Bowl Games

Bowl Schedule 2013-14: Breaking Down the Best Matchups Still to Be Played

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16:  Running back Tyler Gaffney #25 of the Stanford Cardinal carries the ball against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Coliseum on November 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

Although 15 bowl games are already in the books, the best is still yet to come in this college football postseason.

Obviously, the best teams in the country will be competing in the BCS games and other high-level bowls. This includes top offenses like Baylor and Ohio State, as well as top defenses like Alabama. However, these squads will not necessarily produce great games. 

Instead, there are a number of other contests between evenly matched teams that should go down to the wire. Here is a look at the closest games left on the postseason slate as well as a full schedule of bowl matchups remaining. 

 

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Dorial Green-Beckham #15 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates his second quarter touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

These two teams were extremely close to playing in a BCS bowl, but losses on the final day of the season knocked them down to the Cotton Bowl.

Missouri was one of the best stories in the country this year. The team went from a 5-7 record a year ago to SEC East Champions and a win in the SEC Championship Game away from competing for a national title.

Oklahoma State was never really in the title picture, but the team could have earned the Big 12 title with a win over rival Oklahoma. However, the Sooners came away winners at Bedlam, and Baylor ended up with the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl.

Still, the most interesting thing to watch in this game will be the individual matchup between Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert and Tigers receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. As Bleacher Report's Matt Miller notes:

Meanwhile, Green-Beckham is just a sophomore, but the 6'6" receiver has loads of talent, as shown by his 144-yard, two-touchdown performance against Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.

These two players will likely battle in the NFL one day. Before that, this matchup will play a huge role in the Cotton Bowl as two balanced teams will look to upstage the Orange Bowl on the same night.

 

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford

When two top-10 defenses face off against each other, you know it is going to be a classic, hard-nosed battle.

Stanford and Michigan State had a similar philosophy this season: run the ball, control possession and play strong defense. This worked out perfectly, as each side came away with a conference title.

However, the Spartans will be without senior linebacker Max Bullough, who was suspended for violating team rules. According to David Leon Moore of USA Today, Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren thinks the opposing player will be missed:

He's an outstanding football player. The thing they're going to miss, judging by the film, is he looks like a coach out there. He's making this check and that check. In terms of performance, they've got other people who can step in and play football. I think they'll probably miss his leadership. I think they'll miss some of his checks at the line of scrimmage.

It remains to be seen whether Michigan State can play without him, but the fact is there are a lot of talented players still on the roster. Stanford will not be able to do much on the ground against the No. 1 run defense in the country.

This will truly be a game of strength against strength, and the outcome will likely be decided by no more than a field goal.

 

BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn

Depending on who you ask, many think this game is going to be a blowout.

Auburn fans think anyone outside the SEC is weak and this ACC foe will be no match. Florida State fans have seen a dominant performance in every game and expect another one to win the national championship. 

The truth is neither side will have an easy win, as both teams will put on a show.

Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston will cause problems for the Tigers defense. According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, even his opponents think highly of him:

"He is the most NFL-ready quarterback that I've had the privilege of preparing for," a defensive coach for a team that faced Winston told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons. "I'm not saying he's Peyton Manning, but he's pretty darn close, man."

Meanwhile, the backfield tandem of Nick Marshall and Tre Mason will be tough for the Seminoles to stop, especially after combining for 405 rushing yards in the SEC title game.

After a few seasons of blowouts in the national championship game, this matchup might create one of the best in years. 

2013-14 Bowl Schedule
DateTime (ET)BowlMatchupTV
Dec. 3011:45 a.m.Armed ForcesNavy vs. Middle TennesseeESPN
Dec. 303:15 p.m.Music CityGeorgia Tech vs. Ole MissESPN
Dec. 306:45 p.m.AlamoTexas vs. OregonESPN
Dec. 3010:15 p.m.HolidayTexas Tech vs. Arizona StateESPN
Dec. 3112:30 p.m.AdvoCare V100Boston College vs. ArizonaESPN
Dec. 312 p.m.Sun BowlUCLA vs. Virginia TechCBS
Dec. 314 p.m.LibertyRice vs. Mississippi StateESPN
Dec. 318 p.m.Chick-fil-ADuke vs. Texas A&MESPN
Jan. 1NoonGatorNebraska vs. GeorgiaESPN2
Jan. 1NoonHeart of DallasUNLV vs. North TexasESPNU
Jan. 11 p.m.Capital OneWisconsin vs. South CarolinaABC
Jan. 11 p.m.OutbackLSU vs. IowaESPN
Jan. 15 p.m.RoseMichigan State vs. StanfordESPN
Jan. 18:30 p.m.FiestaBaylor vs. UCFESPN
Jan. 28:30 p.m.SugarAlabama vs. OklahomaESPN
Jan. 38 p.m.CottonMissouri vs. Oklahoma StateFOX
Jan. 38:30 p.m.OrangeClemson vs. Ohio StateESPN
Jan. 41 p.m.BBVA CompassVanderbilt vs. HoustonESPN
Jan. 59 p.m.GoDaddyArkansas State vs. Ball StateESPN
Jan. 68:30 p.m.BCS TitleFlorida State vs. AuburnESPN
via ESPN

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices