With Jan. 1 falling on Sunday, the games usually played on New Year’s Day were moved to Jan. 2, when the national holiday is observed. The move to Monday, Jan. 2 is common in college football to avoid conflicting with the NFL.
But ESPN found itself with a conflict that day: The NFL has scheduled the final Monday regular-season game for that night, which forced a relocation by the New Orleans-based Sugar Bowl on the schedule.
The Rose Bowl is scheduled for a 5 p.m. EST start Jan. 2 on ESPN, and will precede the Bills at Bengals game.
The last time the Sugar Bowl was played before Jan. 1 was 1995 when it was a Dec. 31 game between Virginia Tech and Texas.
The Orange Bowl will be played the night of Dec. 30 and the Cotton Bowl will also be played on Jan. 2, with at 1 p.m. EST kickoff scheduled.