The 2008-2009 College Bowl Game Schedule

Rose Bowl - Illinois v USC
A general view of the 'Rose Bowl presented by Citi' between the USC Trojans and the Illinois Fighting Illini at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 in Pasadena, California. (Getty Images)more pics »It’s almost Christmas and we all know what that means, it’s time to set up the Christmas tree, make some hot chocolate and nestle in front of the fire for some serious college football action. That’s right, ‘tis the season – for bowl games.

The Bowl game is an ancient tradition that has been enjoyed by many. Generally these holiday matches feature the highest ranked teams in the nation, or teams at the top of their divisions. Although these games don’t affect ranking, it’s a prime opportunity for huge upsets and memorable matchups.

Bowl game season starts on December 20 and runs to January 8, 2009. With a total of 34 games this holiday season, it’s going to be hard to keep track of who plays when. So, to help you out, we’ve put together an easy to read calendar that details the name of the bowl, who’s playing, what time and what channel you can catch it on. Take note of when your favorite teams are playing, and make sure not to miss it.

NOTE: All times presented in Eastern time.

Bowl Games: A History

The Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl was the first college bowl game, originating from the 1916 Tournament of Roses. 1923 marked the first official Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl also set a record for most fans in attendance when 106,869 people attended the 1973 Rose Bowl. Not surprisingly the Rose Bowl also remains the most watched of the college bowl games.

Invitation Only
Although it's changed throughout history, as the number of bowl games has increased, the number of season wins it take to qualify for a bowl has decreased. Currently a college team may have six wins to be invited to a bowl game.

University of Alabama
As of 2007, the University of Alabama has played in and won more bowl games than any other school. They've appeared in 55 and won 31.

Bowl Games Today
In 1930, the Rose Bowl was still the only major college bowl game. In 1940 there were only five: The Rose Bowl, The Cotton Bowl, The Orange Bowl, The Sugar Bowl and The Sun Bow. Today during the December-January bowl season alone, there are 34 bowl games.

Bowl Games: A New Year's Tradition
So why are most bowl games centered around the holidays and the new year? Well, when bowl games first started, they were held in warm climates like California, Texas and Florida to increase tourism and travel. Now bowl games can be found all over the nation, regardless of the weather, but the tradition still remains.

The Toilet Bowl
Since the number of bowl games has increased over the years, there are bound to be a few bowl games where you find yourself watching and wondering how the the teams could have gotten there. Because of this, the term "toilet bowl" is used to describe a game which features poor quality teams.

December 20
EagleBank Bowl - Wake Forest vs. Navy
11 a.m. on ESPN

New Mexico - Coloardo State vs. Fresno State
2:30 p.m. on ESPN

MagicJack St. Petersburg - Memphis vs. South Florida
4:30 p.m. on ESPN 2

Pioneer Las Vegas - BYU vs. Arizona
8:15 p.m. on ESPN

December 21
R+L Carriers  New Orleans - Southern Miss vs. Troy
8:15 p.m. on ESPN

December 23
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia - Boise State vs. TCU
8 p.m. on ESPN

December 24
Sheraton Hawaii - Hawai vs. Notre Dame
8 p.m. on ESPN

December 26
Motor City - Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
7:30 p.m. on ESPN

December 27
Meineke Car Care - West Virginia vs. North Carolina
1 p.m. on ESPN

Champs Sports - Wisconsin vs. Florida State
4:30 p.m. on ESPN

Emerald - Miami (Fla.) vs. California
8 p.m. on ESPN

December 28
Independence - Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
8:15 p.m. on ESPN

December 29
Papajohns.com - NC State vs. Rutgers
3 p.m. on ESPN

Valero Alamo - Missouri vs. Northwestern
8 p.m. on ESPN

December 30
Roady's Humanitarian - Maryland vs. Nevada
4:30 p.m. on ESPN

Texas - Western Michigan vs. Rice
8 p.m. on the NFL Network

Pacific Life Holiday - Oklahoma State vs. Oregon
8 p.m. on ESPN

December 31
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces - Houston vs. Air Force
Noon on ESPN

Brut Sun - oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
2 p.m. on CBS

Gaylord Hotels Music City - Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
3:30 p.m. on ESPN

Insight - Kansas Vs. Minnesota
5:30 p.m. on the NFL Network

Chick-fil-A - LSU vs. Georgia Tech
7:30 p.m. on ESPN

January 1
Outback - South Carolina vs. Iowa
11 a.m. on ESPN

Capitol One - Georgia vs. Michigan
1 p.m. on ABC

Konica Minolta Gator - Nebraska vs. Clemson
1 p.m. on CBS

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Cit - Penn State cs. USC
4:30 p.m. on ABC

FedEx Orange - Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
8:30 p.m. on FOX

January 2
AT&T Cotton - Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech
2 p.m. on FOX

AutoZone Liberty - Kentucky vs. East Carolina
5 p.m. on ESPN

Allstate Sugar - Utah vs. Alabama
8 p.m. on FOX

January 3
International - Buffalo vs. Connecticut
Noon on ESPN2

January 5
Tostitos Fiesta - Ohio State vs. Texas
8 p.m. on FOX

January 6
GMAC - Ball State vs. Tulsa
8 p.m. on ESPN

January 8
FedEx BCS National Championship Game - Florida vs. Oklahoma
8 p.m. on FOX
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