It’s back. A year after the pandemic helped shrink the bowl season to just 25 contests plus the national championship game, the schedule is back to 42 games in addition to the Jan. 10 title matchup.

Say hello to the Fenway Bowl and the LA Bowl, both making belated debuts after planning their first editions in 2020. And bring on the Frisco Football Classic, a hastily thrown together matchup to ensure a happy holiday season for all the good boys who won six games this year.

Welcome back to longtime mainstays such as the Independence and Sun bowls, which were coronavirus casualties, as well as the likes of the Birmingham, Las Vegas and Military bowls. And a special nod to those games that got matchups such as the Gasparilla, Music City and Texas bowls, only for one team to bow out because of virus problems.

The pandemic, of course, is not over. Yet there was only one postponement (Southern Cal-California) in three months of FBS games, meaning a full regular season is rightfully giving way to a full bowl season.

There are highlights. There are potential blowouts. There are 6-6 teams tangling at odd times of the day. And here’s the annual rundown of it all, a guide of what’s to come after all the matchups were finalized Sunday.

1. Orange Bowl: Georgia vs. Michigan (Dec. 31, 7:30, ESPN). The second of the national semifinals provides Georgia the chance to bounce back from its SEC title game humbling against Alabama. It also puts the spotlight on a Michigan team that delivered the goods all year — but especially in its past two outings, a cathartic defeat of Ohio State and a Big Ten title game clubbing of Iowa.

Player to know: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan. The Big Ten’s defensive player of the year, Hutchinson led the league with 13.5 sacks and will try to harass Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett throughout.

2. Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Cincinnati (Dec. 31, 3:30, ESPN). Alabama saved its best for the SEC title game, and its thorough deconstruction of Georgia landed it the No. 1 seed in the playoff. Cincinnati is the only undefeated team left, though the Bearcats should be the rare team that finds itself playing with less pressure than normal against the Crimson Tide.

Player to know: OLB Will Anderson Jr., Alabama. He leads the country in sacks (15.5). He leads the country in tackles for loss (32.5). He’s maybe the best player in the country, and there’s little doubt he’s the most disruptive player at or behind the line of scrimmage.

3. Peach Bowl: Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh (Dec. 30, 7, ESPN). Pat Narduzzi’s past (longtime Michigan State defensive coordinator) and present (Pitt head coach) collide in what should be a delightful New Year’s Six opener in Atlanta. It is Pitt’s most high-profile bowl trip since going to the Fiesta Bowl after winning the Big East in 2004.

Players to know: Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett and Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III. Pickett, a Heisman finalist and the ACC’s player of the year, and Walker, the Big Ten’s running back of the year. That’s some quality star power for this game.

4. Sugar Bowl: Baylor vs. Mississippi (Jan. 1, 8:45, ESPN). The New Year’s Day nightcap is a platform for programs having seasons to be proud of. The Big 12 champion Bears went 2-7 last year in Coach Dave Aranda’s debut, and their combination of interceptions and goal-line stands against Oklahoma State last weekend earned them this spot. The Rebels (10-2) posted their first 10-win regular season ever and were undefeated in games played outside Alabama.

Player to know: Mississippi QB Matt Corral. He wasn’t quite the same in the second half of the season because of nagging injuries, so maybe a month off will help (assuming he chooses to play in the bowl). His numbers still shine despite being a greater rushing threat early on: a nifty 20/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go with 3,339 passing yards, 597 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.

5. Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State (Jan. 1, 1, ESPN). The teams that seemed most capable of slipping into the playoff in the final weekend did not, Oklahoma State (11-2) because it lost the Big 12 title game and Notre Dame (11-1) because it didn’t get the help it needed. No matter. This might not be filled with explosive plays, but it should still be a tight game — and it doubles as Marcus Freeman’s debut as Fighting Irish coach.

Player to know: RB Jaylen Warren, Oklahoma State. The Utah State graduate transfer was the Big 12’s offensive newcomer of the year after rolling up 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing. He was slowed by an ankle injury late in the season and missed the Big 12 title game, but was in line to be part of a high-level running back showcase before Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams opted out of the Fiesta Bowl and turned pro.

6. Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Utah (Jan. 1, 5, ESPN). Ohio State lost at home to Oregon, while Utah bludgeoned the Ducks twice, so don’t go and assume this will be lopsided. It’s the first Rose Bowl trip for the Pac-12 champion Utes (10-3) and a nice enough consolation prize for the Buckeyes (10-2) as they come off their first loss to a Big Ten team since 2018.

Player to know: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State. The Big Ten’s offensive player of the year stepped into Justin Fields’s old job and threw for 3,862 yards and 38 touchdowns. He’ll be one of the Heisman favorites when the 2022 season gets underway.

7. Frisco Bowl: San Diego State vs. Texas San Antonio (Dec. 21, 7:30, ESPN). In a year of firsts for UTSA — first national ranking, first Conference USA title — why not a first bowl victory as well? The Roadrunners remain in the Lone Star State to face the Mountain West runners-up. The Aztecs rank second nationally against the run, creating a stellar matchup with UTSA star Sincere McCormick, the nation’s No. 5 rusher with 1,479 yards.

Player to know: P Matt Araiza, San Diego State. Yes, a punter. (Punters are people, too!) No, that’s not a typo. The Ray Guy Award finalist has averaged 51.4 yards per punt, which would break the FBS record of 51.0 set by Texas A&M’s Braden Mann in 2018.

8. Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Oregon (Dec. 29, 9:15, ESPN). A classic in the “Do They Want To Be Here?” genre. Oklahoma is accustomed to earning playoff berths, and Coach Lincoln Riley left for Southern California last week. Oregon was in the playoff hunt, got trounced twice by Utah and will have a new coach with Mario Cristobal headed to Miami.

Player to know: QB Caleb Williams, Oklahoma. The freshman displaced Spencer Rattler (who has since announced plans to transfer) in early October and threw for 18 touchdowns while rushing for six more. He mixed in a few rough outings, but Williams is an electric player who instantly made the Sooners more compelling.

9. Gator Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest (Dec. 31, 11 a.m., ESPN). When these teams last met — in the 2017 Belk Bowl — Wake Forest snagged a rollicking 55-52 victory. If this game is half as entertaining, it will justify its placement. One caveat: Both teams come in off disappointing showings — Texas A&M (8-4) in a loss to LSU, and Wake Forest (10-3) with a turnover-filled mess in an ACC title game loss to Pittsburgh.

Player to know: QB Sam Hartman, Wake Forest. Hartman would no doubt like to wash away his four-interception showing in the ACC title game, but he still had a fine season for the Demon Deacons. With 3,924 passing yards and a hand in 47 touchdowns (36 passing, 11 rushing), he’s one of several high-end ACC quarterbacks this year.

10. Holiday Bowl: North Carolina State vs. UCLA (Dec. 28, 8, Fox). N.C. State (9-3) is aiming to complete only the second 10-win season in program history, and UCLA (8-4) is one of the few Pac-12 teams that didn’t endure an at least mildly disappointing season. It’s the first bowl trip for the Bruins in four seasons under Chip Kelly.

Player to know: Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu, N.C. State. The 6-foot-4, 320-pounder is an Outland Trophy finalist and earned the Jacobs Trophy as the top blocker in the ACC. When the discussion on the broadcast during this game inevitably turns to the NFL draft, his will be the first name brought up.

11. Outback Bowl: Arkansas vs. Penn State (Jan. 1, noon, ESPN2). You’d better believe Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman is thrilled not just with any bowl destination for the 8-4 Razorbacks but with this one in particular.

Oh, and the game should be pretty good, too, assuming Penn State isn’t too down about how a 5-0 start morphed into a 7-5 finish.

Player to know: WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State. A first-team all-Big Ten pick by the media, Dotson had 91 catches for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns and ranks third in school history in receiving touchdowns. In a semi-related note, shouldn’t all leagues have three wide receiver spots on each of their all-conference teams in this day and age? Here’s looking at you, stodgy Big Ten.

12. Cheez-It Bowl: Clemson vs. Iowa State (Dec. 29, 5:45, ESPN). Neither of these teams imagined back in early September they would wind up in Orlando; Clemson is a playoff regular, and Iowa State also was a preseason top-10 team. But here they are, Clemson at 9-3 and Iowa State with five losses by a combined 29 points. If both teams are fully engaged, this placement might undersell things.

Player to know: RB Breece Hall, Iowa State. The No. 2 rusher in Cyclones history, Hall has scored at least 20 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons and needs just 59 yards to reach 4,000 for his career.

13. Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Kentucky (Jan. 1, 1, ABC). Will this game be good? Quite possibly. Iowa is 10-3, and Kentucky is 9-3. Will it be fun? Well, Iowa’s involved, so there’s a good chance there will be at least a punt or two inside the Kentucky 10. That’s the upshot of the Hawkeyes’ offense, which just isn’t explosive.

Player to know: RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky. Even as the Wildcats rediscovered the wonders of the forward pass this season, Rodriguez enjoyed a fine season. He finished with 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, closed the season with four consecutive 100-yard games and averaged at least seven yards per carry in his last three games. Iowa’s miserly defense will be an intriguing matchup for him.

14. Cure Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. Northern Illinois (Dec. 17, 6, ESPN2). On one side: one of last year’s critical darlings and breakout hits in Coastal Carolina, which didn’t win a Sun Belt title as an encore but still went 10-2. On the other: the Huskies, MAC champion a year after going 0-6. The opening night of bowl season features a gem of a game.

Player to know: QB Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina. The redshirt sophomore has won back-to-back Sun Belt player of the year honors, leads the country in passing efficiency and has thrown for 2,558 yards and 23 touchdowns.

15. Independence Bowl: BYU vs. UAB (Dec. 18, 3:30, ABC). Given the choice between shopping on the last Saturday before Christmas or watching the nation’s No. 17 offense (10-2 BYU) tangle with the No. 15 defense (8-4 UAB), pick football and don’t look back.

Player to know: RB Tyson Allgeier, BYU. The sophomore shared the national lead in rushing touchdowns (20) and ranked eighth in the country with 1,409 rushing yards. With a few weeks of rest, he could be in for a strong day against the Blazers in Shreveport.

16. Music City Bowl: Purdue vs. Tennessee (Dec. 30, 3, ESPN). A potentially sneaky-good game if both offenses can take flight. Purdue (8-4) was the joker in the Big Ten deck, finding ways to handle a pair of 10-win teams (Iowa and Michigan State), and Tennessee (7-5) beat pretty much everyone it should have and maybe even one it shouldn’t have (Kentucky) in Coach Josh Heupel’s first year.

Player to know: WR David Bell, Purdue. It’s uncertain whether the draft-bound Bell will play, but he’s the guy to keep an eye on if he sticks around. He had 93 catches for 1,286 yards and went over 200 yards in the Boilermakers’ upsets of Iowa and Michigan State.

17. Birmingham Bowl: Auburn vs. Houston (Dec. 28, Noon, ESPN). This should be one of the best environments of the bowl season; Auburn fans could make the short trip and pack gleaming new Protective Stadium, which replaced crumbling Legion Field as the home for this game and UAB football. It should be a good game, too; Houston is 11-2, and Auburn (6-6) just took Alabama to quadruple-overtime.

Player to know: KR/PR Marcus Jones, Houston. Jones has four returns for touchdowns (two on kickoffs and two on punts) this season and a combined nine for his career, including the 2017 and 2018 seasons at Troy. The Cougars will try to make sure Jones is busier bringing back punts than kickoffs.

18. LA Bowl: Oregon State vs. Utah State (Dec. 18, 7:30, ABC). Utah State was one of the season’s feel-good stories under first-year coach Blake Anderson, winning the Mountain West with a trouncing of San Diego State. The Aggies also went 7-0 on the road this year, a contrast to the 1-5 mark the Beavers posted outside Corvallis. The one victory, though, came in Los Angeles, Oregon State’s first at Southern Cal since 1960.

Player to know: WR Deven Thompkins, Utah State. At one point, Thompkins had eight 100-yard receiving outings in a nine-game stretch. He cooled down the stretch but still ranked second nationally with 1,589 receiving yards.

19. Boca Raton Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Western Kentucky (Dec. 18, 11 a.m., ESPN). A pair of Group of Five runners-up tangle, ensuring one of them gets a trophy a little gaudier than the ones handed out for division championships. The edge probably goes to App State, which lost twice to Sun Belt champ Louisiana Lafayette but went 10-1 against everyone else.

Player to know: QB Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky. The graduate student (whose name is pronounced ZAP-ee) arrived from FCS school Houston Baptist and promptly led the country in passing yardage. Zappe threw for 5,570 yards and 56 touchdowns over 13 games, so a normal day at the office would place him right around 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns for the year.

20. Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs. Wisconsin (Dec. 30, 10:30, ESPN). The Badgers wanted to head west to the Rose Bowl, but a loss to Minnesota to close the regular season means they’ll stop a little shy of Pasadena. No matter. They’ll get the undisciplined Sun Devils, who rank 127th in penalties and penalties per game, in a matchup of 8-4 teams.

Player to know: RB Braelon Allen, Wisconsin. When you say Wisconsin, you’ve said it all at least as far as running backs are concerned. A freshman, Allen appears to be the latest in a long line of capable Badgers rushers; he had 1,109 yards and 12 touchdowns and had seven consecutive 100-yard days after emerging early in conference play.

21. New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana Lafayette vs. Marshall (Dec. 18, 9:15, ESPN). It should be a de facto home game for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who will travel a hair more than two hours to the Big Easy to meet their future Sun Belt rival. Louisiana Lafayette has won 12 in a row, including a conference championship. Marshall is a sound program; it went 7-5 to earn a fifth consecutive bowl trip. Still, this feels like it has some blowout potential, especially with Marshall coming off a 53-21 loss to Western Kentucky.

Player to know: T Max Mitchell and G O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana Lafayette. The only Ragin’ Cajuns to land on the Sun Belt’s first-team offense or defense were these linemen, who helped the Sun Belt champs average 191.9 rushing yards.

22. Quick Lane Bowl: Nevada vs. Western Michigan (Dec. 27, 11 a.m., ESPN). The first instinct is to think this is a game that belongs in the pre-Christmas set. But dig just a little, and you find a pair of teams with winning records (8-4 Nevada and 7-5 Western Michigan). Dig a little deeper, and it’s easy to see a pair of spunky offenses (Western Michigan is 15th in total offense, while Nevada is 32nd) capable of making this one of the bowl season’s under-the-radar gems.

Player to know: QB Carson Strong, Nevada. The two-time offensive player of the year in the Mountain West, Strong threw for 4,175 yards (sixth nationally) and 36 touchdowns (tied for sixth).

23. First Responder Bowl: Air Force vs. Louisville (Dec. 28. 3:15, ESPN). Two of the top 20 rushing teams in the country collide in Dallas. Air Force leads the country in rushing (340.8 per game) in part because of a philosophy rooted in the option. Louisville has a strong ground game in large part because of quarterback Malik Cunningham, who has rushed for 968 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Player to know: Cunningham. If Air Force (9-3) can bottle him up as Kentucky did in the Cardinals’ regular season finale, this could be a dud. But if he has room to create havoc and effectively complement his own passing attack, this could be a fun, high-scoring game.

24. Gasparilla Bowl: Central Florida vs. Florida (Dec. 23, 7, ESPN). Usually, a game involving a school that fired its coach gets shunted to the back of the line or close to it. But in this case, the Dan Mullen-less Gators (6-6) get a reprieve because it’s an in-state foe for a game played in Tampa. Central Florida went 8-4 in its first season under Gus Malzahn.

Player to know: DE Big Kat Bryant, Central Florida. Bryant followed Malzahn from Auburn and delivered 14 tackles for loss and six sacks for the Knights. Plus, anybody who goes by “Big Kat” automatically is a player to know.

25. Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Texas Tech (Dec. 28, 6:45, ESPN). The interim-coach rule detailed just above gets broken again. Sure, Texas Tech has one (Sonny Cumbie, who will be off to Louisiana Tech after this game), but the bigger subplot is former Red Raiders coach Mike Leach’s shot to face the program with which he had his greatest success. (Cumbie was his starting QB at Texas Tech in 2004.) Leach is now in his second season at Mississippi State.

Player to know: QB Will Rogers, Mississippi State. What a surprise, a Leach quarterback with video game numbers. Rogers completed 75.1 percent of his passes while throwing for 4,449 yards and 35 touchdowns.

26. Fenway Bowl: SMU vs. Virginia (Dec. 29, 11 a.m., ESPN). A classic “this-would-have-looked-better-at-Halloween” game. SMU (8-4) dropped three of its last four. Virginia (6-6) limped home with four consecutive losses. Cavaliers Coach Bronco Mendenhall’s decision to step down after this game does provide a compelling off-field subplot.

Player to know: WR Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia. The ACC’s No. 3 receiver with 1,203 yards, Wicks collected 21.1 yards per catch. He’s a good bet for a few big plays in tandem with quarterback Brennan Armstrong.

27. Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. South Carolina (Dec. 30, 11:30 a.m., ESPN). Border battle? Good. Two 6-6 teams going at it? That leaves a bit to be desired.

Player to know: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina. Howell was pumped up as a preseason Heisman candidate but was quickly forgotten after struggling in the Tar Heels’ opener against Virginia Tech. Those who kept paying attention witnessed a fine season defined by an impressive degree of toughness: 825 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing to go with 2,851 yards and 23 TDs passing.

28. Military Bowl: Boston College vs. East Carolina (Dec. 27, 2:30, ESPN). East Carolina already won once in Annapolis this season, and the prospect of the program’s first bowl trip since 2014 coupled with a reasonable drive adds to the appeal. The Eagles (6-6) lost six of their last eight, making them the sort of team that might be excited by the chance to salvage something of the year — or just eager to get it over and done with.

Player to know: QB Holton Ahlers, East Carolina. One of only two Pirates to surpass the 10,000-yard plateau for his career (no small thing for a program that has gone through its share of prolific quarterbacks over the past three-plus decades), Ahlers threw for a season-high 405 yards in East Carolina’s Nov. 20 victory at Navy.

29. Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Minnesota vs. West Virginia (Dec. 28, 10:15, ESPN). There’s a good chance this thing is competitive; Minnesota is 8-4, and West Virginia won four of its last six to get to 6-6. But compelling? Maybe for those with a defense-minded approach. It’s a pair of top-half defenses (with Minnesota especially stout) against a pair of bottom-half offenses.

Players to know: The Minnesota offensive line. Injuries have done a number on the Gophers’ running backs, but five players have uncorked 100-yard games. That’s a testament to a line that got four of its members all-conference honors: tackle Daniel Faalele (coaches’ first team), guard Blaise Andries (media first team), center John Michael Schmitz (coaches’ second team) and guard Conner Olson (coaches’ third team).

30. Arizona Bowl: Boise State vs. Central Michigan (Dec. 31, 2, Barstool Sports). Ah, the Arizona Bowl dilemma — wanting a New Year’s Eve slot but going head-to-head (at least in the second half) with a playoff game. This is actually a good pairing. Central Michigan (8-4) won its last four, and Boise State (7-5) is still decent even in a down year by its lofty standards.

Player to know: RB Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan. Last year’s MAC rookie of the year turned into this season’s MAC offensive player of the year. Nichols leads the country in rushing (1,710 yards), and the Chippewas aren’t reluctant to use him. Over his past five games, Nichols is averaging 33.4 carries, 196.6 yards and 2.4 touchdowns.

31. Texas Bowl: Kansas State vs. LSU (Jan. 4, 9, ESPN). There was some stiff competition in the annual hunt for the bowl matchup that sounds most like an 8/9 game in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Cincinnati-Alabama. Maryland-Virginia Tech. Minnesota-West Virginia. Wisconsin-Arizona State. But this pairing of Wildcats (7-5) and Tigers (6-6), both of whom finished below .500 in their respective leagues, won out in the end.

Player to know: LB Damone Clark, LSU. The senior, a Butkus Award finalist, rolled up 135 tackles — second most in the country and the most for a team that reached the postseason.

32. Sun Bowl: Miami (Fla.) vs. Washington State (Dec. 31, noon, CBS). Usually, the mystery with Miami is whether it has much interest in its bowl game. With a 1-10 postseason record since 2008, the answer has come up no at least a few times. This year, the Hurricanes’ initial question was who coaches the team. Manny Diaz was still technically the coach until Monday morning, when the school lured Oregon’s Mario Cristobal to Coral Gables. Whoever is in charge, advantage Cougars, a resilient bunch that finished 7-5 despite coaching drama involving the since-fired Nick Rolovich for much of the season.

Player to know: QB Jayden de Laura, Washington State. The Pac-12’s leader in passing yards (2,751) and touchdown passes (23) leads an opportunistic team that is tied for 10th nationally in turnover margin per game.

33. LendingTree Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty (Dec. 18, 5:45, ESPN). A pair of 7-5 teams tangle in Mobile. Liberty has dropped three in a row — quite the skid for a program that had won 19 of its previous 22. The Eagles are seeking their first postseason victory since the 1987 California Bowl.

Player to know: QB Malik Willis, Liberty. Willis led the Flames in passing and rushing for the second consecutive season, and he accounted for 35 touchdowns (including 11 on the ground) this fall.

34. Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo (Dec. 17, noon, ESPN). Toledo, ahem, rockets into this game having won four of its past five while scoring 49 points in three of its past four games. Middle Tennessee earned bowl eligibility on the final day of the regular season, a triumph over Florida Atlantic that doubled as longtime coach Rick Stockstill’s 100th victory. Fun fact: The winner will take home the nearly 30-pound Prime Minister’s Trophy, which might be the most impressive-sounding bauble handed out during bowl season.

Player to know: RB Bryant Koback, Toledo. Koback ranked second in the MAC with 1,274 rushing yards and sixth in the country with 6.71 yards per carry. He rushed for 10 of his 15 touchdowns in the Rockets’ final four games.

35. Myrtle Beach Bowl: Old Dominion vs. Tulsa (Dec. 20, 2:30, ESPN). The bad? It’s a pair of 6-6 teams. The good? Old Dominion went from not playing at all last season and starting 1-6 in 2021 to closing with a five-game winning streak. Tulsa finished with three victories in a row, and four of its losses came by one-possession margins. Also good? It’s midafternoon weekday football.

Player to know: DT Jaxon Player, Tulsa. The senior led the Golden Hurricane in tackles for loss (13.5) and earned second-team all-AAC honors.

36. Pinstripe Bowl: Maryland vs. Virginia Tech (Dec. 29, 2:15, ESPN). Maryland reappears in the postseason for the first time since 2016 after getting bowl-eligible on the final day of the season. The Hokies got to 6-6 with a Thanksgiving weekend defeat of Virginia under interim coach J.C. Price.

Player to know: QB Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland. Tagovailoa broke Scott Milanovich’s 28-year-old school record for passing yards in a season, amassing 3,595 yards to go with 24 touchdowns. He also stayed healthy and is in line to become just the third Maryland quarterback since 2004 to start every game in a season; Sam Hollenbach (2006) and C.J. Brown (2014) are the others.

37. Idaho Potato Bowl: Kent State vs. Wyoming (Dec. 21, 3:30, ESPN). The Golden Flashes (7-6) make the trip west for only their fourth bowl game ever after falling in the Mid-American title game to Northern Illinois. Wyoming (6-6) stumbled after winning its first four but managed to beat two conference champs (Northern Illinois and Utah State) along the way. Bonus points for playing on Boise’s blue field, as always.

Player to know: QB Dustin Crum, Kent State. A first-team all-MAC pick, Crum ranked second in the league with 2,922 yards while throwing for 16 touchdowns and six interceptions.

38. Camellia Bowl: Ball State vs. Georgia State (Dec. 25, 2:30, ESPN). Georgia State makes its third consecutive bowl trip and does so as the hottest team in the country almost no one knows about. The Panthers (7-5) have won six of their past seven, with the only loss a four-point decision at Sun Belt champ Louisiana Lafayette. Not bad. Ball State, MAC champion a year ago, went 6-6 this fall.

Player to know: LG Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State. The five-time all-Sun Belt pick (including first team the past two years) has made 58 career starts for the Panthers, including a 51-start streak interrupted by injury earlier this season.

39. New Mexico Bowl: Fresno State vs. Texas El Paso (Dec. 18, 2:15, ESPN). Old WAC rivals collide as the Bulldogs (9-3) and Miners (7-5) meet in Albuquerque. UTEP was a great story, getting bowl-eligible before the end of October, but it lost four of its last five and didn’t beat a team all season that finished with a winning record. Fresno State lost coach Kalen DeBoer to Washington last week, and quarterback Jake Haener promptly entered the transfer portal (though Haener quickly withdrew after the Bulldogs brought Jeff Tedford back for a second head coaching stint). This game would have looked better a month ago.

Player to know: WR Jalen Cropper, Fresno State. The junior had 76 catches for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns, including a four-touchdown showing against UNLV.

40. Frisco Football Classic: Miami (Ohio) vs. North Texas (Dec. 23, 3:30, ESPN). This game didn’t exist a week ago but was created to provide a postseason home for every bowl-eligible team. A fine sentiment, but it’s still a pairing of 6-6 teams. To the credit of North Texas, which will be playing close to home, it won five in a row (including an upset of then-unbeaten Texas San Antonio) to earn its way here.

Player to know: WR Jack Sorenson, Miami (Ohio). The MAC’s receiving leader, Sorenson had 69 catches for 1,290 yards and 10 touchdowns for the RedHawks, who are seeking their first bowl victory since 2010.

41. Hawaii Bowl: Memphis at Hawaii (Dec. 24, 8, ESPN). Memphis is 6-6. Hawaii is 6-7. On the surface, things don’t look too encouraging here. But at least (a) both teams are coming off victories and (b) this Christmas Eve staple is back after a one-year hiatus.

Player to watch: WR Calvin Austin III, Memphis. This could be a fine platform for the first-team all-AAC wideout if he doesn’t opt out to begin NFL draft prep work. He had 1,149 yards and eight touchdowns on 74 receptions for the Tigers.

42. Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. Missouri (Dec. 22, 8, ESPN). Missouri is giving up 228.8 rushing yards per game, “good” for 125th nationally. Army rushes for 301.2 yards per game. It’s not hard to guess where this is headed, though it should be enjoyable for those who like watching option offenses carve up opponents.

Player to know: OLB Andre Carter II, Army. It’s not just the running backs and quarterbacks who star for the Black Knights (8-3). The 6-foot-7, 250-pound Carter has 16 tackles for loss, including 14.5 sacks, as a junior.