The good folks from the bowl selection committees have blessed us with the 2012-13 bowl schedule on BCS Sunday, and college football has yet again set the stage for a remarkable finish to the season.
Headlining the selections is No. 1 Notre Dame, playing in its first national championship in the BCS era behind a stellar defense and Heisman candidate Manti Te'o. Joining the Irish, Nick Saban and Alabama survived the SEC gauntlet and will try to make it an impressive seven straight titles for the conference.
We found out around 5 p.m. ET that the BCS bowls were set, and that Northern Illinois grabbed the Orange Bowl slot and forced Oklahoma out of the mix. Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel had the scoop.
The rest of the BCS bowls will feature a myriad of top talent, including Florida State in the Orange Bowl and Stanford and Wisconsin facing off in a battle of top running backs featuring Stepfan Taylor and Montee Ball.
Check out the full schedule below to see where your favorite team landed, when and where to catch the game and a few notable matchups you won't want to miss.
Notes: All times are ET and p.m. unless noted otherwise. All games (except for Sun Bowl and Cotton Bowl) can be streamed live at WatchESPN.
|Bowl||Team 1||Team 2||Stadium: Location||Date: Time||TV|
|New Mexico||Nevada ||Arizona||University Stadium: Albuquerque, NM||12/15: 1:00||ESPN|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Toledo||Utah State||Bronco Stadium: Boise, ID||12/15: 4:30||ESPN|
|Poinsettia||BYU||San Diego State||Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA||12/20: 8:00||ESPN|
|Beef 'O' Brady's||Ball State ||UCF||Tropicana Field: St. Petersburg, FL||12/21: 7:30||ESPN|
|New Orleans||East Carolina ||Louisiana-Lafayette||Superdome: New Orleans, LA||12/22: Noon||ESPN|
|Las Vegas||Boise State ||Washington||Sam Boyd Stadium: Las Vegas, NV||12/22: 3:30||ESPN|
|Hawaii||SMU||Fresno State ||Aloha Stadium: Honolulu, HI||12/24: 8:00||ESPN|
|Little Caesars||Central Michigan ||Western Kentucky ||Ford Field: Detroit, MI||12/26: 7:30||ESPN|
|Military||Bowling Green ||San Jose State ||RFK Stadium: Washington, DC||12/27: 3:00||ESPN|
|Belk||Duke||Cincinnati||Bank of America Stadium: Charlotte, NC||12/27: 6:30||ESPN|
|Holiday||Baylor||UCLA||Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA||12/27: 9:45||ESPN|
|Independence||Ohio||Lousisiana-Monroe||Independence Stadium: Shreveport, LA||12/28: 2:00||ESPN|
|Russell Athletic||Virginia Tech ||Rutgers||Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL||12/28: 5:30||ESPN|
|Meineke Car Care||Minnesota ||Texas Tech ||Reliant Stadium: Houston, TX||12/28: 9:00||ESPN|
|Armed Forces||Rice||Air Force||Amon G. Carter Stadium: Fort Worth, TX||12/29: 11:45 a.m.||ESPN|
|Pinstripe||Syracuse||West Virginia ||Yankee Stadium: Bronx, NY||12/29: 3:15||ESPN|
|Kraft||Navy||Arizona State ||AT&T Park: San Francisco, CA||12/29: 4:00||ESPN2|
|Alamo||Texas ||Oregon State ||Alamodome: San Antonio, TX||12/29: 6:45||ESPN|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||TCU||Michigan State ||Sun Devil Stadium: Tempe, AZ||12/29: 10:15||ESPN|
|Music City||N.C. State ||Vanderbilt||LP Field: Nashville, TN||12/31: Noon||ESPN|
|Sun||Georgia Tech ||USC||Sun Bowl: El Paso, TX||12/31: 2:00||CBS|
|Liberty||Tulsa||Iowa State ||Liberty Bowl: Memphis, TN||12/31: 3:30||ESPN|
|Chick-fil-A||Clemson||LSU||Georgia Dome: Atlanta, GA||12/31: 7:30||ESPN|
|Gator||Northwestern||Mississippi State ||Everbank Field: Jacksonville, FL||1/1: Noon||ESPN2|
|Heart of Dallas||Purdue||Oklahoma State ||Cotton Bowl: Dallas, TX||1/1: Noon||ESPNU|
|Outback||Michigan ||South Carolina ||Raymond James Stadium: Tampa, FL||1/1: 1:00||ESPN|
|Nebraska ||Georgia||Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL||1/1: 1:00||ABC|
|Rose||Stanford||Wisconsin||Rose Bowl: Pasadena, CA||1/1: 5:00||ESPN|
|Orange||Florida State ||Northern Illinois ||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/1: 8:30||ESPN|
|Sugar||Florida ||Louisville||Superdome: New Orleans, LA||1/2: 8:30||ESPN|
|Fiesta||Kansas State ||Oregon||U. of Phoenix Stadium: Glendale, AZ||1/3: 8:30||ESPN|
|Cotton||Oklahoma||Texas A&M ||Cowboys Stadium: Arlington, TX||1/4: 8:00||FOX|
|BBVA Compass||Pittsburgh||Ole Miss ||Legion Field: Birmingham, AL||1/5: 1:00||ESPN|
|GoDaddy.com||Kent State ||Arkansas State ||Ladd-Peebles Stadium: Mobile, AL||1/6: 9:00||ESPN|
|BCS National Championship||Notre Dame ||Alabama||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/7: 8:30||ESPN|
*Note: BCS Games are in BOLD; information from ESPN.com was used in this report.
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama
The biggest game of the year features two of the country's most prestigious schools. Alabama proved against Georgia that it can run on almost any team in the country—but don't tell that to Notre Dame's run defense.
No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State
Oklahoma got knocked out of the BCS due to Northern Illinois finishing high enough in the rankings to claim a top spot. Can Jordan Lynch and the Huskies make any dent in a Florida State defense that has been highly ranked all season?
It has an eerie feel to the 2010 Sugar Bowl, when Cincinnati lost Brian Kelly before getting trounced by Florida. Still, they play the game on the field, and not on paper. The Huskies will be the Cinderella team of this BCS group.
Louisiana Tech Turns Down Bid
According to Graham Watson, the Bulldogs will be sitting at home and won't have a chance to get to 10 wins because they decided against a game with rival ULM:
La. Tech has decided not to play in a bowl game this year because it didn't want to play rival school ULM in the Indy Bowl. Yes, seriously.— Graham Watson (@YahooDrSaturday) December 2, 2012
What a shame for La. Tech fans, who experienced a season in which they almost knocked off Texas A&M and was amongst the national leaders in offense.
It couldn't have set up better for college football fans, specifically ones of the Big 12. Only Texas would have made for a sweeter matchup in this one, as the Big 12 tries to prove that A&M is still of a lower class than its SEC counterparts.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.