Cotton Bowl Live: If the New Year is looming, it must mean we’re in the thick of college bowl season. Whether you’re watching the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl or rooting for your alma mater as it chases the national championship, it can be a tricky proposition to keep up with the schedule and figure out how to watch, especially in the Omicron era.
The NCAA has canceled several bowl games outright this year, including the Arizona Bowl and Holiday Bowl, because of COVID-19. And some of the teams in the major bowl games have been changed at the last minute.
For viewers, the local sports bar could be an option in some areas, but given the spread of the latest variant, that might be a bigger crowd than you’re comfortable with. And it certainly will be an environment full of distractions.
Fortunately, you have options. Here’s an updated look at who’s playing in which bowl games in 2021 and early 2022—and some options for watching the games if your current TV setup proves insufficient.
While bowl games used to largely take place on or around the same day, they’re much more widely spread out these days, and actually started on Dec. 17. The big games kick off on Dec. 30, though. Here’s who’s playing where this year.
It’s a bit harder to watch a bowl game for free without cable these days, since so many are broadcast on cable channels. To catch the few that are being broadcast by networks, though, the best way to watch on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. Local and regional games are broadcast by ABC and CBS, meaning you’ve got a good chance of capturing some games over the air, which costs nothing beyond the equipment prices.
There are loads of online options to watch bowl games, some completely free and others with free trial periods. If you’re not near a TV, you can log on to ESPN.com or the ESPN app, and CBS has Paramount Plus, which will give you access to games aired on that network. You can get a one-month free trial, followed by a $6 monthly charge. And ABC’s website and app will let you watch live programming on the go.