It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Bowl season is upon us, and the slate of games over the holiday season is nothing short of spectacular.
Of course, there is the College Football Playoff that pits No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Oklahoma in the Capital One Orange Bowl and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Michigan State.
The Orange Bowl on the afternoon of Dec. 31 will feature two high-octane offenses led by Tiger quarterback Deshaun Watson and Sooner signal-caller Baker Mayfield, both of whom finished in the top four in voting for the 2015 Heisman Trophy. The game is also a rematch of last season's Russell Athletic Bowl, which Clemson won 40-6.
Could revenge be on Sooners head coach Bob Stoops' mind?
The second of the two national semifinals, the Cotton Bowl, between the Crimson Tide and Spartans—two old-school, smashmouth teams that love to play inside of a phone booth—is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Can the Spartans slow down Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry? Is Spartan quarterback Connor Cook ready for the Tide front seven?
It should be a slugfest outside of Dallas on New Year's Eve, with Nick Saban and disciple Mark Dantonio squaring off for a spot in the national title game.
Who will advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona?
Bleacher Report experts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee, Adam Kramer, Ben Kercheval and Greg Couch pick the national semifinals.
Bowl season is more than just the semifinal matchups, though.
There are a total of 41 bowl games, not including the national title tilt, and many of them feature compelling matchups you don't want to miss.
North Carolina was in the playoff mix heading into championship weekend, and it will take its high-octane offense to Orlando to face Baylor in what should be point-per-minute football in the Russell Athletic Bowl. TCU vs. Oregon looked like it could have been the semifinal back in August, but injures ravaged both squads. They'll meet in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 2 in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
In the New Year's Six, Ohio State and Notre Dame combined to lose three games by a total of just seven points. When the two meet in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, remember it was nearly a semifinal.
Whom did our experts pick for each bowl game?
For the season, Kramer entered bowl season with a two-game lead over Sallee, and that lead has held strong for the season-long battle—which has included the top five games of every week and every bowl game.
|2015-2016 Expert Picks Standings|
|Michael Felder||Barrett Sallee||Adam Kramer||Ben Kercheval||Greg Couch|
*Standings through games of Jan. 2, 2016