GLENDALE, Ariz., Sporting Alert – After Thursday’s thrilling semifinal battles in the college football playoff, here is the bowl games schedule for New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, 2016.
Five games are listed on the schedule for Friday, including the Fiesta Bowl and the Rose Bowl battles.
After missing out at playing in the college football playoff, No. 7 Ohio State and No. 8 Notre Dame will turn their attention to the FIESTA BOWL at University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona.
Ohio State has won three straight encounters with Notre Dame, including the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, and leads this series 3-2.
The Buckeyes (11-1) only dropped one game this season, but it came at the wrong time — losing to Michigan State in a Big Ten battle in the penultimate game of the regular season, which ended their chances of defending their CFP national title. The Fighting Irish (10-2), in the meantime, were also on course to win a CFP berth, but suffered a defeat to Stanford which also eliminated them from the playoff conversations.
And after weeks of planning and side-stepping the “what could have been” talks, coaches Urban Meyer and Brian Kelly are now ready to lead their respective programs into the battle for the Fiesta Bowl.
“It’s time to play football,” Notre Dame coach Kelly said during his press conference.
KEY PLAYERS: Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is set to play in his final college football game after announcing earlier this season that he would not return to the program. Elliott, who has rushed for 1,672 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns, is ranked in the top five in both categories in the FBS this term.
For Notre Dame, wide receiver Will Fuller has tallied 1,145 yards and 13 touchdowns entering this contest with 56 total catches, and is averaging 20.4 yards per reception. Quarterback DeShone Kizer has passed for 2,600 yards and 19 touchdowns and has completed 63.4 percent of his passes.
In the ROSE BOWL at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, No. 5 Iowa (12-1) and No. 6 Stanford (11-2) will do battle.
The Hawkeyes were minutes away from booking a college football playoff berth, but were broken by a late touchdown by Michigan State in the Big Ten championships game, which ended their 12-game winning streak for the season. The Cardinal were also hoping to land a CFP place, but came up short, despite lifting the Pac-12 championship title with a 41-22 win over then-No. 20 USC.
KEY PLAYER: Stanford will look to star running back Christian McCaffrey to run the show against an Iowa defense that is ranked 15th in the country and holding teams to 18.5 points per game. McCaffrey, The Associated Press college football player of the year, when becoming the first non-Heisman Trophy winner to take the award, also finished runner-up in the Heisman ballot and he enters with 3,496 total yards, including 1,847 rushing yards. McCaffrey also has a total of 13 touchdowns.
For Iowa, quarterback C.J. Beathard has passed for 2,570 yards and 15 touchdowns, with running back Jordan Canzeri rushing for 976 yards and 12 TDs this season.
Iowa will be making its first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1990. Their last victory came in 1958.
In other college bowl games on the schedule for New Year’s Day, No. 14 Michigan (9-3) and No. 19 Florida (10-3) will contest the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, while No. 12 Mississippi (9-3) and No. 16 Oklahoma State (10-2) tackle each other in the Sugar Bowl in Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans.
Friday, Jan. 1
No. 13 Northwestern vs. No. 23 Tennessee, Noon, ESPN2
No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 19 Florida, 1 p.m., ABC
No. 8 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Ohio St., 1 p.m., ESPN
No. 6 Stanford vs. No. 5 Iowa, 5 p.m., ESPN
No. 16 Oklahoma St. vs. No. 12 Ole Miss, 8:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., ESPN