Bowl season approaches as Army and Navy will wrap up the regular season this weekend. Plenty of stories bring intrigue into multiple games.
The Longhorns will face a Washington program to which Steve Sarkisian and Pete Kwiatkowski have deep ties.
Sarkisian was the head coach at Washington before departing for USC. Not long afterward, Kwiatkowski became the defensive coordinator at Washington where his defensive expertise grew to fame.
Among other storylines, the Longhorns are back in the Alamo Bowl. It's the third straight time their bowl designation has sent them to San Antonio.
Texas (8-4) will face a very losable game against the No. 12 Washington Huskies (10-2). Led by Indiana quarterback transfer Michael Penix, the Huskies will provide a tough challenge for Kwiatkowski and company.
Here are ten of the biggest storylines heading into the games.
Opportunity for 9 wins
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The Texas Longhorns haven't won 9 games since the 2018 season. The following seasons saw the program spiral downward leaving multiple flaws for Sarkisian and company to address. Now players are being developed like they haven't in a long while on the Forty Acres. Can Texas earn a momentum generating bowl win to lead into next season?
TCU in the Playoff
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TCU has seen plenty of doubt from those outside of Fort Worth, but Sonny Dykes is simply an elite football coach. Dykes is doing nearly everything right and his players are thriving in his system. They could create problems for Michigan in the semifinal game.
Can anybody beat Georgia?
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The Georgia Bulldogs are the clear national championship favorite. Albeit, they will face a tough test against Ohio State for the right to defend their title.
Can Oklahoma avoid a losing season?
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The Oklahoma Sooners haven't had a losing season since before Bob Stoops took the reigns in Norman. They will have an uphill battle in avoiding that fate against Florida State in the Cheez-It Bowl.
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Many are of the opinion that Michigan and Georgia will roll past TCU and Ohio State in the first round of the College Football Playoff. Upsets might challenge the notion that college football must return to a BCS-style format to produce good matchups.
Will Alabama be motivated?
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The ever popular SEC bowl loss excuse is, "we didn't want to be there." The Crimson Tide has looked like they didn't want to be there for much of the season. Upset losses to Tennessee and LSU don't inspire much confidence for this year's team. Never mind their near loss to the Texas A&M Aggies. Their game with the underrated Wildcats should provide an entertaining matchup on New Years Eve.
2023 Playoff launch
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Two orange teams will clash in Miami for the Orange Bowl. Cade Klubnik leads the Tigers while the Volunteers will aim to finish their season strong. The winner could provide beginning signs of a 2023 playoff contender.
The Game Part II
Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines
We're talking a lot about the playoff, but the matchups there provide the most intrigue. Michigan embarrassed Ohio State not long ago. Ohio State's last game memory involves getting blown out on their home field. Should the matchup occur, it could produce unprecedented national championship ratings.
USC vs Tulane
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This game provides one of the biggest David vs Goliath stories of bowl season. Lincoln Riley has a chance to win 12 games at USC, while his former school Oklahoma is trying to avoid a losing season. On the other end stands a Tulane team that nearly beat Riley's Oklahoma in its season opener last year.
While you can't spell Lincoln Riley without two L's, the former Sooners head coach has never lost three games in a season as head coach.
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The No. 8 Utah Utes have a chance to represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl against No. 11 Penn State. Outside of Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, the Big Ten has been unremarkable this year. Utah played the Buckeyes close in the same game last season. The Utes will look to end on the winning side against the Nittany Lions.
Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire