Bowl Game Rankings. How Good Were All The Bowls From Worst To Best?

How good were all of the games in the 2022-2023 bowl season? Ranking all the bowl games from the worst to the best.

You spent the time to watch them – or at least have them on in the background at work, holiday parties, and everywhere in between.

How good were the bowl games? Which ones were worth your while, which ones were instantly forgettable, and which bowls made the finish to the college football season great?

There’s one big one to go – and hopefully the College Football Playoff National Championship is the best of the bunch. Until that’s done …

Bowl Game Rankings 2022-2023

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

Bowl Rankings: Bowls of Sad

These bowls made the world a lesser place and were an affront to all humanity.

43. TransPerfect Music City Bowl

Iowa 21, Kentucky 0
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking29
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 12, 2020: NA, 2019: 26
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 3, 2020: NA, 2019: 22

This was supposed to be awful with every key offensive player opting out, and wow did it overdeliver on that.

No, it doesn’t quite beat out the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl – TCU over Cal 10-7 in overtime – for the honor of being the ugliest sporting event or athletic contest in the history of competition, but it made a big push.

Iowa went 0-for-11 on third downs and 0-for-2 on fourth downs, and it won because of one decent drive and two pick-sixes. Kentucky amassed 185 yards of total offense and was 2-of-18 on third downs.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

42. Cheez-It Citrus Bowl

LSU 63, Purdue 7
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking6
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 15, 2020: 19, 2019: 12
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 12, 2020: 14, 2019: 16

The final score was 63-7 only because LSU didn’t want it to be 84-7. Even so, it was the biggest blowout in the history of the bowls … until Georgia took that title against TCU.

Both LSU and Purdue had massive issues with opt-outs and transfers, but Purdue had it far worse. It showed from the start, LSU came out roaring and sharp, and this was brutal in a hurry. The only saving grace was the production from the Tigers – they played great – but Purdue couldn’t do anything until late in the third quarter when the game was all but done.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

41. SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl

Oregon State 30, Florida 3
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking20
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 31, 2020: NA, 2019: 15
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 17, 2020: NA, 2019: 36 

There were players out there wearing Florida Gator uniforms, but that was about it for this looking like a big-time SEC school against a solid Pac-12 program having a strong year.

How bad was it? The Gators kicked a field goal in the final minute down 30-0 just to find something positive – the program is on a record-setting non-shutout streak. But give credit to an Oregon State team that came to play on both sides of the ball to make this a snoozer from the start.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

40. Wasabi Fenway Bowl

Louisville 24, Cincinnati 7 
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking34
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 41, 2020: NA, 2019: NA
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 36, 2020: NA, 2019: NA

This was every bit as meh as expected. Both teams put up a fight with great effort, but Cincinnati just didn’t have enough to do anything offensively, the two teams combined for six turnovers, and there was little drama.

Scott Satterfield left one team and was waiting in the wings to coach the other, major parts weren’t present, there were about 19 fans in the stands outside of friends and family, and the novelty of the game being played in a baseball stadium wore off quickly.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

39. Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

Fresno State 29, Washington State 6
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 16
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 18, 2020: NA, 2019: NA
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 21, 2020: NA, 2019: NA

You know it’s an awful bowl when the guy it’s named after goes into the booth and can’t stop yapping about how boring it was. It didn’t help that this was going on about the same time as Indianapolis was in epic meltdown mode against the Vikings.

There was some redeeming value in Fresno State’s combination of QB Jake Haener and RB Jordan Mims going off against a Washington State defense missing a slew of key players, but there wasn’t much offense on the other side to make this competitive.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: Instant Memory Dumped Bowls

Bowl Rankings: Instant Memory Dumped Bowls

They happened. Football was played. Or maybe it wasn’t – no one can quite remember.

38. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Memphis 38, Utah State 10
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 22
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 19, 2020: 27, 2019: 25
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 9, 2020: 5, 2019: 2

This was as about as forgettable as a bowl game gets. Utah State didn’t have the normal parts, Memphis got up 24-3 at halftime, and that was about it. The only people who enjoyed this were Memphis fans and those investor types who finally had an easy, no drama cover from a bowl favorite.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

37. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Air Force 30, Baylor 15
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 17
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 28, 2020: 16, 2019: 32
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 4, 2020: 8, 2019: 32 

Baylor struggled to get in it. Air Force got up 9-0 in the first quarter, Baylor pulled within two in the final moments of the first half, and that was it for the fun. 21 straight Falcon points took the game over, it was 30-7 by the time the Bears got back on the board late, and by then … this game never got going. Air Force had the ball for over 40 minutes.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

36. Military Bowl

Duke 30, UCF 13
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 11
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 21, 2020: NA, 2019: 27
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021:T40 , 2020: NA, 2019: 33

UCF was missing way too many parts on defense, it held things together on offense with a few warm wishes, and Duke had just about everyone in place. That all became apparent instantly. The only saving grace was UCF’s ability to force field goals – three of them – instead of touchdowns which would’ve made this thing come to its obvious conclusion just a little bit faster.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

35. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

WKU 44, South Alabama 23
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 30
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 32, 2020: 22, 2019: 33
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 23, 2020: 25, 2019: 27

If anything, this was supposed to be a big win for South Alabama, but WKU QB Austin Reed ended that fast. It was impressive for about 20 minutes, and then it was over with a 24-0 Hilltoppers lead and 31-3 halftime advantage on a night with no other bowl games. There were some big plays and good moments in the second half, but you had to be totally bored to watch this until the end.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

34. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

East Carolina 53, Coastal Carolina 29
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 27
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 22, 2020: NA, 2019: 23
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 8, 2020: NA, 2019: 40

Give this bowl a little bit of credit for adding some desperately needed offensive punch in a bowl season full of boring attacks full of players who could use far more time figuring out what to do.

East Carolina ripped off points and big plays at will, Coastal Carolina wasn’t in it after Grayson McCall got hurt, and outside of the Pirate offensive pyrotechnics, this wasn’t all that compelling over the last three quarters.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

33. Myrtle Beach Bowl

Marshall 28, UConn 14
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 32
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 27, 2020: 16, 2019: NA
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 26, 2020: 25, 2019: NA

It went almost exactly like it was supposed to. UConn was going to give it a go, but Marshall was a bad, bad fit for what Jim Mora’s Jr’s team could do. It was ugly early, interesting in the second half, and feisty late with enough of a momentum swing the Huskies’ way after getting down 28-0 to make it okay.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

32. Rose Bowl

Penn State 35, Utah 21
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 3
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 5, 2020: 9, 2019: 2
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 1, 2020: 24, 2019: 6

It wasn’t New Year’s Day, the weather wasn’t beautiful, and it continues to be a flaw in the system – it’s just not the same when this thing is played after the College Football Playoff semifinals. Throw in that the marquee game of the day was Bills-Bengals – obviously not knowing the horror that was about to come – and this just didn’t feel like the Rose Bowl.

Penn State was great, the first half wasn’t bad, and the two Nittany Lion home runs were breathtaking. But the game was effectively over when Utah QB Cam Rising got hurt – backup Bryson Barnes wasn’t bad, but the Utes didn’t score in the second half until the very end.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

31. College Football Playoff National Championship

Georgia 65, TCU 7
Pre-Bowl Matchup RankingNR 
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 2, 2020: 13, 2019: 10

There’s a reason why the biggest blowout in the history of bowl games isn’t at or near the bottom – it was the national championship. There was something fascinating about the brutal precision of what Georgia did against a painfully overmatched team. This was never a contest, but for a game of this magnitude it became a historic disaster.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: Bowls. Just … Bowls

Bowl Rankings: Bowls. Just … Bowls

You had a few laughs, you killed some time, and they weren’t without their charm. In the end, though, they were bowls. Just … bowls.

30. TaxAct Texas Bowl

Texas Tech 42, Ole Miss 25
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 15
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 33, 2020: NA, 2019: 14
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 38, 2020: NA, 2019: 14

The only saving grace is that it might have been the moment when America realized that a healthy Tyler Shough might just be the best NFL quarterback prospect playing college football right now. That’s only a wee bit of hyperbole, but if he looked a little like Justin Herbert it’s because he started out at Oregon and was supposed be as good or better.

He threw well, ran better, and was helped by five Ole Miss turnovers that kept this from being too competitive. This was effective over by halftime.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

29. Allstate Sugar Bowl

Alabama 45, Kansas State 20
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 14
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 7, 2020: 2, 2019: 11
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 29, 2020: 10, 2019: 25

It was fine for a little while. Kansas State’s RB Deuce Vaughn ripped off a big touchdown run, the team was up 10-0 and then Bama went Bama – at least how Bama was supposed to be this season.

Bryce Young was brilliant with his five touchdown passes on just 15 completions, the Tide defense started to play like it had 14 guys on the field, and the 35 straight points in the middle of the game ended the drama.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

28. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Eastern Michigan 41, San Jose State 27
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 36
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 13, 2020: 13, 2019: 31
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 14, 2020: 17, 2019: 31

History will blow this off as two-touchdown win in a Tuesday afternoon bowl game in a glut of early midweek games, but it was certainly unique.

San Jose State dominated early and appeared to be on the way to a blowout, and then a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion changed everything. Eastern Michigan woke up and cranked up 33 straight points to take over in what at least was entertaining, even if it was over at halftime.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

27. Pinstripe Bowl

Minnesota 28, Syracuse 20
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 23
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 25, 2020: NA, 2019: 24
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 37, 2020: NA, 2019: 18

This was hardly a bad bowl game, but unless you were part of the betting public that had Minnesota giving away the points – bless your heart – there wasn’t a whole ton of drama after Coleman Bryant’s third quarter pick six put the Gophers up 21-10. The Gophers were supposed to win this, they did, and everyone moved on. No big whoop.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

26. Capital One Orange Bowl

Tennessee 31, Clemson 14
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 2
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 1, 2020: 4, 2019: 18
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 33, 2020: 3, 2019: 12

It wasn’t a good game, but at least it was relatively interesting. It showed how good the Tennessee offensive system is under Josh Heupel, and it showed how Clemson needs to add more parts.

It was a step back for QB Cade Klubnik that might lead to a giant leap forward for Clemson, and the energy at the game was there – it felt like a big deal – but Tennessee had this from the start and never let it go.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

25. Valero Alamo Bowl

Washington 27, Texas 20
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 5
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 38, 2020:17, 2019: 13
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 32, 2020: 18, 2019: 38

Who didn’t want a little bit more out of this? How about a LOT more? It wasn’t a horrible game, but with the star quarterbacks, great offenses, and questionable defenses, this should’ve been 84-81 with a gajillion passing yards. The bigger problem was that it was … boring. Texas was never really in it, and the quick score in the second half was about it for any drama.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: Very Good Bowls

Bowl Rankings: Very Good Bowls

The games were missing something to make them more relevant and bigger, but they had enough to be interesting. Maybe it was a nice finish, or maybe there was a great performance, but they were at least worth the watch.

24. Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

Houston 23, Louisiana 16
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 38
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 35, 2020: NA, 2019: 34
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 11, 2020: NA, 2019: 20

Mediocre game, great finish. The strange part about this was its predictability if you know how 2022 Houston rolled. Underwhelm, but hang around … hang around … hang around … and then boom. When the team needed to show up, it got the drive it had to have – including a big throw on 1st and 30 – to get past the cold and a plucky Louisiana to put it away.

Let’s give it more love – the game was better than it probably should’ve been if the Cougars went full throttle from the start.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means 

23. Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Wisconsin 24, Oklahoma State 17
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 18
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 26, 2020: NA, 2019: 5
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 30, 2020: NA, 2019: 19

Considering the talent missing from both sides, this looked to be a forgettable late night bowl. It turned into a great game late.

It looked like Wisconsin was going to roll. Oklahoma State didn’t have any answers for the Badger ground game, there were too many desperation deep shots from the Cowboy attack, and then came the late rally.

Wisconsin managed to close, but helped by what happened last year in Oklahoma State’s phenomenal Fiesta Bowl comeback win over Notre Dame, this got very interesting very quickly in the fourth quarter.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

22. Frisco Bowl

Boise State 35, North Texas 32
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 33
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 37, 2020: NA, 2019: 32
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 22, 2020: NA, 2019: 8

This probably deserves more credit than it’s getting here. It was supposed to be a dud of a blowout – Boise State was a double-digit favorite – and it turned out to be entertaining.

It wasn’t quite as good as the close final score might indicate, but there was offense – Boise State was great on the ground and the North Texas offense kicked it in after halftime. It just never quite seemed like the Mean Green were going to get over the hump – they were always stuck on their side of the field – after pulling within three midway through the fourth.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

21. Union Home Gasparilla Bowl

Wake Forest 27, Missouri 17
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 12
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 23, 2020: NA, 2019: 30
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 20, 2020: NA, 2019: 30

It was more frustrating than anything else, but it was good. Wake Forest couldn’t quite pull away, and it had to rally and roll late to pull it off. Missouri clawed its way into the lead, but it couldn’t do anything over the last 20 minutes to get that one decent drive to tie it before the Demon Deacons put it away. The game will probably get lost in the glut, but it was – for lack of a better word – gripping.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

20. Quick Lane Bowl

New Mexico State 24, Bowling Green 19
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 28
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 30, 2020: 28, 2019: 39
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 28, 2020: NA, 2019: 9

Just when it seemed like this might be the biggest dog of a bowl over the first batch – Bowling Green couldn’t do anything after losing QB Matt McDonald early – it was Game On with a Ta’ron Keith kick-six for the Falcons, a wild fourth quarter, and chance after chance for the MAC side, and it wasn’t enough.

NMSU QB Diego Pavia couldn’t be stopped on third downs when he took off, the offense ground out the last six minutes, and Bowling Green couldn’t get one final stop. It wasn’t the best football, but it was entertaining.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

19. ReliaQuest Bowl

Mississippi State 19, Illinois 10
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 8
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 3, 2020: 8, 2019: 4
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 18, 2020: 11, 2019: 5

It was an exciting ending with Mississippi State getting a field goal in the final seconds to pull out an emotional win in the first game after the passing of head coach Mike Leach. The game itself was just okay, and the Bulldogs got a huge break with a questionable touchdown catch – and an even more questionable review – but it was intense.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

18. LendingTree Bowl

Southern Miss 38, Rice 24
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 39
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 34, 2020: 23, 2019: 37
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 34, 2020: 23, 2019: 28

Frank Gore Jr., Frank Gore Jr., Frank Gore Jr.

The game had three massive runs. Southern Miss got up 17-3 going into halftime, Rice roared back with 21 straight points for a 24-17 lead, and then Frank Gore Jr. got on a roll for the ages. He threw a touchdown pass, finished with 329 rushing yards, and closed with two touchdown runs closing things out with a 55-yard dash as part of a USM run of 21 unanswered points over the last 19 minutes. It was a fun watch, and when it came to Gore Jr., historic.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

100 Best Players of the Bowl Season

17. RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl

Toledo 21, Liberty 19
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 37
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 2, 2020: 5, 2019: 16
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 15, 2020: 20, 2019: 23

It was hardly anything beautiful considering the game was played in paradise, but the rain and mud fit the style of play.

Liberty got tough early, Toledo took over and pounded away, and even though there weren’t a lot of offensive fireworks and the game was a mucked up grind – mostly from Toledo – it still came down to a failed Liberty two-point conversion try in the final minutes. Even after that there was drama, but Toledo’s O line was able to take over in the end and seal the win.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

16. Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Maryland 16, NC State 12
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 16
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 20, 2020: 24, 2019: 22
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 24, 2020: 9, 2019: 4

The hard part was getting past what this could’ve been.

If Maryland had all of its receiving parts, and if NC State’s QB Devin Leary was still healthy – and, also, not off to Kentucky – this probably would’ve been one of the season’s great firefights. Instead it was a battle of field goals with just one touchdown.

It might not have been a wild thrill ride, but it was close throughout, both teams had several chances, and NC State had one final shot to win it but got picked off. No one had more than a four point lead the whole way.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

15. New Mexico Bowl

BYU 24, SMU 23
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking24
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 43, 2020: ,21 2019: 36
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 19, 2020: NA, 2019: 24

Considering most of the dud bowls on this list were because of a missing star player or five, give BYU credit for finding a way to get this done. Stylistically there wasn’t much pretty about this.

BYU QB Jaren Hall was out with an ankle injury, and fill-in Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters – who ran well – didn’t complete a pass in the second half. Even so, BYU’s defense held on … got a big pick six to take the lead … and held on. As ragged as it was for the first 50ish minutes, it brought a thrilling finish with SMU coming up short on a two-point conversion with eight seconds to play.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

14. Easyport Hawaii Bowl

Middle Tennessee 25, San Diego State 23
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 31
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 40, 2020: NA, 2019: 36
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: T40, 2020: NA, 2019: 37

It was different, but it stood out. There was a lot to like about a game that saw the winning side come up with -66 rushing yards and with the kickers taking center stage. Start with the optics of playing in 81-degree Hawaii when most of the continental United States was in a deep freeze.

No, it wasn’t stylistically great, but the defenses were able to come up with a slew of big plays – sacks and tackles for loss for SDSU and takeaways for Middle Tennessee – and the fourth quarter was loaded with drama.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: Great Bowls

Bowl Rankings: Great Bowls

You watched these bowls, you liked them, and then you moved on as a richer and more fulfilled person.

13. Duluth Trading Cure Bowl

Troy 18, UTSA 12
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 9
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 14, 2020: 1, 2019: 28
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 5, 2020: 1, 2019: 24

Get past all the mistakes UTSA made and the lack of overall scoring pop. The only battle of two conference champions was expected to be one of the most interesting bowls of the season, and it absolutely delivered.

No, it wasn’t the sharpest UTSA could be, but the Troy defense was fantastic as it held on time and again. The hitting and intensity from both sides was there throughout.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

12. Camellia Bowl

Buffalo 23, Georgia Southern 21
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 41
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 24, 2020: 10, 2019: 29
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 27, 2020: 7, 2019: 17

There was a whole lot of intensity and intrigue for a very early Tuesday bowl game. The only sin was a general sense of frustration thanks to all the missed opportunities by Georgia Southern, but that made for good theater.

Buffalo did what it had to do, but it struggled to close as too many second half drives ended in field goals. Georgia Southern had opening after opening, but couldn’t jump through as UB held on.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

11. Cheez-It Bowl

Florida State 35, Oklahoma 32
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 7
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 29, 2020: 6, 2019: 5
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 16, 2020: 4, 2019: 19

This was supposed to be entertaining, and it didn’t disappoint.

There was a ton of offense, a whole lot of energy, and it felt and played like a big bowl game. Finally – it only took until December 30th – there was an actual atmosphere in one of these bowl things.

There wasn’t the fantastic finish like some of the other top bowls of the season, but Florida State QB Jordan Travis went off, the Oklahoma attack was creative, it took an amazing catch to set up the Seminole game-winning field goal, and one final stop was needed to get out.

This bowl game was just … fun.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

10. HomeTown Lenders Bahamas Bowl

UAB 24, Miami University 20
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 40
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 10, 2020: NA, 2019: 28
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 42, 2020: NA, 2019: 24

This is why bowl season is so great. This should’ve been awful, and it really, really wasn’t.

Miami University was missing a slew of players, UAB was waiting to get the Trent Dilfer coaching era off and running, and anytime there’s a double-digit spread in a bowl game you should assume the worst.

The game was a bit ragged for a while, but when it came to fantastic finishes, the first bowl game of the season set the bar obnoxiously high. UAB scored a touchdown on a do-or-die 4th-and-1 run to take the lead, and the D held on for dear life as Miami’s final pass was stopped at the two.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

9. San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Oregon 28, North Carolina 27
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 13
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 6, 2020:NA , 2019: 7
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: T40, 2020: NA, 2019: 26

This is probably overrated based just on the fun finish.

The game itself was a relative dud for a stretch, and then came the final few minutes. Oh sure, the 21-14 North Carolina lead in the first half was entertaining, but this was supposed to be a 44-40 shootout – or at least hit 76 according to the Vegas point total – and it wasn’t.

We were promised fireworks and we got a few firecrackers and a couple of sparklers.

But the last ten minutes were gripping, Bo Nix led the Ducks – down six at the time – 79 yards for what seemed to be the game-winning touchdown, that touchdown was under further review and was really, really close to being a game-ending fourth down stop by a defense that couldn’t stop you and a few friends from completing a downfield pass with a saturated Nerf football.

But the touchdown tied it, the extra point ricocheted off the upright and somehow went through, and that’s all anyone will remember.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 8

8. Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl

Ohio 30, Wyoming 27 OT
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 25
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 17, 2020: 11, 2019: 38
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: T40, 2020: 26, 2019: 35

This had one giant flaw that was baked into the bowl glut cake.

It got ignored by the big networks because it was a Group of Five vs Group of Five website game going on while UCLA and Pitt were finishing off a wacky game in the Sun, and Notre Dame and South Carolina were doing whatever that was in a crazy Gator.

Wyoming was missing way too many guys, Ohio came into this with a questionable defense, and it all led to a Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl that turned out to be very, very, very good.

It wasn’t really explosive, and it bogged down in the second half, but it was 18-17 Ohio deep into the fourth. And then came the finish with two field goals and a touchdown in the final four minutes on the way to overtime.

Wyoming kicked a field goal, Ohio scored a touchdown, and in so many ways, this might have been the most evenly played and gripping game of the bowl season – at least until the College Football Playoff semifinals.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 7

7. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Notre Dame 45, South Carolina 38
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 4
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 16, 2020: 15, 2019: 10
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 35, 2020: 12, 2019: 15

There was no way you didn’t have fun with this.

Notre Dame was missing a few key guys, but it wasn’t woefully undermanned like South Carolina was. That made the game that much better.

Irish QB Tyler Buchner ran well, threw well – to both sides – and got it done with a wonderful late drive to finally put the team ahead for good, head coach Marcus Freeman appeared to have aged 14 years during the game, and both sides put on one fantastic show.

South Carolina’s Shane Beamer and the coaching staff pulled out all the tricks in the bag. Some worked – like a fake kick for a touchdown pass – and others didn’t.

The Gamecocks came up with two pick-sixes – including a 100-yard version just as the Irish were about to put it away, and there was a 4th-and-38 at the very end that seemed like it just might have worked considering the wacky way this game went.

The pass fell incomplete, but no one seemed to quite believe it was really over. With the was this game went, it seemed certain something weird was going to pop up.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 6

6. Cricket Celebration Bowl

North Carolina Central 41, Jackson State 34 OT
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 35
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 41, 2020: NA, 2019: NA
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021:36, 2020: NA, 2019: NA

This was absolutely everything you want a bowl game to be.

It was expected to be a Jackson State coronation to finish off a perfect season as Deion Sanders rode off into the new gig at Colorado. But North Carolina Central was here because it could play, too.

The intensity on both sides was off the charts, both sides were physical, there were tremendous momentum swings throughout, and even in defeat, Coach Prime’s team – especially his son Shedeur Sanders – put on a phenomenal, dramatic show.

Sanders was brilliant on the must-have desperation 81-yard scoring drive, culminating in the final moments of regulation with a touchdown pass with no time left to send it into overtime. NC Central QB Davius Richard and his side did just a little bit more.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 5

5. Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

Pitt 37, UCLA 35
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 26
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 39, 2020: NA, 2019: 19
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 13, 2020: NA, 2019: 21

It was maddening, gripping, ugly, fun, and it was as wild an ending as you’ll find during a bowl season.

It was also one really, really weird game.

UCLA had this easily won three times. It had it in the first half up 14-6, and then the defense couldn’t come through.

It had it in the second half up 28-14, and then Pitt’s offense went on a run. It had it with less than a minute to go after backup QB Ethan Garbers led the offense on a thrilling 70-yard scoring drive to get in the end zone and take the lead with 34 seconds left.

But the UCLA defense failed to close once again.

An undermanned Pitt team should’ve been out of it. It should’ve been happy with the swag bag and a fine season, but it marched back in the final seconds under backup QB Nick Patti – who got knocked out of his chance to do something big in last year’s bowl loss to Michigan State – for the fifth field goal of the game by Ben Sauls. He made 15 in the first 12 games before this, but he nailed the game-winner.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 4

4. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

Tulane 46, USC 45
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 19
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 8, 2020: 3, 2019: 8
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 29, 2020: 22, 2019: 11

For about 56 minutes of game action, this was the Caleb Williams show.

The Heisman winner pushed through a few bumps and bruises to throw five touchdown passes, made a slew of big plays, and made big things happen for the USC attack. Like it had all season, the offense managed to push ahead with big bursts.

14-0 … and Tulane came back.

28-14 … and Tulane came back.

45-30 … and with just over four minutes to go, Tulane came back with an epic run.

Welcome to the USC defense. It’s going to need a little bit of work.

Two plays, 63 yards, Tulane touchdown and pulled within eight. One disastrous kickoff issue and a worst offensive play later for a safety, Tulane was within six.

12 plays and one questionable touchdown catch later, and the Tulane Green Wave pulled off one of the great comebacks in bowl history.

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
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NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 3

3. CFP Semifinal: Vrbo Fiesta Bowl

TCU 51, Michigan 45
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 10
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 11, 2020: 14, 2019: 1
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 6, 2020: 15, 2019: 1

It never, ever works like this.

The College Football Playoff undercard is a mere formality.

It’s the first game of the CFP day because the two headlining superpowers get the more important slot. In seven of the first eight College Football Playoff games, the first semifinal usually gets ugly, and it’s usually because one of the teams probably shouldn’t be there.

Cincinnati, Michigan State, Washington, and Notre Dame (twice) did what they were supposed to and earned their way in, but they all quickly showed why they were playing in that first game of the day.

TCU was next on that list.

TCU was going to run on the field, put up a brave fight, and then buckle against the undefeated Big Ten champion that had the mettle to go into Columbus, Ohio and apply an atomic wedgie to a team that turned out to be a missed kick away from probably becoming the national champion.

Nope.

Yeah, Michigan gacked. There were some early bad play calls, horrible turnovers, and the defense that was among the best in college football all season long opted out in the third quarter.

But TCU overcame the adversity. Michigan didn’t.

TCU could’ve easily snapped out of its groove and realized the moment was too big. It didn’t, it held on, and for the first time the team no one thought had any chance in a College Football Playoff game pulled it off.

The game itself was poorly played in a slew of ways – no tackling, too many errors, horrendous officiating mistakes – but whatever. This was a moment in CFP history that no one will ever forget.

But when it comes to how good the actual game was, it doesn’t quite match …
5 Thoughts on TCU’s Fiesta Bowl win over Michigan

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
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NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 2

2. AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Arkansas 55, Kansas 53 OT
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 21
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 4, 2020: 20, 2019: 6
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 31, 2020: 6, 2019: 7

And to think, most of America turned to other bowl games or did something more meaningful with their lives after Arkansas went up 38-13 in the third quarter. And why not?

The Hog running game couldn’t be stopped, Kansas couldn’t get going, and this thing was going to be thrown into the woodchipper along with countless other totally forgettable bowls.

And then it all flipped.

Kansas wouldn’t give up, Arkansas did just about everything wrong – and caught a few bad breaks along the way – and everything improbable became a given.

You want a bad call on a Hog fumble after a really bad idea to keep pushing the O when the game was all but over because Kansas had no timeouts left? Okay.

You want a defense that all of a sudden made KU QB Jalon Daniels look like Joe Montana? You want to see a kid throw for 544 yards and look exactly like Joe Montana when he led the epic comeback over Houston in the fabled “chicken soup” – Montana was sick and the game was played in freezing conditions – in the 1979 Cotton Bowl?

You want a targeting call on a two-point conversion to keep the game alive double-overtime – and after Arkansas started celebrating on the field?

You want 1,284 yards of total offense and 106 points in one of the wildest bowl games of all-time?

Yeah, you do. And you – almost certainly – turned off the game at 38-13.
What Happened, Player of the Game, Fun Stats, What it Means

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
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Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

NEXT: Bowl Rankings: The Classics, No. 1

1. CFP Semifinal: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Georgia 42, Ohio State 41 
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 1
Pre-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 9, 2020: 7, 2019: 13
Post-Bowl Ranking: 2021: 7, 2020: 2, 2019: 3

This almost never works like it should.

The best matchup in the College Football Playoff semifinals has been the best game in bowl season a few times – Ohio State and Clemson played one amazing Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2019 season, and Georgia and Ohio State’s double-overtime Rose Bowl in 2018 was an all-timer.

Could Ohio State show up stronger after the way it got rolled by Michigan in the regular season finale? Could Georgia fight back after getting hit with several haymakers? Oh yes, and oh yes.

TCU will have a little something to say about it, but this felt even bigger after the way the first semifinal went down. Michigan had already blown its chance, making the Fiesta Bowl the possible national championship. That might not be fair or turn out to be right, but the stakes became a whole lot higher.

It was a clean game without a ton of mistakes. Both offenses were great, both defenses had their moments, and the stars came out to shine. Ohio State QB CJ Stroud was brilliant. He got the team into field goal range with a chance to win it. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett was brilliant. He silenced a slew of Heisman-finalist haters with a game-winning drive for the ages.

The missed Buckeye field goal at the end might have soured the aesthetic of the game – Noah Ruggles’ bomb never had a chance – but the timing of the finish couldn’t be more perfect.

The best and most important game of the 2022 college football season ended 15 seconds after it turned 2023.
5 Thoughts on Georgia’s Peach Bowl win over Ohio State

Bowl Rankings 2022-2023
Bowls of Sad | Instant Memory Dumped Bowls
Just Bowls | Very Good Bowls | Great Bowls
Classic Bowls No. 8 | No. 7 | No. 6 | No. 5 | No. 4
No. 3 | No. 2 | No. 1 | Bowl Scoreboard

2022-2023 Bowl Schedule, Scoreboard, Predictions, Game Previews

Story originally appeared on College Football News