GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Notre Dame will face Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl in a matchup of two teams that just missed the College Football Playoff. The Fighting Irish will be led by new coach Marcus Freeman, who takes over for the departed Brian Kelly. The Cowboys are coming off a Big 12 title game loss to Baylor where Dezmon Jackson was stopped just short of the end zone pylon in the final seconds.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — No. 6 Baylor and No. 8 Mississippi will match up in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. Baylor is coming off a Big 12 football championship after holding off Oklahoma State for a 21-16 victory Saturday in the conference title game. Ole Miss concluded its regular season with a 31-21 victory over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night for its first 10-win regular season in program history. Ole Miss returns to the Sugar Bowl for the second time in five years and ninth time overall. Baylor makes its third Sugar Bowl appearance and second in three seasons.
Minnesota will face West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Dec. 28. The Golden Gophers have allowed only 284.8 yards per game — fourth nationally and fewest by a Minnesota defense since 1966 (225.1) — 18.25 points per game, a program best since the turn of the century. West Virginia has won four of its last six games after losing three straight to open conference play.
Oklahoma will face Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29. Oklahoma brought in former coach Bob Stoops as interim coach after Lincoln Riley left for USC. Freshman Caleb Williams leads the Sooners with 18 touchdown passes and six rushing scores. Oregon looked like a possible playoff team before losing to Utah in the regular season and again in the PAC-12 title game. Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is projected to be an early first-round draft pick in 2022. Travis Dye leads Oregon’s offense with 17 total touchdowns.
Mississippi State coach Mike Leach will face his former team in the postseason. The Bulldogs will play Texas Tech in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28 in Memphis, Tennessee. Leach coached the Red Raiders from 2000-2009. The Bulldogs have made 12 consecutive bowl appearances. The Red Raiders are in their first bowl game since 2017. They’re led by offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, with Joey McGuire taking over after the season. Cumbie has already been hired as Louisiana Tech’s head coach.