5 most intriguing bowl matchups outside the New Year's Six
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The College Football Playoff and remainder of the New Year's Six bowl games may steal the thunder of bowl season, but there's plenty of reasons to watch some of the other postseason matchups over the next month.

Here are the five most intriguing bowl games outside the New Year's Six:

Las Vegas Bowl - Boise State vs. Washington

Chris Petersen rose to prominence at Boise State, and he's forever remembered as the architect of one of the wildest finishes in college football history. After eight seasons with the Broncos, Petersen left for Washington and returned the Huskies to national relevance with a 12-2 mark in his third season that resulted in a berth in the CFP.

The 55-year-old announced he is stepping down as Washington's coach following this game, and the good folks at the Las Vegas Bowl made sure his final contest would be a meaningful one.

Don't take your eyes off this game for a second, as it's a safe bet the offensive genius will fully empty his bag of trick plays before riding off into the sunset.

Cheez-It Bowl - Air Force vs. Washington State

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Air Force vs. Air Raid. If you like contrasting styles, then the Cheez-It Bowl matchup is for you. The Cougars lead the country in passing yards with an outrageous 444.3 per contest while the Falcons rank 124th in the nation with just 131 per game. Air Force has just 14 passing touchdowns as a team on the season, while Washington's State's Anthony Gordon threw NINE in one game.

It's the running attack where Air Force makes its mark, piling up almost 300 yards per contest on the ground, good for third in the country. Mike Leach's outfit is on the other end, hitting just 72 yards on the ground per game, second-last at the FBS level.

Both teams put up points in bunches, and it will be interesting to see which style is more successful in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Belk Bowl - Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky

The Belk Bowl is known for three things - a brilliant Twitter account, some of the wildest fans around, and insane results on the field. Expect that to continue this year with Lynn Bowden Jr. rolling into town.

Due to some significant injuries for Kentucky, the star receiver was forced to move to quarterback and run the offense in Week 7. He amassed 1,235 yards on the ground with 11 touchdowns while STILL leading the team in receiving despite not having caught a pass since September. Bowden's also coming off an absurd 244-yard, four-touchdown performance in the season finale over Louisville.

Tasked with stopping the junior is long-time Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster. The 60-year-old is retiring following the contest after serving on the Hokies' staff since 1987.

Citrus Bowl - Michigan vs. Alabama

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For the first time since the College Football Playoff began, Alabama will not have the chance to play for a national title.

The Crimson Tide's dramatic loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl sent them crashing into the Citrus Bowl where they'll face a Michigan team coming off yet another loss to rival Ohio State. With much larger ambitions entering the season, neither of these teams will be overly thrilled to be participating in this contest.

While the stakes may not be the highest, this game is essentially doubling as a scouting combine for wide receivers, which makes it incredibly appetizing. Alabama's exceptional quartet of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith will all be gracing an NFL field at some point in the next couple of years, while the Wolverines trot out three future pros in Nico Collins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Ronnie Bell.

Add in Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines and this game is worth checking out.

Outback Bowl - Auburn vs. Minnesota

The last time we saw Auburn on the field versus a Big Ten opponent, the Tigers were hanging an all-time bowl record 56 points on Purdue in the first half. That isn't a typo. Auburn actually scored 56 points in 30 minutes during last year's Music City Bowl.

Minnesota simply needs to hold Auburn under 56 points in the first half of the Outback Bowl to improve on last year's Big Ten performance.

All jokes aside, seeing the Golden Gophers' incredible receiver duo of Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman attack the vaunted Auburn defense for 60 minutes makes this one a must-watch.

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5 most intriguing bowl matchups outside the New Year's Six
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