The college football bowl season is the gift that keeps on giving to football fans during the holidays.
The slate of bowl games began Dec. 20 and continues through Jan. 12, 2015. While only four teams will compete for the right to play in the championship, there will be numerous fascinating matchups, providing one last showcase for the best players in the sport before they head to the NFL.
The games will be played throughout the country in a wide variety of climates. While many will be played in warmer locales such as Southern California, Florida and Hawaii, there are others that will face cold and potentially wintry conditions in the Midwest and Northeast.
Take a look at the forecasts for five notable games to be played in outdoor venues this season.
Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 27 4:30 p.m. EDT Penn State vs. Boston College
The Yankee Stadium baseball diamond will be converted to a gridiron once again as the Penn State Nittany Lions (6-6) face the Boston College Eagles (7-5) in the fifth annual Pinstripe Bowl. While Penn State leads the all-time series 19-4, Boston College has won the last three meetings, with the schools last playing in 2004. Prior to joining conferences, the schools met every year as independents from 1981-1992. It's the first appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl for both programs.
Cold weather conditions shouldn't hamper either of these two Northeast-based schools or their fan bases.
Partly sunny skies and mild conditions are expected for the Pinstripe Bowl as high pressure remains in control of the weather across New York City, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards said. Kickoff temperatures will be around 50 F with the temperature falling into the 40s by the end of the game.
Music City Bowl Dec. 30 3 p.m. EDT Notre Dame vs. LSU
Two perennial powers will play for the first time since the 2006 season when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-5) take on the LSU Tigers (8-4) at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. It's the first appearance in the Music City Bowl for each program and this matchup will break the tie in the all-time series record, which currently stands at 5-5.
High pressure will lead to a chilly Music City Bowl despite a fair amount of sunshine, Edwards said. Kickoff temperatures will be around 40 F before falling into the middle 30s by the end of the game.
Orange Bowl Dec. 31 8 p.m. EDT Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech
The seventh-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (10-2) and No. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-3) will head to South Florida to meet in one of the most prestigious college football bowl games: the Orange Bowl. Going back to 1930, the Orange Bowl has hosted the national champion or national championship game 20 times, according to the game's website.
The Yellow Jackets are undefeated against Mississippi State with a 4-0 all-time record against the Bulldogs. Mississippi State is making its first Orange Bowl appearance while Georgia Tech will be playing in its seventh Orange Bowl.
Mostly dry weather can be expected for the Orange Bowl with a partly cloudy sky and warm weather. The tail end of a dissipating frontal boundary may spark a spotty shower or sprinkle, but most of the game should turn out dry, Edwards said.
Kickoff temperatures will be around 70 F through the end of the game.
Outback Bowl Jan. 1 12 p.m. EDT Wisconsin vs. Auburn
Electrifying running back Melvin Gordon, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and the No. 17 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3) will face the No. 19 Auburn Tigers (8-4), who have one of the most dynamic offenses in the sport, in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
This will be Auburn's fourth appearance in the Outback Bowl and the Tigers have accumulated a 2-1 record. It will be the fifth appearance for the Badgers, but they have struggled in this game, going 1-3. This is the fourth meeting between these two programs and the first since the 2006 Capital One Bowl. Each team has a win in the all-time series with the schools settling for a tie in 1931.
The weather for the Outback Bowl is in question as a frontal boundary and a stream of Gulf of Mexico moisture could lead to unsettled weather for the game, Edwards said.
It will be mild with temperatures around 65 F at kickoff. Temperatures will remain steady in the middle 60s for the remainder of the game.
Rose Bowl Jan. 1 5 p.m. EDT Florida State vs. Oregon
Nicknamed the "Granddaddy of Them All," the Rose Bowl Game is the oldest bowl game with a history that dates back to 1902. With such a storied legacy, it makes sense that one of the most significant college football games in recent memory will be played here.
On New Year's Day, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks (12-1) will unleash their warp-speed offense, led by Heisman Trophy-winner Marcus Mariota, against the defending national champion and third-ranked Florida State Seminoles (13-0) in the first of two semifinal games to be played in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Florida State enters this game having won 29 in a row.
Beautiful weather can be expected for the Rose Bowl with a good deal of sunshine and temperatures close to average for this time of year, Edwards said.
Kickoff temperatures will be in the middle 60s, remaining steady throughout the game.