Ranking The Five Worst Bowl Games Of 2017-18

Ryan Phillips

The full 40-game college football bowl schedule was released Sunday and it’s time to break down which contests you should be avoiding at all costs. What follows is a ranking of the five worst games of this year’s bowl season.

5. Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State
Broadcast info: Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m. EST, CBSSN

Gross. Just gross. This is a matchup between two terrible teams and is one of a number of examples that proves there are too many bowls. Western Kentucky (6-6) is a bad team and Georgia State (6-5) is probably worse. Yet they’ll get to play in a bowl game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando that’s sponsored by AutoNation. Seriously, who cares?

WKU finished fourth in Conference USA’s East Division. Fourth. The Hilltoppers suffered losses at Illinois, Vanderbilt, Marshall and FIU, and suffered home defeats against Louisiana Tech and Florida Atlantic.

Georgia State finished fourth in the Sun Belt and lost to Penn State (56-0), Tennessee State (not in FBS), Troy, Appalachian State and Idaho. All but the Penn State loss came at home.

If you’re maybe hoping for some random, bowl-magic fireworks in this one, stop. Western Kentucky ranks 65th nationally in total offense (400 yards per game), while Georgia State ranks 87th (385 yards per game).

This is a game that should not exist. Ever.

What I’d rather do than watch this game: Literally anything. 

4. Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa vs. Boston College
Broadcast info: Dec. 27, 5:15 p.m. EST, ESPN

Neither of these 7-5 teams is actually that bad, they’re both just painful to watch.

Iowa suffered losses against Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Purdue. None of those are awful losses, and the Hawkeyes also hammered Ohio State 55-24. Meanwhile, Boston College suffered defeats against Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Clemson, Virginia Tech and N.C. State. Again, no truly bad losses there for the Eagles. So yeah, they’re not terrible teams.

Here’s the thing, Iowa ranks 108th in the nation in total offense (340 yards per game), and Boston College ranks 82nd (387 yards per game). You’re almost certain to wind up seeing a lot of punts in this one, while the playing surface at Yankee Stadium is typically horrific for football. So yeah.

What I’d rather do than watch this game: Sit quietly while my ex-girlfriend recounts everything that was wrong with our relationship and how much happier she is since I broke up with her. 

3. Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina
Broadcast info: Jan. 1, 12:00 p.m. EST, ESPN 2

If you like watching paint dry, this matchup between Michigan (8-4) and South Carolina (8-4) is for you. Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines and Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks are all-defense, no-offense teams that — like most of the other teams on this list — are just painful to watch.

Both of these squads lost to some good teams, so they’re truly not that bad. They’re just absolutely no fun.

Despite a wealth of talent, Michigan finished 101st in the nation in total offense (355 yards per game), while South Carolina was even worse, finishing 109th (340 yards per game). Neither of these teams scores points either. The Wolverines finished the year ranked 86th in scoring (25.8 points per game), and the Gamecocks finished 98th (24.1 points per game).

This game will not be the cure for your hangover on New Year’s Day.

What I’d rather do than watch this game: Have my fingernails removed while someone plays The E.N.D. by the Black Eyed Peas on repeat. 

2. Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Utah State
Broadcast info: Dec. 30, 5:30 p.m. EST, CBSSN

I am a sports writer. It is my job to know things about sports. I have to admit, I had no idea the Arizona Bowl was a thing, much less the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. Why is this a thing? It shouldn’t be a thing. We should make sure it is no longer a thing.

New Mexico State (6-6) finished fourth in the Sun Belt, while Utah State (6-6) was fourth in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division. So yeah, don’t expect top-shelf football here. In a fun fact, this game features identical mascots, and I’m willing to bet there has never been a matchup between two “Aggies” in a bowl game before.

So where do these teams rank statistically? I don’t care and neither do you. These are two terrible teams participating in a game that shouldn’t exist. None of us are gonna watch, so let’s just pretend it isn’t happening and move on.

What I’d rather do than watch this game: Watch “King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword” while being force-fed what Papa John’s claims is pizza. 

1. Potato Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Wyoming
Broadcast info: Dec. 22, 4 p.m. EST, ESPN

Oh man, if you watch this game you’ll get to hear announcers making excuses for Josh Allen as he looks terrible against a directional Michigan school. Sweet!

Also, the Potato Bowl? Do we really need a bowl named after a tuberous crop? Is this like equal time for stem tubers since we have Citrus and Peach as bowls? “Fine, you guys can get your own bowl, but it will be played in Boise on blue turf. No negotiation.”

Central Michigan is…fine. At 8-4 the Chippewas had a decent season and have won five straight, and six of seven. Good for them.

Wyoming, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. The 7-5 Cowboys entered the year with some hype surrounding them and Allen, who some see as a top prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft. The redshirt junior quarterback has the size (6’5″ and 233 pounds) and arm strength you look for in an NFL-caliber signal-caller, but he doesn’t have much else.

Allen’s numbers this year are atrocious. In 10 games he completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 1,658 yards, with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. That’s it. And it seems every week someone was defending him because the talent around him wasn’t that great. But it’s not like he was facing NFL-level talent week-in and week-out in the Mountain West either. Quarterbacks are supposed to make the guys around them better. Allen didn’t do that in college.

There’s a chance Allen won’t play in this game, as he’s been battling a shoulder injury. If that’s the case, it gives you even less reason to watch.

What I’d rather do than watch this game: Listen to my brother-in-law explain to me that, not only are aliens real, the government knows it and is actively covering up their existence.