After spending New Year’s Day recovering from the madness that was the celebration of the annual holiday, the focus for college football fans has turned to the remainder of the 2014 bowl schedule.
With the BCS National Championship yet to be decided and several other marquee games left on the schedule, college football fans are ready to witness all of the action that will close the 2013-14 season.
Here is the remaining bowl schedule and a quick preview of the most interesting remaining matchups.
|Remaining 2014 Bowl Schedule|
|Date||Time (ET)||Bowl||Teams||TV Info|
|Jan. 2||8:30 p.m.||Sugar Bowl||Oklahoma (No. 11) vs. Alabama (No. 3)||ESPN|
|Jan. 3||7:30 p.m.||Cotton Bowl||Oklahoma State (No. 13) vs. Missouri (No. 8)||Fox|
|Jan. 3||8:30 p.m.||Orange Bowl||Clemson (No. 12) vs. Ohio State (No. 7)||ESPN|
|Jan. 4||1 p.m.||Compass Bowl||Vanderbilt vs. Houston||ESPN|
|Jan. 5||9 p.m.||GoDaddy Bowl||Arkansas State vs. Ball State||ESPN|
|Jan. 6||8:30 p.m.||BCS National Championship||Florida State (No. 1) vs. Auburn (No. 2)||ESPN|
BCS National Championship: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn
The most interesting game left on the schedule is the BCS National Championship between the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (13-0, 8-0 ACC) and the No. 2 Auburn Tigers (12-1, 7-1 SEC).
With a playoff system implemented for the 2014-15 season, this will be the final title game as we have to come to know them over the years. While few fans are sad to see the outdated system go, the matchup it has produced this season will be amazing.
Auburn comes into this national title game with a victory in the SEC Championship, a last-second upset over Alabama and nine consecutive wins since losing to LSU on Sept. 21. Led by the elite combination of running back Tre Mason and dual-threat quarterback Nick Marshall, the Tigers have amassed the third-best rushing attack in the country.
As well as Auburn has played this season, the program is running into a buzz saw against FSU.
The Tigers have faced tough SEC competition all season. While Florida State is a member of the ACC, the program is built like the defensive powerhouses college football fans would find in Auburn’s conference.
As Nevada head coach Brian Polian told Paul Myerberg of USA Today, the Seminoles are an SEC-style team in every facet of the game:
They physically look like an SEC football team. The one thing that struck me was that in today's world of spread-out, basketball-on-grass, they were physical in all three phases of the football game. They were physical in the kicking game, they were physical on offense and they were physical on defense.
They play SEC-type football, for what it's worth, whatever people think that means. They can line up with a fullback and come downhill and knock you backwards. In the ACC, where you see so much spread and people want to turn it into a space game, this team has the ability to line up and be physical with you on both sides of the ball.
Florida State has been one of the most dangerous programs in the nation offensively, led by Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, and the balanced offense has averaged an astounding 53 points per game this season.
As strong as FSU’s offense has been, the defensive unit has been just as impressive.
Despite the ACC being known for its high-powered offenses, the Seminoles have allowed just 10.7 points per game this season and have allowed 17 or fewer points in 12 of 13 matchups during the undefeated campaign.
As well as Mason and the Auburn offense have played in 2013, the new year will bring a monumental victory for the Florida State program after a tumultuous season.
Predicted Final Score: Florida State 38, Auburn 24
Orange Bowl: No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 12 Clemson
The Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten) were serious BCS National Championship contenders all season, but a devastating loss in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State has halted the team’s momentum and confidence.
Ohio State will now play a Clemson Tigers (10-2, 7-1 ACC) team coming off a loss to South Carolina in the last week of the regular season. With neither team playing its best football right now, how each program handles the pressure will determine the eventual outcome of this game.
While predicting a winner will be tough, there is no question that this game will be a high-scoring affair.
The Buckeyes are dealing with several issues on the defensive side of the ball, though. Star defensive end Noah Spence will be suspended for the game, per Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports, and cornerback Bradley Roby could miss the game as well with a knee injury, according to Eric Seger of TheLantern.com.
For the ninth-ranked Clemson offense—averaging 40.2 points per game—this will be an ideal matchup.
There is no questioning the power and scoring prowess of quarterback Braxton Miller and the entire Ohio State offensive unit—averaging 46.3 points—but the Tigers boast a defense that only allows just 21.1 points per game.
The Buckeyes had a defense of their own that could stifle Clemson’s high-paced offense, but the lack of Spence and possibly Roby will be a blow that the program will not be able to recover from.
The Tigers will find a way to steal the win.
Predicted Final Score: Clemson 42, Ohio State 30
*All stats via ESPN.com.