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Why Alabama is the first College Football Playoff favorite
1:21 | College Football
Why Alabama is the first College Football Playoff favorite
SI Staff
Friday December 19th, 2014

Can Florida State continue its quest for a second consecutive national title against Oregon? Does underdog Ohio State have what it takes to hang with SEC champion Alabama? Which under-the-radar bowl games are set to surprise?

College football’s postseason has finally arrived. Four teams will compete in the playoff, but many more will look to close out their 2014 campaigns on a high note.

SI.com’s college football experts Andy Staples, Pete Thamel, Thayer Evans, Zac Ellis, Martin Rickman, Lindsay Schnell, Brian Hamilton and Ben Glicksman make their picks for all 38 bowl games.

For more coverage, be sure to check out SI.com’s All-America Team and more.

BOWL SCHEDULE: Dates, TV times for every 2014-15 matchup

ELLIS: What to expect for the College Football Playoff's future

BECHT: The shifting narratives of the inaugural playoff season

RICKMAN: Between the Hashes Awards: Honoring best of 2014

Bowl picks
 
Staples Thamel Evans Ellis Rickman Schnell Hamilton Glicksman
NEW ORLEANS BOWL: Nevada (7-5) vs. UL-Lafayette (8-4) -- Dec. 20, 11 a.m. ET; ESPN
NEW MEXICO BOWL: UTEP (7-5) vs. Utah State (9-4) -- Dec. 20, 2:20 p.m. ET, ESPN
LAS VEGAS BOWL: No. 22 Utah (8-4) vs. Colorado State (10-2) -- Dec. 20, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
IDAHO POTATO BOWL: Western Michigan (8-4) vs. Air Force (9-3) -- Dec. 20, 5:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
CAMELLIA BOWL: South Alabama (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (7-6) -- Dec. 20, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
MIAMI BEACH BOWL: BYU (8-4) vs. Memphis (9-3) -- Dec. 22, 2 p.m ET, TBD
BOCA RATON BOWL: Marshall (12-1) vs. Northern Illinois (11-2) -- Dec. 23, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
POINSETTIA BOWL: Navy (6-5) vs. San Diego State (7-5) -- Dec. 20, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
BAHAMAS BOWL: Central Michigan (7-5) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5) -- Dec. 24, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
HAWAI'I BOWL: Fresno State (6-7) vs. Rice (7-5) -- Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
HEART OF DALLAS BOWL: Illinois (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-5) -- Dec. 26, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
QUICK LANE BOWL: Rutgers (7-5) vs. North Carolina (6-6) -- Dec. 26, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
ST. PETERSBURG BOWL: NC State (7-5) vs. UCF (9-3) -- Dec. 26, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
MILITARY BOWL: Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6) -- Dec. 27, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
SUN BOWL: No. 15 Arizona State (9-3) vs. Duke (9-3) -- Dec. 27, 2 p.m. ET, CBS
INDEPENDENCE BOWL: Miami (6-6) vs. South Carolina (6-6) -- Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
PINSTRIPE BOWL: Boston College (7-5) vs. Penn State (6-6) -- Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
HOLIDAY BOWL: Nebraska (9-3) vs. No. 24 USC (8-4) -- Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
LIBERTY BOWL: Texas A&M (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5) -- Dec. 29, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL: Oklahoma (8-4) vs. No. 17 Clemson (9-3) -- Dec. 29, TBD, TBD
VALERO TEXAS BOWL: Arkansas (6-6) vs. Texas (6-6) -- Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
MUSIC CITY BOWL: Notre Dame (7-5) vs. No. 23 LSU (8-4) -- Dec. 30, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
BELK BOWL: No. 13 Georgia (9-3) vs. No. 21 Louisville (9-3) -- Dec. 30, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
FOSTER FARMS BOWL: Maryland (7-5) vs. Stanford (7-5) -- Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL: No. 9 Ole Miss (9-3) vs. No. 6 TCU (11-1) -- Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
FIESTA BOWL: No. 20 Boise State (11-2) vs. No. 10 Arizona (10-3) -- Dec. 31, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
ORANGE BOWL: No. 7 Mississippi State (10-2) vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech (10-3) -- Dec. 31, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
OUTBACK BOWL: No. 19 Auburn (8-4) vs. No. 18 Wisconsin (10-3) -- Jan. 1, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2
COTTON BOWL: No. 8 Michigan State (10-2) vs. No. 5 Baylor (11-1) -- Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
CITRUS BOWL: No. 16 Missouri (10-3) vs. No. 25 Minnesota (8-4) -- Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ABC
ROSE BOWL (PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL): No. 2 Oregon (12-1) vs. No. 3 Florida State (13-0) -- Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN
SUGAR BOWL (PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL): No. 1 Alabama (12-1) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (12-1) -- Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
ARMED FORCES BOWL: Houston (7-5) vs. Pittsburgh (6-6) -- Jan. 2, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
TAXSLAYER BOWL: Iowa (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6) -- Jan. 2, 3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN
ALAMO BOWL: No. 11 Kansas State (9-3) vs. No. 14 UCLA (9-3) -- Jan. 2, 6:45 p.m., ESPN
CACTUS BOWL: Washington (8-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6) -- Jan. 2, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
BIRMINGHAM BOWL: East Carolina (8-4) vs. Florida (6-5) -- Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN or ESPN2
GODADDY BOWL: Toledo (8-4) vs. Arkansas State (7-5) -- Jan. 4, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
179-77 166-90 169-87 175-81 181-75 165-91 177-79 164-92

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