Oklahoma, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Thursday, Dec. 30

    Peach Bowl: No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 12 Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Friday, Dec. 31

    Gator Bowl: No. 17 Wake Forest vs. No. 25 Texas A&M, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN

    Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Saturday, Jan. 1

    Outback Bowl: No. 21 Arkansas vs. Penn State, noon ET, ESPN2

    Fiesta Bowl: No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Citrus Bowl: No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky, 1 p.m. ET, ABC

    Rose Bowl: No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Utah, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Sugar Bowl: No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Games can be streamed on either ESPN or Fox Sports apps. Picks in bold.

Frisco Bowl Will Be an Early One to Watch

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Sometimes, there can be a lack of excitement for the earliest bowl games. The teams finished either near the bottom of the CFP rankings or didn't even make the top 25, so there's less hype surrounding these types of matchups.

    However, the Frisco Bowl, which is one of two games scheduled for Dec. 21, could exceed expectations for that type of game. And that's because this year's matchup is an intriguing one, featuring No. 24 San Diego State and UTSA.

    Both teams have had impressive seasons. UTSA won its first 11 games before dropping its regular-season finale at North Texas, but it bounced back to beat Western Kentucky in the Conference USA Championship Game. Meanwhile, San Diego State won 11 of its first 12 games, then lost to Utah State in the Mountain West Championship Game.

    This will be the first time that the Roadrunners and the Aztecs have faced off, and it should be a competitive game. Give the slight edge to UTSA as a conference champion, but this matchup could go either way. So make sure to watch this one early in bowl season.

Peach Bowl Will Kick off New Year's Six in Thrilling Fashion

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    Al Goldis/Associated Press

    There's only one New Year's Six bowl game that doesn't take place on New Year's Eve or Jan. 1: the Peach Bowl. That game is scheduled for Dec. 30, so it will be the first of the six to be played.

    And with an exciting matchup between Michigan State and Pittsburgh scheduled, it should be a good way to kick off the big games.

    It could be a high-scoring shootout, because each side will have one of the top offensive players in the country on its side.

    There's Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III, who has rushed for 1,636 yards and scored 19 total touchdowns this season. He's had more than 100 yards on the ground in eight games and had a five-touchdown showing against Michigan on Oct. 30.

    On the other side, there's Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, who is one of the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. He's passed for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns in a breakout season for the Panthers while them to the ACC championship.

    The Spartans had a tougher schedule, and they may be the slightly better team. But with Pickett leading the Panthers, the Peach Bowl could be a back-and-forth affair. Regardless of which school wins, it should be an intriguing encounter.

Orange Bowl Will Be More Exciting CFP Semifinal Matchup

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    While there are a lot of bowl games on the schedule, many fans will be most excited for the CFP semifinals, which are set for Dec. 31.

    No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Cincinnati will face off in the Cotton Bowl, while No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Georgia go head-to-head in the Orange Bowl.

    The Michigan-Georgia matchup has the night-time slot, and there's good reason for that. It's likely because it will be a competitive encounter, while the Alabama-Cincinnati contest has a greater chance to turn into a blowout.

    Cincinnati is the first Group of Five team to make the CFP (which was implemented in 2014), and it's had a tremendous season. But will it be able to keep up with Alabama, which is the SEC champion and looking to win back-to-back national titles? That may be tough ask for the Bearcats.

    Meanwhile, Michigan and Georgia each have only one loss and endured some challenges while playing in the Big Ten and SEC, respectively. The Wolverines have a ton of momentum heading into the CFP, and the Bulldogs dominated while winning their first 12 games of the season.

    The Orange Bowl may have less offense, but it should be the better game of the two CFP semifinals.