It's the most wonderful time of the year, and not because of Christmas, or winter, or whatever else. It's because it's officially Bowl Season. Bowl Season rewards college football fans with sensational out of conference matchups and allows each conference to fight for bragging rights.
Here is your '15-16 Bowl Schedule:
All times Eastern
Cure Bowl: San Jose State (5-7) - Georgia State (6-6)
Orlando, FL Orlando Citrus Bowl. Noon on CBSSN: San Jose State is one of three 5-7 teams who will play in a bowl game. The Spartans have lost three of their last four games and will play a Georgia State team who has won four straight. The Panthers are playing in their first bowl game in program history, and should cap off a solid season, by their standards, with a win.
Prediction: 28-17, Georgia State
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Arizona (6-6) - New Mexico (7-5)
Albuquerque, NM University Stadium. 2:00 PM on ESPN: Arizona has lost four of their last five. New Mexico has won three of their last four. This should be a high scoring affair, as both defenses have been sub-par. Arizona's high powered offense gives them the firepower they need to get the job done.
Prediction: 49-31, Arizona
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: BYU (9-3) - #22 Utah (9-3)
Las Vegas, NV Sam Boyd Stadium. 3:30 PM on ABC: What a treat this one should be. The Holy War will be played in a bowl game. There's nothing like a good old fashioned rivalry, especially in the post season. BYU has won seven of their last eight. Utah, who was ranked number one earlier this season, fell from the heavens and finished up 3-3 in their last six games. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall is headed to Virginia, so the Cougars will be without their coach.
Prediction: 41-35, BYU
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Ohio (8-4) - Appalachian State (10-2)
Montgomery, AL Cramton Bowl. 5:30 PM on ESPN: Appalachian State will surely be disappointed they missed out on a conference championship, but the Mountaineers bring the 29th ranked offense and the 11th ranked defense to the table. A middle of the road Ohio team will find themselves struggling for points. Appalachian State wins big.
Prediction: 35-10, Appalachian State
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State (9-3) - Louisiana Tech (8-4)
New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 9:00 PM on ESPN: Arkansas State cruised through the Sun Belt and ride their eight game winning streak in to the New Orleans Bowl. Louisiana Tech has won four of their last five. These teams should match up well and provide an entertaining game to cap off the first day of bowl season.
Prediction: 56-52, Arkansas State
Miami, FL Marlins Park. Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky (11-2) - USF (8-4)
2:30 PM on ESPN: The C-USA champions will look for their 12th win of the season against USF. After a 1-3 start, USF finished their season winning seven of their last eight and have won their last three games by an average of 33 points. WKU is sixth in the nation in total offense, but their defense may have trouble with a solid USF offense.
Prediction: 35-24, USF
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Akron (7-5) - Utah State (6-6)
Boise, ID Albertson's Stadium. 3:30 PM on ESPN: Akron is riding a four game winning streak into their first bowl appearance since 2005. Utah State finished their season losing three of their last four. Both of these teams will bring a top 20 defense, as well as a low ranked offense. Expect an offensive struggle.
Prediction: 17-14, Utah State
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo (9-2) - #24 Temple (10-3)
Boca Raton, FL FAU Stadium. 7:00 PM on ESPN: Two mid-majors who saw their dream seasons fade late. This should be a fantastic game. Temple is coming off a loss to Houston in the AAC championship and Toledo hasn't played since November 27th. The Owls look like they have run out of gas. They are not a deep team, and they've played in some tough games this season. Temple will keep things close, but Toledo pulls away late.
Prediction: 31-17, Toledo
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State (8-4) - Northern Illinois (8-5)
San Diego, CA Qualcomm Stadium. 4:30 PM on ESPN: The longest name in the college football bowl world will feature two of the most consistent programs in the nation. In the past few years, Boise State and NIU have played "Cinderella" time and time again, making their case to play with the big boys. Both teams are "down" this year, by their own standards, but they should give everyone a great game.
Prediction: 34-21, Boise State
GoDaddy Bowl: Georgia Southern (8-4) - Bowling Green (10-3)
Mobile, AL Ladd Peebles Stadium. 8:00 PM on ESPN: The GoDaddy bowl will feature two teams that could not be more opposite. Bowling Green is known for their up-tempo offense that leads the nation in yardage and is second in passing. Georgia Southern leads the nation in rushing. If Georgia Southern can keep the Bowling Green offense off the field this game will stay close.
Prediction: 38-34, Georgia Southern
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee (7-5) - Western Michigan (7-5)
Nassau, Bahamas Robinson National Stadium. Noon on ESPN: The Bahamas Bowl features two teams who finished second in their respective divisions. Both teams are efficient on offense, but the Blue Raiders bring a better defense to the table. MTSU is also on a four game winning streak that turned their season around. Western Michigan's coach P.J. Fleck is making a name for himself. Coaching edge goes to the Broncos.
Prediction: 38-31, Western Michigan
Hawaii Bowl: San Diego State (10-3) - Cincinnati (7-5)
Honolulu, HI Aloha Stadium. 8:00 PM on ESPN: San Diego State hasn't lost a game since September 26th. The Aztecs ran the table in the Mountain West and won a nail biter over Air Force in the conference championship game. Cincinnati is traveling much further to get to this game, and they probably don't care if they win or lose. The Aztecs should win big.
Prediction: 42-24, San Diego State
St. Petersburg Bowl: Connecticut (6-6) - Marshall (9-3)
St. Petersburg, FL Tropicana Field. 11:00 AM on ESPN: Connecticut has had serious problems on offense all season. The Huskies sit at 120 out of 128 FBS programs and average just 18 points per game. Marshall is averaging 33 points per game, and they also boast the coolest nickname in sports. The Thundering Herd win this one.
Prediction: 31-14, Marshall
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Miami (8-4) - Washington State (8-4)
El Paso, TX Sun Bowl. 2:00 PM on CBS: After firing Al Golden, Miami finished their season winning four of their last five, but in unimpressive fashion. Mike Leach has Washington State headed in the right direction, but his standout quarterback Luke Falk did not play in the Apple Cup. Wazzou has not yet released a timetable for his return. If Falk doesn't return, the Canes win this one.
Prediction: 24-17, Miami
Zaxbys Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington (6-6) - Southern Mississippi (9-4)
Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl. 2:20 PM on ESPN: Washington became bowl eligible after their big win over rival Washington State. Southern Miss is making their first bowl appearance since 2011. The Golden Eagles were hot going in to the C-USA championship game, but were cooled off by Western Kentucky. These teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to stats. Southern Miss has a high powered offense while the Huskies are 28th in the nation in total defense.
Prediction: 31-20, Southern Miss
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana (6-6) - Duke (7-5)
Bronx, NY Yankee Stadium. 3:30 PM on ABC: After starting the season 4-0, Indiana lost six games in a row. The Hoosiers won their final two games to get bowl eligible. Indiana has one of the best offenses in the nation, but their defense is ranked 121st in the nation. Duke is a middle of the road team across the board and have lost four of their last five. This game could go either way, but Indiana's defense will give up too many points.
Prediction: 28-24, Duke
Camping World Independence Bowl: Tulsa (6-6) - Virginia Tech (6-6)
Shreveport, LA Independence Stadium. 5:45 PM on ESPN: Frank Beamer's historic coaching career comes to an end in uninspiring fashion. 29 years as head coach at Virginia Tech and his final game comes in the Independence Bowl. This is another matchup featuring a good offense with a terrible defense, against a terrible offense with a good defense. This game could go either way, but Virginia Tech will want to get Beamer a win in his final game.
Prediction: 21-17, Virginia Tech
Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA (8-4) - Nebraska (5-7)
Santa Clara, CA Levi's Stadium. 9:15 PM on ESPN: Nebraska was graced with a bowl bid despite only having five wins, but the Huskers appear to be outclassed in this one. UCLA had hoped for a better season, but the Bruins will be happy to take a bowl win over a Big 10 opponent.
Prediction: 41-28, UCLA
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman: Pittsburgh (8-4) - #21 Navy (9-2)
Annapolis, MD Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. 2:30 PM on ESPN: Pitt fans are upset about this one, but they shouldn't be. Navy will provide a great challenge for the Panthers in what is essentially a home bowl game. Keenan Reynolds will lead the Midshipmen option attack against a solid Pitt defense. This should be a great contest.
Prediction: 24-20, Navy
Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota (5-7) - Central Michigan (7-5)
Detroit, MI Ford Field. 5:00 PM on ESPN: Minnesota is the last of the 5-7 teams who secured a bowl bid. The Gophers lost five of their last six games and will play a hot CMU team who won five of their last six. The Chippewas boast a top 20 defense that will surely suffocate Minnesota's struggling offense. The Big 10 loses to the MAC here.
Prediction: 27-14, Central Michigan
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: California (7-5) - Air Force (8-5)
Ft. Worth, TX Amon G. Carter Stadium. 2:00 PM on ESPN: After starting the season 5-0, Cal lost four straight games before winning two of their last three. There are lots of rumors about coach Sonny Dykes not being happy at Cal. Both teams put up points and yards, but Cal has one of the worst defenses in the nation. Air Force will look to control the clock and play solid defense.
Prediction: 35-24, Air Force
Russell Athletic Bowl: #10 North Carolina (11-2) - #17 Baylor (9-3)
Orlando, FL Orlando Citrus Bowl. 5:30 PM on ESPN: This should be one of the best pre New Years bowl games. Two explosive offenses should light up the scoreboard, provided that Baylor gets at least one quarterback healthy before the game. Baylor's defense gets the edge over UNC, but the Tar Heels are one of the most improved teams in football.
Prediction: 56-49, North Carolina
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Nevada (6-6) - Colorado State (7-5)
Tucson, AZ Arizona Stadium. 7:30 PM on Campus Insiders: Colorado State rides a four game winning streak in to the postseason in the only bowl game that features a matchup between two teams of the same conference. Mike Bobo has his team playing well at the end of his first year, and they should continue their winning ways.
Prediction: 38-24, Colorado State
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: #20 LSU (8-3) - Texas Tech (7-5)
Houston, TX NRG Stadium. 9:00 PM on ESPN: Leonard Fournette might break the single game rushing record in this one. Texas Tech's rush defense is ranked 126 out of 128, giving up over 270 yards per game on the ground. If Patrick Mahomes can avoid turnovers, Tech could score enough points to win though.
Prediction: 49-38, LSU
Birmingham Bowl: Auburn (6-6) - Memphis (9-3)
Birmingham, AL Legion Field. 12:00 PM on ESPN: Auburn fans aren't too happy with their bowl bid. Probably because they're going to be embarrassed by Memphis in what will essentially be a home game. Memphis brings the 13th ranked offense in the nation with Paxton Lynch at the helm, against an Auburn team that has lost its defensive coordinator. Bold prediction: Tigers win.
Prediction: 45-24, Memphis
Belk Bowl: North Carolina State (7-5) - Mississippi State (8-4)
Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium. 3:30 PM on ESPN: This should be a great game. Both teams are led by great quarterbacks. Whichever team can establish a solid run game will have the best chance at winning this game. It could go either way, but this writer gives Mississippi State the slight edge in this one. Dak Prescott wins his final game as a Bulldog.
Prediction: 31-27, Mississippi State
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Texas A&M (8-4) - Louisville (7-5)
Nashville, TN LP Field. 7:00 PM on ESPN: Louisville comes in to this one having won five of their last six. Texas A&M has really struggled to find an identity on offense since getting dominated by Ole Miss earlier this season. Louisville has the 13th ranked defense in the nation and that defense will give Texas A&M fits. Look for the Cardinals to establish the run game and force Texas A&M to throw the ball. If the Aggies go down two scores early this one could get ugly.
Prediction: 31-17, Louisville
Holiday Bowl: #25 USC (8-5) - Wisconsin (9-3)
San Diego, CA Qualcomm Stadium. 10:30 PM on ESPN: Wisconsin has lost three games this season. Those three opponents have won a combined 34 games. The Badgers have not been pretty on offense this season, but with the third ranked defense in the nation, they have a shot to win every game they play. USC is coming off a disappointing performance in the PAC-12 championship game. With all the drama surrounding the program this season, they'll have a rough time in this one.
Prediction: 28-10, Wisconsin
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: #18 Houston (12-1) - #9 Florida State (10-2)
Atlanta, GA Georgia Dome. 12:00 PM on ESPN: Two years ago Florida State won a national championship. Last year the Seminoles played in the College Football Playoff. This year they get Houston in the Peach Bowl. Will Jimbo Fisher be able to get his guys motivated to play? Tom Herman will have the Houston Cougars fired up, hoping to prove they belong with the big boys.
Prediction: 45-35, Houston
Capital One Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma (11-1) vs #1 Clemson (13-0)
Miami, FL Sun Life Stadium. 4:00 PM on ESPN: The Sooners dropped a spot to #4 in the final committee ranking, but this matchup could play out in the Sooners' favor. Oklahoma had last week off and should have plenty of time to get healthy. Bob Stoops will look to ruin Clemson's perfect season and avenge last years loss to the Tigers. Dabo Swinney will hope to make his mark on Clemson history with a perfect season.
Prediction: 45-35, Oklahoma
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: #2 Alabama (12-1) - #3 Michigan State (12-1)
Arlington, TX AT&T Stadium. 8:00 PM on ESPN: Alabama is the only team that returned to the playoff from the inaugural season. This should be a hard-hitting game of smash mouth football. These two teams pride themselves on stopping the run, and running the ball down the oppositions throat. If one team is better able to do that, they win. Simple.
Prediction: 20-17, Alabama
Outback Bowl: #13 Northwestern (10-2) - #23 Tennessee (8-4)
Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium. 12:00 PM on ESPN: Both of these teams ride five game win streaks in to the postseason. Northwestern plays like Wisconsin. Nothing special on offense, but their hard nosed defense (ranked 11th in the nation) gives them an opportunity to win every game. Tennessee struggled offensively in three of their last four games. If Josh Dobbs gets hot early, the Volunteers have a shot.
Prediction: 21-17, Northwestern
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: #14 Michigan (9-3) - #19 Florida (10-3)
Orlando, FL Orlando Citrus Bowl. 1:00 PM on ABC: This game has the potential to be spectacular, but the Florida offense was just so bad in the SEC championship game that it probably won't happen. Michigan's defense is ranked third in the nation, and there is a chance you could see another SEC championship type game. Congratulations to Jim McElwain for being able to do what he did with this Florida team.
Prediction: 31-14, Michigan
BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl: #8 Notre Dame (10-2) - #7 Ohio State (11-1)
Glendale, AZ University of Phoenix Stadium. 1:00 PM on ESPN: Many people call this game the "best" non-playoff bowl game. Two of college football's most historic programs will battle it out in the desert. What many people won't know about this matchup is that Notre Dame's offense is better than Ohio State's (25th and 44th respectively). The Irish are balanced on offense and could provide some trouble for the Buckeyes who have played with "championship hangover" all season.
Prediction: 31-28, Notre Dame
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: #5 Iowa (12-1) - #6 Stanford (11-2)
Pasadena, CA Rose Bowl. 5:00 PM on ESPN: Hats off to the Rose Bowl committee for doing the right thing and taking Iowa over Ohio State. This game is going to be incredible. Two of the most "old school" programs in the nation will beat the absolute snot out of each other. Expect less than two wide receivers to be on the field for most of this game. Christian McCaffrey will also continue to put on a show.
Prediction: 21-20, Stanford
Allstate Sugar Bowl: #16 Oklahoma State (10-2) - #12 Ole Miss (9-3)
New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 8:30 PM on ESPN: Ole Miss was one ridiculous 4th and 25 conversion away from playing in the SEC championship game. Oklahoma State saw their playoff hopes vanish over the final two games of the season. Two of the nation's best offenses will provide an entertaining game, but Oklahoma State's defense will struggle to get stops when needed.
Projection: 56-42, Ole Miss
Taxslayer Bowl: Penn State (7-5) - Georgia (9-3)
Jacksonville, FL EverBank Field. 12:00 PM on ESPN: After sneaking to victories in their last three games, Georgia fired head coach Mark Richt. Penn State lost their last three games, and James Franklin is struggling to get things going in Happy Valley. This is a must win for Penn State. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg needs a big day to improve his draft stock that has fallen all season.
Prediction: 20-14, Penn State
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Kansas State (6-6) - Arkansas (7-5)
Memphis, TN Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. 3:20 PM on ESPN: A one point victory over West Virginia last week granted Kansas State a bowl appearance. Arkansas has won five of their last six. Kansas State is ranked 100 or worse in almost every major stat. The Hogs win big.
Prediction: 35-10, Arkansas
Valero Alamo Bowl: #15 Oregon (9-3) - #11 TCU (10-2)
San Antonio, TX Alamodome. 6:45 PM on ESPN: If you like defense, close your eyes. These two will light up the scoreboard in San Antonio. Ranked third and sixth respectively, TCU and Oregon both average over 540 yards of offense a game. Defensive edge goes to TCU. Oregon will need to force some turnovers to stay in this one.
Prediction: 55-49, TCU
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Arizona State (6-6) - West Virginia 7-5)
Phoenix, AZ Chase Field. 10:15 PM on ESPN: The last bowl game before the national championship game should be a good one. West Virginia has won four of their last five. Arizona State has been streaky all year. If the Sun Devil defense plays well then Sparky has a chance. Otherwise, the Mountaineers run off with this one late.
Prediction: 33-28, West Virginia
College Football Playoff National Championship Game presented by AT&T: #2 Alabama (13-1) - #4 Oklahoma (12-1)
Glendale, AZ University of Phoenix Stadium. 8:30 PM on ESPN: What a matchup this would be. Two of college football's winningest programs duking it out for the national championship. It would be the perfect ending to what has been the most memorable college football season ever.