How good were the games in the 2020-2021 bowl season? Ranking all the bowl games from the worst to the best.

This was a miserable bowl season, but there were different levels of pain and suffering.

Out of the 25 bowl games played – with one big one still to go – 16 of them were double-digit blowouts, most of the close games were ugly-bad, and there wasn’t any classic that hasn’t already been memory dumped by anyone outside of the winning fan base.

But it was a bowl season – the fact that we got as many games as we did is incredible.

There’s still one little game to go with this turning into a ranking of the 26 best bowl games after Monday night.

Here’s how good the bowl games were this season.

Bowl Rankings
Total Duds | Bowls: No More, No Less
Decent Bowls | Good BowlsBest Bowls

Bowl Rankings: Total Duds

These weren’t just the worst games of this bowl season. These made people question the world and their reason for living in it. None of them were 2018 Cheez-It Bowl-level awful, but …

25. Offerpad Arizona Bowl

Ball State 34, San Jose State 13
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 11
10 Thoughts on the Arizona Bowl

This one wasn’t fair.

Ball State will more than happily take the first bowl win in the program’s history, but San Jose State was walloped by COVID issues announced just before the game, the Mountain West champ was a shadow of its regular season self, and it got ugly immediately.

Ball State got up 27-0 in the first quarter starting with a pick-six, and were up 34-0 in the third before the Spartans finally got on the board with a kickoff return for a touchdown.

24. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Georgia Southern 38, Louisiana Tech 3
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 22
10 Things To Know from the New Orleans Bowl

Would Shai Werts play or not?

The Georgia Southern quarterback played through a shoulder problem, he was awesome, and this game was a disaster. The Eagles took a 21-0 first half lead, only allowed one measly Louisiana Tech field goal, and totally dominated.

Louisiana Tech was -4 in turnover margin, never had the ball, and generated 232 yards of total offense whether it needed them or not.

Werts? 71 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and 7-of-12 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown for the option attack.

23. The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One

Alabama 31, Notre Dame 14
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 9
5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Rose Bowl

Start with the Rose Bowl being played in Arlington instead of Pasadena, and it goes downhill from there.

No one thought Notre Dame had a prayer, the game was supposed to be a light scrimmage, and that’s exactly what happened. It was 7-0 Crimson Tide five minutes in, and that was about it.

There was the slightest fraction of a moment in the second quarter when it looked like this might be interesting after a 15-play Irish touchdown drive to make it 14-7, but that only seemed to make Alabama mad.

DeVonta Smith caught a 34-yard touchdown pass just over two minutes later, and that was that.

22. LendingTree Bowl

Georgia State 39, WKU 21
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 23
10 Things To Know from the LendingTree Bowl

WKU was up 7-0 on a strong first quarter drive, the defense was doing okay, and …


Georgia State rolled for 27 straight points on three second quarter touchdown passes from Cornelious Brown, the defense forced three takeaways, and the team was in total control throughout. Even after WKU came up with a third quarter touchdown, it was all Panther O from there with scoring drive after scoring drive to go up 39-14 until the final moments.

21. GoodYear Cotton Bowl Classic

Oklahoma 55, Florida 20
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 3
10 Thoughts on the Cotton Bowl

The ONLY reason why this isn’t even lower is because Oklahoma was so much fun to watch.

It was over the moment most of Florida’s receiving corps opted out, there were more key players out, and Oklahoma put it away with a 17-0 lead – ended on a Tre Norwood pick six of Kyle Trask – in the first seven minutes.

Emory Jones and the Gators made it interesting for a little bit in the second quarter to pull within 17-13, but the Sooners ended the fun four plays later with a quick touchdown drive as part of a 38-point run to turn this into an embarrassment.

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