If you could only use one word to describe this year's college football season, "unpredictable" would suffice.
One only needs to look to the No. 1 team in the country for proof: Notre Dame.
Who was expecting a team that entered the season unranked to reel off 12 straight victories? Who was expecting a team led by a quarterback who had never taken a snap in his collegiate career to beat Michigan State, Michigan, Stanford and Oklahoma en route to booking a spot in Miami?
Heck, a lot of people weren't even expecting the Fighting Irish, at 11-0, to beat USC—whose path this season has gone in the exact opposite direction—to cap off a dream regular season.
And the rest of the country has followed suit.
In the Orange Bowl, we have the powerhouse that is Northern Illinois, which raced to a 12-1 record, a thrilling MAC Championship win and a season to remember. The Huskies will represent DeKalb, Ill—yes, the same mighty DeKalb that boasts a population of 43,702 and an area of 12.6 square miles.
Showing up in the normally prestigious Rose Bowl for the Big Ten will be an unranked, five-loss Wisconsin team that benefited from a couple postseason bans and a 70-point effort against Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game.
If the bowl season follows in the footsteps of how the wacky, never-a-dull-moment 2012 regular season has played out, then you won't want to miss any of the following 35 games.
Note: All times are ET and p.m. unless noted otherwise. All games (except for the Sun Bowl and Cotton Bowl) can be streamed live at WatchESPN.
|Bowl||Team 1||Team 2||Stadium: Location||Date: Time||TV|
|New Mexico||Nevada||Arizona||University Stadium: Albuquerque, NM||12/15: 1:00||ESPN|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Toledo||Utah State||Bronco Stadium: Boise, ID||12/15: 4:30||ESPN|
|Poinsettia||BYU||San Diego State||Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA||12/20: 8:00||ESPN|
|Beef 'O' Brady's||Ball State||UCF||Tropicana Field: St. Petersburg, FL||12/21: 7:30||ESPN|
|New Orleans||East Carolina||Louisiana-Lafayette||Superdome: New Orleans, LA||12/22: Noon||ESPN|
|Las Vegas||Boise State||Washington||Sam Boyd Stadium: Las Vegas, NV||12/22: 3:30||ESPN|
|Hawaii||SMU||Fresno State||Aloha Stadium: Honolulu, HI||12/24: 8:00||ESPN|
|Little Caesars||Central Michigan||Western Kentucky||Ford Field: Detroit, MI||12/26: 7:30||ESPN|
|Military||Bowling Green||San Jose State||RFK Stadium: Washington, DC||12/27: 3:00||ESPN|
|Belk||Duke||Cincinnati||Bank of America Stadium: Charlotte, NC||12/27: 6:30||ESPN|
|Holiday||Baylor||UCLA||Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA||12/27: 9:45||ESPN|
|Independence||Lousiana-Monroe||Ohio||Independence Stadium: Shreveport, LA||12/28: 2:00||ESPN|
|Russell Athletic||Virginia Tech||Rutgers||Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL||12/28: 5:30||ESPN|
|Meineke Car Care||Minnesota||Texas Tech||Reliant Stadium: Houston, TX||12/28: 9:00||ESPN|
|Armed Forces||Rice||Air Force||Amon G. Carter Stadium: Fort Worth, TX||12/29: 11:45 a.m.||ESPN|
|Pinstripe||Syracuse||West Virginia||Yankee Stadium: Bronx, NY||12/29: 3:15||ESPN|
|Kraft||Navy||Arizona State||AT&T Park: San Francisco, CA||12/29: 4:00||ESPN2|
|Alamo||Texas||Oregon State||Alamodome: San Antonio, TX||12/29: 6:45||ESPN|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||TCU||Michigan State||Sun Devil Stadium: Tempe, AZ||12/29: 10:15||ESPN|
|Music City||NC State||Vanderbilt||LP Field: Nashville, TN||12/31: Noon||ESPN|
|Sun||Georgia Tech||USC||Sun Bowl: El Paso, TX||12/31: 2:00||CBS|
|Liberty||Tulsa||Iowa State||Liberty Bowl: Memphis, TN||12/31: 3:30||ESPN|
|Chick-fil-A||Clemson||LSU||Georgia Dome: Atlanta, GA||12/31: 7:30||ESPN|
|Gator||Northwestern||Mississippi State||Everbank Field: Jacksonville, FL||1/1: Noon||ESPN2|
|Heart of Dallas||Oklahoma State||Purdue||Cotton Bowl: Dallas, TX||1/1: Noon||ESPNU|
|Outback||Michigan||South Carolina||Raymond James Stadium: Tampa, FL||1/1: 1:00||ESPN|
|Nebraska||Georgia||Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL||1/1: 1:00||ABC|
|Rose||Stanford||Wisconsin||Rose Bowl: Pasadena, CA||1/1: 5:00||ESPN|
|Orange||Northern Illinois||Florida State||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/1: 8:30||ESPN|
|Sugar||Florida||Louisville||Superdome: New Orleans, LA||1/2: 8:30||ESPN|
|Fiesta||Oregon||Kansas State||U. of Phoenix Stadium: Glendale, AZ||1/3: 8:30||ESPN|
|Cotton||Oklahoma||Texas A&M||Cowboys Stadium: Arlington, TX||1/4: 8:00||FOX|
|Compass||Pittsburgh||Ole Miss||Legion Field: Birmingham, AL||1/5: 1:00||ESPN|
|GoDaddy.com||Kent State||Arkansas State||Ladd-Peebles Stadium: Mobile, AL||1/6: 9:00||ESPN|
|BCS National Championship||Notre Dame||Alabama||Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL||1/7: 8:30||ESPN|
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