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TDG’s College Football Bowl Game rooting guide

You know we want Wisconsin and Iowa to lose...but who else is on our naughty list?

NCAA Football: Russell Athletic Bowl-West Virginia vs Miami
Lets hope Sebastian is happy and Bucky is sad.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017/18 College Football Bowl season officially begins Saturday with the kickoff of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at Noon. It’s the first of 39 bowl games in the next sixteen days and will culminate in the College Football Playoff Championship Game on January 8th in Atlanta. Obviously Minnesota is not in a bowl game this season, so without a specific game to take a deep dive in on, we decided to take a quick look at all 39 games and tell you who you should cheer for. And you must cheer for who we choose. Because we said so.

Some of our decisions are easy. We all want to see Wisconsin and Iowa lose. Screw this Big Ten solidarity thing. But some are frankly just for random reasons. And that’s ok. If you have a reason for having a strong opinion about the winners of all 39 bowl games you either have a LOT of time on your hands, or you may have a bit of a gambling problem. Bowl season is all about excess and frivolity. Nobody really cares who wins the Idaho Potato Bowl...even the teams playing in the game. But its fun to find a reason—any reason at all to find some interest in the game. So with no further delay here is who we think you should be rooting for in all of the bowl games this season. If you disagree, feel free to let us know in the comments. Just know if any of you advocate for cheering for Iowa or Wisconsin for any will be mocked and ridiculed.

Saturday December 16th

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl— New Orleans, LA, Noon, ESPN

Troy Trojans vs North Texas Mean Green

TDG Pick: Troy beat LSU earlier this season where North Texas lost to Iowa. Time to punish the Mean Green. Root for: TROY

AutoNation Cure Bowl—Orlando, FL, 1:30PM, CBS Sports Network

Georgia State Panthers vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

TDG Pick: Western Kentucky throws the ball around like crazy and will at least make this a little fun to watch. Georgia State is like the 6th best team from the state. Root for: Western Kentucky

Las Vegas Bowl—Las Vegas, NV, 2:30 PM, ABC

Oregon Ducks vs Boise State Broncos

TDG Pick: It’s the Legarrette Blount Memorial Cheapshot Bowl. Oregon is missing their old coach who is now coaching Florida State. Mark Coyle used to be the Boise State AD. None of this really matters to who you should root for. Always take the crazy uniforms during bowl season. Root for: Oregon

Gildan New Mexico Bowl—Albuquerque, NM, 3:30 PM, ESPN

Marshall Thundering Herd vs Colorado State Rams

TDG Pick: Colorado State apparently has the #10 offense in the nation. Minnesota beat them twice in the last 3 years. So very tangentially it looks better if they win. So be it. Root for: CSU

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl— Montgomery, AL, 7PM, ESPN

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs Arkansas State Red Wolves

TDG Pick: This one is simple. MTSU was on our schedule, and we beat them. Every win they get makes us look just a little bit better. Hey...its the small things we need to cling to since we aren’t actually playing. Root for: Middle Tennessee

Tuesday December 19th

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl—Boca Raton, FL, 7PM, ESPN

Florida Atlantic Owls vs Akron Zips

TDG Pick: Lane Kiffen vs Terry Bowden. Which famous coaching tree do you want to gain one more bowl win. Or in the Kiffen’s case....their first. We could use the #oneofus card since you do know Lane graduated from Bloomington Jefferson right? have heard that before? I’m still going to give Lane the nod just for the excellent twitter trolling job he did around the Tennessee job search. Root for: Florida Atlantic

Wednesday December 20th

DXL Frisco Bowl—Frisco, TX, 7PM, ESPN

SMU Mustangs vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

TDG Pick: It’s basically a home game for SMU. They do get to play under a new coach after Chad Morris left for Arkansas. I don’t really have a good reason other than Craig James may or may not have killed five hookers at SMU, so... Root for: Louisiana Tech

Thursday December 21st

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl—St. Petersburg, FL, 7PM, ESPN

Temple Owls vs FIU Panthers

TDG Pick: It’s no Poulan Weedeater Bowl, but the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparaiila Bowl will have to do. I really can’t think of any reason to root for or against one of these teams...and frankly feel sorry for them they have to play in the death trap that is Tropicana Field. Root for: All acl’s to remain intact—and what the hell Temple

Friday December 22nd

Bahamas Bowl—Nassau, Bahamas, 11:30 AM, ESPN

UAB Blazers vs Ohio University Bobcats

TDG Pick: If you want a good underdog ya go. UAB’s program disbanded for two years and then came back and went 8-4. And they get a trip to the Bahamas in December as a reward. Nothing against Frank Solich and Ohio—but you have to root For: UAB

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl—Boise, ID, 3PM, ESPN

Central Michigan Chippewas vs Wyoming Cowboys

TDG Pick: A team from the mitten playing a team from the mountains on a blue field in hopefully a blizzard in a bowl named after a vegetable. God Bless ‘Merica. Just like North Texas—Wyoming lost to Iowa. So sorry Cowboys. Root for: Central Michigan

Saturday December 23rd

Birmingham Bowl—Birmingham, AL, 11AM, ESPN

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs South Florida Bulls

TDG Pick: Glen Mason’s nemesis vs the coach who almost replaced him at Minnesota. Thanks Joel. I have no doubt Kliff will try and win you over if you look him in the don’t fall for that trick. root for: South Florida

@armedforcesbowl twitter

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl—Fort Worth, TX, 2:30 PM, ESPN

San Diego State Aztecs vs Army Black Knights

TDG Pick: I’d normally say root for the service academy here, but I really like Rashaad Penny. The next in a long line of really good SDSU running backs. Army has thrown 61 passes all year and no more than 3 in a game since October. Expect a lot of running and a game over in about 2:30. But...because I do enjoy a good forward pass every so often root for: San Diego State

Dollar General Bowl—Mobile, AL, 6PM, ESPN

Appalachian State Mountaineers vs Toledo Rockets

TDG Pick: Ok...this is getting hard. Because I literally couldn’t care less about these two teams. Apparently both have good quarterbacks, so this will probably be one of those crazy 49-48 shootout games that happen every year that you don’t care about until the fourth quarter is awesome. Root for: A crazy game with multiple overtimes...and Toledo

Sunday December 24th

Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, HI, 7:30 PM, ESPN

Fresno State Bulldogs vs Houston Cougars

TDG Pick: The Gophers get Fresno State at TCF next September. Jeff Tedford has the Bulldogs back clicking and it might actually be a decent test of what will be a very young Gopher team. I’m sure if we lose to them it will sound better if they are coming off of a season where they won a root for: Fresno State

Tuesday December 26th


Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, Dallas, TX, 12:30 PM, ESPN

Utah Utes vs West Virginia Mountaineers

TDG Pick: Here we finally really get ramped up with our first Power 5 vs Power 5 battle. Nothing says 3rd rate southern chicken chain than Utah and West Virginia playing in Texas. For no real good reason root for: West Virginia

Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit, MI, 4:15 PM, ESPN

Duke Blue Devils vs Northern Illinois Huskies

TDG Pick: Smart kids against a safety school for most of Chicagoland playing a bowl game in Detroit the day after Christmas. Because Jerry Kill isn’t walking through those doors...root for: Duke

Cactus Bowl, Phoenix, AZ, 8 PM, ESPN

Kansas State Wildcats vs UCLA Bruins

TDG Pick: Good-bye Jim Mora, hello Chip Kelly. But before Chip takes over you get one more game led by interm coach Jedd Fisch! Even with Adam Weber on the staff...its just not enough to root for Jedd. We make Wildcat00 happy and tell you to root for: Kansas State

Wednesday December 27th

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl, Shreveport, LA, 12:30 PM, ESPN

Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs Florida State Seminoles

TDG Pick: Tally sans Jimbo and Timmy heads to Shreveport to play a CUSA team. Ouch. The Seminoles almost make be feel sad for them...but I don’t. Root for: Southern Miss

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, New York, NY, 4:15 PM, ESPN

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Boston College Eagles


Foster Farms Bowl, Santa Clara, CA, 7:30PM, Fox

Arizona Wildcats vs Purdue Boilermakers

TDG Pick: Its a Big Ten team I don’t feel dirty rooting for. Plus they are playing Rich Rod...who I always feel dirty cheering for. This is a no brainer. Root for: Purdue

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, Houston, TX, 8PM, ESPN

Texas Longhorns vs Missouri Tigers

TDG Pick: Texas will be missing several stars who are sitting out the bowl to make sure they don’t get hurt before heading off to the NFL. Missouri is streaky. But its always fun to watch Texas lose. So root for: Missouri

Thursday December 28th

Military Bowl Presented by Northrup Grumman, Annapolis, MD, 12:30 PM, ESPN

Virginia Cavaliers vs Navy Midshipmen

TDG Pick: They may have lost Army/Navy but those Blue Angel uniforms won me over. Just for that reason root for: Navy

Camping World Bowl, Orlando, FL, 4:15 PM, ESPN

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Oklahoma State Cowboys

TDG Pick: Now we are talking. The gobbler vs the mullet. An explosive offense against a staunch defense. This one has all the potential in the world to be fun. Root for: Oklahoma State

Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, TX, 8PM, ESPN

Stanford Cardinal vs TCU Horned Frogs

TDG Pick: This day just keeps getting better and better. Two really good teams. We here at TDG have a good relationship with the guys at Frogs O’War, but I just want to see Bryce Love go off. Root for: Stanford

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, San Diego, CA 8PM, FOX

Washington State Cougars vs Michigan State Spartans

TDG Pick: Wazzu gets to go back to the Holiday Bowl to see if they can figure out how to score against a Big Ten team. The Pirate will try. Meanwhile the Spartans will try and see if they can find the team that payed well against Penn State and not the one that lost 48-3 to Ohio State. Root for: Michigan State

Friday December 29th

Belk Bowl, Charlotte, NC, Noon, ESPN

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Texas A&M Aggies

TDG Pick: Jay Sawvel against Tim formerly from Tally and his friend Jimbo. Yes I know they aren’t actually coaching in this game). We still like Jay—so root for: Wake Forest

Hyundai Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX, 2PM, CBS

N.C. State Wolfpack vs Arizona State Sun Devils

TDG Pick: Arizona State deserves to crash and burn for their personnel decisions this offseason. This won’t be the AFC West Herm. Root for: NC State

Franklin American Morgtage Music City Bowl, Nashville, TN, 3:30PM, ESPN

Kentucky Wildcats vs Northwestern Wildcats

TDG Pick: The Battle of the Wildcats should be a fun one. We can let the Medill bros have this one I guess. Root for: Northwestern

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, Tucson, AZ, 4:30 PM, CBS Sports Network

Utah State Aggies vs New Mexico State Aggies

TDG Pick: New Mexico State is in their first bowl game since 1960. They also open the 2018 season at TCF Bank Stadium on a Thursday night in August. You get this one NMSU, but prepare for pain. Root for: New Mexico State

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, TX, 7:30 PM, ESPN

USC Trojans vs Ohio State Buckeyes

TDG Pick: Our first Oh damn—that’s a crazy good matchup bowl game of the year. Both of these teams had playoff aspirations, but crashed just a bit short. This one should be fun. But I gave all my rooting juju to the Buckeyes in the B1G title game—so lets appease the football gods and root for: USC

Saturday December 30th

Taxslayer Bowl, Jacksonville, FL, 11AM, ESPN

Louisville Cardinals vs Mississippi State Bulldogs

TDG Pick: Lamar Jackson vs Dan Mullenless Clanga. The former Heisman winner may run wild. Thats always fun. So root for: Louisville

Auto Zone Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN, 11:30 AM, ABC

Iowa State Cyclones vs Memphis Tigers

TDG Pick: Memphis literally gets a home game for a bowl. That’s no fun. Also the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so I guess root for: Iowa State

Playstation Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ, 3:00 PM, ESPN

Washington Huskies vs Penn State Nittany Lions

TDG Pick: Joe Moorhead is gone from Penn State. How will that change things for the Nittany Lions? But it would be nice to see Saquon Barkley go out with a bang. So, root for: Penn State

Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, FL, 7PM, ESPN

Miami Hurricanes vs Wisconsin Badgers

TDG Pick: We have already been over this. Give me dat CHAIN! Root for: DA U

Monday January 1st

Outback Bowl, Tampa, FL, 11AM, ESPN2

Michigan Wolverines vs South Carolina Gamecocks

TDG Pick: As much as you might want the Big Ten to win—-never go full Harbaugh. Root for: South Carolina

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta, GA, 11:30 AM, ESPN

UCF Knights vs Auburn Tigers

TDG Pick: For some reason Scott Frost wants to coach UCF in this game at the probable detriment to his first Nebraska recruting class. gratitude we should all root for: UCF

Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton’s, Orlando, FL, Noon, ABC

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs LSU Tigers

TDG Pick: There are a few reasons when it is ok to cheer for Notre Dame. This inn’t one of them. Root for: LSU

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, Pasadena, CA, 4PM, ESPN

Georgia Bulldogs vs Oklahoma Sooners

TDG Pick: Do you like Baker Mayfield...or think he is an arrogant a-hole? How you feel about him probably depends on how you feel about this game. Georgia fans are arrogant idiots though and that tips my scale. Root for: Oklahoma

Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, LA, 7:45 PM, ESPN

Alabama Crimson Tide vs Clemson Tigers

TDG Pick: No one likes Alabama. Root for: Clemson