Most college football fans didn't bother marking this week's first few bowl games, such as the Gildan New Mexico Bowl or the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The vast majority who look forward to bowl season get excited for the games around New Year's and after. With 10 of the 35 bowl games slated for New Year's Eve or Day, it's one of the busiest two-day stretches of the college football season and will have plenty of future NFL contributors on display. Here's a guide to the games during the holidays.
AdvoCare V100 Bowl
Arizona (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)
TV: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 31 on ESPN
The presence of two of the nation's top running backs, B.C.'s Andre Williams and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, make this an interesting game to watch. That's especially true if your favorite NFL team could use running back help in the 2014 draft.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. No. 17 UCLA (9-3)
TV: 2 p.m. Dec. 31 on CBS/2
UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr is a top NFL prospect who will get the chance to look good if he can hound Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas. The Bruins' quarterback, Brett Hundley, could be a first-rounder in the draft, too, and should lead the way for a victory.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Rice (10-3) vs. Mississippi State (6-6)
TV: 4 p.m. Dec. 31 on ESPN
Not the most attractive game on the slate, but Jets fans hoping for an upgrade at guard might want to scout Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson.
No. 22 Duke (10-3) vs. No. 20 Texas A&M (8-4)
TV: 8 p.m. Dec. 31 on ESPN
Tune in to watch Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, as he posts gaudy numbers on the ground and through the air against the overachieving Blue Devils.
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
Nebraska (8-4) vs. No. 23 Georgia (8-4)
TV: Noon Jan. 1 on ESPN2
Georgia failed to meet expectations and lost quarterback Aaron Murray to an ACL injury, so this could be a closer game that it ought to be. The Bulldogs still should be able to pull out the win.
Heart of Dallas Bowl
UNLV (7-5) vs. North Texas (8-4)
TV: Noon Jan. 1 on ESPNU
Did you attend UNLV or North Texas? No? Then just watch the Gator Bowl or wait an hour for the Capital One Bowl to start.
Capital One Bowl
No. 19 Wisconsin (9-3) vs. No. 8 South Carolina (10-2)
TV: 1 p.m. Jan. 1 on ABC/7
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon is one of the nation's most talented running back prospects, and Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a monster. This might end up being the most fun game to watch all day.
Iowa (8-4) vs. No. 14 LSU (9-3)
TV: 1 p.m. Jan. 1 on ESPN
Conventional wisdom would be that the Tigers flatten Iowa thanks to a sheer talent edge. Their quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, is out after tearing his ACL and MCL, but a loaded defense should ensure an LSU victory.
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
No. 5 Stanford (11-2) vs. No. 5 Michigan State (12-1)
TV: 5 p.m. Jan. 1 on ESPN
As if you need a reason to watch the 100th Rose Bowl game. If you need more than that, this game features two of the nation's top defenses, both of which are chock full of NFL prospects such as Stanford linebacker -- and national sack leader -- Trent Murphy and Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
No. 15 UCF (11-1) vs. No. 6 Baylor (11-1)
TV: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 1 on ESPN
UCF is the Cinderella story of this year's edition of BCS bowls. It's only loss was a 28-25 defeat against South Carolina, so the Knights know they can hang with the big boys. Shutting down Baylor's explosive offense will be key to an upset.