Bowl Games 2021-22: Full Schedule and Predictions for College Football Playoff

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2021

Bowl Games 2021-22: Full Schedule and Predictions for College Football Playoff

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    With the 2021-22 bowl season starting to wrap up, most eyes are set on the College Football Playoff (CFP), which will begin Friday.

    It's been an odd bowl season, to say the least, with cancellations and replacements drawing nearly as many headlines as the matchups themselves. On Wednesday, for example, the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl was officially canceled following UCLA's Tuesday withdrawal over COVID-19 concerns.

    N.C. State tried to find a replacement and reschedule but could not.

    "There's teams that are 5-7 that stopped playing Thanksgiving weekend, and other teams that let their players go home, and their staff was gone," N.C. State athletics director Boo Corrigan said, per Andrea Adelson of ESPN. "It's not like there's 10 teams waiting."

    The rest of the college football world marches on, though, and fans will be treated to four more non-playoff bowl games on Thursday and two on Friday. Then, of course, the CFP final four will be in action.

    Here, we'll dive into the remaining bowl schedule and examine the CFP race. A complete schedule listing every upcoming game and broadcast information can be found at NCAA.com. Here, you'll find a look at the schedule with odds and predicted winners in bold. 

Non-CFB Bowl Schedule, Odds, Predictions

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Thursday, December 30

    Duke's Mayo Bowl: North Carolina (-9.5) vs. South Carolina

    Music City Bowl: Tennessee (-6) vs. Purdue

    Peach Bowl: No. 11 Michigan State (-3) vs. No. 13 Pittsburgh

    Las Vegas Bowl: Wisconsin (-6) vs. Arizona State

         

    Friday, December 31

    Gator Bowl: No. 20 Wake Forest (-14.5) vs. Rutgers

    Sun Bowl: Washington State (-7.5) vs. Central Michigan

        

    Saturday, January 1

    Outback Bowl: No. 22 Arkansas (-1) vs. Penn State

    Citrus Bowl: No. 17 Iowa (+3) vs. No. 25 Kentucky

    Fiesta Bowl: No. 5 Notre Dame (-2.5) vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State

    Rose Bowl: No. 7 Ohio State (-4) vs. No. 10 Utah

    Sugar Bowl: No. 6 Baylor (+1) vs. No. 8 Ole Miss

         

    Tuesday, January 4

    Texas Bowl: Kansas State (+3.5) vs. LSU

College Football Playoff

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    Jeff Dean/Associated Press

    Friday, December 31

    Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 1 Alabama (-13.5) vs. No. 4 Cincinnati

    Orange Bowl: No. 2 Michigan (+7.5) vs. No. 3 Georgia

         

    Monday, January 10

    College Football Playoff National Championship Game

         

    This year's College Football Playoff is quite a bit different than recent incarnations. For the first time in the CFB era, we have a true Cinderella story in the final four. The Cincinnati Bearcats have emerged from the AAC to dance with the big boys from the Power Five.

    While the Bearcats have never been on the CFP slate, this experience isn't entirely foreign to them. Last year, Cincinnati had a long layoff before playing Georgia in the Peach Bowl on January 1. They lost to the ninth-ranked Bulldogs but by only a field goal.

    Viewing the Cincinnati-Alabama game as a clear mismatch would be a mistake.

    "We have really, really good players here. And I feel that will be showcased during the game and then showcased during the NFL draft," Bearcats linebacker Darrian Beavers said, per Justin Williams of The Athletic.

    It's hard to pick Cincinnati against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide—who have "been there, done that" as much as any team in college football—but the game should be closer than a lot of folks expect. Cincinnati is a fast, physical team with a quarterback in Desmond Ridder who can go throw-for-throw with Heisman-winner Bryce Young.

    Would a Cincinnati victory in the Cotton Bowl represent a monumental upset? Sure, but it's not entirely out of the question.

    In the Orange Bowl, we'll be treated to a showdown between Georgia and Michigan, two programs with far less CFP experience than Alabama. This marks the second appearance for Georgia and the first for Michigan.

    Both Georgia and Michigan are capable of going all the way this year, though. They have two losses between them—the Bulldogs' to Alabama and the Wolverines' to Michigan State.

    Michigan has the momentum heading into the matchup, however. Alabama exposed Georgia's defense in the SEC title game, winning a 41-24 battle. The Wolverines haven't lost since October and are coming off of back-to-back blowout wins over ranked opponents.

    Michigan beat Ohio State and Iowa by a combined 84-30 score. Jim Harbaugh has finally forged a title contender in Ann Arbor, and I'd expect to see a champion's effort in an upset over Georgia.

       

    All odds via DraftKings.


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