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Title game, Oklahoma-Clemson lead the bowl game schedule

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Ranking the college bowl games.

1. National Championship game. Will it be Clemson-Alabama?

2. Oklahoma-Clemson (Orange). There haven’t been too many times Baker Mayfield has been the second-best QB on the field.

3. Alabama-Michigan State (Cotton). How many times more than 40 will Derrick Henry carry the ball?

4. Notre Dame-Ohio State (Fiesta). A lot of marquee players for teams that just missed the playoffs.

5. Stanford-Iowa (Rose). Stanford’s Christian McCafferty is a whole lot of fun.

6. Houston-FSU (Peach). Greg Ward and Dalvin Cook might as well run wind sprints against each other.

7, Michigan-Florida (Citrus). Call it the Coach of the Year Bowl.

8. Ole Miss-Oklahoma State (Sugar). Watch the Rebels’ Robert Nkemdiche.

9. Oregon-TCU (Alamo). Both interesting offenses, even in off seasons.

10. West Virginia-Arizona State (Cactus). Nice regional matchup, fun to watch.

11. LSU-Texas Tech (Advocare). Remember Leonard Fournette? He’s still pretty good.

12. Pitt-Navy (Military). How many touchdowns will Keenan Reynolds score in his final game?

13. North Carolina-Baylor (Russell Athletic). Will the scoreboard hold all the points?

14. USC-Wisconsin (Holiday). Two great programs even in a down year.

15. Northwestern-Tennessee (Outback). The Vols were the hard-luck team of the SEC this year behind Josh Dobbs.

16. N.C. State-Mississippi State (Belk). Two pretty good, not great, ballclubs.

17. Miami-Washington State (Sun). A pretty good chance for the Hurricanes to show off for new coach Mark Richt.

18. Texas A&M-Louisville (Music City). Both teams can move the ball.

19. USF-Western Kentucky (Miami Beach). The contrast of styles between the running Bulls and throwing Hilltoppers makes this fascinating.

20. Tulsa-Virginia Tech (Independence). Made interesting by the retirement of Tech coach Frank Beamer.

21. BYU-Utah (Royal Purple). Offensive fireworks should say farewell to BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall.

22. Auburn-Memphis (Birmingham). Memphis’ Paxton Lynch might run away with this one.

23. Temple-Toledo (Boca Raton). Both teams just missed conference titles.

24. Georgia-Penn State (TaxSlayer). Will Georgia’s Kirby Smart go to the game?

25. UConn-Marshall (St. Petersburg). The Thundering Herd is better than you think they are.

26. UCLA-Nebraska (Foster Farms). Two schools still chasing who they used to be. Nebraska has a 5-7 record.

27. Washington-Southern Miss (Heart of Dallas Bowl). The Huskies led the Pac 12 in defense, but Southern Miss averaged 40.6 points per game.

28. California-Air Force (Armed Forces). Cal makes its first bowl game since 2011.

29. Indiana-Duke (Pinstripe Bowl). Does anyone have a basketball?

30. Boise State-Northern Illinois (Poinsetta). Wouldn’t it be cooler if Boise brought its blue turf?

31. New Mexico-Arizona (New Mexico). Rich Rodriguez isn’t going anywhere.

32. Kansas State-Arkansas. (Liberty) Arkansas has put up some points this season.

33. San Diego State-Cincinnati. (Hawaii) The Bearcats can usually throw the ball.

34. Akron-Utah State (Potato). Between the two of them, they have 13 losses.

35. Central Michigan-Minnesota (Quick Lane). Minnesota has a 5-7 record, so it goes to Detroit.

36. Middle Tennessee-Western Michigan (Bahamas). Nice bowl trip for two decent teams.

37. Arkansas State-Louisiana Tech. (New Orleans Bowl) Anyone want to watch Jeff Driskel again?

38. Georgia Southern-Bowling Green (GoDaddy). Nick Arbuckle is well known for Southern.

39. Ohio-Appalachian State. (Camellia Bowl) Appalachian State is 10-2, so don’t scoff too much.

40. Georgia State-San Jose State (Cure). Georgia State lost four of its first five games but reached its first bowl.

41. Colorado State-Nevada (Arizona). Even the conference boss griped about this matchup.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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