The final rendition of the BCS has been set. No. 1 Florida State and Heisman winner Jameis Winston will take on the No. 2 Auburn Tigers to crown the nation's champion.
But, that is not all fans should set time aside for when bowl season begins. With all the hoopla surrounding the BCS games, it can be easy to forget that, starting on Dec. 21, 35 games will be played over a span of 17 days in arguably one of the sporting world's greatest annual events.
So, kick back, grab a handy guide with all of the integral viewing info and circle matchups worth the time investment.
|Bowl||Teams||Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Gildan New Mexico||Washington St. vs. Colorado St.||Dec. 21||2 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Washington State|
|Royal Purple Las Vegas||Fresno State vs. USC||Dec. 21||3:30 p.m.||ABC||TBD||Fresno State|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Buffalo vs. San Diego St.||Dec. 21||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Buffalo|
|R+L Carriers New Orleans||Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette||Dec. 21||9 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Tulane|
|Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg||East Carolina vs. Ohio||Dec. 23||2 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Ohio|
|Sheraton Hawaii||Boise St. vs. Oregon St.||Dec. 24||8 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Oregon St.|
|Little Caesars Pizza||Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green||Dec. 26||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Pittsburgh|
|S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia||Utah St. vs. Northern Illinois||Dec. 26||9:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Northern Illinois|
|Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman||Marshall vs. Maryland||Dec. 27||2:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Marshall|
|Texas||Syracuse vs. Minnesota||Dec. 27||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Minnesota|
|Fight Hunger||BYU vs. Washington||Dec. 27||9:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||BYU|
|New Era Pinstripe||Rutgers vs. Notre Dame||Dec. 28||Noon||ESPN||WatchESPN||Notre Dame|
|Belk||Cincinnati vs. North Carolina||Dec. 28||3:20 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Cincinnati|
|Russell Athletic||Louisville vs. Miami||Dec. 28||6:45 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Louisville|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Kansas St. vs. Michigan||Dec. 28||10:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Michigan|
|Bell Helicopter Armed Forces||Middle Tennessee vs. Navy||Dec. 30||11:45 a.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Navy|
|Franklin American Mortgage Music City||Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech||Dec. 30||3:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Ole Miss|
|Valero Alamo||Texas vs. Oregon||Dec. 30||6:45 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Oregon|
|National University Holiday||Texas Tech vs. Arizona St.||Dec. 30||10:15 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Arizona St.|
|AdvoCare V100||Boston College vs. Arizona||Dec. 31||12:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Arizona|
|Hyundai Sun||Virginia Tech vs. UCLA||Dec. 31||2 p.m.||CBS||TBD||UCLA|
|AutoZone Liberty||Rice vs. Mississippi St.||Dec. 31||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Mississippi St.|
|Chick-fil-A||Duke vs. Texas A&M||Dec. 31||8 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Texas A&M|
|TaxSlayer.com Gator||Georgia vs. Nebraska||Jan. 1||Noon||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Nebraska|
|Heart of Dallas||North Texas vs. UNLV||Jan. 1||Noon||ESPNU||WatchESPN||UNLV|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs. South Carolina||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||ABC||TBD||Wisconsin|
|Outback||LSU vs. Iowa||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||LSU|
|Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO||Michigan St. vs. Stanford||Jan. 1||5 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Michigan St.|
|Tostitos Fiesta||Baylor vs. UCF||Jan. 1||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Baylor|
|Allstate Sugar||Alabama vs. Oklahoma||Jan. 2||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Alabama|
|Discover Orange||Clemson vs. Ohio St.||Jan. 3||TBD||ESPN||WatchESPN||Ohio St.|
|AT&T Cotton||Missouri vs. Oklahoma St.||Jan. 3||7:30 p.m.||FOX||TBD||Missouri|
|BBVA Compass||Houston vs. Vanderbilt||Jan. 4||1 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Houston|
|GoDaddy||Arkansas St. vs. Ball St.||Jan. 5||9 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Ball St.|
|VIZIO BCS National Championship||Florida St. vs. Auburn||Jan. 6||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Florida St.|
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 15 UCF
Talk about a game not getting enough credit.
Quarterback Bryce Petty and the 11-1 Baylor Bears were one epic November collapse (49-17 loss to Oklahoma State) away from having a legitimate shot at the title game.
Meanwhile, the 11-1 UCF Knights lost by three points to South Carolina in late September, or otherwise, they may be partaking in a more noteworthy contest.
Coincidentally enough, this bowl features arguably the best quarterback matchup of all of the BCS bowls.
Petty is a former Heisman contender before a late-season slump. He threw for 3,844 yards, 30 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 2013.
UCF's Blake Bortles is a lesser-known commodity, but he threw for 3,280 yards and 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions this season, marking the second consecutive year he had thrown for more than 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns with fewer than than 10 interceptions.
Both quarterbacks have a task ahead of them against top-20 defenses, but they will be up to task. Bortles leads an offense that averages 33.2 points per game while Petty leads the nation's top offense that scores an average of 53.3.
Thanks to guaranteed fireworks from quality quarterbacks, this one must be circled on all calendars.
Prediction: Bears 45, Knights 30
Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 11 Oklahoma
There is nothing like a little drama to make a bowl game interesting.
Not only did 11-1 Alabama lose in the SEC title game with one second remaining, the Crimson Tide have since been marred in speculation and rumors surrounding head coach Nick Saban.
Fans can now rest easy as Saban signed a contract extension with the school and told the media he was never considering the job at Texas, per ESPN.com's Chris Low (via Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports):
The way this sort of got spun, it was a little bit more like, 'OK, he got a new contract at Alabama, so he's going to stay at Alabama instead of going to Texas. I never considered going to Texas. That wasn't even a conversation. I knew that if Mack stepped down, there would probably be an opportunity, but it wasn't something I was interested in doing, not at this stage in my career.
Interestingly enough, the Longhorns announced coach Mack Brown will step down after the team's bowl game, per USA Today.
Let the speculation continue to run wild. The Crimson Tide do have a bowl game against 10-2 Oklahoma, but fans better get used to the spotlight being on Saban and only Saban.
No college football game has ever featured two teams – Oklahoma (27) and Alabama (35) – that own more all-time combined bowl victories (62).— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 10, 2013
How much damage has been done to Alabama in the form of distractions? After all, the Crimson Tide are coming off a devastating loss that ranks with some of the most memorable in history, face a long layoff and have had to put up with the prospects of losing college football's top coach.
On paper, things look good. Offensively, the Sooners hardly rank in the top 50 at an average of 31.8 points scored per game. They do better defensively and rank in the top 25, but both losses to Texas and Baylor saw Oklahoma give up 36 points or more.
Publicly, not many are thrilled about the matchup. As Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer points out, the game is lopsided in the spread department, and ESPN's Steve Palazzolo ponders why another team was not selected to take on Alabama.
Alabama listed as a 15-point favorite over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on 5Dimes.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) December 9, 2013
Why couldn't we get Oregon to take on Alabama instead of Oklahoma?— Steve Palazzolo (@StevePalazzolo) December 9, 2013
Which team wins?
Alabama is led by Heisman finalist AJ McCarron, who threw for 2,676 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions on the year. He is backed by the nation's second-best defense, which allows an average of 11.3 points per game.
As lopsided as this looks, fans would be wise to tune in just in case. There is something to be said for the array of factors potentially working to undermine the Crimson Tide coming out with their best on-field product.
This one may be closer than most expect.
Prediction: Crimson Tide 42, Sooners 38