Top 10 best college football bowl matchups
No 10. Outback Bowl, 17 Florida vs Iowa
When: Monday, January 2nd at 1 p.m. ET on ABC
Where: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla)
Reason to watch: Both Florida and Iowa had solid season's in 2016. Florida made it to the SEC Championship game and Iowa finished 8-4 including an upset win over Michigan. This game will most likely be a low-scoring defensive battle that will be a nice appetizer for the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl later in the day. Speaking of appetizers, you'll be sure to see your fair share of bloomin' onion commercials during this game.
No 9. Hyundai Sun Bowl, 18 Stanford vs. North Carolina
When: Friday, December 30 at 2 p.m. ET on CBS
Where: Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX)
Reason to watch: Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey took America by storm last season when he set an NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a season with 3,864. In 2016, he "only" rushed for 1,603 yards. McCaffrey declared for the 2016 NFL Draft on Wednesday, so the Sun Bowl will be his last chance to shine in college. North Carolina gives up more than 230 rushing yards per game so there should be plenty of opportunities for McCaffrey to break off a few highlight-reel runs.
On the other side of the ball, North Carolina's explosive offense is led by junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who many project to be a high draft pick should he decide to leave school after three years.
No 8. Valero Alamo Bowl, 12 Oklahoma State vs. 10 Colorado
When: Thursday, December 29 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: Alamodome (San Antonio, TX)
Reason to watch: Before the 2016 season started, Colorado was picked by the media to finish dead last in the PAC 12 South. Thye didn't finish last, the finished first and landed a spot in the conference championship game where they lost to Washington. The Buffalos can cap off a great season with a win over Oklahoma State at the Alamo Bowl.
No 7. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, 15 Western Michigan vs. 8 Wisconsin
When: Monday, January 2 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
Reason to watch: Raise your hand if you had Western Michigan as the only undefeated team other than Alabama heading into bowl season...Bueller...Bueller... Western Michigan improbably ran the table and now finally has a legitmate test in perennial Big Ten power Wisconsin. Western Michigan is led by quarterback Zach Terrell who had an insane 32:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season. The Broncos can cap off a truly remarkable season if they can take down Wisconsin. I never thought I'd say that I'm looking forward to a Western Michigan football game, but here we are.
No. 6: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, 20 LSU vs 13 Louisville
When: Saturday, January 31 at 11 a.m. ET on ABC
Where: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, FL)
Reason to watch: Lamar Jackson and Leonard Fournette. Jackson is the favorite to win the Heisman after a fantastic sophomore campaign, and Fournette will be playing in his final college game after a great career at LSU. This game offers a suberb matchup between Jackson, who ranked 12th and eighth in the nation in passing yards and rushing yards, respectively, against an LSU defense that was 13th in the country in yards per game allowed this season.
No. 5: Allstate Sugar Bowl, 14 Auburn vs. 7 Oklahoma
When: Monday, January 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, LA)
Reason to watch: The Oklahoma Sooners got off to a rough start to the season as they lost to Houston and Ohio State within the first three weeks of the season. Oklahoma can salvage a disappointing season by their standard with a win over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. The Sooners are led on offense by a pair of Heisman finalist in quarteback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Westbrook. That duo is as explosive as any two teammates in the country and it will be fascinating to see how they stack up against the speed of an SEC defense on the fast track of the Superdome.
No 4.: Chick Fil A Peach Bowl, 4 Washington vs. 1 Alabama
When: Saturday, December 31 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)
Reason to watch: The main reason to be excited about this game is because it decides one of the two teams to play for the National Championship. However, Alabama is a 17-point favorite on Bovada, and everybody expects the Tide to roll through Washington much like its rolled through the rest of the college football world during the Nick Saban era. Washington has had a dream season though, and perhaps they can pull off a massive upset on New Year's Eve.
No. 3: Capital One Orange Bowl, 6 Michigan vs. 11 Florida State
When: Friday, December 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami, FL)
Reason to watch: This game is loaded with studs all over the field and should make for an outstanding matchup. Most of Michigan's success this season is due to its dominant defense led by Heisman finalist and do-it-all linebacker Jabrill Peppers. The Wolverines were second in the nation in defensive yards per game, and all 11 of their starters on defense were named to a Big Ten all-conference team. Florida State's offense is led by star running back Dalvin Cook who is a big-time NFL prospect as he ran for over 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. The battle between Peppers and Cook is enough of a reason to watch by itself.
No. 2: Rose Bowl Game, 9 USC vs. 5 Penn State
When: Monday, January 2 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
Reason to watch: It's the Rose Bowl, you don't really need another reason to watch other than the fact that it's the 'Grand Daddy of Them All'. This game should be fantastic however as it marks the return of Penn State to national prominence and they'll be up against a USC team that is as hot as any team in the country. Penn State came out of nowhere this season as they pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year when they beat Ohio State on their way to a spot in the Big Ten Championship game. USC is another team that started slow and finished strong as they lost three of their first four games before closing out the season on an eight-game winning streak. USC's season turned around when they made the switch at quarterback from Max Browne to Sam Darnold. The Rose Bowl certainly won't disappoint this year.
No. 1: Playstation Fiesta Bowl, 3 Ohio State vs. 2 Clemson
When: Saturday, December 31 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, AZ)
Reason to watch: This semifinal game should be the best matchup of all the bowl games. It pits two powerhouse programs with great head coaches and star quarterback's against each other with a trip to the National Championship on the line. Clemson and Heisman finalist quarterback DeShaun Watson will be looking to get back to the Natty for the second year in a row for a potential rematch against Alabama. Ohio State, coming off that thrilling, instant-classic win over Michigan will be looking to get back to the championship game for the second time in three seasons. Both teams possess stalwart defenses and explosive offenses. With Ohio State favored by a mere three points, this matchup will surely live up to the hype.