As soon as it popped onto the screen, the broadcasters oohed and ahhed like they were watching the swimsuit portion of the Miss America pageant.

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will feature two teams that spent a good portion of the season in the conversation for the College Football Playoff. Now they’ll take out their frustration with missing football’s version of the Final Four on each other.

Are there any other games we can’t wait to watch that garner the same level of enthusiasm? We asked the SDS staff to debate among the 12 bowl matchups.


Jon Cooper (@JonSDS): TCU vs. Ole Miss

I’m going to stray from the norm of Alabama vs. Ohio State, because everyone in the country wants to see Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer, but I’m going with TCU and Ole Miss. Arguably the country’s top defense in Ole Miss against one of the top offenses in TCU. It’s a sexy, sexy matchup. I thought TCU was one of the four best teams after Championship Saturday, and I’ll get a good feel to see if they belonged in the playoff four or not. This should be a very entertaining and telling football game for both conferences.

Brad Crawford (@BCrawfordSDS): TCU vs. Ole Miss

I thought TCU was the fourth-best team in the country coming into Sunday’s final College Football Playoff rankings reveal, so Atlanta getting the Horned Frogs as an at-large pick fell right into this bowl committee’s lap. Quarterback Trevone Boykin against the Rebels’ star-studded secondary should be a show for viewers and those in attendance.

Jason Hall (@JasonHallSDS): Georgia vs. Louisville

The Belk Bowl. Both teams ended the season with rankings and feature talent on both sides of the football. Louisville has one of the nation’s top rush defenses. Georgia boasts one of the best rushing attacks. Hutson Mason plays in his final game and looks to end his collegiate career on a high note. To me, this is the most appealing matchup of the SEC bowl games.

Chris Walsh (@CrimsonWalsh): TCU vs. Ole Miss

The easy answer is to say Alabama-Ohio State for the Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer “reunion,” but I think the rest of the college football world is about to get a reminder of just how good the SEC was this year. With all of the teams getting a chance to rest up there could be some lopsided games if the SEC teams are motivated, and even if they aren’t there might still be some beatdowns. The one that could potentially be the best game, though, is Ole Miss vs. TCU.

Ethan Levine (@EthanLevineSDS): TCU vs. Ole Miss

impressive collection of quality wins between them, it also features a showdown between the Rebels vaunted Landshark defense and TCU’s explosive offense. Ole Miss boasted the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense this season, and it forced at least one takeaway in 11 straight games to open the season. TCU, on the other hand, finished the year with the nation’s No. 2 scoring offense, averaging just shy of 47 points per game. The Rebels defense is loaded with NFL talent, but TCU’s offense is led by potential Heisman finalist Trevone Boykin, one of the nation’s most dynamic weapons. Something is going to have to give in this matchup, and I can’t wait to tune in on New Year’s Eve to find out which side budges and which side asserts its dominance one final time.

Drew Laing (@DLaingSDS): Arkansas vs. Texas

I will be most looking forward to the Texas Bowl between Arkansas and Texas. Not only is this a matchup between two up-and-coming teams, but it’s a game between two bitter old rivals from the Southwest Conference. It’s always great to see rival schools, especially ones that don’t typically play each other anymore, go at it during bowl season. And when the SEC gets to take on a storied program like Texas, it’s worth watching. We could be seeing a preview of two of 2015’s surprise teams.