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Summarizing the 2021 College Football Bowl Games
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Summarizing the 2021 College Football Bowl Games

Yes, I know, there are two games left to officially wrap up the season, but does the Texas Bowl really count and is the National Championship game a bowl game? The answer is no to both questions. So let’s wrap-up the bowl season with a review of the playoffs, the conference bowl records, and the 15 best wins of the bowl games. And we will finish it off with a PAPA DUDE RANT.

The Final Four Playoff Games Were Boring: Unless you were a fan of Georgia or Alabama, these two heavily, hyped matchups were very disappointing. But that shouldn’t have been a surprise. There have been 16 semifinal games and only three of them have been decided by a margin of 7 points or less. The other 13 games have all been uneventful, blowouts with scores of 63-28, 31-0, 30-3, 49-28, and well, you get the picture. We obviously aren’t getting the four best teams in to the Final Four, or we need a better system. Or maybe, every season there are one or two teams that are that much better than everyone else. Whatever it is, this year was about as bad as it could get.

  • Conference Bowl Records
  • Mountain West: 5-1 Not too bad for a Group of Five league
  • American: 3-1 They had 2 wins over the SEC included on their resume’. Two of their teams didn’t play because of COVID
  • Sun Belt: 3-1 They had a good year with some quality teams.
  • Big 12: 4-2 They still have a game left (K-State vs. LSU), but it is has been great already with wins over Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Oregon.
  • Big 10: 6-4 This league was strong all year and one of the 4 losses was Rutgers who was a replacement team for Texas A&M.
  • SEC: 5-6 I know SEC fans, you have two teams playing for the national title, but the rest of the league is just average.
  • C-USA: 3-5 Wins by UAB and Western Kentucky saved the conference.
  • MAC: 3-5 The league rallied to win their last two games but the big mystery is how did they get so many teams in so many bowls.
  • ACC: 2-4 Miami, BC, Virginia, and NC State all had their games canceled which was a bad deal for this so-so league.
  • PAC-12: 0-5 Utah came close to winning the Rose Bowl, but it was a poor performance by every other team to wrap up a forgettable season.
  • The 15 Biggest Wins of the Bowl Season (the Final Four wins are excluded):
  • Coastal Carolina 47-41 over Northern Illinois. This win game them 11 victories and only 10 other teams won more.
  • Utah State 24-13 over Oregon State: The Aggies flew under the radar all year but they won the Mountain West and won 11 games.
  • Louisiana 36-21 over Marshall: Only four teams won 13 games and they are one of them. Only Alabama or Georgia will win more.
  • San Diego State 38-24 over UTSA: This capped off a 12-2 season for the Aztecs. Chances are they won more games than your team did.
  • UCF 29-17 over Florida: Huge win for the Knights against the big bad Gators.
  • Houston 17-13 over Auburn: Another win for the American Conference over the SEC. Gave the Cougars 12 wins.
  • Air Force 31-28 over Louisville: This victory gave the Falcons a 10-win season.
  • Texas Tech 34-7 over Mississippi State: The Red Raiders took it out on former coach Mike Leach. Oh yeah, another loss for the SEC.
  • Clemson 20-13 over Iowa State: The Tigers won their last six games and ended a disappointing season on a high note.
  • South Carolina 38-21 over North Carolina: The Gamecocks won the battles of the Carolinas.
  • Purdue 48-45 over Tennessee: Exciting win for the Boilermakers as they cap off a solid 9-4 season.
  • Arkansas 24-10 over Penn State: Razorbacks can’t wait for 2022 to start after a win over the Nittany Lions gave them 9 wins.
  • Kentucky 20-17 over Iowa: Wildcats come back late to beat the Hawkeyes and win their 10th game.
  • Baylor 21-7 over Mississippi: Yes, Matt Corral got hurt and that hampered the Rebels, but the Baylor defense showed how good they are.
  • Oklahoma State 37-35 over Notre Dame: This one hurts me, but I have to admit the Cowboys are a tough bunch and the best team in Oklahoma.


Where Did Loyalty to Your Teammates Go: I will openly admit that college football is my passion. There is so much I love about the sport; the college campuses in the fall, the colors, the traditions, the walk to the game through beautiful tree-lined sidewalks, with hundreds of fans just like you, and the anticipation of another victory by your favorite team. There is very little to compare it too. From my seat 24 rows off the field, in the South end zone, in Norman Oklahoma, I’ve had the privilege to witness some of the best teams and games in college football history. I’ve never taken for granted, how lucky I have been to be able to attend most of these games with my son, and that has made it all the more special. It has been an unbelievable experience, but the game is changing and money is at the root of some very troubling things. The NIL, the Transfer portal, and the lure of NFL money, has caused many players to decide to opt out of the bowls.

I’m afraid loyalty to your teammates, and the name on the front of your jersey, is a part of college football that no longer exists. To a lover of the many traditions of college football, players opting out of the bowl games, because they are afraid of getting hurt, is simply incomprehensible to me. So, let’s analyze this. You go through all of the grueling offseason training sessions, you practice in 100 degree heat in preseason August, you play alongside your teammates all through the season, and then you are rewarded with a bowl game, usually to some warm climate, where you can put that uniform on one last time. Instead, because you are special, and you might be drafted by the NFL, you decide that loyalty to your team, and your coaches, and the university that has taken care of your ass and treated you like a damn rock star, is no longer important enough to play in the bowl game. Sorry, I’m not buying any of it. My hat is off to all of the players who will make it in the NFL, that chose to play their final game with their fellow players, their coaches, and their university. That is what a college athlete is all about. To the rest of you prima donnas, I hope you can look at your fellow teammates and explain your decision because YOU AREN’T PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS YET!!!

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