It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not because of the holiday season. It's college football bowl season!
There is truly nothing more exciting than curling up on the couch with your favorite beverage and some nachos and just binging on football.
The games so far have been fantastic—see Colorado State's last-minute comeback against Washington State. But the games are only going to get better from here. Below, we'll pick every remaining bowl game before focusing on three of the most intriguing games of the bowl season.
|New Era Pinstripe||Rutgers vs. Notre Dame||Dec. 28||Noon||ESPN||Notre Dame|
|Belk||Cincinnati vs. North Carolina||Dec. 28||3:20 p.m.||ESPN||Cincinnati|
|Russell Athletic||Louisville vs. Miami (FL)||Dec. 28||6:45 p.m.||ESPN||Louisville|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Michigan vs. Kansas State||Dec. 28||10:15 p.m.||ESPN||Michigan|
|Bell Helicopters Armed Forces||Middle Tennessee vs. Navy||Dec. 30||11:45 a.m.||ESPN||Navy|
|Franklin American Mortgage Music City||Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech||Dec. 30||3:15 p.m.||ESPN||Ole Miss|
|Valero Alamo||Texas vs. Oregon||Dec. 30||6:45 p.m.||ESPN||Oregon|
|National University Holiday||Arizona State vs. Texas Tech||Dec. 30||10:15 p.m.||ESPN||Arizona State|
|AdvoCare V100||Boston College vs. Arizona||Dec. 31||12:15 p.m.||ESPN||Arizona|
|Hyundai Sun||Virginia Tech vs. UCLA||Dec. 31||2 p.m.||CBS||UCLA|
|AutoZone Liberty||Rice vs. Mississippi State||Dec. 31||4 p.m.||ESPN||Rice|
|Chick-fil-A||Duke vs. Texas A&M||Dec. 31||8 p.m.||ESPN||Texas A&M|
|Taxslayer.com Gator||Georgia vs. Nebraska||Jan. 1||Noon||ESPN2||Georgia|
|Heart of Dallas||UNLV vs. North Texas||Jan. 1||Noon||ESPNU||UNLV|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs. South Carolina||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||ABC||South Carolina|
|Outback||LSU vs. Iowa||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||ESPN||LSU|
|Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO||Michigan State vs. Stanford||Jan. 1||5 p.m.||ESPN||Stanford|
|Tostitos Fiesta||Baylor vs. UCF||Jan. 1||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||Baylor|
|Allstate Sugar||Alabama vs. Oklahoma||Jan. 2||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||Alabama|
|Discover Orange||Clemson vs. Ohio State||Jan. 3||TBD||ESPN||Ohio St.|
|AT&T Cotton||Oklahoma State vs. Missouri||Jan. 3||7:30 p.m.||FOX||Oklahoma State|
|BBVA Compass||Vanderbilt vs. Houston||Jan. 4||1 p.m.||ESPN||Vanderbilt|
|GoDaddy||Arkansas St. vs. Ball St.||Jan. 5||9 p.m.||ESPN||Arkansas St.|
|VIZIO BCS National Championship Game||Florida State vs. Auburn||Jan. 6||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||Florida State|
Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas vs. Oregon
It's Mack Brown's final game, leaving him with one last chance to cement his legacy. He already is a Texas legend, as evidenced by this billboard that fans created (via BuzzFeed Sports):
While Longhorn players will undoubtedly feel motivated to win one for Brown, Oregon is the much better team. Even though the Ducks faltered down the stretch, losing two of their last four, they still averaged 46.8 points per game, which is third in the nation. Texas, meanwhile, gives up 25.5 points per game, which is 56th in the nation.
Furthermore, Texas has a porous run defense, giving up 180.3 yards per game. That means that De'Anthony Thomas, Byron Marshall and Tyler Tyner will go off.
Remember, this is a Texas team that has lost two of its last three and only has one win against a Top-25 team.
So while it will be closer due to the extra motivation of sending Brown off properly, Oregon is just too talented and Texas' run defense is not good enough.
Final Score: Oregon 31, Texas 21
AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College
If anyone loves old-fashioned, ground-and-pound football, then look no further.
This game features two of the best running backs in the game—Arizona's Kadeem Carey and Boston College's Andre Williams.
Here's how the two stack up:
|Player||Yards||Yards per Carry||Touchdowns|
Williams got the Heisman nod, but voters really did overlook Carey, who is a fantastic player and probably the better pro prospect.
Both teams are going to stick to the run and for good reason, since both run defenses aren't that great. BC gives up 154.2 yards per game, while the Wildcats give up 169.6 per game.
To me, this game comes down to which team has the better overall offense, and that's Arizona. The Wildcats average 32.8 points per game, while the Eagles average 28.4.
I think both of these sterling running backs will have huge games, but Arizona has enough other weapons to pull out the victory.
Final Score: Arizona 34, Boston College 24
Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO: Michigan State vs. Stanford
This is another old-fashioned football game, featuring two teams that love to run the ball and stop the run.
However, Michigan State is at a distinct disadvantage, since star linebacker Max Bullough is suspended for the contest, according to ESPN:
Michigan State has suspended senior LB and captain Max Bullough, making him ineligible for Rose Bowl » http://t.co/29kt0UBsem— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 26, 2013
In a statement to reporters, coach Mark Dantonio was evasive as to why Bullough was suspended (via Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free-Press):
Max Bullough has been suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules. It is extremely disappointing for all parties involved. We will stay focused and close ranks as we prepare for Stanford on January 1 in the Rose Bowl. Max will forever remain a Spartan and valued member in this team’s achievements. We will have no further comment on this issue.
Bullough, the third team All-American, had 76 tackles and 9.5 for loss this season. He is the cornerstone of this fantastic defense, the heart and soul, and the second-best player, behind stud corner Darqueze Dennard.
This absolutely affects the Michigan State defense, a unit that only gives up 12.7 points per game and only 80.8 rushing yards per game, which is best in the nation.
That should mean that Tyler Gaffney will have a monster game. The senior has 1,618 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He may tear off a few runs like this one:
Stanford coach David Shaw told Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle that Bullough is a "great player. I'm sad for him. As a senior, he's going to miss out on this opportunity."
Shaw, however, must be happy that Gaffney will have bigger holes to run through. I think Gaffney could run for 150-plus yards.
Michigan State will keep it close, but Stanford has just enough firepower to pull it off.
Final Score: Stanford 21, Michigan State 10