ReliaQuest Bowl: Monday, January 1st at 12:00 PM in Tampa, Florida
If you don’t remember this one, it’s understandable. It was known as the Hall of Fame Bowl for years until the advent of sponsor-named bowls. It was then the Outback Bowl until last year when ReliaQuest took over as the primary sponsor.
Traditionally, this is a well-thought-of bowl game, and Tampa is a nice destination for fans. It is also on New Year’s Day, which also holds some sway with fans who remember how grand that holiday was for college football.
It also got a reputation for being where the SEC teams that weren’t good enough to be considered for major bowl games always ended up. I don’t know how many times my Gamecock friends lamented that they were probably “just gonna end up in the Outback again”, though I think they would take that right now in a heartbeat.
Here’s the trick: the ReliaQuest Bowl hasn’t hosted an ACC team in a long time. Sources agree that an ACC team is a possibility for this bowl, but it sure seems like they usually tap the SEC and Big Ten to fill their game.
So this is kind of a wild card. I’m not really sure how it fits, but it wouldn’t be a bad place to go at all.
Possible opponents: On the SEC side, maybe Tennessee, LSU, or Texas A&M. On the Big Ten side, possibly Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, or Maryland.