It's the most wonderful time of the year. Bowl season is upon us, which means as we get our Christmas decorations set up, we need some football to help us pass the time. Here are the five best bowl games for you to watch that doesn't involve the University of Alabama (and to give you a reason to step away from the in-laws).

We all know about the College Football Playoff and the teams playing in it. By default, those three games will be the best games to watch. But which of the other 40 bowl games should you go out of your way to watch this season?

  • 5

    Belk Bowl

    Mississippi State vs. NC State

    It's Dak Prescott's final game as a Bulldog. Mississippi State was picked to finish last in the preseason by the media, and they were able to put together an 8-4 season. NC State comes in with a 7-5 record, but have senior Jacoby Brissett playing in his final collegiate game. Brissett has thrown for 19 TD's and only 4 INT's this season, so expect this game to be high scoring and highly entertaining.

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  • 4

    Allstate Sugar Bowl

    Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State

    If you like points, you'll definitely like this game. If you don't like a bunch of offense, well, just turn off your television. Chad Kelly has led an explosive Ole Miss offense all season long, leading the conference in points/game (40.2) and was in the driver's seat to win the SEC West up until they lost a heartbreaking game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, by way of a crazy lateral from Razorback tight end Hunter Henry. The Cowboys of Oklahoma State would have won the Big 12 had they defeated Oklahoma on the final weekend of November. They are fifth in the Big 12 in scoring (41.2), and quarterback Mason Rudolph could be back in time for this game, after he injured his foot against the Baylor Bears on November 21.

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  • 3

    Russell Athletic Bowl

    #10 North Carolina vs. #17 Baylor

    The ACC's top scoring offense (and fourth ranked scoring defense) takes on the Big 12's top scoring offense. Sure, the Bears have had some quarterback injuries over the past couple months. In fact, they've had to plug in a former wide receiver to play QB. But it's still a plug-and-play system, and Baylor's offense is still really good. North Carolina was able to throw up 37 points on the #1 Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship Game, and have gotten much better on defense with the addition of defensive coordinator Gene Chizik. This may be the funnest bowl game of the season.

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  • 2

    BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl

    #7 Ohio State vs. #8 Notre Dame

    First off, the title sponsor is BattleFrog, and when I think of BattleFrog, I actually think of BattleToads, and this may be my favorite bowl game when it comes to sponsorship.

    But I digress.

    There's going to be a lot of future NFL players playing in this game, so be ready for a hard-hitting, pad-popping kind of football game. Notre Dame's resume has been impressive, as they were able to compete with both #1 Clemson and #9 Stanford, although ultimately losing 24-22 and 38-36, respectively. Ohio State had their path to the College Football Playoff already set in stone until they fell to the #3 Michigan State Spartans, 17-14. Coming off that loss, the Buckeyes trampled the Michigan Wolverines 42-13, showing that they were a team to be reckoned with.

    I'm definitely going to drop everything I'm doing to watch this game.

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  • 1

    Valero Alamo Bowl

    #11 TCU vs #15 Oregon

    Points, points, and more points. Defense will be optional in this game.

    The Ducks seem to have found their groove, and are arguably the hottest team in the country now, especially since QB Vernon Adams, Jr. has come back from his injury. TCU fell victim to their back-loaded schedule, losing two of their last four games to the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys, but are now looking for their 11th win of the season.

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