Must-Watch Pac-12 Bowl Game of the Year
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan State - Wednesday, January 1 2 p.m. PT ESPN
AK: I mean, if you want the closest thing to an NFL playoff preview, the Cardinal and Spartans will provide more defense than you could ever want.
JF: Love this matchup of tough teams that love defense, especially since the bowl season is going to be chock full of games between up-tempo teams running each other ragged and sloppy and tired defense. Also, can Stanford keep the Pac-12's streak of dominance over the Big Ten in the granddaddy of them all alive?
2. Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Texas - Monday, December 30 3:45 p.m. PT ESPN
AK: The Ducks will be unmotivated and the Horns will look to send Mack off on a high note. Should be a fun one.
JF: Mack Brown's finale in Texas makes this otherwise kind of underwhelming matchup for the second-best Pac-12 team much more watchable. Kind of a tough time for West Coast viewers as I imagine many don't get the day off, but if you can get out early, or watch it at work, there could be a ton of emotion in this one and with the Ducks not looking like the Ducks of old lately, Texas could easily make this one a tight game in their home state.
3. Las Vegas Bowl: USC vs. Fresno State - Saturday, December 21 12:30 p.m. PT ABC
AK: The mighty Trojan defense figures to be a good matchup against Derek Carr. But how motivated will they be for this game without coach O?
JF: A gem of a matchup for the opening day of bowl season as the Trojans face off with what might be the country's best non-BCS team that can move the ball through the air better than anybody else in the nation. Regardless of how good of a game it ends up being, it will be a lot of peoples' first glimpse of Derek Carr, who could be the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and if the Trojans don't show up motivated he could have a very big day.
4. Holiday Bowl: Arizona State vs. Texas Tech - Monday, December 30 7:15 p.m. ESPN
AK : Who likes POINTS!!! Plenty of those here.
JF: This seems with the fact that the Sun Devils won the Pac-12 South and the Red Raiders stumbled to the finish line that it should be an easy win for Arizona State, but the predictable rarely seems to happen in the Holiday Bowl. If the Red Raiders come out and are able to move the ball and hold off the Arizona State front seven, this one will be a high-scoring shootout and either way, hopefully a great national showcase for Taylor Kelly to show America that Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley aren't the only great quarterbacks in the Pac-12.
5. Sun Bowl: UCLA vs. Virginia Tech - Tuesday, December 31 11 a.m. PT CBS
AK: Jim Mora can really catapult the Bruins forward into 2014 against a mediocre Hokies squad.
JF: I don't think Virginia Tech is that great, but I'm still just not sold on this Bruins team in 2013 and El Paso is a very tough place for teams, especially ones that aren't that excited to be there to get up to play so I could see them playing down to the Hokies. Regardless, this could be Pac-12 fans' last chance to watch Brett Hundley play in college, so hopefully he puts on a show.
6. Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington vs. BYU - Friday, December 27 6:30 p.m. PT ESPN
AK: This will be a really fun and competitive game. The Huskies and Cougars are really overqualified to be in San Francisco for this one, but it'll be a fun way for these teams to spend the holidays.
JF: A really good matchup with two really good teams for such a lower-tier bowl. It will be very interesting to see how Washington responds to losing Steve Sarkisian and having Husky great Marques Tuiasosopo at head coach. Also, it just always seems to end up being a memorable affair when BYU and Washingon get together.
7. Hawai'i Bowl: Oregon State vs. Boise State - Tuesday, December 24 5 p.m. PT ESPN
AK: Both teams had disappointing years, so expect the fireworks to fly in this one. There will be offense to share here.
JF: Both of these teams can be better than their records indicate at times, but really struggled in most of their big games. However, it the feeling that with such low expectations, both teams will come in loose with nothing to lose and that could result in some really fun play in paradise. Also, really excited to have a Pac-12 team playing on Christmas Eve or Christmas for the first time in a long time since I miss the days of the Aloha and Oahu Bowls.
8. AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College - Tuesday, December 31 9:30 a.m. PT ESPN
AK: The two best running backs in college football? This could be a good one.
JF: I was going to put this one higher than this because of the showdown between Ka'Deem Carey and Andre Williams until I noticed that it is at 9:30 a.m. on the West Coast. Still, you won't see a matchup of two better running backs for a while in college football. Okay, until the Rose Bowl at least.
9. New Mexico Bowl: Washington State vs. Colorado State - Saturday, December 21 11 a.m. PT ESPN
AK: Damn, this is just an entertaining slate from top to bottom! The Cougars and Rams had solid but unspectacular seasons, but they will be tough for either team to stop.
JF: The Cougars' rising from the dead was one of my favorite storylines of 2013 and now they get the weakest of any Pac-12 bowl opponent to get themselves to a winning record for the first time since I was in f***ing high school. Hold on though, the Rams have one of the nation's best running backs you've never heard of in Kapri Bibbs, that could carve up the Cougars defense and a pass-rusher that could get after Connor Halliday and force him into poor decisions? This could actually be a good one.