What are today's college football games? Four matches on schedule


If you want a compelling argument to support playoff expansion, look no further than Saturday's Orange Bowl game, featuring No. 3 Florida State versus No. 6 Georgia.

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Saturday features the final quartet of college football contests before we say hello to 2024. Many of these ballgames traditionally would be contested on New Year's Eve but fall a day earlier this season depending on how the calendar falls.

The list includes the following two of the so-called New Year's Six duets, although the level of participation from participants may not be optimal. Oddly enough, there are no shows at peak times, so you'll have to find something else to do on a Saturday night. We can't really offer any advice in this regard, other than to say please be responsible – and save some fuel for the following night's festivities.

Here is the schedule (Eastern at all times):

Peach Bowl: No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 11 Mississippi, noon, ESPN

The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, reached their fifth major championship in eight years, including a Rose Bowl win last season. But none of them were playoff appearances, leaving the nagging impression of a yet-to-be-taken next step for the program on the eve of the 12-team era. The Rebels are in a somewhat similar situation, having tasted the Sugar Bowl a few seasons ago but still searching for a place among the SEC's elite. The highlight of this matchup headlines Ole Miss's high-speed, high-octane offense against a Nittany Lions defense that has been the stingiest in the country. Rebels QB Jaxson Dart and RB Quinshon Judkins could set the table for big things next year in Oxford with good performances on this stage, but Nittany Lions like DE Adisa Isaac and LB Curtis Jacobs could make their job difficult. If the Ole Miss offense continues, it will be up to Penn State's young running back tandem of QB Drew Allar and RB Kaytron Allen to answer. Ole Miss's defense has shown improvement this year, and DE Jared Ivey and DT JJ Pegues can be annoying.

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Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland, 2 p.m., ABC

It's hard to know what to expect from either team. The Tigers were last seen walking out of their home stadium in disbelief after Alabama's miracle fourth-place result saved the Crimson Tide's playoff quest. The improved Terrapins were unable to crack the Big Ten's upper echelon and reached Nashville shorthanded with QB Taulia Tagovailoa to the NFL. Auburn QB Payton Thorne will be there, and he also announced that he will return to the Plains for his senior campaign next year. But on this day, he'll have to watch out for Maryland S Glendon Miller, whose third pick of the season helped lead the Terrapins to a win over Rutgers in the regular-season finale. With Tagovailoa gone, both Billy Edwards and Cam Edge should see action for Maryland. They will try to solve Auburn's defense, anchored by LB Eugene Asante, which has had its moments but has struggled at times against the more accomplished passing units in the SEC.

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Orange Bowl: No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 6 Georgia, 4 p.m., ESPN

If you want a compelling argument in support of expanding the playoffs, look no further than this matchup that looks great on paper but in reality will likely feature two teams duking it out, with most of the elite players missing. One of the big names taking over the field is Georgia QB Carson Beck, who will return next season to hopefully take care of unfinished business. He'll likely be without big guns like TE Brock Bowers, who is still recovering from an ankle procedure and may not risk playing at less than full speed, but all-purpose WR Dillon Bell and other young playmakers may have opportunities to shine. The Seminoles will be shorthanded on both sides of the ball, but LB Kalen DeLoach, arguably the heart and soul of the defense all season, will take the field. Things got even more serious on the offensive end for FSU with QB Tate Rodemaker deciding to transfer and RB Trey Benson and WRs Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson skipping the game. QB Brock Glenn did enough to get the team to the finish line in the ACC title game against Louisville, and FSU fans have to hope more prep time will help his effectiveness in the passing game. However, the Bulldogs' defense should be mostly sound with LB Smael Mondon continuing to provide the center piece.

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Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming, 4:30 p.m., CW

If the Orange Bowl is getting old and you have a CW affiliate around, this mid-sized duel in the desert might be worth watching. It will be the swan song for Cowboys coach Craig Buhl as he heads toward retirement, handing the reins to defensive coordinator Jay Saville. The Rockets were unable to complete a sweep of the Mid-American Conference, losing a rematch to Miami (Ohio) in the finale, and are hoping to finish an otherwise tremendous campaign on a high note despite some key exits through the gate. The catalyst for Wyoming is QB Andrew Beasley, who has hauled in 27 total TDs on the season, including seven by touchdown. With Dequan Finn out for Baylor, Toledo will square off with Tucker Gleason at QB. Veteran RB Peny Boone is also out the door, so RB Jacquez Stuart will likely step in and take the bulk of the deliveries for the Rockets. Some names to know on the defensive side include Cowboys LB Easton Gibbs and Toledo DT Justice Culpepper.

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