Avid college football fans will be glued to their television screens for every bowl game, but the BCS matchups are what everyone is really waiting for.
It's finally that time of year. After a wild regular season, 10 teams will get a chance to prove themselves as BCS worthy. The BCS National Championship is the main attraction, but all five BCS bowls will feature intriguing storylines in one way or another.
Some matchups are set in stone already, while others will be released as Sunday night moves along. The Rose Bowl and the national title game shouldn't be difficult to predict, but the others could be more tricky.
Let's take a look at this year's complete bowl schedule and give a preview for each BCS game as they're announced.
Note: All times are ET and p.m. unless noted otherwise. All games (except for the 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||Louisiana-Monroe||Ohio||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||Northern Illinois ||Florida State||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/1: 8:30||ESPN|
|Sugar||Florida||Louisville||Superdome: New Orleans, LA||1/2: 8:30||ESPN|
|Fiesta||Oregon||Kansas State||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|
|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|
|National Championship||Notre Dame ||Alabama ||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/7: 8:30||ESPN|
BCS National Championship: No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama
This is the one everyone is waiting for. Alabama wants to prove that it’s still the cream of the college football crop. Notre Dame needs to show that it can complete its magical regular-season run.
These teams are more similar than Crimson Tide fans would like you to believe. Both defenses are stellar—with Notre Dame currently standing as the nation’s top-ranked unit.
Each team also loves to run the football, allowing the quarterback to make plays when needed.
In the end, Alabama will find a way to win. Nick Saban is very tough to out-coach and even more so when he has a month to prepare for his opponent.
Manti Te’o will have an impact, but the Tide’s experience will ring true in a tightly contested game.
Score: Alabama 24, Notre Dame 20
Orange Bowl: No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State
Northern Illinois has a chance because of one player: quarterback Jordan Lynch. He’s not a household name yet, but he will be after this game.
Lynch has 43 total touchdowns this year and 4,000-plus yards. He's a thrill to watch, and he makes this game watchable all by himself.
However, the Huskies don't have a chance here. Their dynamic rushing offense performs very well versus MAC defenses, but Florida State's unit is truly elite. Lynch will have his moments, but the Seminoles will throw things at him that he hasn't seen yet this season.
It's simple. If Florida State stays out of its own way, it wins.
Score: Florida State 35, Northern Illinois 13
Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Florida vs. No. 21 Louisville
The Gators could make an argument that they deserve to be No. 2 in the nation, but that's not how things unfolded.
Instead, Will Muschamp’s team will face Charlie Strong’s Cardinals.
This game is really similar to the Orange Bowl matchup for me. Teddy Bridgewater is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, and he has solid support from Senorise Perry and Devante Parker, but the Gators have too much on defense.
Look for Mike Gillislee to carry Florida’s offense to victory in this one. The Gators still struggle through the air, but their ground game and defense has been too much all year long.
Gators win, but not as big as most would think. Strong is too good of a coach to get handled here.
Score: Florida 27, Louisville 17
Rose Bowl: No. 6 Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Even obsessed college football fans will be disappointed with this matchup. Seeing Ohio State here would be much more appetizing, but that's not possible so we have Wisconsin instead.
The Badgers rely almost completely on their run game to win. Too bad for them, Stanford doesn't allow yards very easily.
The Cardinal's blue-collar defense will use its aggressive pass rush and talented front seven to make life very difficult on Wisconsin's offense. Stepfan Taylor will be the best player on the field, and he will show it as he runs for multiple scores on Wisconsin's defense.
The Rose Bowl is steeped in tradition, but that won't matter this year.
Score: Stanford 27, Wisconsin 10
Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State
Everyone is going to watch this one. Two powerful offenses will do battle as former national championship hopefuls fight for respect here.
Kansas State's defense could be the difference, but it also hasn't seen an offense like Oregon's all year long. Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota could give them fits, depending on how quickly they adapt to the speed of the game.
But it's tough to pick against Collin Klein. Oregon's defense has been flawed this season, and he has all the tools to exploit that.
Both of these teams were so close to the big one. Here though, I like Kansas State to get the job done. Bill Snyder's team almost always plays up to big games, and this is the biggest.
Score: Kansas State 31, Oregon 24
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