With the conference champions decided and the 2013 college football regular season at an end, the bowl schedule has been finalized.
It has been a wild campaign throughout, and the last games before the bowl matchups were decided weren't any exception.
The end result is an intriguing slate of games for the holiday season. With all the controversy the BCS tends to generate, the system has produced some pretty fantastic showdowns in the nation's highest-profile bowls.
Here is a look at the entire bowl schedule, which trickles into the new year, along with a preview and some predictions for the best BCS showdowns on tap.
|BCS Bowl||Matchup||Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO||Michigan St. vs. Stanford||Jan. 1||5 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tostitos Fiesta||Baylor vs. UCF||Jan. 1||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Allstate Sugar||Alabama vs. Oklahoma||Jan. 2||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Discover Orange||Clemson vs. Ohio St.||Jan. 3||TBD||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|VIZIO BCS National Championship||Florida St. vs. Auburn||Jan. 6||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Bowl||Matchup||Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Gildan New Mexico||Washington St. vs. Colorado St.||Dec. 21||2 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Royal Purple Las Vegas||Fresno State vs. USC||Dec. 21||3:30 p.m.||ABC||TBD|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Buffalo vs. San Diego St.||Dec. 21||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|R+L Carriers New Orleans||Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette||Dec. 21||9 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg||East Carolina vs. Ohio||Dec. 23||2 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sheraton Hawaii||Boise St. vs. Oregon St.||Dec. 24||8 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Little Caesars Pizza||Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green||Dec. 26||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia||Utah St. vs. Northern Illinois||Dec. 26||9:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman||Marshall vs. Maryland||Dec. 27||2:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Texas||Syracuse vs. Minnesota||Dec. 27||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fight Hunger||BYU vs. Washington||Dec. 27||9:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|New Era Pinstripe||Rutgers vs. Notre Dame||Dec. 28||Noon||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Belk||Cincinnati vs. North Carolina||Dec. 28||3:20 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Russell Athletic||Louisville vs. Miami||Dec. 28||6:45 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Kansas St. vs. Michigan||Dec. 28||10:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Bell Helicopter Armed Forces||Middle Tennessee vs. Navy||Dec. 30||11:45 a.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Franklin American Mortgage Music City||Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech||Dec. 30||3:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Valero Alamo||Texas vs. Oregon||Dec. 30||6:45 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|National University Holiday||Texas Tech vs. Arizona St.||Dec. 30||10:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|AdvoCare V100||Boston College vs. Arizona||Dec. 31||12:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Hyundai Sun||Virginia Tech vs. UCLA||Dec. 31||2 p.m.||CBS||TBD|
|AutoZone Liberty||Rice vs. Mississippi St.||Dec. 31||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Chick-fil-A||Duke vs. Texas A&M||Dec. 31||8 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|TaxSlayer.com Gator||Georgia vs. Nebraska||Jan. 1||Noon||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Heart of Dallas||North Texas vs. UNLV||Jan. 1||Noon||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs. South Carolina||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||ABC||TBD|
|Outback||LSU vs. Iowa||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|AT&T Cotton||Missouri vs. Oklahoma St.||Jan. 3||7:30 p.m.||FOX||TBD|
|BBVA Compass||Houston vs. Vanderbilt||Jan. 4||1 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|GoDaddy||Arkansas St. vs. Ball St.||Jan. 5||9 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
Orange Bowl: No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 12 Clemson
This should be a shootout for the ages between two high-powered offenses. Fox Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson humorously summarized what many are liable to be thinking:
So, is that Ohio State - Clemson game 28-21 yet?— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) December 8, 2013
Senior Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd was recruited by Ohio State but chose Clemson instead and has enjoyed a successful career.
Assuming he throws a touchdown in this game, it will mark the third consecutive year in which Boyd has thrown for 30 or more scores.
Considering Ohio State allowed Michigan State's Connor Cook to throw for a career-high 304 yards and three TDs in the Big Ten title game, it's a good bet Boyd will, especially because he has two outstanding receivers in Sammy Watkins (85 receptions, 1,237 yards, 10 TDs) and Martavis Bryant (20.5 yards per catch) to sling the rock to.
But the Buckeyes should have the edge on the ground. Powerful running back Carlos Hyde has emerged as one of the premier players at his position in the country, and QB Braxton Miller is terribly tough to tackle in the open field.
Urban Meyer's bunch blew a shot at playing Florida State for the national title, which may make getting up for this game difficult, even with the ample time to prepare and get over that missed opportunity.
Clemson has so many weapons, and Ohio State's defense hasn't been sensational on the back end all year. Much like the Buckeyes' loss to the Spartans, this game should come down to Miller's ability to throw the ball, which is inferior to Boyd's by a considerable margin.
Miller could not make a play through the air against Sparty in the second half, which was reflected in his final QBR:
Despite rushing for 142 yards and two TDs, Braxton Miller had a 41.8 total QBR against Michigan State. (via @ESPNStatsInfo)— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) December 9, 2013
The Clemson front seven, led by star defensive end Vic Beasley (12 sacks), will wreak enough havoc on Miller to give the Tigers the victory.
Prediction: Clemson 41, Ohio State 34
Fiesta Bowl: No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 15 UCF
This should be another battle in which plenty of points go on the scoreboard.
While Baylor's Bryce Petty has gotten well-deserved attention for putting up stupendous numbers in 2013 (30 touchdowns to just two interceptions), his counterpart Blake Bortles garners considerable hype for leading the Knights to their own maiden BCS appearance.
Bortles, should he decide to forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL draft, has the physical tools and chops to be the first quarterback selected:
Brian Griese just said some NFL teams consider Blake Bortles the No. 1 QB in the country.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) December 7, 2013
Both of these signal-callers possess underrated mobility, too. This contest should come down to defense, and while UCF allows fewer points per game, its unit has also not faced the caliber of competition Baylor has in the Big 12.
The Knights are 71st in the country in third-down conversion percentage defense (40.2 percent), and that will help the Bears control the ball a little better and gain the slight edge in this thriller in Glendale, Ariz.
Prediction: Baylor 45, UCF 38
BCS National Championship Game: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn
The national title game should be epic, with the nation's two best teams squaring off after combining for 104 points in their conference championship triumphs.
Led by explosive running back Tre Mason and blazing fast QB Nick Marshall, Auburn has given even the most vaunted SEC defenses trouble on the ground. Florida State may have the tools to combat the Tigers, having yielded only five rushing touchdowns all season—tied for the lowest in the country.
Oh, and Marshall's counterpart, Jameis Winston, is a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after a sensational first season under center in Tallahassee.
Jameis Winston - QB, Florida State - Set freshman FBS records for passing yards and TDs in a season. #Heisman— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 10, 2013
Which BCS bowl will have the closest outcome?
Winston has three strong backs behind him in Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr. and Karlos Williams, and he has a slew of weapons on the outside, including senior receivers Kenny Shaw and Rashad Greene. That's not even to mention stellar tight end Nick O'Leary and 6'5" sophomore wideout Kelvin Benjamin.
The Seminoles have a serious edge with regard to assets in the passing game, and the Tigers have struggled against top quarterbacks this season—Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, AJ McCarron and James Franklin have all had success.
That does not portend well for Gus Malzahn's Tigers to continue 2013's dream turnaround from a 3-9 record last year. Winston and Co. will be too much for Auburn to handle.
Given the dramatics the Tigers have pulled en route to an 12-1 record to this point, though, expect it to be close at the end.
Prediction: Florida State 27, Auburn 24