Some college football fans began the new year disappointed. It has become a tradition for New Year’s Day to feature a full slate of bowl games. Today, there are zero bowl games as college football opted to avoid competing with the NFL. Additionally, all of the remaining four games are hosted in NFL stadiums and attempting to play on New Year’s would have caused a scheduling nightmare.
The Cotton Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl all take place on Monday, January 2nd. College football will have the day to themselves instead of seeing their ratings take a hit if they had played on the final day of the NFL season.
As SB Nation’s Jason Kirk explains, the Rose Bowl’s decision to not play on Sunday dates back to hundreds of years ago. In 1893, the Rose Parade group opted to avoid having the Rose Parade on Sunday.
Horses were tied up on streets outside of churches and the organizers were worried the horses would get spooked by the parade. The first bowl game was not played until 1902 and adopted the same Sunday philosophy as the parade.
Aside from Sundays, the Rose Bowl has been adamant that the bowl take place on New Year’s Day. So much so that it has caused the College Football Playoff schedule to be rearranged in the past because the organization refused to move the game to a different date.
So while it may be disappointing to not have any games to open the new year, there are four games on January 2. Iowa takes on Florida in the Outback Bowl at 1 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Western Michigan takes it undefeated record to Jerry’s World to battle Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
USC squares off with Penn State in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. The final bowl game before the national championship is the Sugar Bowl featuring Auburn and Oklahoma. The game starts at 8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
The national championship featuring Alabama and Clemson takes place on January 9 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.