When searching for a good bowl game to watch this holiday season, the names Dollar General Bowl, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl and Birmingham Bowl tend to be ignored. They should not be. The three have provided quality games in the past and they are set to continue that trend this year.
By far the best bowl of the three has been the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile. Remember the 2001 game pitting Marshall’s Thundering Herd against East Carolina’s Pirates? It was a classic. The game produced the biggest comeback by a team in NCAA history at that time and also produced the most points ever in a game as the Thundering Herd won in double overtime 64-61. Marshall trailed 38-6 at halftime and battled back in the second half to tie the game 54-54 in regulation. Marshall had a chance to win the game in regulation had it made an extra point kick after its final touchdown, but the kick failed and the game went to overtime.
In Montgomery, the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl is the newest of the three bowls in the state, but it has become popular for its exciting games so far. In 2014, Bowling Green beat South Alabama 33-28. In 2015, Appalachian State defeated Ohio 31-29 and last season the Mountaineers won 31-28 over Toledo. Three great games – all decided by less than a touchdown.
The Birmingham Bowl usually has a Southeastern Conference representative as one invitee. In the 11 years of the bowl’s current existence, there have been seven SEC teams invited, including South Carolina twice. The SEC’s record in the event is 4-3. South Carolina lost twice in the game to Connecticut and to South Florida. The other loss was by Kentucky, 27-10 to Pittsburgh.
This year’s game will not feature an SEC team, but will offer an exciting matchup with South Florida taking on TCU.
So, you have three bowl games close by that you can attend if you wish. You will likely see a great game. If I had to choose one, I would probably pick the Dollar General Bowl because of its history of close games that tend to be classics.