College football’s traditional New Year’s Day bowl slate won’t have national championship implications in 2021-22, but there still are several high-profile games well worth tuning in to watch.
The Saturday slate includes three New Year’s Day 6 bowl games between No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 9 Oklahoma State (Fiesta), No. 6 Ohio State and No. 11 Utah (Rose) and No. 7 Baylor and No. 8 Ole Miss (Sugar). The Outback and Citrus bowls also present fascinating Big Ten-SEC matchups that will go a long way in determining which of those conferences is stronger in 2021.
BENDER: Picks, predictions for all bowl games in 2021-22
While none of those games will have an effect on the College Football Playoff national championship, they still feature several storylines, including Marcus Freeman’s Notre Dame coach debut, Kentucky’s bid for its second 10-win season in four years, Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud vs. Utah in the latter’s first Rose Bowl and a battle of styles between Baylor and Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.
We can’t wait to watch how those games play out. With that, Sporting News has you covered on how to watch every bowl game on the traditional New Year’s Day date.
College football schedule: What games are on today?
Saturday, Jan. 1
|Bowl||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|Outback Bowl||Penn State vs. No. 21 Arkansas||Noon||ESPN2, fuboTV|
|Fiesta Bowl||No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State||1 p.m.||ESPN, fuboTV|
|Citrus Bowl||No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky||1 p.m.||ABC, fuboTV|
|Rose Bowl||No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Utah||5 p.m.||ESPN, fuboTV|
|Sugar Bowl||No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss||8:45 p.m.||ESPN, fuboTV|
Penn State vs. No. 21 Arkansas
The lone bowl game that affects America at large (excluding those who have placed bets on outcomes, of course). The winner of this game determines whether America will receive a free bloomin’ onion or free coconut shrimp in the namesake for this bowl. Both the Nittany Lions (7-5) and Razorbacks (8-4) finished in the middle of their respective divisions, though that likely means much more to second-year Arkansas coach Sam Pittman than it does James Franklin. A win here for either team would represent a positive step forward for both teams heading into 2022.
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
The Fighting Irish were one spot — and one game — out of the College Football Playoff after losing to playoff-bound Cincinnati earlier in the season. That said, they’ll have to “settle” for a Fiesta Bowl matchup that features a likewise-disappointed Cowboys team, one that fell just a yard short in the Big 12 championship game vs. Baylor from potentially participating in the playoff. Apart from the interesting matchup (this is the first time these teams have played), it’s also worth paying attention to how first-year coach Marcus Freeman leads Notre Dame after Brian Kelly left for LSU.
No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky
Another Big Ten-SEC meeting — and the third one in two days. Iowa earned its shot in the Citrus Bowl on the strength of a 10-3 record, one that ended with a 42-3 beatdown at the hands of playoff-bound Michigan in the Big Ten championship game. The Hawkeyes would love nothing more than to rebound with a big win over a quality SEC opponent in Kentucky (9-3), which is looking for its second 10-win season in four seasons under coach Mark Stoops.
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Utah
Will Ohio State show up to this game? While it’s true the Rose Bowl has lost some of its luster in the CFP era, “The Granddaddy of Them All” is still the traditional bowl destination for the Buckeyes, who have made plenty of history in Pasadena. But reports indicate Ohio State has returned several thousand of its Rose Bowl tickets, which would suggest the fan base isn’t nearly as interested in the Rose Bowl as it is in the playoff. It’s easy to understand, considering the Buckeyes’ last game was a 42-27 loss to rival Michigan. But the Utes earned their spot in their first-ever Rose Bowl by beating a top-10 Oregon team twice by a combined score of 76-17. Ohio State must treat this game like a destination bowl, lest Utah provide one final blow to the Buckeyes.
No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss
The Sugar Bowl is the final New Year’s Day 6 bowl of the season, one that includes Big 12 champion Baylor vs. Ole Miss. The Bears boast a great defense — just ask Oklahoma State — and earned their way into the Sugar Bowl with a last-second goal-line stand against Oklahoma State. But that group should have its hands full with an Ole Miss offense — one that includes quarterback Matt Corral — which has had no problem making opposing defenses suffer. The Rebels earned their way into the Sugar Bowl as the highest-ranked SEC team not in the playoff (following No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia).
MORE: Full list of players skipping bowl games to prepare for 2022 NFL Draft
How to watch, live stream college football bowl games
The New Year’s Day slate of games will be televised live on the ABC family of networks, with ESPN broadcasting the Fiesta, Rose and Sugar bowls, ESPN2 broadcasting the Outback Bowl and ABC broadcasting the Citrus Bowl. All games can also be streamed live with fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
College football scores
|Penn State vs. No. 21 Arkansas|
|No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State|
|No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky|
|No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Utah|
|No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss|