SEC teams will feature in Tampa’s ReliaQuest and Gasparilla Bowl games

We now know who will be playing in this year’s college football bowl games.

Both of Tampa’s bowls will feature Southeastern Conference teams.

Mississippi State and Illinois meet for the second time in the ReliaQuest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

Fresh off their 24-22 win over rival Mississippi, the high-flying Bulldogs will make their 13th straight bowl appearance. They feature one of the nation’s best passers in Will Rogers, who has thrown for 10,428 yards and 81 touchdowns.

The Illini are making their 20th postseason appearance and their first since 2019. Under coach Brett Bielema, they ranked in the top 10 in 17 defensive categories and made a national-leading 22 passes this season.

The teams split two meetings, with MSU last winning in 1980.

Wake Forest and Missouri will meet for the first time in the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

The Demon Deacons stumbled down the stretch with four losses in five games but have the ACC’s No. 2 quarterback in Sam Hartman, who threw for more than 3,400 yards on 35 touchdowns.

The Tigers bounced back in the second half of the season, winning four of six games and beating border rivals Arkansas in the Finals.

Mizzou competes with the No. 4 SEC defense overall and against the run.

Wake Forest performs at the Bowl for the seventh straight year.

ReliaQuest Bowl

Courtesy: ReliaQuest Bowl


No. 22 Mississippi State (8-4, SEC) vs. Illinois (8-4, Big Ten), Jan. 2, noon, ESPN2 [Purchase tickets]

POSITION: Raymond James Stadium

TOP PLAYERS: State of Mississippi: QB Will Rogers is the school’s career leader with 10,428 yards and 81 touchdowns, surpassing Dak Prescott in both categories this season. The junior is also the leading SEC career close at 1,130. Illinois: Devon Witherspoon was named Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year after recording 41 tackles, three interceptions, 14 pass breakups and an interception rate of nearly 34%.

NOTES: State of Mississippi: The Bulldogs have eight wins for the first time since 2018. It is their highest total under Mike Leach, the third-year coach. MSU has also beaten seven teams ranked in the top 25 under “The Pirate,” all unranked. They rank 11th in passing offense with 314.3 yards per game. Illinois: The Illini have one of the best defenses in the nation, leading with 22 interceptions. They allowed just 12.3 points per game (second) and third in yards (263.8). They fought then – no. 3 Michigan before losing 19-17 to the eventual conference champion.

LAST TIME: Mississippi State 28, Illinois 21, Oct 4, 1980.

BOWL HISTORY: State of Mississippi: The Bulldogs are 14-11 all-time and 7-5 during their current postseason run. Illinois: The Illini are 8-11 in bowls and have lost their last two appearances, most recently in 2019 to California in the Redbox Bowl (35-20). It is their second place finish in the bowl formerly known as the Hall of Fame and Outback Bowls.

Gasparilla bowl


Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m [Purchase tickets]

POSITION: Raymond James Stadium

TOP PLAYERS: Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first place with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game with an injury. He completed 63% of his attempts and threw only 11 interceptions. Missouri: DL Isaiah McGuire ranked fourth in the SEC with seven sacks, including two in the regular-season finals against Arkansas. He had 39 tackles, including 24 solo stops.

NOTES: Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons fought their way down the line, losing four of five after peaking at No. 10 on the AP Top 25 on October 23. Missouri: The Tigers won four of their last six games to qualify for the Bowl. They ranked fourth in SEC total defense (337.1 yards per game) and fourth against run (127.2).

LAST TIME: First date.

BOWL HISTORY: Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are 10-6 lifetimes. They are making their seventh consecutive Bowl appearance and their first Gasparilla Bowl appearance. They surpassed Rutgers in last year’s Gator Bowl, 38-10. Missouri: The Tigers are making their fourth bowl appearance in six seasons. They are 15-19 in life, including a 24-22 loss to Army last season in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2022-23 Bowl Lineup

Friday, December 16:

Bahamas Bowl: Miami (Ohio) vs. UAB, 11:30 a.m., Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Bahamas (ESPN)

healing bowl: No. 24 Troy vs. No. 25 UTSA, 3 p.m., Exploria Stadium in Orlando (ESPN)

Saturday 17 Dec:

Fenway Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Louisville, 11 a.m., Fenway Park in Boston (ESPN)

celebration bowl: Jackson State vs. NC Central, 12 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (ABC)

New Mexico Bowl: SMU vs. BYU, 2:15 p.m., University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico (ESPN)

LA bowl: Washington State vs. Fresno State, 3:30 p.m., SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. (ABC)

RentalTree Bowl: Rice vs. Southern Mississippi, 5:45 p.m., Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama (ESPN)

Las Vegas Bowl: No. 14 Oregon State vs. Florida, 7:30 p.m., Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada (ABC)

Frisco Bowl: Boise State vs. North Texas, 9:15 p.m., Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

Monday 19 Dec:

Myrtle Beach Bowl: Marshall vs. UConn, 2:30 p.m., Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina (ESPN)

Tuesday 20 Dec:

Famous potato skin from Idaho: Eastern Michigan vs. San Jose State, Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Boca Raton bowl: Liberty vs. Toledo, 7:30 p.m., FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. (ESPN)

Wednesday 21 Dec:

New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky, 9 p.m., Caesars Superdome in New Orleans (ESPN)

Thursday 22 Dec:

Bundeswehr bowl: Baylor vs. Air Force, 7:30 p.m., Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas (ESPN)

Friday, December 23:

Gasparilla bowl: Wake Forest vs. Missouri, 6 p.m., Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (ESPN)

Independence Bowl: Houston vs. Louisiana, 3 p.m., Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana (ESPN)

Saturday 24 Dec:

Hawaii Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State, 8:00 p.m., Clarence TC Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu, Hawaii (ESPN)

Monday 26 Dec:

Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green vs. New Mexico State, 2:30 p.m., Ford Field in Detroit (ESPN)

Tuesday, December 27:

First Responder Bowl, Memphis vs. Utah State, 3:15 p.m., Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas (ESPN)

Birmingham bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. East Carolina, 6:45 p.m., Protection Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama (ESPN)

camellia bowl: Buffalo vs. Georgia Southern, Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama (ESPN)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin, 10:15 p.m., Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona (ESPN)

Wednesday 28 Dec:

military bowl: Duke vs. UCF, 2 p.m., Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland (ESPN)

liberty bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas, 5:30 p.m., Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee (ESPN)

Holiday Bowl: No. 15 Oregon vs. North Carolina, 8 p.m., Petco Park in San Diego (FOX)

Texas Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss, 9 p.m., NRG Stadium in Houston (ESPN)

Thursday 29 Dec:

Pinstripe Shell: Minnesota vs. Syracuse, 2 p.m., Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City (ESPN)

Cheez-It Bowl: No. 13 Florida State vs. Oklahoma, 5:30 p.m., Camping World Stadium in Orlando (ESPN)

Alamo bowl: No. 12 Washington vs. No. 20 Texas, 9 p.m., Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (ESPN)

Friday, December 30:

Orange peel: No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Clemson, 8 p.m., Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (ESPN)

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: No. 23 NC State vs. Maryland, 12 p.m., Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC (ESPN)

sun bowl: No. 18 UCLA vs. Pitt, 2 p.m., Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas (CBS)

Gator bowl: No. 19 South Carolina vs. No. 21 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville (ESPN)

Arizona Bowl: Ohio vs. Wyoming, 4:30 p.m., Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona (Barstools)

Saturday 31 Dec:

Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinals): No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU
4 p.m., State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (ESPN)

Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinals): #1 Georgia vs. #4 Ohio State
8 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (ESPN)

Music City Bowl: Iowa vs. Kentucky, 12 p.m., Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. (ABC)

sugar bowl: No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 9 Kansas State, 12 p.m., Caesars Superdome in New Orleans (ESPN)

Monday, January 2nd:

ReliaQuest Bowl: No. 22 Mississippi State vs. Illinois, 12 p.m., Raymond James Stadium (ESPN2)

citrus peel: No. 17 LSU vs. Purdue, 1 p.m., Camping World Stadium in Orlando (ABC)

Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 10 USC vs. No. 16 Tulane, 1 p.m., AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (ESPN)

Rose Bowl Game: No. 8 Utah vs. No. 11 Penn State, 5 p.m., Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (ESPN)

Monday, January 9th:

College Football Playoff National Championship Game, 7:30 p.m., SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. (ESPN)


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