Your F/+ Guide to the Bowl Games

USA TODAY Sports

A look at the 2013-14 college football bowl season through the lens of the F/+ rankings.

There are 35 bowl games this year, which is kind of great and kind of awful. Let's face it: if you watch each and every one of these games, you probably have a sickness (unless you cover college football for a living, in which case you definitely have a sickness).

It would be one thing if we had 35 great matchups to carry us through the end of the season, but despite what the marketing folks at ESPN* will tell you, there are some real duds in the lineup this year. You need to know when to schedule a night on the sofa and when to simply have the game on in the background. Let's get to work.

*ESPN/ABC has 33 out of the 35 bowl games this year. CBS has 1 (Sun Bowl), Fox has 1 (Cotton).

Best teams bowling:
Florida State (1)
Alabama (2)
Stanford (3)

Worst teams bowling:
Ohio (104)
UNLV (95)
San Diego State (94)

Best teams watching from home:
Utah (34)
Florida (47)
TCU (48)

Games with 2 top 25 F/+ teams:
12/31 Sun - UCLA (13) vs. Virginia Tech (21)
1/1 Rose - Stanford (3) vs. Michigan State (9)
1/1 Capital One - Wisconsin (10) vs. South Carolina (14)
1/1 Fiesta - Baylor (7) vs. UCF (24)
1/2 Sugar - Alabama (2) vs. Oklahoma (23)
1/3 Orange - Ohio State (5) vs. Clemson (15)
1/3 Cotton - Oklahoma State (11) vs. Missouri (17)
1/6 BCS Championship - Florida State (1) vs. Auburn (4)

Eight out of the 35 games feature two top 25 teams, and seven of them fall in a three-day span from Dec 31 to Jan 3. Make sure any new TVs or surround sound systems are ready to go by the first at the very latest.

Best games prior to Dec 31:
12/28 Russell Athletic - Louisville (16) vs. Miami (29)
12/27 Fight Hunger - Washington (19) vs. BYU (26)
12/30 Alamo - Oregon (8) vs. Texas (39)

Let's take a look all of the games. First, in chronological order:

Date Bowl Rk F/+ Favorite Rk F/+ Underdog
21-Dec New Mexico 58 Washington State 68 Colorado State
21-Dec Las Vegas 12 USC 44 Fresno State
21-Dec Idaho Potato 69 Buffalo 94 San Diego State
21-Dec New Orleans 72 Tulane 88 UL-Lafayette
23-Dec Beef 'O' Brady's 38 East Carolina 104 Ohio
24-Dec Hawaii 37 Boise State 50 Oregon State
26-Dec Little Caesars 41 Bowling Green 59 Pittsburgh
26-Dec Poinsettia 33 Utah State 61 Northern Illinois
27-Dec Military 51 Marshall 65 Maryland
27-Dec Texas 48 Minnesota 76 Syracuse
27-Dec Fight Hunger 19 Washington 26 BYU
28-Dec Pinstripe 25 Notre Dame 90 Rutgers
28-Dec Belk 40 North Carolina 64 Cincinnati
28-Dec Russell Athletic 16 Louisville 29 Miami
28-Dec BWW 27 Kansas State 32 Michigan
30-Dec Armed Forces 66 Navy 78 Middle Tennessee
30-Dec Music City 31 Georgia Tech 35 Ole Miss
30-Dec Alamo 8 Oregon 39 Texas
30-Dec Holiday 6 Arizona State 60 Texas Tech
31-Dec V100 30 Arizona 54 Boston College
31-Dec Sun 13 UCLA 21 Virginia Tech
31-Dec Liberty 43 Mississippi State 55 Rice
31-Dec Chick-Fil-A 22 Texas A&M 36 Duke
1-Jan Gator 20 Georgia 45 Nebraska
1-Jan Heart of Dallas 49 North Texas 95 UNLV
1-Jan Outback 18 LSU 28 Iowa
1-Jan Capital One 10 Wisconsin 14 South Carolina
1-Jan Rose 3 Stanford 9 Michigan State
1-Jan Fiesta 7 Baylor 24 Central Florida
2-Jan Sugar 2 Alabama 23 Oklahoma
3-Jan Cotton 11 Oklahoma State 17 Missouri
3-Jan Orange 5 Ohio State 15 Clemson
4-Jan BBVA Compass 42 Houston 53 Vanderbilt
5-Jan GoDaddy 52 Ball State 93 Arkansas State
6-Jan BCS Title Game 1 Florida State 4 Auburn

Now, let's look at the games sorted by the average F/+ rankings for the teams in each game:

Rk Date Bowl Rk F/+ Favorite Rk F/+ Underdog Avg
1 6-Jan BCS Title Game 1 Florida State 4 Auburn 2.5
2 1-Jan Rose 3 Stanford 9 Michigan State 6.0
3 3-Jan Orange 5 Ohio State 15 Clemson 10.0
4 1-Jan Capital One 10 Wisconsin 14 South Carolina 12.0
5 2-Jan Sugar 2 Alabama 23 Oklahoma 12.5
6 3-Jan Cotton 11 Oklahoma State 17 Missouri 14.0
7 1-Jan Fiesta 7 Baylor 24 Central Florida 15.5
8 31-Dec Sun 13 UCLA 21 Virginia Tech 17.0
9 28-Dec Russell Athletic 16 Louisville 29 Miami 22.5
9 27-Dec Fight Hunger 19 Washington 26 BYU 22.5
11 1-Jan Outback 18 LSU 28 Iowa 23.0
12 30-Dec Alamo 8 Oregon 39 Texas 23.5
13 21-Dec Las Vegas 12 USC 44 Fresno State 28.0
14 31-Dec Chick-Fil-A 22 Texas A&M 36 Duke 29.0
15 28-Dec BWW 27 Kansas State 32 Michigan 29.5
16 1-Jan Gator 20 Georgia 45 Nebraska 32.5
17 30-Dec Holiday 6 Arizona State 60 Texas Tech 33.0
17 30-Dec Music City 31 Georgia Tech 35 Ole Miss 33.0
19 31-Dec V100 30 Arizona 54 Boston College 42.0
20 24-Dec Hawaii 37 Boise State 50 Oregon State 43.5
21 26-Dec Poinsettia 33 Utah State 61 Northern Illinois 47.0
22 4-Jan BBVA Compass 42 Houston 53 Vanderbilt 47.5
23 31-Dec Liberty 43 Mississippi State 55 Rice 49.0
24 26-Dec Little Caesars 41 Bowling Green 59 Pittsburgh 50.0
25 28-Dec Belk 40 North Carolina 64 Cincinnati 52.0
26 28-Dec Pinstripe 25 Notre Dame 90 Rutgers 57.5
27 27-Dec Military 51 Marshall 65 Maryland 58.0
28 27-Dec Texas 48 Minnesota 76 Syracuse 62.0
29 21-Dec New Mexico 58 Washington State 68 Colorado State 63.0
30 23-Dec Beef 'O' Brady's 38 East Carolina 104 Ohio 71.0
31 1-Jan Heart of Dallas 49 North Texas 95 UNLV 72.0
31 30-Dec Armed Forces 66 Navy 78 Middle Tennessee 72.0
33 5-Jan GoDaddy 52 Ball State 93 Arkansas State 72.5
34 21-Dec New Orleans 72 Tulane 88 UL-Lafayette 80.0
35 21-Dec Idaho Potato 69 Buffalo 94 San Diego State 81.5

Programming idea for ESPN: You have three horrific games on Dec 21. Pay Les Miles whatever he wants to hop on a jet and do a 1-man play-by-play for each of these games. I will watch, and so will the rest of America.

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