Bowl Games 2013-14: Previewing Most Exciting Remaining Contests

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IDecember 24, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Tre Mason #21 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown against the Missouri Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In terms of excitement value, the college bowl season has brought it thus far. Whether it was a USC offense that exploded for 45 points in the Las Vegas Bowl or Colorado State and Washington State combining for 103 total points in the New Mexico Bowl, the offenses are in full swing.

With just five games in the books and 30 remaining, there are several BCS and non-BCS bowls that will provide more excitement for college football fans.

Before the games get underway, here are three of the best remaining games on the college bowl schedule, starting with one of the most exciting non-BCS games.


Cotton Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Henry Josey #20 of the Missouri Tigers runs the ball against the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Both teams narrowly missed out on making a BCS bowl due to season-ending losses but are still two of the best offenses in the country.

For Missouri, a balanced attack with James Franklin and Henry Josey has led the team all season. Franklin, despite missing four games midway through the season due to a shoulder injury, has thrown for 2,225 yards, 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season. 

Josey has also been one of the best running backs in the stacked SEC this year with 1,074 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns and an average of 6.6 yards per carry this season. With four straight games at 95 or more yards to close the season, Josey's 1,000-yard season was his second straight for the Tigers after recovering from a devastating injury and missing the 2012 season.

Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke with Josey following the accomplishment:

On the Oklahoma State side, Clint Chelf has emerged for the Cowboys and has been their most explosive offensive weapon. Chelf didn't get serious playing time until the sixth game of the season for the Cowboys but has been carrying them since.

The senior signal-caller has 12 touchdowns through the air and another five on the ground for Oklahoma State in his last six games and has a total of 21 touchdowns this season.

Regardless of the winner in this contest, these former Big 12 rivals will have their offenses in full force for the Cotton Bowl. With two defenses that are prone to giving up big plays, this game could easily see over 80 points combined.


Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Ohio State

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 07:  Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes delivers a pass during the Big Ten Conference Championship game against the Michigan State Spartans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tajh Boyd against Braxton Miller. Carlos Hyde vs. Sammy Watkins. Those four names alone make this year's version of the Orange Bowl worth watching.

Clemson's Boyd might have been overshadowed in the ACC by some guy from Florida State, but he has certainly put together an outstanding season. The senior threw for 3,473 yards, 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions along with nine rushing touchdowns on the season.

Over a third of those passing yards and touchdowns went to one of the most dynamic receivers in the country, Sammy Watkins. The junior has hauled in 85 receptions for 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns with seven games of 100 or more yards this season.

The dynamic duo for Clemson is matched by the Buckeyes tandem of Miller and Hyde. Miller was an early season Heisman favorite who finished with over 1,800 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. While Miller hasn't thrown for over 200 yards in any of his last four matchups, the junior hasn't rushed for less than 140 yards in a game during that stretch.

As for Hyde, his first season with over 1,000 yards helped him to become one of the most dominant backs in the Big Ten. The junior has rushed for over 100 yards in eight straight games and comes into the Orange Bowl with 14 touchdowns on the season.


BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn

Dec 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston poses for a photo after being awarded the 2013 Heisman Trophy at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The simple fact that this game features two Heisman finalists makes it an exciting finale to the season. But with an explosive corps of receivers for Florida State and an Auburn quarterback who can change the game with his legs or arm, there are sure to be some offensive fireworks in this game.

Jameis Winston was the 2013 Heisman winner and is seen as a future No. 1 draft pick by experts, as Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported. He is just 180 yards away from 4,000 yards and would need just two touchdowns in the final game to score 40 passing touchdowns.

The freshman did everything necessary for the Seminoles to finish the season undefeated and did so at times with his legs, scoring four touchdowns on the ground. 

Along with Winston, the Seminoles also have a plethora of receivers that could finish with over 1,000 yards on the season. Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw all have over 50 receptions and 929 or more receiving yards this season.

The three standout targets for Winston are a matchup nightmare and have hauled in a combined 29 of the freshman's 38 passing touchdowns. Shaw had some words of advice for Auburn's secondary, according to Brandon Marcello of

On the other side stand Tre Mason and Nick Marshall. Mason's 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns look impressive, but what really stands out about the junior running back is the way he finished out the season.

Mason put the Tigers on his back for the last five games of the season, including a win over Alabama and a victory over Mizzou in the SEC Championship. The Palm Beach, Fla., native finished the season with five straight 100-yard rushing games—304 in the SEC title game—and scored 13 of his touchdowns during that stretch.

Sharing the backfield with Mason is Marshall, who like Winston can get the job done in the passing game or running game. But Marshall clearly enjoys killing defenses with his legs, rushing for over 100 yards in four games this season.

The junior quarterback is actually almost a full yard ahead of Mason in yards per carry at 6.6 and has more touchdowns with 23 total—12 passing and 11 rushing. Marshall, much like Mason, can be the weapon that might just put the Tigers over the top in the title game.