Bowl Schedule 2012-13: Ranking Must-Watch Games Before the New Year

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIDecember 29, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 13:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers celebrates a 23-21 win against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Tiger Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The college football bowl season is headlined by New Year's Day matchups, but the schedule prior to that day holds some exciting matchups of its own.

In the three days before the New Year, we have nine more bowl games to be played. Of those nine, these are the top three to watch.


3. New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Teams: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange

Date: Dec. 29

Time: 3:15 p.m. ET

Venue: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.

Watch: ESPN

In what is guaranteed to turn into a shootout in Yankee Stadium, West Virginia and its high-powered offense takes on a Syracuse team that practically has a home game.

Both of these teams have successful quarterbacks, as Geno Smith threw for 4,004 yards and 40 scores on the season, while Ryan Nassib set school records for passing yards in a single game and career.

Neither team has a very good defense, which means this game could break 100 total points scored.


2.  Valero Alamo Bowl

Teams: No. 23 Texas Longhorns vs. No. 13 Oregon State Beavers

Date: Dec. 29

Time: 6:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

Watch: ESPN

In a strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we don't know which teams will show up in this game. Obviously it will be Texas vs. Oregon State, but which sides?

These teams have been both elite and pathetic this season.

Texas started the season 8-2 behind elite quarterback play before tossing just one touchdown and five picks in the last two games. Oregon State beat. No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 19 UCLA, but it lost to Washington.

This game is going to be a question mark until the final whistle blows, and it will be worth watching because of that.


1. Chick-fil-A Bowl

Teams: No. 8 LSU Tigers vs. No. 14 Clemson Tigers

Date: Dec. 31

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Venue: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.

Watch: ESPN

In what I'm calling "The Tiger Bowl," LSU and Clemson meet in a matchup featuring LSU's stingy defense and Clemson's electric offense.

Clemson's Tajh Boyd leads a great passing game (319.6 YPG) and the No. 6 offense in the country to Atlanta. It's not going to be easy, however, as LSU gives up less than 17 points per game.

We are going to see one of the best matchups of the entire bowl season on the field when Clemson tries to blow by LSU's defense.