Let's go bowling: All 35 breakdowns

Rose Bowl

The most wonderful time of the year is nearly here.

College football's bowl season kicks off with four games Saturday and culminates with the Jan. 6 VIZIO BCS National Championship in Pasadena, Calif.

Here's everything you need to know about this season's bowl lineup:

Colorado State
Washington State

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

Washington State vs. Colorado State, Dec. 21 (ESPN, 2 p.m. ET)

Why to watch: The first bowl game of the postseason figures to be a high-scoring affair. Under pass-happy coach Mike Leach, the Cougars rank fourth nationally in passing (364.5 yards per game) and first in attempts (58.2 per game). Conversely, the Rams love to run the ball and are led by tailback Kapri Bibbs, who ran for 1,572 yards with 28 touchdowns this season.

Who to watch: Bibbs, a sophomore from Plainfield, Ill., might be the best running back of whom you've never heard. He ranked eighth among FBS players in rushing yardage, even though he didn't start until the sixth game, and led FBS tailbacks in rushing touchdowns. He ran for 312 yards with four touchdowns on 30 carries in a 38-17 win over Nevada on Nov. 9, and then had 291 yards with six scores in a 66-42 victory at New Mexico the next week. Bibbs needs only 30 rushing yards against the Cougars to break CSU's single-season record.

Motivating factor for Washington State: The Cougars, who went 3-9 in Leach's first season in 2012, can finish with a winning record if they defeat the Rams. WSU is playing in its first bowl game since beating Texas 28-20 in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.

Motivating factor for Colorado State: The Rams went 4-8 in coach Jim McElwain's first season in 2012, but they can finish 8-6 if they defeat the Cougars. CSU is playing in its first bowl game since beating Fresno State 40-35 in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl.

Pick: Colorado State 41, Washington State 38


USC
Fresno State

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

Fresno State vs. USC, Dec. 21 (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET)

Why to watch: The Bulldogs were a victory away from being a BCS buster but allowed 736 yards of offense in a 62-52 loss at San Jose State on Nov. 29. The Trojans will play their first and only game under interim coach Clay Helton, who replaced interim coach Ed Orgeron, who replaced fired coach Lane Kiffin. The Steve Sarkisian era will begin after the bowl game.

Who to watch: It will be the final college game for Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 4,866 yards with 48 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. USC's defense ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12 against the pass, allowing 214.5 passing yards per game. The Trojans allowed only 18 touchdown passes in 13 games and were tied for second in the Pac-12 with 16 interceptions.

Motivating factor for Fresno State: The Bulldogs probably want to prove they're better than the team that collapsed against San Jose State. They'll have a chance to finish the season with a 12-1 record, which would give them a lot of momentum heading into the offseason. Fresno State opens the 2014 season against USC in Los Angeles on Aug. 30.

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