The holidays are here and with it comes college football's bowl season.
Some scoff at the notion of bowl season being a big deal. At least until New Years Eve arrives.
But the one thing about bowl season is you get a chance to watch a lot players that maybe you didn't get a chance to see during the regular season.
You know what I mean. Every Saturday is filled with so many games to watch. So many players you may have missed.
Think of our list here as a guide to watching bowl season play out over the next three weeks.
And remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With one single criteria. Their worth as a college football player. No doubt some will be better pros than some ranked ahead of them. But, for our purposes, this is about the 2012 college football season alone.
So for my money these are the best 25 football players were I saw this season.
25 - Alabama Offensive Tackle DJ Fluker- Fluker and line mate Barrett Jones will give Manti Te'o and company their biggest test of the season in the BCS championship game.
24 - Stanford Tight End Zach Ertz - The senior tight end made the Cardinal offense go in 2012. Ertz had 63 catches for over 800 yards and was a match up problem for every school Stanford faced this season.
23 - Southern Cal Quarterback Matt Barkley - The pre-season favorite for the Heisman Trophy and number one overall pick didn't live up to that hype. But he was one hell of a college quarterback.
22 - Notre Dame Defensive Lineman Stephon Tuitt - Tuitt, as a sophomore was the best combination run and pass lineman in the country. His presence as a junior will ease the loss of Te'o to the Fighting Irish.
21 - Wisconsin Running Back Montee Ball - Ball was another favorite for the Heisman Trophy. That didn't pan out. But Ball was a workhorse for the Badgers and set the NCAA career touchdown record this season.
20 - Notre Dame Tight End Tyler Eifert - The best tight end in the country and some say the best tight end Notre Dame ever had. If you know who's on that list you know what a compliment that is.
19 - Arizona Running Back Ka'Deem Carey - Carey gained over 1,900 yards in Rich Rodriguez' spread offense and was a first team All-American as a sophomore.
18 - South Carolina Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney - He will be a top three pick overall pick next season. Every bit the pass rusher Jarvis Jones. Maybe better.
17 - Northern Illinois Quarterback Jordan Lynch - I know, I know, Northern Illinois didn't play much of a schedule but Lynch nearly passed for 3,000 yards and ran for 1,771, leading the nation before bowl season. And he has the Huskies in the Orange Bowl. That's enough to make any list of the best players in college football.
16 - West Virginia Quarterback Geno Smith - Smith's year was overshadowed by his own teammate and a stellar group of college quarterbacks this season. But he was about as good as it gets as a college football quarterback. A dual threat from anywhere on the field.
15 - Mississippi State Cornerback Johnthan Banks - I said before the season Banks was the best corner in the SEC. And that was before Tyron Mathieu was kicked off the LSU roster. I was right. Banks is going to make some NFL team very happy.
14 - Alabama Center Barrett Jones - Jones and teammate DJ Fluker make the Crimson Tide offense go. A sure fire first rounder and the best offensive lineman Notre Dame will face all year long.
13 - Texas A&M Defensive End Damontre Moore - Moore was nearly as big a factor as Johnny Manziel in the Aggies' upset of Alabama as he harassed AJ McCarron all day. Moore is also considered a top ten pick in the NFL draft right now.
12 - Georgia Quarterback Aaron Murray - Tony Dungy said Murray reminds him of Peyton Manning. That's good enough for me.
11 - West Virginia Running Back Tavon Austin - Austin may have been the most explosive all-around college football player this season. Fun to watch. A highlight reel waiting to happen.
10 - Oregon Running Back Kenjon Barner - An absolute pleasure to watch run the ball. This guy makes Chip Kelly's offense go.
9 - Southern Cal Wide Receiver Marqise Lee - The most explosive wide-out in college football and one of the country's top returners. Lee was the best player Lane Kiffin had this season
8 - Collin Klein - Kansas State's quarterback had the Heisman in his back pocket until Baylor came along.
7 - Michigan Quarterback Denard Robinson - Say what you want about Manziel, Barkley or Collin Klein, the most feared quarterback in college football this year was still Robinson. A big play waiting to happen.
6 - Ohio State Defensive Tackle Johnathan Hankins - Hankins was the best player on the Ohio State defense and maybe the best player on the Buckeye's squad in 2012. He's already declared for the NFL draft. Hard to blame him. Right now he's looking at being picked in the top ten.
5 - Texas A&M Offensive Tackle Luke Joeckell - Manziel doesn't win the Heisman without this guy. Period. Outland Trophy winner for best lineman in college football.
4 - Utah Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei - I know. Utah is not in a bowl game this season. But Lotulelei was a beast this year and deserves some recognition. The number one defensive tackle in the country. A sure fire first five pick overall and the anchor of an NFL defense for many season to come.
3 - Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziell - He won the Heisman for being the best football player in the college football. He wasn't. But he was the most fun. Johnny Football reminds me of Brett Favre without the hose for an arm.
2 - Georgia Linebacker Jarvis Jones - Probably the number one overall prospect heading in to the NFL draft and the best player in the SEC. Which would usually land you at the number one spot.
1 - Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o - The best college football player in the country. Period. Te'o had seven interceptions an astronomical total for a linebacker. He was a tackling machine. He's big, strong and runs sideline to sideline. But most important he was the heart of soul of the number one team in the country right now and spearheaded two goal line stands in the fourth quarter against Stanford and USC that saved Notre Dame's season.