The Bowl season has faced more challenges than ever in 2020.
Eighteen college football games have been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. That said, the 2020-2021 playoffs still produced some entertaining games, and the conclusion will feature the No.1 Alabama vs No.3 Ohio State in the College National Championship game. Football Playoff on January 11.
No matter what you think of bowl games, there are always some memorable games and performances, for better or for worse.
Here is a look at the conference records with just the domestic championship game remaining:
With this, Sporting News examines the winners and losers of the reduced slate of 26 games.
Winner: Justin Fields
The Ohio State quarterback turned in a unforgettable performance in his team’s 49-28 victory over No.2 Clemson in the CFP semi-final at the Sugar Bowl. Fields had six touchdown passes and six incompleteness to finish with 385 passing yards. Four of those touchdown passes came while playing through an undisclosed injury, the product of a targeting hit by Clemson linebacker James Skalski. The Buckeyes avenged last year’s playoff semifinal loss to the Tigers at the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State now has a chance to win a second CFP Championship.
Loser: defense of Dabo Swinney and Clemson
Trevor Lawrence threw for 400 yards, but it wasn’t enough in the Tigers’ second straight loss on the playoff stage. Swinney donated the Buckeyes bulletin board material by put them at n ° 11 in his final coaching poll vote. Ohio State responded by finishing with 639 total yards – 11 more than LSU in their 42-25 CFP Championship win over Clemson last year. This should motivate Clemson during the offseason as he prepares for the next round.
Winners: Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith
Alabama’s Heisman finalists put on a show in the 31-14 win over Notre Dame at the Rose Bowl. Jones finished with 25 of 30 passes, 297 yards and four touchdowns. Three of them went to Smith, who had seven receptions for 130 yards. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who was named Texas’ new coach on Saturday, crafted a masterful game plan that helped put the Crimson Tide in position to win a sixth national championship under Nick Saban.
The Gators’ first four targets opted out of the Cotton Bowl Classic, and then Heisman finalist Kyle Trask threw three first-half interceptions in a 55-20 loss to Oklahoma. Maybe Trask would have done better to sit down too. Florida coach Dan Mullen said the team could have pulled out of the bowling game due to an exhausted roster, then doubled in saying, “Team 2020’s last game had held 11 days ago (in the SEC Championship). ” This attitude calls into question the value of New Year’s bowls 6.
Winner: The Big 12
The conference ended 5-0 in bowling games and the Sooners used their Cotton Bowl experience as a stepping stone until 2021. Their offense is set to be fantastic next season with Spencer Rattler, Marcus Major, Seth McGowan and Marvin Mims . Lincoln Riley ultimately beat an SEC team in a bowl game. And Oklahoma wasn’t the only winner. Texas beat Colorado 55-23 before unexpectedly firing Tom Herman and hiring Sarkisian. West Virginia and the state of Oklahoma also won. Iowa State capped the perfect bowl season with a 34-17 victory over Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. This was quite the turn of events after a disappointing run of non-conference losses in September. The Sooners, Longhorns and Cyclones could be the top 10 teams heading into the 2021 season.
Clemson and Notre Dame for the first time lost in the semi-finals, which put the brakes on an otherwise historic season for the conference. Miami lost 37-34 to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl, a loss that was compounded by quarterback D’Eriq King tearing his ACL apart. North Carolina lost to Texas A&M 41-27 in the Orange Bowl, Wake Forest lost to Wisconsin 42-28 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, and NC State was edged out to Kentucky 23-21 in the Gator Bowl. That’s a score of 0-6, tied for worst among conferences.
Winner: The Sun Belt
Coastal Carolina’s undefeated candidacy fell through after losing 37-34 to Liberty in a Cure Bowl thriller, but the conference has always relied on a good season in its bowl games. Appalachian State and Louisiana could finish as ranked teams after their respective bowl wins over North Texas and UTSA. The Mountaineers had one of the best individual bowl performances from running back Camerun Peoples, who rushed for 317 yards and five touchdowns against the Mean Green at the Myrtle Beach Bowl. Georgia State and Georgia Southern also won. The four conference wins have averaged 22 points.
Loser: Conference USA
The conference finished 0-6 in bowling matches, the lowest score among the 5-league group. The UAB conference champion couldn’t play; her appearance at the Gasparilla Bowl was canceled due to COVID-19 issues at 2-8 in South Carolina. Marshall and UTSA each lost by touchdown; they are the smallest of C-USA’s six losses.