Update: The full bowl schedule is official here, with expert picks and everything.
Auburn entered the season picked to finish fifth in the SEC West. Florida State had to replace seven assistant coaches in one offseason. The Tigers had a new head coach and no established quarterback and stood in the shadow of the sport's most dominant dynasty. The Seminoles were replacing three NFL Draft first-rounders, including a senior quarterback.
On January 6, the two will play for the national championship. There is no debate. There is no quarrel. Strength of schedule is not a card that anyone can play against Auburn. No margin-of-victory issue can be raised against Florida State. One will raise the crystal. Pasadena is booked.
The rest of the 35 bowl games are below. We'll keep updating these throughout the day, depending on finalized matchups. Games in bold are set.
|Bowl||Matchup (Not always tied to conference standings)||Team||Team|
|1/6/2014||BCS National Championship (Pasadena)||BCS 1 vs. BCS 2||Florida State||Auburn|
|1/3/2014||Orange (Miami)||Florida State replacement vs. At-large 1||Ohio State||Clemson|
|1/2/2014||Sugar (New Orleans)||Auburn replacement vs. At-large 2||Alabama||Oklahoma|
|1/1/2014||Rose (Pasadena)||Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1||Michigan State||Stanford|
|1/1/2014||Fiesta (Glendale)||Big 12 1 vs. At-large 4||Baylor||UCF|
|1/5/2014||GoDaddy (Mobile)||MAC 2 vs. Sun Belt 2||Ball State||Arkansas State|
|1/4/2014||BBVA Compass (Birmingham)||SEC 9 vs. AAC 5||Vanderbilt||Houston|
|1/3/2014||Cotton (Arlington)||Big 12 2 vs. SEC 3||Oklahoma State||Missouri|
|1/1/2014||Capital One (Orlando)||Big Ten 2 vs. SEC 2||Wisconsin||South Carolina|
|1/1/2014||Gator (Jacksonville)||Big Ten 5 vs. SEC 6||Nebraska||Georgia|
|1/1/2014||Heart of Dallas||Big Ten 7 vs. C-USA||UNLV*||North Texas|
|1/1/2014||Outback (Tampa)||Big Ten 3 vs. SEC 4||Iowa||LSU|
|12/31/2013||Chick-fil-A (Atlanta)||ACC 2 vs. SEC 5||Duke||Texas A&M|
|12/31/2013||Independence (Shreveport)||SEC 10 vs. ACC 7||Arizona*||Boston College|
|12/31/2013||Liberty (Memphis)||C-USA 1 vs. SEC 8||Rice||Mississippi State|
|12/31/2013||Sun (El Paso)||ACC 4 vs. Pac-12 4||Virginia Tech||UCLA|
|12/30/2013||Alamo (San Antonio)||Big 12 3 vs. Pac-12 2||Texas||Oregon|
|12/30/2013||Armed Forces (Ft. Worth)||MWC 3 vs. C-USA/Navy||Middle Tennessee||Navy|
|12/30/2013||Holiday (San Diego)||Pac-12 3 vs. Big 12 5||Arizona State||Texas Tech|
|12/30/2013||Music City (Nashville)||ACC 6 vs. SEC 7||Georgia Tech||Ole Miss|
|12/28/2013||Belk (Charlotte)||AAC 3 vs. ACC 5||Cincinnati||North Carolina|
|12/28/2013||Buffalo Wild Wings (PHX)||Big 12 4 vs. Big Ten 4||Kansas State||Michigan|
|12/28/2013||Pinstripe (New York)||Big 12 7 vs. AAC 4||Notre Dame*||Rutgers|
|12/28/2013||Russell Athletic (Orlando)||AAC 2 vs. ACC 3||Louisville||Miami|
|12/27/2013||Fight Hunger (San Francisco)||Pac-12 6 vs. BYU/ACC 9||Washington||BYU|
|12/27/2013||Military (Annapolis)||ACC 8 vs. C-USA||Maryland||Marshall|
|12/27/2013||Texas (Houston)||Big 12 6 vs. Big Ten 6||Syracuse*||Minnesota|
|12/26/2013||Little Caesars (Detroit)||MAC 1 vs. Big Ten 8||Bowling Green||Pitt*|
|12/26/2013||Poinsettia (San Diego)||MWC 2 vs. Army||Utah State||Northern Illinois*|
|12/24/2013||Hawaii||MWC 5 vs. C-USA||Boise State||Oregon State*|
|12/23/2013||Beef O'Brady's (St. Pete.)||AAC 6 vs. C-USA||Ohio*||East Carolina|
|12/21/2013||Idaho Potato (Boise)||MAC 3 vs. MWC 6||Buffalo||San Diego State|
|12/21/2013||Las Vegas||MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 5||Fresno State||USC|
|12/21/2013||New Mexico (Albuquerque)||MWC 4 vs. Pac-12 7||Colorado State||Washington State|
|12/21/2013||New Orleans||Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA||UL Lafayette||Tulane|
* Taking another conference's unfilled spot.
Bold: Already set, either officially or according to reports.
It's simple. As simple as it gets for the BCS, anyway. Florida State and Auburn will play for the national championship. That means the Orange and Sugar get the first two replacement picks.
The Orange can't take Alabama first, due to BCS rules that prevent robbing the other replacement bowl of its pick, so it will surely take the one-loss Buckeyes, who boast an immense fanbase that's relatively nearby. The Orange also has a future relationship with the Big Ten.
Bama's a lock to replace Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.
That gives the Orange Bowl the next pick, as it's first in the non-replacement rotation this year. The Orange's ties with the ACC are as deep as any bowl's with any conference, and while Oklahoma or Oregon could be a tempting choice, the Tigers are much closer and give the Orange the chance to show off the ACC (until the game starts).
The Sugar then goes again, and it looks like it will come down to Oklahoma vs. Oregon. The Sooners are closer, have a larger and more established fanbase, and haven't been to the BCS since 2010. Most critically, the Sugar Bowl is developing a partnership with the Big 12; once the Playoff starts next year, it'll be an SEC-Big 12 game every year. It has reason to start giving Big 12 teams the spotlight now.
The Rose's matchup is locked in: Michigan State vs. Stanford vs. the scoreboard. The scoreboard will lose.
That leaves the Fiesta with no choice. It will be Big 12 champion Baylor vs. UCF, who won an automatic bid by winning the American. Since nobody else will pick UCF over a team with a bigger traveling fanbase and national brand name, there's your Fiesta. It's not exciting, but it's a football game with Baylor in it.
Ten teams will be left out
There are 80 bowl-eligible teams, but there are still only 70 spots to go around. There will be many justifiably disappointed fan bases around the country Sunday night, and quite a few of them will likely be in the Sun Belt, sorry to say.
What's horrifically wrong here? What are you angry about? Any of these games look extra appealing?
More from SB Nation college football:
Follow @SBNationCFBFollow @SBNRecruiting
• Interactive bowl season calendar with picks and links to more coverage:
• What the Playoff would look like, from four to 32 teams
• College football news | FSU favored over Auburn by a touchdown
• Long CFB reads | The night Baylor died in Stillwater