Ranking all 41 college football bowl games for 2023-24: Rose shines as all-timer with Orange, Sun intriguing

It can be controversial to love college football bowl games in this day and age. But if you don’t enjoy bowl games, you aren’t a college football fan. At least that’s my opinion. You might be a fan of a school, but you don’t care about the sport as a whole.

Bowl games are college football games, after all. Maybe some have lost importance in the College Football Playoff era — and I fear that expansion to 12 teams next season could lead to drastic changes to the system — but they’re here now, and I plan to watch every single one, if possible.

Every bowl season, I go through the (sometimes painstaking) process of ranking each bowl game before and after they’re played. That’s how much I love them. It’s a highly scientific process that involves evaluating a matchup and saying, “Oooh! That should be fun!” or “Oooh, that might not so fun!”

While there’s no real science to these rankings, let me stress that I do not consider possible opt-outs too extensively. It’s not difficult to guess which players are more likely to sit the games out than others, but it’s impossible to know for sure, so I try to avoid working myself into knots in an attempt to figure out the significance of their impact. 

Besides, every player sitting out provides us an opportunity to be introduced to the game’s next star, and that’s a good way to approach bowl season as a whole. Don’t think of these games as an end to the 2023 season but rather a sneak preview of 2024.

All times Eastern

41. Famous Toastery Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion

Monday, Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m. — I once had a piece of toast with a burn mark that looked like Abraham Lincoln. I don’t know whether that would qualify as a Famous Toastery. Either way, we welcome the Famous Toastery Bowl to the…


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