- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Doing its best to challenge the premise that there can never be enough college football, the bowl system gives fans 40 FBS games from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2 that include 17 teams with 6-6 records and two more that went 5-7.

Too much, you say.

Nonsense.

Every game is special in its own way, and for the third straight year, we are here with a reason to watch each and every one.

DECEMBER 17

New Mexico Bowl

UTSA vs. New Mexico, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

You can’t watch them all if you miss the first one. Duh.

Las Vegas Bowl

San Diego State vs. Houston, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Aztecs star Donnel Pumphrey, all 5-foot-9, 180 pounds of him, can break the FBS career rushing record held by Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (6,397) with 108 yards in his last college game — and do it in his hometown.

Camellia Bowl

Toledo vs. Appalachian State, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Rockets rusher Kareem Hunt is going to run for 1,000 yards for an NFL team at some point in the near future and you will look like a genius when you have him on your fantasy team.

Cure Bowl

UCF vs. Arkansas State, 5:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

Disney World is in Orlando, so there is at least a chance for a Disney character appearance. Might not be a big enough game for Mickey. Feels more like a Goofy assignment.

New Orleans Bowl

Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The Ragin’ Cajuns had gone to — and won — four straight New Orleans Bowls before missing last year’s. And it just was not the same without them.

DECEMBER 19

Miami Beach Bowl

Tulsa vs. Central Michigan, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Chippewas have pulled off two of the craziest last-play of the game touchdowns in recent years, first at the Bamahas Bowl two years ago and then to beat Oklahoma State this season. Never count them out.

DECEMBER 20

Boca Raton Bowl

Memphis vs. Western Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

See the American Athletic Conference’s next rising-star coach: 35-year-old Mike Norvell of Memphis.

DECEMBER 21

Poinsettia Bowl

BYU vs. Wyoming, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Old WAC rivals playing in San Diego, so the ingredients are here for some old-school Holiday Bowl madness.

DECEMBER 22

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Idaho vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The other Coach Petrino had a pretty good season, too. Paul Petrino, brother of Bobby, led the Vandals to a bowl for the first time since 2009.

DECEMBER 23

Bahamas Bowl

Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

The Eagles have only one bowl appearance in program history and it came almost 30 years ago. And now they’re going to the Bahamas. Happiest. Team. Ever.

Armed Forces Bowl

Navy vs. Louisiana Tech, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Potential to be one of the most entertaining bowls if Navy’s triple-option can get rolling again without injured quarterback Will Worth.

Dollar General Bowl

Ohio vs. Troy, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Ohio’s 72-year-old Frank Solich tries to beat a coach half his age — 36-year-old Neal Brown of Troy.

DECEMBER 24

Hawaii Bowl

Middle Tennessee vs. Hawaii, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Jeopardy: This Ole Miss transfer is averaging more yards from scrimmage than Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Donnel Pumphrey. Who is I’Tavius Mathers of MTSU?

DECEMBER 26

St. Petersburg Bowl

Mississippi State vs. Miami University, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

The RedHawks started the season 0-6 and could end it on a seven-game winning streak. Playing an SEC team is not ideal, but, hey, who thought they would have gotten this far?

Quick Lane Bowl

Boston College vs. Maryland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Two 6-6 teams with zero combined victories against winning FBS opponents. Well, it’s better than waiting in line to return those ugly sweaters you got for Christmas.

Independence Bowl

N.C. State vs. Vanderbilt, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Watch or Commodores All-America Linebacker Zach Cunningham will tackle you. Actually, even if you do watch he might tackle you. He pretty much tackles everyone.

DECEMBER 27

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Army vs. North Texas, Noon (ESPN)

You recorded the regular-season meeting between the Black Knights and Mean Green, but your 6-year-old erased it from the DVR to record a Doc McStuffins marathon before you could watch it. Lucky you. They’re playing again.

Military Bowl

Wake Forest vs. Temple, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Defensive back-turned-defensive end Hassan Reddick of Temple leads the nation in tackles for loss (21.5). Wake has the second-worst offense of any bowl team. Watch to see Reddick’s draft stock improve.

Holiday Bowl

Minnesota vs. Washington State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The Golden Gophers threw eight TD passes this season. Cougars quarterback Luke Falk has thrown at least half that many in a game 12 times in his career.

Cactus Bowl

Boise State vs. Baylor, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

The Bears try to avoid a seven-game losing streak in a game that will essentially bring the Art Briles’ era to a close.

DECEMBER 28

Pinstripe Bowl

Northwestern vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Pitt star and cancer survivor James Conner plays his last college game in Yankee Stadium. Pretty cool.

Russell Athletic Bowl

Miami vs. West Virginia, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Hurricanes are involved so one day this game could be the subject of an ESPN 30-for-30.

Foster Farms Bowl

Indiana vs. Utah, 8:30 p.m. (FOX)

The first game as Indiana head coach for former defensive coordinator Tom Allen.

Texas Bowl

Kansas State vs. Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Get a preview of a Kansas State team that will be a trendy dark horse pick to win the Big 12 next season.

DECEMBER 29

Birmingham Bowl

South Florida vs. South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Like watching Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson play? Then you will enjoy USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

Belk Bowl

Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

If the game gets boring follow @belkbowl, the most entertaining bowl on Twitter.

Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma State vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Is this the end of Mike Gundy’s mullet? Or the first step toward a Bon Jovi cover band for the Cowboys’ coach?

DECEMBER 30

Liberty Bowl

Georgia vs. TCU, Noon (ESPN)

The Bulldogs (7-5) try to avoid their worst season since 2010, coincidentally the last time they went to the Liberty Bowl — which they lost to finish 6-7.

Sun Bowl

North Carolina vs. Stanford, 2 p.m. (CBS)

Christian McCaffrey’s last game at Stanford and you won’t have to stay up late to watch it.

Music City Bowl

Tennessee vs. Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Two fanbases that seem to be in a constant state of existential crisis. And one of them will end what looked not long ago like a promising season with a two-game losing streak.

Arizona Bowl

Air Force vs. South Alabama, 5:30 p.m. (ASN)

Air Force defensive back Weston Steelhammer is exactly the type of player you would expect a guy named Weston Steelhammer who plays for Air Force to be.

Orange Bowl

Florida State vs. Michigan, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

It is not a playoff game, but it feels a lot like one.

DECEMBER 31

Citrus Bowl

LSU vs. Louisville, 11 a.m. (ABC)

Lamar Jackson against one of the most talented and athletic defenses in the country is what’s for breakfast.

TaxSlayer Bowl

Kentucky vs. Georgia Tech, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

This season’s bowl most likely to be confused for pre-season NIT basketball in the TV listings.

Peach Bowl

College Football Playoffs semifinals

Alabama vs. Washington, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

You are running out of chances to see Nick Saban yell at Lane Kiffin.

Fiesta Bowl

College Football Playoffs semifinals

Clemson vs. Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Tigers-Buckeyes crowded bar with $100 cover charge

JANUARY 2

Outback Bowl

Florida vs. Iowa, 1 p.m. (ABC)

If the New Year’s Eve party turned into a New Year’s Day party, the expected Gators-Hawkeyes punt-fest should help you nap off that hangover.

Cotton Bowl

Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

So Western Michigan is known as the Broncos and their slogan is Row the Boat? This will all make sense after you see coach P.J. Fleck give his pregame speech.

Rose Bowl

Penn State vs. Southern California, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Every season there is a bowl that is almost certain to send the winner into the following season with an exorbitant amount of hype. This is that bowl.

Sugar Bowl

Oklahoma vs. Auburn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

There was a lot of talk about this being a down year for the SEC. You will be able to hear those “S-E-C!” chants all the back in Norman if an 8-4 team that stumbled into the Sugar Bowl beats the Big 12 champion.

JANUARY 9

National Championship in Tampa, Florida

Semifinals winners, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

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