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MM 12.27: The best bowl games to watch this weekend

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

SEC Championship - Georgia v LSU Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With Maryland football missing out on yet another bowl season, fans alike have shifted their attention to other sporting avenues, such as the 13th-ranked basketball team. However, for those itching for some more college football, this weekend presents an opportunity for some instant classics. From the College Football Playoffs kicking off, to the second edition of the Cheez-It Bowl, here are the games to watch this weekend.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, Friday, Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m.

No. 25 Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-4) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (7-5)

The Big 12 representative in the Texas Bowl hasn’t lost in three straight meetings against SEC foes, and the Cowboys will look to make it four against Texas A&M. The Aggies have struggled down the stretch, but started the season ranked 12th in the nation, while Oklahoma State had won four in a row before losing to Oklahoma during rivalry week. Redshirt sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard can be the catalyst in this matchup, having led the NCAA in rushing yards with 1,936.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, Friday, Dec. 27, 8:00 p.m.

No. 22 USC (8-4) vs. No. 16 Iowa (9-3)

A coin flip contest between two solid teams will pit a prolific defense against a dynamic offense in San Diego. The Trojans, having lost starting sophomore quarterback JT Daniels in their season opener against Fresno State, proved their resilience with an 8-4 record on the year (7-2 Pac-12) The Hawkeyes kept games low scoring en route to a second consecutive nine win season. Iowa allowed 13.2 points per game, tying for fifth in the nation. The Big Ten team should have their hands full against Clay Helton’s Trojan squad, however, who are searching for their first bowl win since the 2017 Rose Bowl thriller against Penn State.

Cheez-It Bowl, Friday, Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m.

Air Force (10-2) vs. Washington State (6-6)

A tale of two seasons for the Falcons and Cougars will culminate in Phoenix for the 2019 Cheez-It Bowl. Following two straight five win seasons, Air Force doubled their win total in head coach Troy Calhoun’s 13th season. The Falcons are riding a seven game win streak heading into their matchup against Washington State. The Cougars, on the other hand, have struggled this season, barely clinching a postseason berth after starting the season 3-3. Head coach Mike Leach will look to finish above .500 on the season, while also raising his bowl game record in Pullman to the .500 mark.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Saturday, Dec. 28, 12 p.m.

No. 17 Memphis (12-1) vs. No. 10 Penn State (10-2)

The Saturday slate kicks off with an intriguing faceoff between Memphis and Penn State. The No. 17 Tigers have been the best Group of Five team this season, earning a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game as a result of their play. Their Cotton Bowl foe will be the No. 10 Nittany Lions, who were in CFP contention throughout the season before a loss against then-No. 13 Minnesota blemished their hopes. A loss to No. 2 Ohio State put the nail in the coffin on Penn State’s season, but now it will have a chance at a coveted bowl title.

Camping World Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 28, 12 p.m.

No. 15 Notre Dame (10-2) vs. Iowa State (7-5)

Notre Dame will hope to finish another successful season under head coach Brian Kelly with a victory against Iowa State on Saturday. The Fighting Irish bolstered an efficient offense and a solid defense, yet couldn’t come away with critical victories against then-No. 3 Georgia and then-No. 19 Michigan that could have ultimately changed the trajectory of their season. Iowa State, on the other hand, has continued to churn out solid seasons after a tumultuous stretch to begin the decade. The noon game will the 30th edition of the Camping World Bowl.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinal), 4:00 p.m.

No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) vs. No. 1 LSU (13-0)

The first of two college football playoff semifinal games taking place Saturday will feature Heisman winning quarterback Joe Burrow and transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts. The top ranked Tigers have been trending upwards all season, which culminated with an SEC Championship destruction of the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs. Head coach Ed Orgeron has led the No. 2 offense and turned Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow into a Heisman trophy winner. The Sooners offense, while also tantalizing, is run through fellow transfer Jalen Hurts. The Alabama transfer, along with projected top NFL draft pick CeeDee Lamb, will look to hand LSU its first loss of the season.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinal), 8 p.m.

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Ohio State (13-0)

The latter CFP semifinal will pit two undefeated juggernauts against one another in the Fiesta Bowl. Defending national champions Clemson, led by the best defense in the nation (allowing 10.6 points per game), coasted through the ACC to clinch their fifth consecutive CFP berth. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, were led by transfer Justin Fields at quarterback and defensive anchor Chase Young to win the Big Ten. These two met in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, where eventual champion Clemson handled the Buckeyes, 31-0. This rematch will be must watch television, with revenge on the minds of the Buckeyes.

In other news

Maryland men’s basketball dropped to No. 13 in the latest AP Poll.

Maryland men’s basketball wished all its fans Happy Holidays.

Mike Locksley also celebrated a birthday.

Maryland football has had some great uniforms the past decade. Which one is your favorite?

Maryland women’s basketball also wished its fans happy holidays.

The all-decade team for Major League Soccer includes two Terps alumni.

A few Maryland men’s soccer players were acknowledged by United Soccer Coaches.

The women’s lacrosse team has announced its all-decade lineup.