Bowl Season

It's a season of joy, anticipation and cheer. Sports fans seem to have a spring in their step and excitement fills the air. Expectations are high as fans gather together to celebrate one of the most entertaining month-long stretches in all of sports.

Welcome to college football's Bowl Season, when 66 teams play 33 games between Dec. 19 and Jan. 7. Each of these teams earned a spot in a Bowl game by winning at least six games during the regular season. These are the best teams in college football, playing one final game before the long off-season sets in.

Why it's important: Even though only one bowl game will decide the national champion, every one of them means something special. For fans, it means one last chance to root for your team this season. One last chance to wake up on game day, put on your team colors and experience the highs and lows of a big-time college football game. It also represents one last chance for a number of the players. Graduating seniors will be playing their final games before leaving college. You can be sure they'll all put in a little extra effort, giving bowl games an added thrill.

National rankings: Each team participating in a bowl game is jockeying for position in the final rankings. The big National Championship game will be the last game of the season, with two undefeated teams, Alabama and Texas, meeting on Jan. 7 for the country's top spot. Another big game will be the Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Texas Christian on Jan. 4. Both Boise State and TCU are undefeated, and the winning team will likely earn the No. 2 spot in the rankings.

History: It's an honor to play in the college football bowl game. Big games like the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl have been played since the 1930s and '40s. The number of post-season bowl games has grown over the years, but the tradition remains the same. College football players, coaches, alumni and fans give it their all one last time, hoping to bring a bit of pride to their school during the holiday season.

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