The 2013-14 bowl season is well under way, and the remaining games on the schedule promise to be some of the top clashes of the entire year.
The slate of games from Dec. 31 through the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 6 feature strong teams and compelling matchups that will leave college football fans on the edge of their seats. There are games that you simply won't want to miss.
Those can't-miss matchups will be the talk of the office in the days following, and you definitely don't want to be the one who missed out on the action.
Here are your top games to watch, along with viewing information and a brief breakdown.
|AdvoCare V100||Boston College vs. Arizona||Dec. 31 @ 12:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Hyundai Sun||Virginia Tech vs. UCLA||Dec. 31 @ 2 p.m.||CBS|
|AutoZone Liberty||Rice vs. Mississippi St.||Dec. 31 @ 4 p.m.||ESPN|
|Chick-fil-A||Duke vs. Texas A&M||Dec. 31 @ 8 p.m.||ESPN|
|TaxSlayer.com Gator||Georgia vs. Nebraska||Jan. 1 @ Noon||ESPN2|
|Heart of Dallas||North Texas vs. UNLV||Jan. 1 @ Noon||ESPNU|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs. South Carolina||Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m.||ABC|
|Outback||LSU vs. Iowa||Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m.||ESPN|
|Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO||Michigan St. vs. Stanford||Jan. 1 @ 5 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tostitos Fiesta||Baylor vs. UCF||Jan. 1 @ 8:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Allstate Sugar||Alabama vs. Oklahoma||Jan. 2 @ 8:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Discover Orange||Clemson vs. Ohio St.||Jan. 3 @ TBD||ESPN|
|AT&T Cotton||Missouri vs. Oklahoma St.||Jan. 3 @ 7:30 p.m.||FOX|
|BBA Compass||Houston vs. Vanderbilt||Jan. 4 @ 1 p.m.||ESPN|
|GoDaddy||Arkansas St. vs. Ball St.||Jan. 5 @ 9 p.m.||ESPN|
|VIZIO BCS National Championship||Florida St. vs. Auburn||Jan. 6 @ 8:30 p.m.||ESPN|
Capital One Bowl
A strong South Carolina defense takes on a potent Wisconsin run game in the Capital One Bowl, and on paper, it looks as if it could be a tossup.
Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and James White were unbelievable as a duo this season. They combined for over 2,600 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, and Gordon knows that he and the other big-time players need to step up if the Badgers are going to win.
The Gamecocks and their No. 14-ranked defense will have to force Joel Stave to lead the offense. The Wisconsin quarterback took a backseat in terms of production to Gordon and White this season. If South Carolina can limit the tandem on the ground, the Badgers will have to lean on Stave to put points on the board.
South Carolina will be able to put up enough points to win if they can prevent Gordon and White from finding paydirt. Stave likely won't account for more than a touchdown or two himself, and that's the type of outcome the Gamecocks will be planning for.
This will be a dogfight, but the running game of Wisconsin is too good to be completely silenced. They should come out on top.
The battle between Michigan State and Stanford figures to be one of the top games of the new year.
Kevin Hogan (Stanford) and Connor Cook (Michigan State) will need to stay hot after both performed admirably in their conference championship games. Neither the Cardinal nor the Spartans will rely on their passers to win, but they will need each one to make a few plays with his arm.
By the time the game rolls around, both coaching staffs will have had 25 days to prepare for their opponents. This will be a huge advantage for the defenses.
While the Spartans defense is an overall better unit (with arguably one of the top defensive prospects in the nation in Darqueze Dennard), Stanford's defense is also a strong unit. They'll need to put pressure on Cook from the beginning and force him to lean heavily on running back Jeremy Langford.
Stanford can severely limit Michigan State's attack if it can turn their offense into a predictable unit.
Stanford has the experience at the BCS level to take care of business. It will be an exceptionally well-fought game by both sides, but the Cardinal won't let this opportunity slip away.
Braxton Miller (the passer) needs to show up against Clemson. While Miller (the runner) is a great weapon on offense, Ohio State will need the complete quarterback to score against a tough Tigers defense.
The Buckeyes' quarterback was just 8-for-21 for 101 yards and a touchdown through the air against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game. Those numbers against Clemson will likely result in a loss for Ohio State—period.
You can be sure that Clemson is preparing for the dual-threat quarterback. Via Brandon Rink of TheState.com:
Clemson makes no bones about its pressure prowess: No. 1 in tackles for loss (113) and No. 22 in sacks (33). But facing this kind of attack throws a wrench into the typical plan.
Putting the pressure on Miller from the start should bring good results for the Tigers defense. If he's pressured, it'll be difficult for him to stand in the pocket and make plays with his arm. This will flush him out of the pocket and into a place where he'll be vulnerable to blitzes on the outside or incoming defenders.
Miller can't win the game for the Buckeyes by himself on the ground. He'll need to incorporate his weapons through the air to make it happen. Clemson won't let that happen, though. They'll take care of business in the Orange Bowl.