Why are there no New Year's Eve Bowl Games this year?

Why are there no college football games on New Year's Eve 2023?

The first annual Music City Bowl has the Battle of the Bands between Alabama and Virginia Tech on
The first annual Music City Bowl has the Battle of the Bands between Alabama and Virginia Tech on / P. Casey Daley / The Tennessean / USA
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Why are there no college football games on New Year's Eve 2023?

December: the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season, and most importantly, bowl season. For several weeks, there is nonstop college football as teams who have reached the six-win threshold take on opponents in various bowl games around the country.

Every year, the College Football Playoffs hold their semi-final games on New Year's Eve, and the most prestigious bowls, also known as the New Year's Six, are held on or around New Year's Day. This year, however, the semi-final games will not be held on December 31, nor will any other bowl games.

Why? Because in today's world of sports entertainment, the NFL reigns supreme. This year, December 31 falls on a Sunday, which means Sunday Night Football for the league. The NFL will also take over on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with plenty of college football bowl games as bookends on December 24 and December 26.

Which bowl game is Auburn football playing?

After going 6-6 in their first season in a rebuild with head coach Hugh Freeze, the Auburn football program will be facing the Maryland Terrapins in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. Played in Nashville in Nissan Stadium, the game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. central time on ABC and ESPN+.

So far, several Auburn football players have elected to go to the NFL rather than spend another year on the Plains, and they have opted out of the bowl game. A trio of defensive players will miss the December 30 game: DJ James, Nehemiah Pritchett, and Marcus Harris.

Star cornerback Jaylin Simpson has also declared for the 2024 NFL Draft but will be participating in the bowl game with his teammates before shifting focus to the Reese's Senior Bowl in February.