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NCAA FOOTBALL

Are there any college football games this weekend? When do the bowl games begin?

The long break between the end of the regular college football season and the start of the bowl games is primarily to allow teams to rest and recover.

Update:
College football bowl games: Who plays today Friday, December 23? | Dates, times and matchups

The extended break (from two to three weeks) between the end of the regular college football season and the start of bowl games serves several purposes, reflecting the unique structure and traditions of the college football landscape.

After the regular season concludes, there is a period during which bowl committees and organizers select the teams that will participate in each bowl game. This process involves considering team records, rankings, conference affiliations, and other factors to create appealing matchups. The selection committees need time to make these decisions, contributing to the break.

Preparation Time

Once the bowl matchups are set, teams have a window to prepare for their specific opponents. This period allows players to rest, recover from injuries, and engage in focused practices to strategize for the upcoming game. Coaches use this time to develop game plans tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents.

College football players are also students, and many universities schedule final exams in the weeks following the regular season. The break allows student-athletes to focus on their academic responsibilities before intensifying their preparations for the bowl games.

Holiday Season

The college football regular season typically concludes in late November or early December. The break aligns with the holiday season, providing players, coaches, and fans an opportunity to spend time with their families and enjoy the festivities before the bowl game period begins.

Historically, the gap between the regular season and bowl games has been a traditional part of the college football calendar. This time frame has allowed for the buildup of excitement and anticipation among fans, creating a sense of holiday spectacle around the bowl games.

TV Broadcast and Logistics

The extended break also allows broadcasters to organize and promote the bowl games effectively because in the end, to say it bluntly, it’s all showbusiness. Television networks need time to schedule broadcasts, create promotional content, and generate interest in the matchups to maximize viewership.

Bowl games are hosted at various locations across the country, and the break permits coordinating logistics, ticket sales, and accommodation arrangements for teams and fans traveling to the respective bowl sites.

In summary, the break between the end of the regular season and the start of bowl games accommodates various logistical, academic, and traditional considerations within college football and its industry.

When do the bowl games begin?

Bowl season is one of American sports’ greatest and longest-running traditions, in late December and running through early January, and this year won’t be any different. The first five Bowl Games that we have on the schedule will be played on December 16:

  • Myrtle Beach Bowl: Georgia Southern vs Ohio
    Saturday, Dec. 16, 11:00 a.m. ET
    Brooks Stadium (Conway, SC)
    ESPN
  • Cricket Celebration Bowl: Florida A&M vs. Howard University
    Saturday Dec. 16, noon. ET, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia) ABC
  • R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana
    Saturday, Dec. 16, 2:15 p.m. ET
    Caesars Superdome (New Orleans, LA)
    ESPN
  • Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl: Appalachian State vs Miami (Ohio)
    Saturday, Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m. ET
    FBC Mortgage Stadium (Orlando, FL)
    ABC
  • Isleta New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico State vs Fresno State
    Saturday, Dec. 16, 5:45 p.m. ET
    University Stadium (Albuquerque, NM)
    ESPN
  • LA Bowl hosted by Gronk: UCLA vs Boise State
    Saturday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. ET
    SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, CA)
    ABC
  • Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: Cal vs Texas Tech
    Saturday, Dec. 16, 9:15 p.m. ET
    Independence Stadium (Shreveport, LA)
    ESPN