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College Football Bowl Games Today, 1/2: Schedule, Matchups, Predictions and How to Watch TV Coverage

Happy New Year! What better way to cap off the holiday weekend and ring in 2023 than with a full day of college football bowl games? The early action includes a pair of matchups between Big Ten and SEC foes. There is also the prestigious Cotton Bowl Classic to look forward to on Monday’s college football bowl game schedule. A great day of games will fittingly conclude with “The Granddaddy of Them All” at the Rose Bowl. For those making college football bowl predictions for the games today, be sure to take advantage of the free money available via the BetMGM promo code that is included in this article!

Below is an all-inclusive look at the college football bowl game schedule for Monday, January 2nd. Readers will find the matchups, start times, predictions, TV coverage and how to watch the college football bowl games today.

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College Football Bowl Games Today: Schedule, Start Time, Predictions, TV Coverage

ReliaQuest Bowl Prediction and Preview

ReliaQuest Bowl
Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten)
Time: 12 p.m. EST
Venue: Raymond James Stadium — Tampa, FL
Coverage: ESPN2

The New Year’s Day college football bowl game schedule begins in Tampa, Florida, with the ReliaQuest Bowl. Teams from the SEC and Big Ten Conferences are set to go head-to-head as Mississippi State takes on Illinois. Of course, emotions will certainly be running high on the Bulldogs’ sideline as this will be the team’s first game since the tragic passing of head coach Mike Leach.

From inventing the Air Raid offense to the plethora of hilarious quotes and soundbites from his interviews, Leach will go down as one of college football’s greatest innovators. ‘The Pirate’ was never afraid to be himself and will be honored in several ways at the bowl game on Monday.

According to the numberFire college football bowl projections, Illinois has a 54.2% chance of winning the ReliaQuest Bowl.

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Citrus Bowl Prediction and Preview

Citrus Bowl
LSU Tigers (9-4, 6-2 SEC) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (8-5, 6-3 Big Ten)
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Venue: Camping World Stadium — Orlando, FL
Coverage: ABC

The Citrus Bowl is a New Year’s Day tradition that dates all the way back to 1947. This year’s matchup between LSU and Purdue will feature two teams that exceeded expectations by making it to their respective conference championship games.

Unfortunately, a coaching change, various NFL Draft opt-outs and transfers have cast a cloud over the game itself. With Jeff Brohm leaving Purdue to take the head coaching position at his alma mater, Lousiville, several prominent Boilermakers players have either opted out of this game or transferred. The Tigers will also be without some NFL Draft opt-outs, but star quarterback Jayden Daniels is set to start.

According to the numberFire bowl game projections, LSU has a 88.9% chance of winning the Citrus Bowl.

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Cotton Bowl Prediction and Preview

Cotton Bowl Classic
Tulane Green Wave (11-2, 7-1 AAC) vs. USC Trojans (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12)
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Venue: AT&T Stadium — Arlington, TX
Coverage: ESPN

Next up on the list of college football bowl games today is an intriguing matchup between Tulane and USC in the Cotton Bowl Classic. It has been decades since the Green Wave played in a bowl game of this magnitude. After winning the AAC Championship, Tulane qualified for a New Year’s Six Bowl by virtue of finishing as the highest-ranked Group of 5 team.

Needless to say, few could’ve envisioned a team that won just two games a year ago having an opportunity to win the Cotton Bowl. However, it will hardly be a cakewalk against USC and quarterback Caleb Williams. The Heisman Trophy winner has reportedly recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained in the Pac-12 title game and is set to lead the Trojans’ potent offense in Monday’s matchup.

According to the numberFire college football bowl game projections, Tulane has a 50.3% chance of winning the Cotton Bowl.

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Rose Bowl Prediction and Preview

Rose Bowl Game
Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) vs. Utah Utes (10-3, 7-2 Pac-12)
Time: 5 p.m. EST
Venue: Rose Bowl — Pasadena, CA
Coverage: ESPN

From the parade of roses earlier in the day to the backdrop provided by the San Gabriel Mountains and the setting sun during the game, the Rose Bowl certainly knows how to provide unmatched pageantry. Of course, there’s also the game itself, and this year’s matchup between Penn State and Utah figures to be a doozy.

The Nittany Lions’ only two losses on the year came against Michigan and Ohio State, two teams that went on to play in the College Football Playoff. After a dominant final month of the regular season, Penn State will now return to the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 2017.

Meanwhile, the Utes will be making their second straight appearance in “The Granddaddy of Them All” after winning their second consecutive Pac-12 Conference Championship. After falling just short in last year’s Rose Bowl, Utah will take another crack at what would be the biggest win in school history.

According to the numberFire bowl game projections, Penn State has a 54.1% chance of winning the Rose Bowl.

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