The Bowls began with the Rose in 1902. Undefeated Michigan whipped Stanford 49-0. Because of the lopsided result, the football game was suspended immediately. Something more competitive please, the bosses said. So after 1902, Pasadena ran chariot and ostrich races, plus other non-football events. When the granddaddy reestablished its gridiron roots in 1916, New Year’s Day and college football grew intertwined.
Municipalities, radio networks and later television, grew an appetite for hosting or carrying games. By the 60s, there were a handful of bowls. On one day, we’d see the Orange and Cotton in early afternoon, followed by the Sugar and Rose. That would be about it.
In the 80s, ESPN came along seeking programming for all its channels. Corporate sponsors had budgets to market their brands, goods and services. There was less supply and more demand for football. ESPN bought the rights to as many bowl games as it could, bundled them and now, in the weeks leading to the college playoffs, it’s become the Bowl Season.
Here’s the schedule and the peripatetic voices who’ll be moving around quite a bit covering bowl matchups, both big and small. They’re generally labeled with unusual corporate names.
ESPN will have the preponderance of the bowl broadcasts and the Bristolites confirmed today that the announcers will preside from site. No remotes!
All this leads to playoffs and the title game on January 10th.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23
3:30 PM Frisco Football Classic Miami (OH) vs N. Texas (Frisco, Tx) ESPN Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman
7:00 PM Gasparilla Bowl Florida vs UCF (in Tampa) ESPN Wes Durham, Roddy Jones
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24
8:00 PM-Hawaii Bowl Hawaii vs Memphis-ESPN-Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Paul Carcaterra
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25
2:30 PM-Camellia Bowl Georgia State vs Ball State (in Montgomery) ESPN Roy Philpott, Hutson Mason
MONDAY, DECEMBER 27
11:00 AM Quick Lane Bowl Nevada vs Western Michigan (in Detroit) ESPN Mike Couzens, Dustin Fox
2:30 PM Military Bowl East Carolina vs Boston College (in Annapolis) ESPN Brian Custer, Kelly Stouffer
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28
12:00 PM Birmingham Bowl Auburn vs 20 Houston ESPN Wes Durham, Eric MacLain
3:15 PM First Responder Bowl Louisville vs Air Force (in Dallas) ESPN Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich
6:45 PM Liberty Bowl Texas Tech vs Mississippi State (in Memphis) ESPN Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister
8:00 PM Holiday Bowl 18 N.C. State vs UCLA (in San Diego) FOX Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt
10:15 PM Guaranteed Rate Bowl West Va vs Minnesota (Phoenix) ESPN Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29
11:00 AM Fenway Bowl Virginia vs Southern Methodist (in Boston) ESPN Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck
2:15 PM Pinstripe Bowl Maryland vs Virginia Tech (in New York) ESPN Matt Barrie, Roddy Jones
5:45 PM Cheez-It Bowl Iowa State vs 19 Clemson (in Orlando) ESPN Dave Pasch, Dave Dvoracek
9:15 PM Alamo Bowl 16 Oklahoma vs 14 Oregon (in San Antonio) ESPN Jason Benetti, Andre Ware
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30
11:30 AM Duke’s Mayo Bowl N Carolina vs South Carolina (Charlotte) ESPN Anish Shroff, Mike Golic Jr.
3:00 PM Music City Bowl Purdue vs Tennessee (in Nashville) ESPN Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cubelic
7:00 PM Peach Bowl 12 Pittsburgh vs 10 Michigan State (Atlanta) ESPN Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III
10:30 PM Las Vegas Bowl Wisconsin vs Arizona State ESPN Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31
11:00 AM Gator Bowl 17 Wake Forest vs 25 Texas A&M (Jacksonville) ESPN Taylor Zarzour, Stinchcomb
12:30 PM Sun Bowl Miami vs Washington State (in El Paso) CBS Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson
3:30 PM Cotton Bowl (CFP Semi-Final)
4 Cincinnati vs 1 Alabama (Arlington TX) ESPN Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge
7:30 PM Orange Bowl (CFP Semi-Final)
3 Georgia vs 2 Michigan (in Miami) ESPN Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit
SATURDAY, JANUARY 1
12:00 PM Outback Bowl Penn State vs 21 Arkansas (in Tampa) Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore
1:00 PM Citrus Bowl 15 Iowa vs 22 Kentucky (in Orlando) ABC Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Luginbill
1:00 PM Fiesta Bowl 9 Okl State vs 5 Notre Dame (Glendale) ESPN Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky
5:00 PM Rose Bowl 6 Ohio State vs 11 Utah (in Pasadena) ESPN Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit
8:45 PM Sugar Bow 17 Baylor vs 8 Ole Miss (in New Orleans) ESPN Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy
TUESDAY, JANUARY 4
9:00 PM Texas Bowl Kansas State vs LSU (in Houston) ESPN Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck
MONDAY, JANUARY 10
8:00 PM CFP National Championship (in Indianapolis) ESPN Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit