Bowl season is here in college football, but with 38 different games and some overlapping times, you're not going to be able to watch them all. Want to prioritize your viewing during the holiday season? We've made you a watch list (and we checked it twice).
First, here are a couple honorable mentions - they would've made the cut, if there weren't already a bigger game happening during their respective time slots.
Outback Bowl: Auburn vs. Wisconsin
This game features the top center in the draft in Reese Dismukes, and the top running back in Melvin Gordon. There are other good prospects too, including a pair of athletic Auburn receivers. But this game is overshadowed by the slightly better matchup between Michigan State and Baylor.
Peach Bowl: Ole Miss vs. TCU
This game loses some points because a few of the best players on each team are either injured, not draft-eligible, or both. This should still be an excellent game of football, but maybe not the best for prospect-watching this year.
On to the top five (in descending order)!
Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Colorado State
12/20/14, 3:30 p.m. ET
On the first day of bowl games, the BCS gave to us: a surprisingly good matchup of teams with draft talent. Here's who you should pay attention to during the game.
|CSU||QB||18||Garrett Grayson||Maybe the top senior QB|
|CSU||WR||82||Rashard Higgins||17 TD catches, not draft eligible|
|CSU||OT||51||Ty Sambrailo||In a weak OT class, looks like a first-rounder|
|CSU||CB||23||Bernard Blake||23 pass break-ups in last two seasons|
|Utah||WR||8||Kaelin Clay||4 return TDs this season|
|Utah||RB||23||Devontae Booker||Has 38 receptions|
Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. USC
12/27/14, 8:00 p.m. ET
ESPN and WatchESPN
If you're looking for top tier defensive line talent, this is the game for you. It features arguably the top edge rusher in the draft (Nebraska's Randy Gregory) and the top defensive lineman in the draft (USC's Leonard Williams). As usual, both teams also have several other draftable prospects. Here's the list.
|Nebraska||RB||8||Ameer Abdullah||Sprained MCL slowed him down late in season|
|Nebraska||DE||4||Randy Gregory||Tons of potential, still needs to reach it|
|Nebraska||S/LB||13||Zaire Anderson||Safety-sized productive LB|
|Nebraska||CB||5||Josh Mitchell||12 pass break-ups; very skinny (5'11" 160)|
|USC||QB||6||Cody Kessler||70.7% completion and 36:4 TD:INT this season, junior may not declare|
|USC||WR||15||Nelson Agholor||Nearly 100 receptions this year|
|USC||OG||70||Aundrey Walker||Was slow recovering from a badly broken ankle in 2013|
|USC||DL||94||Leonard Williams||71 tackles as a lineman|
|USC||CB||6||Josh Shaw||Was suspended for lying about how he got an ankle injury, recently reinstated|
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Ohio State
1/1/15, 8:30 p.m. ET
ESPN and WatchESPN
The biggest draw for this season is the newly instated College Football Playoffs, which supplements the BCS bowls by turning two games into semifinals. Both of those games are featured during an action-packed New Year's Day. Here are the players to follow for this game between the first and fourth seeded teams.
|Alabama||WR||9||Amari Cooper||Broke every receiving record at Alabama|
|Alabama||OG||77||Arie Kouandjio||Cyrus Kouandjio's brother, left guard|
|Alabama||OT||79||Austin Shepard||Right Tackle|
|Alabama||QB||6||Blake Sims||Only a starter this season|
|Alabama||QB||14||Jacob Coker||Prototype, former backup to Jameis Winston, backup to Sims|
|Alabama||S||26||Landon Collins||Athletic and rangy|
|OSU||DE||97||Joey Bosa||20 TFL 13.5 sacks, not draft eligible|
|OSU||CB||12||Doran Grant||Team-leading 5 INT and 9 PBU|
|OSU||TE||5||Jeff Heuerman||Criminally underused|
|OSU||LB||37||Josh Perry||Team-leading 113 tackles|
|OSU||ER||8||Noah Spence||Suspended from team for drugs|
|OSU||QB||5||Braxton Miller||Out all season with shoulder injury|
Cotton Bowl: Michigan State vs. Baylor
1/1/15, 12:30 p.m. ET
ESPN and WatchESPN
The bowl committee picked a heck of a way to kick off the January 1 games, and this match between powerhouses features a ton of prospects. If you're looking for quarterbacks, it features senior Bryce Petty, who has put up great stats in his time at Baylor, and junior Connor Cook, who might not declare for the draft - but if he does, is a better prospect than Petty. You can read the full list of prospects below.
|Baylor||RB||32||Shock Linwood||Not draft eligible|
|Baylor||WR||19||Antwan Goodley||5'11", 220, built like a RB|
|Baylor||DE||2||Shawn Oakman||Freak size, but inconsistent on tape|
|MSU||RB||33||Jeremy Langford||19 rushing touchdowns, only 9 receptions|
|MSU||QB||18||Connor Cook||Efficient, 9.0 YPA, junior may not enter the draft|
|MSU||WR/CB||14||Tony Lippett||Team's leading receiver also started at CB in recent weeks|
|MSU||DS||27||Kurtis Drummond||4 INT and 11 PBU|
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida State
1/1/15, 5:00 p.m. ET
ESPN and WatchESPN
This will be the biggest collection of 2015 NFL Draft prospects we'll see all season, until we see the final on January 12. It's conceivable that there could be over a dozen draft picks between these two teams, and that includes the consensus two top quarterbacks in the draft in Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. Here's the list of players to watch, in its entirety.
|Oregon||QB||8||Marcus Mariota||All the tools, but is his mental game developed?|
|Oregon||RB||9||Byron Marshall||Used as RB and WR|
|Oregon||OT||75||Erik Fisher||Offense has looked much better since his return from injury|
|Oregon||CB||14||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu||Suffered serious knee injury in practice, will not play
|FSU||QB||5||Jameis Winston||Has struggled on stat sheet recently|
|FSU||OL||75||Cameron Erving||Moved from LT to C for the last few games|
|FSU||OG||54||Tre' Jackson||Right Guard|
|FSU||OG||70||Josue Matias||Left Guard|
|FSU||WR||80||Rashad Greene||Broke school record for career receiving|
|FSU||RB||9||Karlos Williams||Out with a concussion|
|FSU||DE||15||Mario Edwards, Jr.|
|FSU||S||8||Jalen Ramsey||Not draft eligible|