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Open Thread: New Year’s Eve bowls and playoff semifinals

Ring in the New Year with bowl match-ups and playoff games!

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Florida Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Today we have bowl games and playoff games! Find out when and where below.

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

What: The Citrus Bowl has been in existence since 1947. It was originally known as the Tangerine Bowl, from 1947 to 1982, before acquiring the Citrus Bowl moniker in 1983. In 2003, it became known as the Capital One Bowl, due to corporate sponsorship, before changing to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl last season.
Who: The 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl features the LSU Tigers and the Louisville Cardinals. LSU had an uneven season, firing Les Miles and eventually hiring interim head coach Ed Orgeron. The Tigers will be without star tailback Leonard Fournette, as he has chosen to forgo playing to focus on the upcoming NFL Draft. But don’t expect any drop off in the run game for the Tigers, as Derrius Guice is more than capable. Louisville also had an uneven and somewhat disappointing season. Quarterback Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy, but after a strong start the Cardinals lost their last two games to Houston and Kentucky.
Where: Camping World Stadium, which is located in Orlando, Florida. The stadium opened in 1936 as Orlando Stadium and has also been known as the Tangerine Bowl, Florida Citrus Bowl, and Orlando Citrus Bowl. It hosts many bowl games and football events, and serves as the home of the Orlando City Lions soccer team. The facility is one of the few city-owned venues in the country. Fun fact: this game was actually played in Gainesville in 1973 when the Tangerine Bowl was under renovation.
When: 11:00 a.m.., December 31, on ABC, or streaming via WatchESPN. This game has traditionally been on New Year’s Day, but was moved to New Year’s Eve this year.
Why and how: The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl has tie-ins with the SEC and the Big Ten, holding the first selection after the College Football Playoff selection process for both conferences.
What do the players get? $305 Best Buy shopping trip (to be spent during the team’s official store visit), a Timely Watch Co. watch, an EA Sports video game; ISlide sandals, and a $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card.
How much is that worth? $500 or so? It depends on the cost of that Timely Watch Co. watch. The ISlides are probably about $50. Also, it does say “EA Sports video game,” no specific game name is provided.
Should I watch? Your choice for this viewing window is this game or Georgia Tech and Kentucky, so.. yeah, watch this one.

Taxslayer Bowl

What: The Taxslayer Bowl has been in existence since 1946, but you may know it by its original name - the Gator Bowl. It has had many corporate sponsorships in its time, having had Mazda, Outback, Toyota, Konica Minolta, and Progressive attach their names to it before Taxslayer did. Taxslayer dropped the “Gator” from the bowl title in 2014.
Who: The 2016 Taxslayer Bowl features the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Kentucky Wildcats. Georgia Tech went 8-4 this year, and I had to look that up because I did not remember one thing about their season other than that they beat Georgia to end the year. Kentucky went 7-5 and finished their season with a win over rival Louisville.
Where: EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is also, of course, where Florida and Georgia play each year. This game was originally played in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville before its demise, and was also once played in Gainesville, in 1994 during construction of EverBank Field (then known as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium).
When: 11:00 a.m.., December 31, on ESPN, or streaming via WatchESPN.
Why and how: Beginning in 2015 the Taxslayer Bowl returned to a hybrid feature arrangement. The deal will feature SEC teams playing ACC teams for three years and Big Ten teams the other three years; with Notre Dame being eligible for a spot during the ACC years.
What do the players get? A Fossil watch, a carry-on bag, Under Armour sunglasses, a football, a bobblehead with the player’s face, name, and uniform number.
How much is that worth? $300 or so? A carry-on bag is a good gift, never underestimate the need for a good one of those. Also, a football! Just what every football player needs!
Should I watch? Probably not? Maybe if the LSU-Louisville game is a blow-out or a really boring slog.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

What: The Peach Bowl has been played in Atlanta since 1968. The bowl has been sponsored by Chick-fil-A since 1997. It was just known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl from 2006 to 2013, before “Peach” was added back into the title once it was announced that this would be one of the New Year’s Six bowls in the playoff era.
Who: The 2016 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl features the Washington Huskies and the Alabama Crimson Tide. It is the first of the two playoff semifinal games to be played today. The No. 4 seeded Huskies are the Pac 12 champions, having lost just once this season, to USC. Alabama is No. 1, undefeated, and probably as good or better than they have ever been.
Where: The Georgia Dome, is located in, well, Georgia, of course. The Peach Bowl has always been played in Atlanta, at one stadium or another. The Georgia Dome is owned and operated by the state of Georgia and is home to the Atlanta Falcons, and has also hosted the SEC Championship Game since 2004.
When: 3:00 p.m.., December 31, on ESPN, or streaming via WatchESPN.
Why and how: Traditionally, the Peach Bowl has featured ACC and SEC teams. It is now a part of the New Year’s Six playoff games, and will host playoff semifinal match-ups in 2016, 2019, 2022, and 2025.
What do the players get? A $300 Vanilla Visa gift card by InComm, a JBL Bluetooth speaker, a Fossil watch and a football.
How much is that worth? There’s that football again! Around $550 or so, I believe.
Should I watch? Sure. It’s a playoff game. Even if there is a chance that Alabama could do Alabama things and completely shut down Washington, it’s still a playoff game on a Saturday afternoon and there are worse things that you could be doing.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl

What: The Fiesta Bowl will always be the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to me, even though it was only named as such from 1996 to 2014. Prior to that, corporate sponsorship gave us the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl and the IBM Fiesta Bowl. In 2014, it was known as the Vizio Fiesta Bowl, for just one year, before becoming the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl for one year. (Side tangent: What the heck is Battlefrog? Apparently some fitness-centric obstacle course races, or something..) This is the first year with Playstation sponsorship. The Fiesta Bowl started in 1971 but wasn’t saddled with a branding sponsor until 1986.
Who: The 2016 Playstation Fiesta Bowl features the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Clemson Tigers. It is the second of the two playoff semifinal games to be played today. The No. 3 seeded Buckeyes have one loss, to Big 10 champ Penn State. Clemson is seeded in the second spot. The one-loss ACC Champions are back in the playoff for the second consecutive season.
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (I’ll spare y’all some lame joke about a University of Phoenix football team). The stadium is the home of the Arizona Cardinals and has hosted several national championship games and super bowls.
When: 7:00 p.m.., December 31, on ESPN, or streaming via WatchESPN. The College Football Playoff continues its tradition of scheduling playoff games on New Year’s Eve, much to the consternation of fans.
Why and how: The Fiesta Bowl was one of the rotating national championship sites under the BCS system. In the CFP era, it will host a semifinal playoff game every three years, with the teams playing in this bowl being selected each year by the College Football Playoff Committee.
What do the players get? Gift suite or PS4 game and accessory bundle, an Ogio Throttle backpack, a Fossil watch, and a football.
How much is that worth? The best gift is the football, obviously. It’s nice that there is a gift suite option in the event that you do not need the PS4 game or accessory bundle. The value of these gifts really depends on what that entails. An Ogio throttle backpack will run you around $90 or so.
Should I watch? Yes. It’s a playoff game, and, on paper anyways, the one that will probably be a closer game. It’ll most likely be over before the ball drops, too, so there’s that.