The college football bowl season will bring the end of several illustrious careers, for both seniors and NFL draft-bound underclassmen.
Johnny Manziel could be playing his final game as a Texas A&M Aggie, while several seniors, including Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, will look to cap off their collegiate campaigns with victories.
The 35-bowl slate will bring several intriguing matchups, including a guaranteed ground war in Shreveport, La., for the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
We'll take a look at which players are bound to shine in that matchup, the defensively dominated Rose Bowl and more up ahead.
Mark these nine bowl games down as can't-miss contests over the holiday season.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: No. 24 Duke (10-3) vs. No. 21 Texas A&M (8-4)
Date: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. EST (ESPN)
This might be Johnny Manziel's final collegiate game, which is reason enough to believe that he'll have an enormous game.
Another reason is his bowl performance against Oklahoma last year. Just weeks after winning the Heisman Trophy, Manziel set a Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards in Texas A&M's 41-13 blowout of OU.
If that isn't enough, take a look at the Duke defense. The Blue Devils have been suspect all season long, coming in 12th in the ACC and 72nd nationally in total defense.
Most recently, they were ripped for 569 yards by Florida State in an ugly 45-7 defeat in the conference title game.
Meanwhile, Manziel ranks third in the country in total offense with more than 4,400 total yards accounted for. He'll add a lot to that total in Atlanta.
Prediction: 25-of-35, 331 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT | 11 CAR, 71 YDS, 1 TD
AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)
Date: Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
If you're looking for a reason to watch the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, take two: Andre Williams and Ka'Deem Carey.
Williams and Carey are the top two running backs in college football, averaging 175.2 and 156 yards per game respectively.
If they each hit their average, they'll combine for more than 300 yards on the ground, which will be pretty remarkable.
Given their respective defenses, that is definite possibility. Arizona ranks No. 71 nationally against the run, allowing a shade under 170 yards per game. Boston College comes in at No. 50, allowing more than 152 rushing yards per contest.
Look for both Carey and Williams to have enormous games to close their seasons.
Combined prediction: 56 CAR, 340 YDS, 4 TD
Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 11 Oklahoma (10-2) vs. No. 3 Alabama (11-1)
Date: Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Safety Landon Collins is poised to have an enormous junior season next year, but he'll get an early jump on that in the Sugar Bowl.
The sophomore has already had an excellent season, as he is No. 2 on the team and leading all 'Bama defensive backs with 61 tackles. Four of those came for a loss along with an interception, six pass-breakups, six quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
He'll have his hands full defending OU's dangerous receiving duo of Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard. However, playing back in his home state, he'll show why he will go into next season on the short list of Thorpe Award favorites.
Prediction: 7 TAK, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: No. 15 UCF (11-1) vs. No. 6 Baylor (11-1)
Date: Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Central Florida hasn't faced an offense like the one Baylor will bring to the desert for the Fiesta Bowl.
UCF, on the whole, has been decent in passing defense. However, this Knights defense was ripped for 382 passing yards by Temple and 341 yards by Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville.
Outside of Louisville (and Southern Methodist on a 24-degree day), UCF hasn't been tested by an offense anywhere near the caliber of Baylor through the air.
Bryce Petty will be the big benefactor of the mismatch between the BU offense and the UCF defense. The Bears slowed offensively over the latter part of the season, but with a month to prepare and regain their health, they will have no trouble hanging yards and points in bunches on the Knights.
Additionally, it is believed that Baylor will return one of its best playmakers, Tevin Reese, back to the wide receiving corps. When he went down in early November, head coach Art Briles said that he could be back for the bowl game.
Prediction: 24-of-34, 355 YDS, 4 TD | 9 CAR, 33 YDS, 1 TD
Discover Orange Bowl: No. 12 Clemson (10-2) vs. No. 7 Ohio State (12-1)
Date: Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Motivation might be a question for Ohio State, which lost its chance at a national title berth with a Big Ten championship loss to Michigan State.
However, at least one player, running back Carlos Hyde, will be running hard to boost his NFL draft stock.
The senior missed time early in the season due to suspension but dominated once he returned to the lineup full-time.
He'll be unleashed in Miami on a Clemson defense that has allowed more than 100 yards on the ground eight times, including 140 yards or more in each of its last three games.
Hyde, along with quarterback Braxton Miller, will lead OSU to easily break 200 on the ground, as they have time and time again this season.
Prediction: 22 CAR, 187 YDS, 3 TD
Outback Bowl: Iowa (8-4) vs. No. 16 LSU (9-3)
Date: Jan. 1, 1 p.m. EST (ESPN)
With LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger out of the lineup, don't count Iowa out of the Outback Bowl.
The Tigers will likely turn to their ground game, led by running back Jeremy Hill, in Metteneberger's absence, which plays right into Iowa's strengths.
The Hawkeyes rank No. 17 nationally in rush defense, allowing only 120.8 yards per game. That defensive unit is spearheaded by senior linebacker duo James Morris and Anthony Hitchens.
Morris and Hitchens have combined for 200 tackles, including 27.5 tackles for a loss and seven sacks. They've also teamed up for five interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
With LSU leaning on its ground game, the duo will eat up a ton of tackles and have opportunities to make plays all over the field.
Prediction: 22 TAK, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 SACK, 1 INT, 1 FF
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State (8-5) vs. No. 23 Northern Illinois (12-1)
Date: Dec. 26, 9:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Jordan Lynch will have a horrible, bitter taste in his mouth as he heads to San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl.
Northern Illinois left its BCS chances on the table, and Lynch's Heisman hopes, with a loss to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference championship.
Lynch tossed two interceptions in that 47-27 defeat, which he'll be thinking about for the weeks leading up to the Huskies' date with Utah State.
With that hanging over his head, he'll come out ready to explode on the Aggies—and that's exactly what he'll do.
Prediction: 18-of-25, 231 YDS, 2 TD | 20 CAR, 123 YDS, 2 TD
Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 10 Oregon (10-2) vs. Texas (8-4)
Date: Dec. 30, 6:45 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Texas' struggles at defending the run have been well-documented—almost as well-documented as Oregon's explosive running game.
UT has been gouged for more than 200 rushing yards four times this season and has yielded 90 or more yards in 11 of 12 games.
Meanwhile, the Ducks rank ninth nationally in rush offense and have only failed to break 100 yards one time. The season has brought nine games with more than 200 rushing yards and another of 198.
Between quarterback Marcus Mariota and running backs Byron Marshall and De'Anthony Thomas, someone is bound to pop off for an enormous game.
DAT is the pick for this game, as he'll be thirsty to put bow on a season that hasn't quite gone to plan.
Prediction: 245 all-purpose yards, 3 TD
Rose Bowl presented by Visio: No. 5 Stanford (11-2) vs. No. 4 Michigan State (12-1)
Date: Jan. 1, 5 p.m. EST (ESPN)
The Rose Bowl between Michigan State and Stanford might look more like a rugby match than a modern football game, but it will also be one of the most closely contested games of the bowl season.
Both teams pride themselves on playing with power and defense, but it is Michigan State that has the superior defense.
In fact, with linebacker Denicos Allen one of several defensive stars, MSU might boast the No. 1 defense in the nation. The Spartans will try to carry that flag against the Cardinal and it will be Allen, in his final game in green and white, who will lead the way.
He has led MSU with 91 tackles and 15 tackles for a loss, including 5.5 sacks. He has also logged 10 quarterback hurries—all numbers he'll be out to add to against Kevin Hogan and the Stanford offense.
Prediction: 11 TAK, 2.5 TFL, 1 SACK, 2 QBH, 1 FF