Best Bowl Games to Watch in 2013-2014
The regular season has officially come to a close and with it goes one of the most chaotic college football seasons in recent history. The only thing fans have left to enjoy is bowl season, but there are plenty of exciting games to watch and look forward to. It may get overwhelming trying to watch 35 bowl games, but this list will give you an idea of the top 10 games to watch this bowl season.
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl - Fresno State vs USC
Saturday, Dec. 21 - 2:30 PM CT on ABC
USC may have already hired a head coach to replace Lane Kiffin, but Ed Orgeron leaving before the bowl game really hurts the Trojans' chances against Fresno State. USC ended its season on a hot streak that included an upset over Stanford and Orgeron was to thank for all of that. His era at USC is now over and all focus must go towards the 11-1 Fresno State bulldogs, who narrowly missed out on an opportunity to play in a BCS Bowl game. Quarterback Derek Carr has made a name for himself and will look to end his historic career with a win over the Trojans. Is Fresno State the real deal and if so, can USC beat them with a interim head coach not named Ed Orgeron?
Fight Hunger Bowl - Washington vs. BYU
Friday, Dec. 27 - 8:30 PM CT
Following Steve Sarkisian's departure, Washington made a huge hire by picking up Chris Peterson from Boise State, but now all eyes are on interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo as he tries to lead the Huskies to victory over an underrated BYU. This should also be the last time you see quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey in a college uniform. They will have the opportunity to end their college career against a strong opponent. The Cougars are a very good 8-4 team that has not lost a game by more than 10 points. It will be interesting to see how Washington plans to slow down BYU quarterback Taysom Hill who leads the team in rushing as well as passing.
Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas vs. Oregon
Monday, Dec. 30 - 5:45 PM CT on ESPN
The real significance of Texas playing Oregon will be what's on the line. Rumors are already swirling that Longhorn head coach Mack Brown will be fired or will be forced to 'step down'. If Brown keeps his job leading up to the bowl game and beats Oregon, does that secure his job for another year? Meanwhile Oregon is still trying figure out what went wrong with its season. The Ducks were national title favorites at one point in the season and now they must settle on the Alamo Bowl. If Mack Brown coaches the bowl game, can he save his job or has the damage already been done? Will Oregon salvage what is left of their season with a strong win?
Chick-Fil-A Bowl - Duke vs Texas A&M
Tuesday, Dec. 31 - 7:00 PM CT on ESPN
It is amusing to see the winner of the ACC Coastal Division playing a team that finished 4th in the SEC West. Oddly enough, Duke will be playing as heavy underdogs against Texas A&M. This game is unique for many reasons, but it is hard to avoid the overall realization that this may be Johnny Manziel's last game with the Aggies. Stopping Manziel has proven to be difficult for every team that has faced him, but Duke's head coach David Cutcliffe won coach of the year for a reason. Texas A&M struggled early in games against Rice and Stephen Houston, and the Blue Devils will not be the team to keep close or else they will make you pay for it. It is always exciting to watch Johnny Football, but how will he play in what should be his farewell game?
Capital One Bowl - South Carolina vs Wisconsin
Wednesday, Jan. 1 - 12:00 PM CT on ABC
One of the better bowl games that is not a BCS bowl features two teams that were very close to making it to their conference championship games. South Carolina would have played Auburn if it would avoided a loss to Tennessee. Wisconsin needed to beat Ohio State and failed to do so and all bets were off after Penn State upset the Badgers at the end of the season. This is the type of game that could truly go either way. Will South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney contribute to stopping Wisconsin's powerful run game? How big of a factor will the Badger's running backs, Melvin Gordon and James White, play in the game? Starting your new year by watching this game will prove to be a wise choice.
Vizio Rose Bowl - Stanford vs Michigan State
Wednesday, Jan. 1 - 4:00 PM CT on ESPN
BCS bowls are always a safe bet in deciding what games to watch during bowl season. This year's Rose Bowl will truly be a battle between two great defenses. Stanford's two losses came at the hands of two teams that it should have beaten. If Stanford had remained just a one-loss team, it would be in the national title game. Michigan State had two options before playing Ohio State: win and make it to the Rose Bowl or lose and make it to the Rose Bowl. The team that is the most productive on offense will more than likely be the winner. A low scoring, defensive battle is not always the most exciting, but it should be fun to watch nonetheless.
Allstate Sugar Bowl - Alabama vs Oklahoma
Thursday, Jan. 2 - 7:30 PM CT on ESPN
Ironically, playing in a BCS bowl is actually a disappointment for Alabama considering that their national title hopes were dashed by their in-state rival. Oklahoma, on the other hand, found its way into the Sugar Bowl because it upset in-state rival Oklahoma State. Some may argue that Alabama-Oregon would have been a more exciting matchup, but from a historic perspective, the Crimson Tide has not beaten Oklahoma since 1963. It also would be unfair not to mention that the last time Alabama played in the Sugar Bowl they were heavy favorites to Utah and lost. This may not seem like an interesting matchup, but if Oklahoma continues to ride out its hot streak, the Sooners could beat Alabama.
AT&T Cotton Bowl - Missouri vs Oklahoma State
Friday, Jan. 3 - 6:30 PM CT on Fox
Missouri and Oklahoma State, like many other teams, were very close to making it to the national championship game. Losing at the end of the season also cost them the opportunity to play in a BCS bowl. Their consolation prize is the Cotton Bowl. This game is very unique because both teams have had success on both sides of the ball and can score points. They are former conference foes, and the Cowboys would love to beat an SEC opponent. Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf and Missouri quarterback James Franklin will headline the reunion that will determine if the Tigers can beat a Big 12 opponent. This is essentially a neutral field for both teams so this game has a regular season feel to it. This one has the potential to be one of the closest bowl games of the season.
Discover Orange Bowl - Ohio State vs Clemson
Friday, Jan. 3 - 7:30 PM CT on ESPN
There are a number of teams that had a national title appearance in sight, but Ohio State was closer than any other team in the country. Clemson was in the discussion early in the season but got dominated by Florida State, resulting in their national title hopes being shot down a long time ago. Regardless of how these teams lost you cannot argue that Braxton Miller vs. Tajh Boyd will be one of the best quarterback matchups we have seen this season. An offensive battle is almost a guarantee in this matchup, and expect to see strong showings from Buckeye running back Carlos Hyde and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Does Ohio State have enough motivation to beat Clemson?
Vizio BCS National Championship - Auburn vs Florida State
Monday, Jan. 6 - 7:30 PM CT on ESPN
The main event of the college football season has to make this list every year no matter who is playing in it. Florida State has dominated every game lead by freshman sensation Jameis Winston. Auburn made a miraculous comeback from the slums of last year's team to make it back to the national championship. Some call it luck and others call it destiny. You should call it Gus Malzahn. The Seminoles may be the favorite in this one, but Auburn is playing with a lot of heart and they will no be denied. They may run the ball almost every play, but has anyone stopped it? Florida State will really have to prepare for this. Auburn has the potential to not only win, but win without question. Who will be crowned champions following one of the most chaotic college football seasons ever?