Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
1:30pm ET, ESPN
The big story here is that Virginia is going bowling for the first time since 2011. Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall ran a fine program at BYU. Now having gotten the Hoos to a bowl game in Year 2 with a solid recruiting class, this has the hallmarks of being one of those games we can turn to in a few years as being the moment Virginia really announced itself.
In any case, they’ve got some NFL talent on the defensive side. S Quin Blanding and LB Micah Kiser are solid Day 3 locks. And QB Kurt Benkert will be in camp somewhere. And Navy’s linebackers have some skill, though have physical limitations.
Overall, this is a chance to get a look at a fun Virginia side that could be building something sincerely competitive in the ACC.
#22 Virginia Tech v. #19 Oklahoma St.
Camping World Bowl
5:15pm ET, ESPN
And so it was on December 28 that we finally got our first bowl game between two ranked opponents. And a really good one at that.
As always, Virginia Tech has cornerbacks. Death, taxes and Hokie corners. CB Adonis Alexander and CB Brandon Facyson both look the part, but it’s LB Tremaine Edmunds who should get Rams fans’ attention on Tech’s side. I’ve seen some suggest he’s a first-round candidate. That’s a little high for me, but you can see why some feel that way for his athleticism at his height. I do wonder if Edmunds would opt to come back for a senior season under Head Coach Justin Fuente. He’d have the opportunity to be the centerpiece of the team in what could be a challenge for an ACC Championship.
As for OSU, it’s all offense, all the time. QB Mason Rudolph, WR James Washington and RB Justice Hill are as potent an offensive trio as any in the country. Rudolph and Washington will get some first-round attention while Hill isn’t yet draft-eligible as a true sophomore. He’ll be in the NFL with his teammates soon enough. Along with them, S Tre Flowers, WR Marcell Ateman and OT Zachary Crabtree will also getting NFL attention.
#18 Washington St. v. #16 Michigan St.
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
9:00pm ET, FS1
Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach is a national treasure.
And he deserves some credit for building out some legitimate offensive talents in QB Luke Falk, G Cody O’Connell and OT Andre Dillard.
And Sparty’s in a rough patch. Last year’s 3-win season was the worst since 1991. Head Coach Mark Dantonio survived it nonetheless. Sophomore QB Brian Lewerke put in a solid albeit unspectacular season. RB LJ Scott flashed talent as always. And C Brian Allen is one of the more athletic interior linemen available.
Valero Alamo Bowl
9:15pm ET, ESPN
Yeah, there’s a ton here, and it obviously starts with Stanford RB Bryce Love. Rams fans will want to get a look at that Stanford O-line too, though. And DT Harrison Phillips could fly up boards after the season. TCU DE Ben Banogu could see a similar draft season reason after his first season post-transfer.