Ranking the final college football games of 2020
Bowl season is in full swing (sort of), and the final games of 2020 are here. Sad I know, but there are still plenty of exciting games to be played. With just nine games remaining, it's time to take a look at the best of the rest for this year.
1. Cotton Bowl: #7 Florida (8-3) vs. #6 Oklahoma (8-2)
If you told someone a year ago that Florida's offense would be significantly better than Oklahoma's at this point in the season, many wouldn't believe you. Heisman finalist Kyle Trask (4,125 yards passing, 43 touchdowns) and Dan Mullen have taken the Gators offense to new heights in 2020, and they have one more game to make a final statement.
Oklahoma's still no slouch, but they're just not as prolific as they were in the last few years. Freshman Spencer Rattler (2,784 yards passing, 27 touchdowns) is showing that he could be a problem for opposing defenses in the future, and the Sooners found a way to win their sixth consecutive Big 12 championship. This Sooners offense is young, so a win here would explode the hype for this team in 2021.
2. Cheez-It Bowl: #21 Oklahoma State (7-3) vs. #18 Miami (8-2)
Even without the likes of Chuba Hubbard, this game is one of the best in bowl season. Oklahoma State once had playoff aspirations, but that quickly died. Now, they're looking to add an eighth win to their resume while looking forward to next year. While Hubbard won't play for the Cowboys, Dezmon Jackson appears to be the next great back for the Pokes. In seven games he averaged 5.7 yards per carry, and this offense is still as lethal as it was with Hubbard. After all, Tylan Wallace is still around, and he's a nightmare for anyone to cover.
D'Eriq King and Rhett Lashlee took Miami's offense to new heights, and the senior quarterback announced he would return in 2021. That excitement could rise even more if the Canes can pull off a big win this week. King leads that charge with his 3,000+ total yards and 26 total touchdowns, and a big performance from him would put him near the top of the Heisman watch lists next year.
3. Arizona Bowl: Ball State (6-1) vs. #22 San Jose State (7-0)
If San Jose State wins, they should claim a national championship. Don't like them doing that? Let them in the playoff and beat them. It's that simple. Brent Brennan went 3-22 in his first two seasons with the Spartans, and now led an undefeated charge in his fourth. They'll face a Ball State team that just stunned Buffalo in the MAC Championship Game. Cardinals quarterback Drew Plitt could have produced a 3,000 yard passing season if they played a full year, and he'll duel with Spartans quarterback Nick Starkel.
4. Music City Bowl: #15 Iowa (6-2) vs. Missouri (5-5)
**UPDATE: Due to COVID concerns at Missouri, this game was canceled
Missouri was a nice surprise in the SEC this season, thanks mostly to the surprising play of Connor Bazelak. The Tigers offense runs behind the two-headed monster of Larry Rountree III and Tyler Badie. They'll face another black and gold team with a similar formula offensively. Iowa's Tyler Goodson and Mekhi Sargent combined for almost 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2020, so whichever duo plays better could determine the outcome.
5. Alamo Bowl: #20 Texas (6-3) vs. Colorado (4-1)
Colorado, the surprise of the Pac-12 faces a disappointing Texas team that fell short in winning the Big 12. Buffaloes running back Jarek Broussard broke out this year, running for 813 yards in just five games. His 301 yards were tied for second most this season behind Buffalo's Jaret Patterson. Texas enters the Alamo Bowl with uncertainty about the future of the program. The talent is there, but they can't seem to get over the Oklahoma hump under Tom Herman, and now they have to wonder if Sam Ehlinger will return or go pro. Also, this game has the potential to be crazy. Two of the last few Alamo Bowls have featured some crazy theatrics.
6. Texas Bowl: Arkansas (3-7) vs. TCU (6-4)
The SEC getting teams in with losing records is ridiculous, but Arkansas will still put up a good fight. Quarterback Feleipe Franks said he wanted to end his career on a high note, and he'll face Gary Patterson's secondary for a tough test. Receiver Treylon Burks had a big year and will be on many draft boards when the 2021 season ends.
TCU found a way to win six games in this strange year, and they'll need their own quarterback to step up. Max Duggan accounted for 20 total touchdowns, and he'll need to step it up against an Arkansas defense that can make an impact on the game.
7. Duke's Mayo Bowl: Wake Forest (4-4) vs. Wisconsin (3-3)
The Demon Deacons lost receiver Sage Surratt (opt out) and quarterback Jamie Newman (transfer) before the season began, but they didn't bat an eye. Sam Hartman took over for Newman, and limited his turnovers (just one interception). Jaquarii Roberson and Donavon Greene stepped up in Suratt's place, and there's a ton to like about this team for next year.
Wisconsin at one point had people thinking playoff until the train fell off the tracks. A big win over Michigan pushed them to 2-0 and then they lost three straight games to ranked teams before beating Minnesota in overtime to finish with a .500 record. The Badgers defense is once again a tough group, and it's on them to keep Wisconsin in the game.
8. Liberty Bowl: West Virginia (5-4) vs. Army (9-2)
Army didn't have a game to play in until recently, an outrage considering they won nine games this year. Luckily, they're in the Liberty Bowl and take on the Mountaineers. The Black Knights used multiple quarterbacks throughout the year, but it was their defense that helped them reach this point. They allowed just 14 points per game, and are now a reason that head coach Jeff Monken is being tied to jobs like Vanderbilt. West Virginia looks to end Neal Brown's second season on a high note, and the combination of Jarrett Doege and Leddie Brown in the backfield could be a dangerous one in 2021.
9. Armed Forces Bowl: #24 Tulsa (6-2) vs. Mississippi State (3-7)
Tulsa came up short in the AAC Championship Game, but they look to end their surprising 2020 campaign with a win over an SEC team. The Golden Hurricane won't have Zaven Collins to make big plays, but they proved that they're more than just one guy on both sides of the ball. Mississippi State started the year on just about the highest note you could with a win over defending national champs LSU, but went 2-7 to finish the season.