Let's go bowling: All 35 breakdowns


Michigan State
Stanford

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO

Stanford vs. Michigan State, Jan. 1 (ESPN, 5 p.m. ET)

Why to watch: The 100th edition of the "Granddaddy of Them All" might look like an old NFC Central game. Scoring figures to be at a premium with two black-and-blue defenses squaring off in Pasadena, Calif. The Spartans lead FBS teams in total defense (248.2 yards per game) and rank fourth in scoring defense (12.7 points). The Cardinal are 14th in total defense (339 yards) and 10th in scoring defense (18.6 points).

Who to watch: Sophomore Connor Cook wasn't MSU's starting quarterback at the start of the season, but he took over in the third game and seemed to improve every week. He was named MVP of the Big Ten championship game, completing 24 of 40 passes for 304 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in a 34-24 upset of then-No. 2 Ohio State. Cook completed 58.4 percent of his passes for 2,423 yards with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions this season.

Motivation for Stanford: The Cardinal can win back-to-back Rose Bowl games for the first time since 1970-71 and win 12 games for the second straight year.

Motivation for Michigan State: The Spartans will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since beating USC 20-17 in 1988. A victory over the Cardinal would solidify their place among the Big Ten's truly elite teams.

Pick: Michigan State 17, Stanford 13


Baylor
UCF

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

UCF vs. Baylor, Jan. 1 (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Why to watch: With tailback Lache Seastrunk fully recovered from a groin injury, and wide receiver Tevin Reese coming back from a dislocated wrist, the Bears will finally be healthy again on offense. And when the Bears are at full strength, they're really, really good, leading FBS teams in scoring (53.3 points) and total offense (624.5 yards). Baylor is playing in its first BCS bowl game after winning its first outright conference title since 1980. The Knights won the AAC in their first season in the league.

Who to watch: Baylor's Bryce Petty put up eye-popping numbers, but UCF's Blake Bortles might be the better NFL prospect. He completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 3,280 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Bortles threw for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 28-25 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 28.

Motivation for UCF: The Knights are a sizable underdog in the eyes of Las Vegas oddsmakers, and coach George O'Leary's teams always seem to play with a chip on their shoulders. A UCF victory would also go a long way in helping the credibility of the gutted AAC.

Motivation for Baylor: The Bears are close to breaking a couple of long-standing NCAA single-season records for total offense (624.9 yards, Houston in 1989) and scoring (56 points, Army in 1944). But Baylor would like to finish with a 12-1 record more than anything else.

Pick: Baylor 41, UCF 27


Alabama
Oklahoma

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Oklahoma vs. Alabama, Jan. 2 (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET)

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