Allstate Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. TCU
Jan. 1, 2015, 7:30 p.m., at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana
What a remarkable climb for Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs. After two suspect years in its early Big 12 career, TCU has come alive in 2014-15. Patterson’s program still has to win in Austin against an upstart Texas team, however, it’ll be hard to hold TCU out of the top four if it finishes the remainder of its schedule unfazed. Could junior quarterback Trevone Boykin lead his squad to a second-straight Big 12 upset over the Crimson Tide? It’s certainly possible, but Nick Saban has his team clicking on cylinders as they finish out their season. A game against Auburn at home remains for Alabama, but a steady decline from the Tigers points a revenge win in the Crimson Tide’s favor.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs. Ohio State
Jan. 1, 2015, 11:30 a.m., AT&T; Stadium, Arlington, Texas
What a matchup this would be. While Buckeyes’ head coach Urban Meyer has been known for some stellar defenses, it’s hard to imagine Ohio State slowing down Bryce Petty and the high-octane Baylor offense. J.T. Barrett has filled in nicely for the injured Braxton Miller and it’s extremely impressive what they’ve accomplished as a team in his absence. They hold back-to-back wins against top-25 opponents, but a loss to an average Virginia Tech squad will keep them out of playoff contention.
Valero Alamo Bowl: K-State vs. UCLA
Jan. 2, 2015, 5:45 p.m., Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
This would be the third time since Bill Snyder’s return from retirement that K-State would face the Bruins. It would also be the Wildcats first trip to San Antonio since facing Purdue and Drew Brees in the 37-34 shootout on Dec. 29, 1998. Facing Brett Hundley and the UCLA offense would be a tremendous test for K-State’s defense, having seen its struggles with Trevone Boykin in Fort Worth. However, with it being the last game for Jake Waters, Jonathan Truman, Ryan Mueller, B.J. Finney and Tyler Lockett, it’s hard to imagine K-State falling flat regardless of the opponent.
Russell Athletic Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame
Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
Similar to the Alamo Bowl, this would mark the third time these programs have faced each other in the last three years. After recently completing a home-and-home series, some fans may not see as much excitement around this matchup. However, matching two historic programs together is never a bad idea for college football enthusiasts. With two quality quarterbacks in Everett Golson and Trevor Knight, it adds plenty of intrigue to this game. An important note is Knight’s health as he is still out as the Sooners prepare to face Kansas this week.
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Texas A&M;
Dec. 29, 8:00 p.m., NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
If this game comes together, it’d arguably be the most anticipated game in the entire bowl slate. Since separating in conference play three years ago, fans of both schools have been eagerly awaiting word of a potential matchup. Who knows exactly how the university administrators feel about it, but it’s hard to imagine either group feeling upset about this possibility. With so many Texas high school players on both rosters, it would create a bowl and Houston-area buzz that we’ve maybe never seen before.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: West Virginia vs. Arkansas
Dec. 29, 8:00 p.m., Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
With the serious growth that West Virginia has shown this season, the team shouldn’t feel ashamed about playing in this game. It’s against an SEC opponent, which is good regardless of its name. After nearly knocking off Alabama at the start of the year, a win would give the Mountaineers a perfect jump start into the 2015-16 season.