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January 2 New Years Bowl Day - College Football Open Thread

Game Previews and How to Watch. P.J. Fleck calls Group of 5 playoff ‘ridiculous’.

NCAA Football: MAC Championship-Western Michigan at Ohio
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Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck calls Group of 5 playoff ‘ridiculous’

Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck has no interest in a playoff specifically for Group of Five teams. From Detroit Free Press.

Fleck responded today to comments by Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier, who said recently that it’s time for a conversation about creating a playoff for the Group of Five. Northern Illinois is in the Mid-American Conference with Western Michigan.

Fleck, whose undefeated MAC champion Broncos (13-0) play Wisconsin (10-3) in the Cotton Bowl on Monday, said he loves the mix of the Group of Five and the Power Five leagues. He calls a Group of Five national championship “ridiculous.”

“I think the way it is, is perfect. If you’re in the Group of Five, if you can go undefeated two years in a row, you deserve to be in a national championship and you’ll find your way into the national championship,” Fleck said. Continue reading ...

Today’s Bowl Games

Bowl (Away vs. Home) Location Time (ET) / TV
Bowl (Away vs. Home) Location Time (ET) / TV
Outback Bowl (17) Florida vs. Iowa Raymond James Stadium Tampa, FL 1pm / ABC
Goodyear Cotton Bowl (15) Western Michigan vs. (8) Wisconsin AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX 1pm / ESPN
Rose Bowl Game (9) USC vs. (5) Penn State Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA 5pm / ESPN
Allstate Sugar Bowl (14) Auburn vs. (7) Oklahoma Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, LA 8:30pm / ESPN
January 2 Bowl Games fbschedules dot com

Stream all of today’s Bowl Games on WatchESPN.

Outback Bowl

Both teams enter the Outback Bowl with an 8-4 record and six wins in conference play. These teams have met just three times previously – all in bowl matchups. The most recent meeting was a victory by Florida in 2006, giving it a 2-1 lead all-time. Three of No. 17 Florida’s four losses came against teams ranked No. 14 or higher – including No. 1 Alabama on Dec. 3, by a 54-16 margin in the Southeastern Conference title game. Iowa’s tale is similar in that two of its four losses came against teams ranked No. 12 or higher.

Cotton Bowl

No. 15 Western Michigan shaved Northwestern by a point in its season opener, then won its next 11 matchups by an average of 27.8 points before improving to 13-0 after beating Ohio by six points for the Mid-American Conference championship. Wisconsin (10-3) is ranked No. 8 and each of its losses came by seven points to Big Ten opponents ranked seventh in the nation or higher (No. 4 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State). The Goodyear Cotton Bowl will be the fifth time these teams have met, with every previous matchup occurring at Madison and not since 2000. This year marks just the second time in the history of the conference that a MAC team has been selected for a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Rose Bowl

USC started the season with a 1-3 record and Penn State, a 2-2 mark, but since then these programs have combined for 17 consecutive victories to meet in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” — the 103rd Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Southern Cal leads the all-time series, 5-4, with the most recent matchup coming in each squad’s last Rose Bowl appearance: a 2009 USC victory. In the College Football Playoff rankings, Penn State slots in the unenviable No. 5 spot while USC weighs in at No. 9. Both programs own 2016 wins over a team playing in the College Football Playoff semifinals — Penn State beat Ohio State, while USC doubled up Washington.

Sugar Bowl

Three of Auburn’s four losses have come to teams ranked among the top 17 nationally — including the season opener against No. 2 Clemson and its most recent draw, against No. 1 Alabama. Oklahoma began its season with a 1-2 mark after losses to No. 15 Houston and No. 3 Ohio State, but since then the Sooners have beaten three ranked opponents among nine straight victories — becoming the first team to ever go 9-0 in Big 12 Conference play. No. 14 Auburn earned its Allstate Sugar Bowl invitation by being the highest-ranked Southeastern Conference team not heading to the College Football Playoffs. No. 7 Oklahoma, meanwhile, won the Big 12 title by outscoring league foes by an average of 18.8 points per game.


Sugar Bowl Players to watch

  • Auburn’s Kamryn Pettway ran for 1,123 yards this season on just 185 carries – a robust average of 6.1 yards per pop. The 6-foot, 240-pound sophomore crossed the goal line seven times, although three of his scores came in one game, at Mississippi State on Oct. 8.
  • Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield led the nation with an obscene 197.8 passer rating – 14.5 points higher than runner-up Logan Woodside of Toledo. The junior threw 38 touchdown passes and eight interceptions while completing 71.2 percent of his passes. Mayfield ran for six additional scores.

Sugar Bowl, Auburn vs Oklahoma: Preview and predictions, The 2017 Sugar Bowl will feature some of the best talent that college football has to offer, including two Heisman Trophy finalists.

Oklahoma football: Sooners ready to get physical vs. Auburn in the Sugar Bowl |, One of the over-ridding thoughts heading into No. 7 Oklahoma's meeting with No. 17 Auburn in the Allstate Sugar Bowl is the culture shock will hit the Sooners hard.

Rose Bowl Players to watch

  • Freshman sensation Sam Darnold has yet to taste defeat as the starting quarterback for the Trojans, boasting an 8-0 record. Darnold has thrown for 2,633 yards while completing 68.1 percent of his passes, and his 26 scoring strikes (against eight interceptions) are already a program record for freshmen.
  • Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, has run for 1,302 yards and 16 touchdowns. The sophomore has also caught 23 passes for 347 yards (15.1 yards per reception), with three additional scores.

USC vs Penn State: Rose Bowl matches hottest teams in college football |, Neither USC nor Penn State has lost since September, but something's got to give in a Rose Bowl matchup of two of the hottest teams in college football.

Rose Bowl Preview: #5 Penn State vs. #9 USC - Black Shoe Diaries, Two of the nation’s hottest teams are ready for a showdown in the grandaddy of them all. What more could you ask for?

Cotton Bowl Players to watch

  • The Broncos are led by senior wide receiver Corey Davis, who is the all-time leading receiver in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 5,068 yards. Davis has 18 touchdown catches among 91 receptions this season, and he’s the only player in FBS history with 300-plus catches, 5,000-plus yards, and 50-plus receiving touchdowns.
  • Running back Corey Clement’s 292 carries and 1,304 rushing yards are nearly half of Wisconsin’s backfield totals — as are his 14 rushing touchdowns. The senior tied his season-high with 164 rushing yards in the Big Ten championship, while also catching a season-high three passes.

Cotton Bowl preview: Western Michigan looks to upset Wisconsin |, Western Michigan enters the Cotton Bowl undefeated, but the Broncos will face by far its toughest test in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Badgers predictions: Game 14 vs. Western Michigan (Cotton Bowl) | FOX Sports, Picks from the web and Twitter for the New Year's Day bowl game

Outback Bowl Players to watch

  • Sophomore running back Jordan Scarlett has dominated touches in the Florida backfield this season, receiving 165 of the team’s 420 carries. Scarlett has run for a touchdown in six straight games and his 4.8 yards per carry average is tied for the team lead.
  • C.J. Beathard’s .777 winning percentage (21-6) is No. 1 all-time among Iowa quarterbacks with at least 20 career starts. On the season, the senior has completed 163-of-278 attempts for 1,874 yards, with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Bizarrely, though, Beathard has no rushing attempts.

Outback Bowl Preview: Florida Gators, Iowa Hawkeyes headed for a slugfest -, The team that reaches 20 points stands a good chance of winning the Outback Bowl.

Iowa vs. Florida pick, Outback Bowl prediction, odds, line, watch live stream -, How to watch the Outback Bowl: Game storylines, spread, time, date, TV channel

New Years Eve Tweet

The above previews and Players to watch selected from NCAA dot com.