— NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Auburn (BCS No. 1) vs. Oregon (BCS No. 2)
Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Glendale, Ariz.
Comment: Anyone like offense?
BCS National Championship tickets
Arkansas vs. Ohio State
Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At New Orleans
Comment: The Razorbacks (10-2), who breathe some fresh air into the BCS, will be going against the leading member of the old guard. This will be the ninth appearance for the Buckeyes (11-1) in the 13-year history of the BCS. The quarterback matchup of Ryan Mallett vs. Terrelle Pryor is worth the hefty price of admission.
Sugar Bowl tickets
Virginia Tech vs. Connecticut
Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Miami Gardens, Fla.
Comment: Bowl organizers were hoping to match the Hokies (11-2) against LSU. Now they’re left to choose from either the Cardinal, who have trouble drawing people to their home games, and the four-loss Huskies. Geography and money win out as they always do.
Orange Bowl tickets
Oklahoma vs. Stanford
Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Glendale, Ariz.
Comment: On the field, this is a great matchup (and a rematch of last year's Sun Bowl). In the stands and around town, not so much. Hopefully Stanford’s fans rally to the cause. The Cardinal (11-1) only drew 38,775 to last Saturday’s 38-0 whipping of Oregon State. The Rose Bowl would love to trade its matchup for this one.
Fiesta Bowl tickets
Wisconsin vs. TCU
Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Pasadena, Calif.
Comment: The Badgers (11-1), who scored 70 or more points three times during the regular season, won’t enjoy that sort of freedom against the Horned Frogs (12-0). Much to the displeasure of the Tournament of Roses, a “non-AQ” clause this year triggers the automatic selection of TCU, boxing out the far more traditional slotting of Stanford.
Rose Bowl tickets
KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL
Temple (Pac-10 No. 6 or ACC) vs. Nevada (WAC)
Jan. 9, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
At San Francisco
Comment: Bowl badly wanted Boise State, but had to settle for the team that ruined the Broncos' BCS bowl hopes.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
BBVA COMPASS BOWL
Kentucky (SEC No. 8/9 or Sun Belt) vs. South Florida (Big East No. 5)
Jan. 8, Noon ET, ESPN
At Birmingham, Ala.
Comment: The Wildcats (6-6) are the SEC’s 10th and final bowl team.
BBVA Compass Bowl
Texas A&M (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Alabama (SEC No. 3/4 — West)
Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
At Arlington, Texas
Comment: This matchup is more desirable than two BCS games ... maybe three.
Cotton Bowl tickets
Northern Illinois (MAC No. 2) vs. Troy (Sun Belt No. 2)
Jan. 6, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Mobile, Ala.
Comment: The Huskies (10-3) will try to rebound from shocking loss to in Mid-American title game.
GoDaddy.com Bowl tickets
Iowa (Big Ten No. 4/5) vs. Florida (SEC No. 6)
Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
At Jacksonville, Fla.
Comment: Neither team envisioned being 7-5. This would be the third time in their last seven bowl games that the Hawkeyes have faced the Gators in the postseason. The teams split the previous two meetings, which were both in the Outback Bowl. Losing “Floyd of Rosedale” to Minnesota costs Iowa yet another trip to Tampa.
Gator Bowl tickets
CAPITAL ONE BOWL
LSU (SEC No. 2) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten No. 2)
Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Orlando, Fla.
Comment: The Spartans follow in the unenviable footsteps of the 2006 Wisconsin Badgers, who also went 11-1, missed out on a BCS berth and landed in Orlando. “Michigan Man” Les Miles would enjoy leading his men against Michigan State, but the Tigers (10-2) could possibly get passed over for three-loss Alabama if the bowl chooses to employ the “within one win” rule.
Capital One Bowl tickets
Penn State (Big Ten No. 3) vs. South Carolina (SEC No. 3/4 — East)
Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ABC
At Tampa, Fla.
Comment: Out of respect, Steve Spurrier shouldn’t be referred to as “The Ol’ Ball Coach” in the lead-up to this one.
Outback Bowl tickets
Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 8) vs. Northwestern (Big Ten No. 7)
Jan. 1, Noon ET, ESPNU
Comment: The Red Raiders (7-5) blocked Houston from a postseason appearance last Saturday with a 35-20 victory in Lubbock. That’s a slightly bigger accomplishment than the Wildcats (7-5) holding Wisconsin scoreless in the fourth quarter of a 70-23 loss.
TicketCity Bowl tickets
Mississippi State (SEC No. 5) vs. Florida State (ACC No. 2)
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Comment: The Seminoles (9-4) are going to have their hands full with his Bulldogs (8-4) at the Georgia Dome.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl tickets
UCF (C-USA No. 1) vs. Georgia (SEC No. 8/9 or Big East)
Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Memphis, Tenn.
Comment: However wacky, the Bulldogs (6-6) got the job done against Georgia Tech last week to qualify for the postseason and a date against the Conference USA champions.
Liberty Bowl tickets
Miami, Fla. (ACC No. 4) vs. Fresno State (Pac-10 No. 4)
Dec. 31, 2 p.m. ET, CBS
At El Paso, Texas
Comment: Randy Shannon got fired for leading his team to this postseason appearance, which apparently is far enough below expectations in Coral Gables to blow up a four-year contract extension signed last summer. There's a chance Miami could face Notre Dame instead of Fresno State, which is stepping in since top-heavy Pac-10 unable to fill spot.
Sun Bowl tickets
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
West Virginia (ACC No. 5) vs. Maryland (Big East No. 3)
Dec. 31, Noon ET, ESPN
At Charlotte, N.C.
Comment: The Terrapins (8-4) are one of the nation’s best turnaround stories after going 2-10 last year.
Meineke Car Car Bowl tickets
Washington (Pac-10 No. 3) vs. Missouri (Big 12 No. 5)
Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
At San Diego
Comment: The Huskies (6-6) are going bowling for the first time since the 2002 Sun Bowl. The Tigers (10-2) have reached double-digit victories for only the fourth time in school history. Gary Pinkel has his name attached to three of those.
Holiday Bowl tickets
MUSIC CITY BOWL
Tennessee (SEC No. 7) vs. North Carolina (ACC No. 6)
Dec. 30, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Nashville, Tenn.
Comment: Give it up for Derek Dooley. The Vols (6-6) won their last four games to earn bowl eligibility and didn’t allow more than 14 points in any of those ballgames.
Music City Bowl tickets
Kansas State (Big 12 No. 7) vs. Syracuse (Big East No. 4)
Dec. 30, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
At New York City
Comment: While these two cold weather teams will jump at the chance to play at Yankee Stadium, we can’t wait for the year that South Florida earns this particular trip up north for the holidays.
Pinstripe Bowl tickets
ARMED FORCES BOWL
Army (C-USA No. 2-6 or Army) vs. SMU (MWC No. 4/5)
Dec. 30, Noon ET, ESPN
At University Park, Texas
Comment: It's a home game for the Mustangs, who fill in for the Mountain West Conference, which didn’t come remotely close to filling this slot.
Armed Forces Bowl tickets
Arizona (Pac-10 No. 2) vs. Nebraska (Big 12 No. 3)
Dec. 29, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At San Antonio
A rematch of last year's Holiday Bowl? The Wildcats (7-5) have lost their last four games.
Alamo Bowl tickets
Baylor (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Illinois (Big Ten No. 6)
Dec. 29, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
Comment: The Bears (7-5) haven’t played in a bowl game since 1994, and haven’t won one since 1992.
Texas Bowl tickets
Boston College (ACC No. 8 or MAC) vs. East Carolina (C-USA No. 2-6)
Dec. 29, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Washington D.C.
Comment: The Eagles (7-5) won five in a row after losing five in a row. The Pirates (6-6), on the other hand, have lost four of their last five.
Military Bowl tickets
Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan (Big Ten No. 4/5)
Dec. 28, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Tempe, Ariz.
Comment: Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson can’t be excited about the prospect of his Wolverines (7-5) facing the ultra-explosive Cowboys (10-2). Perhaps he won’t be around to experience it.
Insight Bowl tickets
CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
Notre Dame (Big East No. 2/Notre Dame) vs. North Carolina State (ACC No. 3)
Dec. 28, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Orlando, Fla.
Comment: Lane Kiffin’s nightmare is this bowl’s dream come true. That big win by the Fighting Irish (7-5) over USC brings a bright spot to the end of a most trying season for Brian Kelly.
Champs Sports Bowl tickets
Georgia Tech (ACC No. 7 or Sun Belt) vs. Air Force (MWC No. 3)
Dec. 27, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
At Shreveport, La.
Comment: This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. The Yellow Jackets (6-6) and Falcons (8-4) combine to rush for 645 yards per game, and only 91 through the air.
Independence Bowl tickets
LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL
Louisville (Big Ten No. 8 or Sun Belt) vs. Miami of Ohio (MAC No. 1)
Dec. 26, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Comment: Charlie Strong has done an admirable job cleaning up Steve Kragthorpe’s mess. This will be the first bowl appearance for the Cardinals (6-6) since getting into the BCS following the 2006 season.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl tickets
Hawaii (WAC) vs. Tulsa (C-USA No. 2-6)
Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Comment: The surprising WAC co-champion Warriors (10-3) take on the Golden Hurricane, which has won six straight games.
Hawaii Bowl tickets
Navy (Navy or WAC) vs. San Diego State (MWC No. 2)
Dec. 23, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
At San Diego
Comment: The last time the Aztecs (8-4) won as many as eight games was in 1996. Will the Poinsettia draw a bigger crowd to Qualcomm Stadium than the Holiday this year?
Poinsettia Bowl tickets
MAACO LAS VEGAS BOWL
Boise State (Pac-10 No. 5) vs. Utah (MWC No. 1)
Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Whitney, Nev.
Comment: It's not the Rose Bowl, but it's not that bad a matchup for the Broncos (11-1), who fill in here as Pac-10 unable to fill the bill. Remember, the Utes are 10-2.
Maaco Las Vegas Bowl tickets
BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL
Southern Miss (C-USA No. 2-6) vs. Pittsburgh (Big East No. 6 or Sun Belt)
Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
At St. Petersburg, Fla.
Comment: After being in the driver’s seat for a BCS berth, the Panthers (7-5) can’t hardly believe that they’re in this position. Neither can we.
Beef 'O' Brady Bowl tickets
NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Ohio (C-USA No. 2-6) vs. Florida International (Sun Belt champ)
Dec. 18, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Comment: The Bobcats get the nod as C-USA unable to fill the spot. The Golden Panthers (6-6) are the Sun Belt kings. Yipee.
New Orleans Bowl tickets
Clemson (WAC No. 1/2) vs. Toledo (MAC No. 3)
Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Boise, Idaho
Comment: If the Tigers (6-6), filing in here as some bowls do some last-minute conference shuffling, don't win here they’ll have their first losing season since 1998.
Humanitarian Bowl tickets
NEW MEXICO BOWL
UTEP (WAC) vs. BYU (MWC No. 4/5)
Dec. 18, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
At Albuquerque, N.M.
Comment: It’s just as well that the Cougars (6-6) had their field goal blocked at the end of the “Holy War.” They didn’t want to make their sixth consecutive postseason trip to Las Vegas anyways. C-USA's UTEP fills spot WAC unable to fill.
New Mexico Bowl tickets