College football bowl game guide: Schedules, channels and how to live stream the games

A full season of college football games is now culminating in three-plus weeks of near-constant football on your TV. College football’s bowl games begin today (Dec. 20) with the first of 40 post-season match-ups kicking off. It all ends with the college football national championship game on Jan. 13, but there’s plenty of games to watch between now and then.

Whether you’re interested in the college football playoff, the major bowl games, just the one featuring your favorite school, or every game taking place between now and January, you’ve got plenty of options for live streaming each and every bowl game. Here’s a guide to when and where you can find each college football bowl game and how you can live stream those games on any device.

A better question might be when can’t you watch this season’s bowl games. With 38 games scheduled before the national title game on Jan. 13, there’s a good chance a college football game is taking place right now.

The first bowl game kicks off today (Dec. 20) when Buffalo faces Charlotte in the Bahamas Bowl, airing on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET. That’s followed by the Frisco Bowl (Kent State vs. Utah State) at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. And that’s just the first day of college bowl season.

You’ll get the usual smorgasbord of college football around New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, along with the two college football playoff semifinals on Dec. 28. Those games feature LSU vs. Oklahoma at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by Ohio State vs. Clemson at 8 p.m. ET on the same channel. The winners of those two games advance to the national championship game on Jan. 13.

As you might have noticed, a lot of these games will be airing on ESPN and its related channels (ESPN2 and ABC). But you’ll also find games on Fox, FS1, CBS and CBS Sports Network. You’ll find a full schedule of college football bowl games at the end of this guide.

If you’re out of the country when the college football bowl game you want to watch, you’re not out of luck. A virtual private network, or VPN, can help you connect to the internet like you’re surfing the web at home. That allows you to access the same streaming services you’d normally receive.

After testing many services to find the best overall VPN, our top pick is ExpressVPN. It offers a great mix of good performance and friendly customer support should you run into any troubles with this easy-to-use VPN software. You can also enjoy an attractive price if you opt for a longer service contract.

ExpressVPN: Express VPN can access more than 3,000 servers spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. Expect reliable performance and responsive customer support should you run into trouble.

One month of ExpressVPN costs $12.95, but you can lower that to $6.67 a month if you opt for a year of service; ExpressVPN will throw in three additional months for free. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

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Your immediate streaming options will depend on who’s broadcasting the bowl game you’re hoping to live stream. Since most of these games appear on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with either the ESPN website or the sport channel’s mobile app (Android, iOS). Any college football bowl game airing on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC will also stream through those options. Likewise, Fox and FS1 live stream their college football coverage at the Fox Sports Go website and mobile app (Android, iOS), as does CBS with its website and app (Android, iOS) for any bowl games airing on CBS or CBS Sports Network.

There’s one problem with turning to these services, though. You can only log in with the sign-in information from your satellite or cable TV provider. No cable subscription? Then you’ve got to find another way to live stream these college football bowl games.

Your best bet will be to turn to a subscription streaming service, with the challenge being to find a service that includes most of the channels carrying college football bowl games. That makes Fubo.TV a less attractive option — while the $55-a-month service specializes in streaming sports, it doesn’t include ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC among its channels. You’ll also want to confirm that the streaming service you pick offers local channels in your area — not all services do in every market.

With that in mind, here are you best options for subscription streaming services to watch this year’s college football bowl games.

Hulu: The price of Hulu’s live TV service just increased to $55 a month, but it’s still a good option, thanks to the extensive number of channels it offers. You’ll get all the ESPN channels, plus FS1 and the CBS Sports Network, and Hulu includes ABC, CBS and Fox in many local markets. You also get a cloud DVR service if there’s a bowl game you want to record and watch later.View Deal

YouTube: At $50 a month, YouTube TV is now cheaper than Hulu, and it also offers a cloud DVR feature. You’ll find the ESPN channels, FS1 and CBS Sports Network along with ABC, CBS and Fox in most markets.View Deal

Sling: If you’re looking to watch something on ABC, CBS or Fox, consider alternatives to Sling, as it only includes local channels in a few select cities. The $25-a-month Orange package features all the ESPN channels, while FS1 lives on the $25 Blue package. (CBS Sports Channel is MIA on Sling.) You can combine Orange and Blue packages into a $40-a-month subscription. A sale at Sling knocks 40% off the first month of service, so that’s $15 for either the Orange or Blue packages and $25 for the combined channels.View Deal

AT&T Now: At $65 a month for its Plus tier, AT&T Now is the most expensive streaming service featured here, but you’ll get ESPN, FS1 and local channels in most markets. You’ll need to upgrade to the $80-a-month Max tier to get CBS Sports Network, which is a steep price to pay for the Cure Bowl and the Arizona Bowl.View Deal

Mark your calendars for these dates to watch all 40 college football games.

Friday, Dec. 20

  • Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo vs. Charlotte, 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Frisco Bowl: Kent State vs. Utah State, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Saturday, Dec. 21

  • Celebration Bowl: Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T, Noon ET on ABC
  • New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan vs. San Diego State, 2 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Cure Bowl: Liberty vs. Georgia Southern, 2:30 p.m. ET on CBSSN
  • Boca Raton Bowl: Florida Atlantic vs. SMU, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Camellia Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Florida International, 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  • New Orleans Bowl: Appalachian State vs. UAB, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

Monday, Dec. 23

  • Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall vs. Central Florida, 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 24

  • Hawaii Bowl: BYU vs. Hawaii, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 26

  • Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.), 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Quick Lane Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Friday, Dec. 27

  • Military Bowl: North Carolina vs. Temple, noon ET on ESPN
  • Pinstripe Bowl: Michigan State vs. Wake Forest, 3:20 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M, 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Holiday Bowl: Iowa vs. USC, 8 p.m. ET on FS1
  • Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force vs. Washington State, 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 28

  • Camping World Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Iowa State, noon ET on ABC
  • Cotton Bowl Classic: Penn State vs. Memphis, noon ET on ESPN
  • Peach Bowl (Playoff Semifinal): LSU vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Fiesta Bowl (Playoff Semifinal): Ohio State vs. Clemson, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Monday, Dec. 30

  • First Responder Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan, 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Music City Bowl: Louisville vs. Mississippi State, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Redbox Bowl: California vs. Illinois, 4 p.m. ET on Fox
  • Orange Bowl: Florida vs. Virginia, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 31

  • Belk Bowl: Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech, noon ET on ESPN
  • Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs. Florida State, 2 p.m. ET on CBS
  • Liberty Bowl: Kansas State vs. Navy, 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Arizona Bowl: Georgia State vs. Wyoming, 4:30 p.m. ET on CBSSN
  • Alamo Bowl: Utah vs. Texas, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Wednesday, Jan. 1

  • Citrus Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan, 1 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Outback Bowl: Auburn vs. Minnesota, 1 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin, 5 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor, 8:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

Thursday, Jan. 2

  • Birmingham Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Boston College, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Gator Bowl: Indiana vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

Friday, Jan. 3

  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Nevada vs. Ohio, 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Saturday, Jan. 4

  • Armed Forces Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Tulane, 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN

Monday, Jan. 6

  • Lending Tree Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio), 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Monday, Jan. 13

  • National Championship Game: Winners of LSU/Oklahoma vs. Ohio State/Clemson, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

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