2013-2014 college football bowls, ranked 1 to 35 by watchability

Andy Lyons

The BCS National Championship rates as the most must-watch bowl of the year (of course), followed by the Orange, the Rose, the Cotton, and the Chick-fil-A, according to our panel of 11 bowl-watchers.

The important thing to do when confronted by a set of 35 things is to rank them. Whether those 35 things are rankable things or events that have not happened yet, they must be ranked.

So we've polled 11 football fans on this year's college football bowl schedule, with each giving a 1-to-10 rating on all 35 games. The full results are below, but first, some recognition for some of this year's noteworthy matchups.

Best non-championship bowl

The Clemson-Ohio State Orange Bowl pairs two of the country's best offenses, which is the kind of thing people like. And it's a contrast in styles, with the Buckeyes ranking No. 1 in various rushing metrics while Clemson ranks ninth among bowl teams in pass attempts per game.

The game will also have some atmosphere to it, due to Ohio State fans showing up by the billion anywhere on God's green earth.

Best non-BCS bowl

Had only a handful of things gone differently this season, Missouri-Oklahoma State could've been the Sugar Bowl. But the Cotton will do just fine, especially since it's in turf they formerly shared with the rest of the Big 12 and Big 8. They've played 51 times since 1915.

More importantly, they're both very good on both sides of the ball, despite what last Saturday tried to insist.

Best non-AQ bowl

First, let us mourn what the Poinsettia might've been. Chuckie Keeton vs. Jordan Lynch. Alas.

Still, even with Utah State down its own dual-threat quarterback due to injury, we get arguably the country's best mid-major offense vs. the country's best mid-major defense. NIU's offense ranks No. 7 in yards per play against FBS opponents, while the Aggies' defense ranks No. 8. USU is capable of doing to Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch what Bowling Green just did, but it's hard to imagine Lynch having two straight disappointing games.

Best Shreveport bowl

An uncommon award even among uncommon awards, but for real -- this worked out just fine for perhaps the country's most-scorned and -shunned bowl game.

Arizona vs. Boston College in the [strange and short-lived sponsor name] INDEPENDENCE BOWL FOREVER means the nation's two best running backs, Ka'Deem Carey and Andre Williams, not going head to head. They are running backs, you see, and there is no such thing as a Shreveport Running Back Skills Competition.

Worst AQ bowl

According to BCS rules, both Notre Dame and teams in the American have automatic-qualifier status. Therefore, the Pinstripe counts. Notre Dame is going to *bat for the cycle* on Rutgers in Yankee Stadium, probably while shaking off snow and slamming into some jutting, baseball-stadium-architecture stuff.

Then again, this one could get fun. Notre Dame did almost lose to Purdue. Wait, that's not the argument for this one almost getting fun. No, I don't have that argument on me right now.

Worst BCS bowl

Several of our panelists gave the Alabama-Oklahoma Sugar Bowl high marks despite not having grandchildren, which I do not understand. Seeing two of the sport's most prestigious programs meet up sounds like a good idea, but remember what Alabama did to likewise-storied Notre Dame last year? Notre Dame last year was better than Oklahoma is this year, too. Maybe several of our panelists are just mad at Oklahoma.

We've been robbed for the fourth year in a row of seeing Alabama-Oregon, and this time around, we can blame money. This matchup was picked due to nearby Sooners fans likely traveling well and the Sugar having a deal in future years with the Big 12.

All 35, ranked by watchability

Our panelists' ratings:

Bowl Average Adam Bill Mr. Hot Tub Connor Jason Nam Pete Peter Scott Steven G. Steven M.
Auburn vs. Florida State 9.55 7 10 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9
Clemson vs. Ohio State 9.09 7 10 7 10 9 9 10 9 10 10 9
Michigan State vs. Stanford 8.82 6 10 8 9 10 10 8 10 10 8 8
Missouri vs. Oklahoma State 8.64 5 8 8 8 9 9 10 9 10 10 9
Duke vs. Texas A&M 7.82 6 10 8 8 9 10 6 7 7 8 7
Oregon vs. Texas 7.64 6 8 9 7 8 10 10 8 8 8 2
South Carolina vs. Wisconsin 7.55 4 7 7 7 9 9 10 8 8 7 7
Louisville vs. Miami 7.09 5 8 8 7 8 6 8 8 5 8 7
Arizona vs. Boston College 7.00 5 6 7 8 8 9 9 8 7 4 6
Arizona State vs. Texas Tech 6.91 5 6 7 6 5 9 10 9 8 6 5
Baylor vs. UCF 6.91 8 8 9 9 4 4 8 8 7 7 4
Fresno State vs. USC 6.82 8 8 5 7 5 8 7 5 7 7 8
NIU vs. Utah State 6.45 5 4 8 8 8 6 5 7 5 7 8
Boise State vs. Oregon State 6.00 3 6 5 6 7 7 7 7 5 7 6
Alabama vs. Oklahoma 6.00 5 10 7 6 2 7 10 5 8 4 2
BYU vs. Washington 5.91 3 4 7 6 8 7 7 4 7 5 7
UCLA vs. Virginia Tech 5.82 6 5 6 8 7 7 6 4 5 6 4
Georgia vs. Nebraska 5.55 4 5 6 6 8 5 5 4 7 5 6
Iowa vs. LSU 5.55 3 6 6 7 7 5 7 5 7 4 4
Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss 5.45 4 6 7 6 8 6 2 3 4 7 7
Colorado State vs. Washington State 5.27 4 4 7 7 4 6 6 6 4 6 4
Houston vs. Vanderbilt 5.27 2 4 6 7 5 6 6 6 4 6 6
Cincinnati vs. North Carolina 5.09 2 4 7 7 4 5 3 7 4 5 8
Buffalo vs. San Diego State 5.00 6 3 6 5 7 5 3 10 2 4 4
Kansas State vs. Michigan 4.82 4 6 6 6 1 5 3 6 5 6 5
Bowling Green vs. Pitt 4.45 4 9 7 5 6 3 4 3 1 3 4
Arkansas State vs. Ball State 4.36 2 2 7 5 6 3 7 6 2 5 3
Mississippi State vs. Rice 4.00 4 5 5 8 5 4 3 3 2 3 2
Marshall vs. Maryland 3.91 2 4 6 4 2 3 6 4 2 3 7
Minnesota vs. Syracuse 3.45 3 2 6 5 7 4 1 2 3 3 2
Tulane vs. UL Lafayette 3.36 2 4 4 3 7 1 1 4 1 7 3
Notre Dame vs. Rutgers 3.09 2 1 5 3 1 6 3 1 5 6 1
North Texas vs. UNLV 3.00 1 3 5 3 4 3 3 4 2 2 3
ECU vs. Ohio 2.64 1 1 4 4 4 2 2 3 1 3 4
MTSU vs. Navy 2.36 1 1 5 2 3 3 1 3 1 4 2
Bowl Average Adam Bill Mr. Hot Tub Connor Jason Nam Pete Peter Scott Steven G. Steven M.

Our panelists (Adam Stites, Bill Hanstock, Celebrity Hot Tub, Connor Tapp, some idiot, Nam Le, Pete Volk, Peter Berkes, Scott Coleman, Steven Godfrey, and Steven Muma) appreciate a wide variety of football, both geographically and stylistically. If you disagree with them, please join in in the comments.

More from SB Nation college football:

Interactive bowl season calendar with picks and links to more coverage:

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College football news | Five Heisman finalists join Winston

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