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2021-22 Bowl Season - Cheez-It Bowl and Valero Alamo Bowl

Your open thread for tonight’s games

Oklahoma v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The 2021-2022 college football Bowl Season is starting to heat up.

Tonight we have the Cheez-It Bowl between Clemson and Iowa State and the Valero Alamo Bowl between Oregon and Oklahoma. Thanks to the college coaching carousel has three of these teams (Clemson, Oregon, and Oklahoma) missing significant chunks of their coaching staffs. But still, it’s college football and these should be fun games.

Granted, these teams will be missing some of their best prospects but there will be some future NFL players on the field — perhaps even future New York Giants.

Use this as your open thread for tonight’s games.

Cheez-It Bowl

(19) Clemson vs. Iowa State
5:45pm - ESPN

Clemson came into the season with championship aspirations, but stumbled when they found it difficult to win without elite quarterback play. While DJ Uiagalelei might become a sought-after quarterback prospect in his own time, he doesn’t yet measure up to his predecessors DeShaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence.

The players to watch in this game is Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr, who could be in contention as the first corner off the board. Booth has the prototypical blend of size and athleticism for a man coverage corner at the next level, and is one of the stickiest cover corners in college football. Defensive tackle Tyler Davis is an explosive interior defender who’s more versatile than his 6-foot-2, 300-pound frame would suggest. He could be a solid Day-2 value with the potential to line up in a variety of techniques in a variety of fronts.

Clemson has also put some great receivers into the NFL in recent years, and junior receiver Joseph Ngata could be a sleeper to watch. He’s a toolsy prospect at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds with ball skills, good hands, and speed, but has yet to live up to his athletic potential.

While Clemson will have all of their healthy players available for the game, and Iowa State will be without a few players who have entered the transfer portal, Clemson will be without both their offensive and defensive coordinators.

Tony Elliott, the Tigers’ former offensive coordinator was hired to be Virginia’s new head coach. Brent Venables, who is widely regarded as one of the top defensive minds in the country, took the open coaching position at Oklahoma.

Valero Alamo Bowl

(14) Oregon vs. (16) Oklahoma
9:15pm - ESPN

Speaking of Venables and Oklahoma, the next game on the slate is Oklahoma vs. Oregon.

Of course, this game will be a match-up between interim coaches as former Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal made the jump to the University of Miami, while Lincoln Riley went to USC.

Legendary Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is back on the OU sideline as interim coach after turning the program over to Riley. That, in and of itself, should be enough to make this game interesting. It’ll be interesting to see what the Sooners look like with Stoops calling the plays again, particularly when Riley brought a number of staff members with him to Southern Californa.

Bryan McClendon, Oregon’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach will be the Ducks’ interim head coach. While offensive coordinator Joe Moorehead was hired as Akron’s head coach and defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter was hired as the new defensive coordinator for Texas Tech, both coaches are staying to coach this game.

This game is going to be about the future of these programs, as some of the biggest name draft prospects have opted out. Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, CB Mykael Wright, and WR Devon Williams have opted out in favor of preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft.

All told, Oregon will be without 30 scholarship players for this game, though starting right tackle Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu will play despite declaring for the draft.

Oklahoma will be without defensive linemen Nik Bonitto, Perrion Winfrey, and Isaiah Thomas, as well as linebacker Brian Asamoah.