Going Bowling

You can hear the biggest and best bowl games on ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap 94.1

Baker Mayfield and the Sooners will play the Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day at 3pm. Brett Deering/Getty Images

Bowl season is upon us and there are some fantastic matchups this year. Check out the slate of upcoming bowl games that you can hear on ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap 94.1. All times are in Central Standard.

First up, Boise St. faces the Oregon Ducks in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 16 at 2pm on ESPN 97.5 radio. Enjoy this one because the next game won’t occur until after Christmas on Dec. 26 when Kansas St. plays UCLA in the Cactus Bowl at 7pm on ESPN 97.5. On Dec. 28 the Camping World Bowl features Virginia Tech and Okie St. which kicks off at 4:15pm on SportsMap 94.1. Later that evening, Stanford plays TCU in the Valero Alamo Bowl at 8pm on ESPN 97.5. Next up, Texas A&M plays Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl that has an early kickoff at 11AM on Dec. 29, and will air on both ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap 94.1. Later Friday evening, Ohio State plays USC in the Cotton Bowl at 7pm and can be heard on ESPN 97.5.

Saturday Dec 30 will be a full day of football with three bowl games on the schedule. First, the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl that features a matchup between Iowa St and Memphis which begins at noon. All three games on Saturday the 30th will be aired on ESPN 97.5. After the Liberty Bowl concludes, the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl showcases the Washington Huskies and the Penn St. Panthers. The final game of the night is a big one, and will begin right after the Fiesta Bowl. The Orange Bowl pairs Wisconsin against Miami and is the last game of the weekend.

The Peach Bowl begins early on New Year’s Day, so make sure you don't miss UCF vs. Auburn which you can hear on SportsMap 94.1 at 11AM. If the Peach Bowl for some reason doesn’t do it for you, don’t worry. The Citrus Bowl starts just thirty minutes later at 11:30AM with LSU playing Notre Dame and can be heard on ESPN 97.5. The bowl game marathon continues at 3pm when Georgia plays Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. Directly following the game, the All-State Sugar Bowl kicks off and features a very familiar matchup. Alabama takes on the Clemson Tigers in what should be a fantastic game between two teams that know each other very well. Both the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will be aired on ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap 94.1.

Finally, it all comes down to this. The National Championship game will begin at 7pm on Jan. 8 and will air on both ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap 94.1.

Enjoy the games!

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Bringing NIL deals to high schools will have some challenges. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

Name, image, and likeness, or NIL as it has been known, has been a hotly debated topic. When some states allowed college athletes to start getting paid through NIL deals, others had to follow suit. NIL deals basically allow athletes to get paid from endorsements and the like. They can make appearances, sign autographs, and get endorsements. No longer can schools make a king's ransom off the backs of these athletes without the athletes themselves benefitting from their popularity.

Sponsorships are also allowed, which started some of this years ago when Jeremy Bloom was a pro skier who also played college football at Colorado. Bloom wasn't allowed to have sponsorships, which was a HUGE part of his skiing career, if he wanted to continue to play college football. After fighting a losing battle when the NCAA declared him permanently ineligible, Bloom went on to compete in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He went on to have a couple short stints in the NFL, but his football career never materialized.

When a few states took the NIL law and opened it to high school student athletes, they REALLY opened a can of worms! Other states are now in full scramble mode trying to figure out how can they make this work, do they want to make this work, and wondering if this will open Pandora's Box. Newsflash: Pandora's Box has been open longer than your local grocery store chain. Schools have been paying for play ever since time began. SMU got the dreaded "Death Penalty" in the 80s behind it. Teams have seemingly had wink-wink agreements not to out one another. But high schools? This is a bit much.

AAU, club, and travel sports have had a shady undertone that's been more intense over the last 20 years or so. This is especially true in AAU basketball, where shoe companies and the like have long been "sponsors" of teams. Follow your favorite NBA player's career from high school to the league, then see what shoe company he signs with. I guarantee there's a pipeline in most cases straight from the sponsors of his AAU/high school team to his shoe deal.

Bringing NIL deals to high schools will have some challenges. For example: I heard this past weekend that a prominent high school player has an NIL deal in place with Bentley. What if said school sees a kid at another school, possibly in another state that may not have NIL deals for high schoolers. What's stopping said school from relocating this kid and family by offering them new jobs as well as an NIL deal? Private schools and charter schools aren't regulated like public schools. What's going to stop them from using funds to create a factory of college athletes by offering what other schools can't as far as NIL is concerned?

Here in Texas, football is king. Specifically, high school football. You can go to any town on a Friday night, and the local high school stadium is packed to the brim. If any of you think those towns won't band together to offer kids the best NIL deals they can in order to gain any advantage, you're crazy. States will need to hurry and approve this to stay competitive, but they'll also need to regulate it as best and as fast as they can to prevent a wild west scenario. I can see this getting out of hand quickly, but then some will step in to regulate it as soon as the scales no longer tilt in favor of the rich and powerful.

Texas is an oil rich state. New tech companies are moving here in droves because of the state tax laws. That's why the housing market is looking the way it is now. With the way high school football is like a religion here, imagine if NIL deals are allowed? What's stopping a powerhouse program from becoming invincible and cranking out 10-20 or more top tier D1 athletes from a single graduating class on a single team? We already see it with these human athlete factories masquerading as high schools.

I'm all for student athletes taking advantage of NIL. However, it has to be regulated. Why not have agents get trained and certified like pros do. Then also have them register in each state and pass a state certification, similar to the way lawyers or real estate agents have to. Now everyone is state and/or federally certified to help kids get what they can above board in NIL deals. This could've helped prevent Nick Saban's ignorant comments from last week by bringing much needed law and order to the wild west of NIL deals. Until it happens, we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'll sit and watch the utter CHAOS (in my Khal voice)!

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