With 39 bowl games, December and January will be more cluttered than ever in college football history. Oddly enough, though, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day will be much less busy than they've been in years past.
The College Football Playoff and its six member bowls - Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach - have firmly parked themselves in the prime real estate of Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, and everyone else is now scrambling out of their path.
The Gator Bowl (they're not paying me to call it the TaxSlayer Bowl, after all) will move from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2. The Sun Bowl, a New Year's Eve fixture for decades, will now be played on Dec. 27. The Liberty Bowl, also a New Year's Eve staple, is moving to an undetermined date. Same for the Heart of Dallas Bowl, though it lacks the history of those others.
Only the Capital One and Outback are the only non-Playoff games to remain on New Year's Day. They'll kick off between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. The Outback will be broadcast on ESPN2, while the Capital One Bowl will be shown on ABC and, thus, very possibly draw a higher rating than the Playoff-branded Cotton Bowl on ESPN.
Here's your new New Year's Eve and New Year's Day viewing schedule (times TBD):
New Year's Eve
Peach Bowl - ESPN
Fiesta Bowl - ESPN
Orange Bowl - ESPN
New Year's Day
Outback Bowl - ESPN2
Capital One Bowl - ABC
Cotton Bowl - ESPN
Rose Bowl (national semifinal) - ESPN
Sugar Bowl (national semifinal) - ESPN
One note to keep in mind, the Playoff semifinals will be played on New Year's Eve two out of every three years. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, by divine right of being the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, will remain parked on their New Year's Day afternoon and primetime slots whether or not they're hosting a semifinal. When the rotation moves the semifinals to the Cotton, Orange, Fiesta or Peach bowls, those games will be moved to the afternoon/primetime slots on New Year's Eve.