College football bowl game season is the best time of the year.
It's that time of year where you sit down with your family and friends and watch intriguing games, such as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Yes, I know there are a few rather interesting names for the early bowl games, but football is football, right?
Some of these no-name bowl games end up being the best of the bowl season, but enough about teams going .500 and playing in a lower-tier bowl game. It's all about playing on New Year's Day and making a BCS bowl game.
This will be the final year of the controversial BCS era, which began in 1998. There are a lot of national title contenders that could be in the final BCS Championship game this year.
The obvious pick would be two-time defending champion Alabama, but will this finally be the year they get knocked off their pedestal? Teams like Clemson, Georgia, Louisville, Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford could be up for a national title run. Who will be playing for the crystal ball and who will be left out?
Here are all 35 bowl game projections:
Florida junior quarterback Jeff Driskel in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.
December 31, 2013
Florida State vs Florida
An in-state battle between hated rivals Florida and Florida State on New Year's Eve. Both teams would be playing back-to-back games against one another, but who is going complain about watching a rematch?
Ticket sales would be high and both fanbases would be highly intrigued to travel to Atlanta.
The Noles would head into the Chick-fil-A Bowl as the No. 2 team out of the ACC and the Gators would come in as the No. 5 team out of the SEC. It could turn into a low-scoring game with both teams heading in with stout defenses.
Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray.
Capital One Bowl
January 1, 2014
Michigan vs Georgia
It's sad both teams will arrive at the Citrus Bowl, disappointed after not winning their conference championships and not being selected as an at-large BCS bowl team, but it will still be a fun game to watch.
It will be senior quarterback Aaron Murray's last game in a Georgia uniform and the Dawgs' second consecutive appearance in the Capital One Bowl. Michigan, who played in the Outback Bowl last season against South Carolina, will be seeking revenge on the SEC after losing 33-28.
It will be an explosive Georgia offense against a stingy Michigan defense. You also have to keep in mind that junior quarterback Devin Gardner will have played a full season under center, making Michigan's offense much improved from 2012.
Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel in the 2013 Cotton Bowl.
January 1, 2014
Texas A&M vs Northwestern
There are a lot of issues surrounding Heisman quarterback Johnny Manziel right now, so there is no guarantee Texas A&M will be in this game if he is suspended. He's currently eligible, so we'll just go with what we have for now.
The goal in this game for Northwestern will be to keep up offensively with a score-heavy Aggie squad.
Vanderbilt senior wide receiver Jordan Matthews in last year's Music City Bowl.
January 1, 2014
Michigan State vs Vanderbilt
This will turn into a defensive battle and be a low-scoring game between Sparty and Vandy.
Texas junior quarterback David Ash.
January 3, 2014
LSU vs Texas
This will be one of the most interesting bowl games of the season. Mac Brown's Longhorns will finally be back in a big-time bowl game since Colt McCoy led Texas to the BCS National title game in 2010.
Quarterback David Ash will have his best season as a Longhorn and the defense will be improved as well.
LSU will be in that two-loss situation like Texas A&M, but will find themselves in their second Cotton Bowl in four years. Like Ash, LSU senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger will have a better season than he had in 2012 and the defense, as usual, will be one of the best in the country.
It will be quite the showdown in Jerry World.
Oregon junior running back De'Anthony Thomas running for a touchdown in the 2012 Rose Bowl.
January 1, 2014
Nebraska vs Oregon
"The Granddaddy of Them All" is always a must see game between the Big Ten and Pac-12. Nebraska will finally have reached their first BCS bowl game since playing Miami (FL) for the title in 2002 and will have to play against an Oregon squad that will be in their fifth straight BCS bowl game.
Nebraska will find themselves in the Rose Bowl without even winning the Big Ten Legends Division.
With Michigan losing the Big Ten Championship game and suffering their third loss of the season, Nebraska will be sitting nicely at 10-2 with a strong Big Red fanbase following them. Taylor Martinez and Company will finally advance—after years of heartbreak—to a BCS bowl game.
Oregon's one loss during the season will cost them a chance to play at the Rose Bowl for the BCS Championship game on January 6. Instead, the high-flying Ducks will play in their third Rose Bowl in five years.
The Huskers have not had good luck in any of their big games since Bo Pelini took over in 2008. This will finally be their chance to prove themselves, but the Nebraska "Blackshirt" defense will have to try and stop quarterback Marcus Mariota and the lethal De'Anthony Thomas.
A task that a majority of teams have struggled to accomplish.
Oklahoma State senior quarterback Clint Chelf.
January 1, 2014
Univ of Phoenix
Oklahoma State vs Boise State
Who knows if starting quarterback Clint Chelf will still be starting at quarterback by bowl time? The Cowboys went through three starters in 2012 and still managed to be in the Big 12 race at the end of the season. With no clear favorite in the Big 12 Conference this year, Oklahoma State has a chance to win the Big 12 title and clinch their second Fiesta Bowl bid in three years.
Boise State has had heartbreaking losses the past three seasons that have kept them out of the BCS bowl discussion. The Broncos will open the 2013 season up with a non-conference game at Washington, who will be playing their first game in newly renovated Husky Stadium.
Whether Boise State loses that game or not, they still have a solid chance to crack the Top 12 and receiving a BCS at-large bid. With potentially two games against a stellar Fresno State team, the second game would be the inaugural Mountain West Championship game, as well as BYU and San Diego State, look for Chris Petersen's Broncos to be in their third BCS bowl game since 2007.
The Boise State defense will have to try and shut down a lethal Mike Gundy spread, no-huddle offense that will have torn defenses up through the air and on the scoreboard during the regular season.
South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
January 2, 2014
South Carolina vs Stanford
South Carolina will find themselves in the Sugar Bowl because of Georgia's SEC Championship loss. With the Bulldogs losing, it would put a one-loss Gamecock team in the third or fourth spot in the BCS standings. As it was last year with Florida, if you're in the third or fourth spot in the final BCS Standings, you will be guaranteed a BCS invitation.
Stanford will accept their at-large bid after finishing second in the Pac-12 Conference, and look to continue their recent success under third-year head coach David Shaw.
Watching Stanford play against an SEC team is what the nation has been wanting to see.
Shaw's Stanford squad plays a tough and hard-nosed football style like many of the teams in the physical SEC Conference. South Carolina's defense will showcase All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, while Stanford will be with one of the best linebacking units in the nation consisting of Trent Murphy, Shayne Skov and AJ Tarpley.
Expect a battle in the trenches from these two teams.
Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in last season's Sugar Bowl.
January 3, 2014
Clemson vs Louisville
Clemson came up just short from advancing to their second consecutive BCS bowl game last season. It's hard to forget what happened to the Tigers in the 2012 Orange Bowl when they were completely manhandled by West Virginia 70-33. You can be sure Dabo Swinney will have his guys ready this time around.
The Louisville Cardinals, led by Heisman-contender quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, will have an easy path to the Orange Bowl as they are an elite team playing in a rather weak American Athletic Conference. Louisville will return to their second consecutive BCS bowl game. The Cardinal upset the Florida Gators in the 2013 Sugar Bowl 33-23.
Clemson's offense will be among the best in college football this year with quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but you can't underestimate a Cardinal defense that ranked 16th nationally in pass defense last season. This Orange Bowl should be more competitive, unlike the past three years.
Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron during last year's BCS National Championship game.
BCS National Championship
January 6, 2014
Alabama vs Ohio State
It's the grand finale of the BCS era, and how fitting that we have Urban Meyer with his Ohio State Buckeyes against Nick Saban with his Alabama Crimson Tide? Both programs are prestigious and the coaches have a combined six national titles.
There is also the aspect of ending everything at one of the most famed stadiums in sports, the Rose Bowl.
Alabama is loaded both offensively and defensively. Quarterback AJ McCarron will be going for his third national title in three years and will have talented running back TJ Yeldon, along with speedy wide receiver Amari Cooper. Not much needs to be said about a defense led by linebacker CJ Mosley. They are simply the best in college football.
Ohio State went undefeated last season but were prohibited from advancing to the National Title game. Instead it was Alabama who advanced. Ohio State has dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller leading the offense, but how will they fair against a tough SEC team?
Jim Tressel's Buckeyes were completely outplayed in the BCS National Championship in both 2007 and 2008 by Urban Meyer's Florida Gators and by LSU. Can Meyer finally turn the tide?
Northern Illinois senior quarterback Jordan Lynch in the 2013 Orange Bowl.
New Mexico Bowl Dec. 21, 2013 Utah State vs Arizona
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Dec. 21, 2013 Air Force vs Bowling Green
New Orleans Bowl Dec. 21, 2013 Louisiana-Lafayette vs Middle Tennessee
Las Vegas Bowl Dec. 21, 2013 Fresno State vs Arizona State
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Dec. 23, 2013 Pittsburgh* vs Marshall
Hawai'i Bowl Dec. 24, 2013 Rice vs San Jose State
Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 26, 2013 San Diego State vs Notre Dame*
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Dec. 26, 2013 Ohio vs West Virginia*
Military Bowl Dec. 27, 2013 Maryland vs Ball State*
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Dec. 27, 2013 Washington vs BYU
Texas Bowl Dec. 27, 2013 Indiana vs Baylor
Russell Athletic Bowl Dec. 28, 2013 Rutgers vs Miami (FL)
Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 28, 2013 UCF vs Texas Tech
Belk Bowl Dec. 28, 2013 Cincinnati vs North Carolina
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Dec. 28, 2013 Wisconsin vs TCU
Music City Bowl Dec. 30, 2013 Georgia Tech vs Mississippi
Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 30, 2013 Wyoming vs Navy
Alamo Bowl Dec. 30, 2013 Oklahoma vs USC
Holiday Bowl Dec. 30, 2013 Kansas State vs Oregon State
Independence AdvoCare Bowl Dec. 31, 2013 Auburn vs NC State
Sun Bowl Dec. 31, 2013 Virginia Tech vs UCLA
Liberty Bowl Dec. 31, 2013 Tennessee vs Tulsa
Heart of Dallas Bowl Jan. 1, 2013 East Carolina vs Iowa
BBVA Compass Bowl Jan. 5, 2013 SMU vs Arkansas
GoDaddy.com Bowl Jan. 5, 2013 Western Kentucky vs Northern Illinois
*- Indicates fill-in team