‘Tis the season: Destinations, matchups for bowls around the state

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN

Camping World Stadium — Orlando, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Tulane: WR Darnell Mooney, 987 yards receiving, eight touchdowns

Louisiana: RB Trey Ragas, 1,141 yards rushing, eight touchdowns

NOTABLE

Tulane: The Green Wave became bowl eligible for the first time since 2013 after a successful two-point conversion with 1:27 left helped them beat Navy 29-28 in the regular-season finals.

Louisiana: The Ragin’ Cajuns had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 30-19 loss to Appalachian State in Saturday’s Sun Belt title game.

Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl

NIU vs. UAB

Dec. 18, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium — Boca Raton, Florida

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

USF vs. Marshall

Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Raymond James Stadium — Tampa, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Marshall: WR Tyre Brady, 66 catches for 914 yards and 9 touchdowns.

USF: RB Jordan Cronkrite, 173 carries for 1,095 yards and 9 touchdowns

NOTABLE

Marshall: The Thundering Herd had won three straight games before falling 41-20 at Virginia Tech on Saturday. Marshall owns a 5-0 bowl record during Doc Holliday’s coaching tenure.

USF: The Bulls raced to a 7-0 start and then lost their final five regular-season games. They will try to end that skid by playing a bowl game at their home stadium.

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl

FIU vs. Toledo

Dec. 21, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium — Nassau, Bahamas

TOP PLAYERS

Florida International: QB James Morgan, 2,764 yards passing, 26 TDs.

Toledo: RB Bryant Koback, 875 yards rushing, 13 TDs.

NOTABLE

Florida International: Butch Davis’ squad could have been Conference USA East division champions but lost 28-25 to Marshall in the regular-season finale.

Toledo: Scored at least 45 points in four of its last five games and won all four times it reached that total.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Miami vs. Wisconsin

Dec. 27, 5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Yankee Stadium — New York

TOP PLAYERS

Miami: Junior LB Shaq Quarterman had 76 tackles, 13 for a loss, and was picked for the All-ACC first team, while junior RB back Travis Homer had 969 yards rushing, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

Wisconsin: Sophomore RB Jonathan Taylor is the nation’s leading rusher with 1,989 yards and 16 TDs.

NOTABLE

Miami: The Hurricanes were ranked No. 8 in the preseason but lost four straight before finishing the season with an impressive 24-3 win over the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division champion Pittsburgh.

Wisconsin: The Badgers were ranked fourth by The AP in the preseason but were hurt by a head injury to QB Alex Hornibrook that limited him to nine games and Wisconsin ended the regular season with a loss to Minnesota, its first to the Golden Gophers since 2003.

Camping World Bowl

No. 15 West Virginia vs. No. 17 Syracuse

Dec. 28, 5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Camping World Stadium — Orlando, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Syracuse: QB Eric Dungey, 205 of 341 for 2,565 yards with 17 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. 167 carries for 732 yards and 15 touchdowns.

West Virginia: QB Will Grier, 266 of 397 for 3,864 yards with 37 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

NOTABLE

Syracuse: The Orange scored at least 50 points in five regular-season games. Syracuse played at Clemson this year and gave the playoff-bound Tigers their toughest regular-season test before falling 27-23.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers boast one of the nation’s most potent offenses and average 520.4 yards and 42.3 points.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

Dec. 29, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Oklahoma: QB Kyler Murray has thrown for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns this season.

Alabama: QB Tua Tagovailoa has 37 touchdown passes and is No. 2 nationally in pass efficiency this season — behind only Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.

NOTABLE

Oklahoma: The Sooners are in the playoff for the third time, and looking for their first win. They lost the Orange Bowl in 2015 and the Rose Bowl in 2018, both of those being semifinal games.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide are the only team who have appeared in all five editions of the playoff, and are seeking a fourth consecutive berth in the CFP championship game.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Michigan

Dec. 29, Noon ET, ESPN

Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta

TOP PLAYERS

Michigan: RB Karan Higdon is Big Ten’s second-leading rusher with 1,178 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Florida: DL Jachai Polite has 16 tackles for loss, including 11 sacks, to rank third in the SEC in both categories.

NOTABLE

Michigan: Despite giving up 567 yards to Ohio State, the Wolverines still rank No. 1 nationally in total defense. They held eight opponents under 300 yards and five to 10 points or fewer.

Florida: Dan Mullen’s first Gators team has won five more games than it did year ago and finished second to Georgia in the SEC East.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Texas A&M vs. NC State

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

TIAA Bank Field — Jacksonville, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Texas A&M: RB Trayveon Williams, 1,524 yards, 15 TDs rushing; 27 catches, 278 yards.

North Carolina State: QB Ryan Finley, 3,789 yards, 24 TDs passing; RB Reggie Gallaspy, 1,012 yards, 18 TDs rushing.

NOTABLE

Texas A&M: Paul “Bear” Bryant’s last game as Texas A&M’s coach was in the 1957 Gator Bowl, a 3-0 loss to Tennessee. He went on to greater heights at Alabama.

North Carolina State: The Wolfpack’s final regular-season game was a 58-3 blowout win over East Carolina on Saturday. It was added to the schedule because Hurricane Florence caused North Carolina State’s Sept. 15 game against West Virginia to be canceled.

Outback Bowl

No. 18 Mississippi State vs. Iowa

Jan. 1, Noon ET, ESPN2

Raymond James Stadium — Tampa, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Mississippi State: DE Montez Sweat, 51 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks.

Iowa: TE T.J. Hockenson, 46 catches, 717 yards, six touchdowns.

NOTABLE

Mississippi State: No. 18 final playoff ranking best since ending at No. 7 in 2014. Joe Moorhead joins Jackie Sherrill as only MSU coaches to make bowl game in first season.

Iowa: Four losses came by a combined 23 points. Beat Illinois and Nebraska to end the regular season.

VRBO Citrus Bowl

No. 14 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Penn State

Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ABC

Camping World Stadium — Orlando, Florida

TOP PLAYERS

Kentucky: QB Terry Wilson, 1,763 yards passing, 11 touchdowns.

Penn State: RB Miles Sanders, 1,223 yards rushing, nine touchdowns.

NOTABLE

Kentucky: The Wildcats’ best regular season in four decades ended with a second-place finish in the SEC East. Their signature win was a 27-16 upset at Florida, ending a 31-game losing streak to the Gators that was one of the longest in college football.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions finished 12th in the College Football Playoff rankings and third in the Big Ten East.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

No. 11 LSU vs. No. 8 UCF

Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN

State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona — Glendale, Arizona

TOP PLAYERS

UCF: QB Darriel Mack Jr. The Knights suffered a big blow when quarterback McKenzie Milton suffered a leg injury in the regular-season finale against South Florida. Mack slid into the starting spot nicely, accounting for six TDs in UCF’s win over Memphis in the AAC title game.

LSU: QB Joe Burrow. The junior threw for 2,500 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions during the regular season.

NOTABLE

UCF: The Knights finished a second straight undefeated regular season, but were left out of the College Football Playoff again. UCF proclaimed itself national champion last year after finishing as the only undefeated FBS team.

LSU: The Tigers knocked off No. 2 Georgia during the regular season, but were blown out by top-ranked Alabama to fall out of the playoff race.