A champion will be crowned January 9.

College football’s bowl schedule for next season has come out, with the BCS national championship slated for January 9 in New Orleans.

The bowl season will kick off December 17 with a trio of contests, including the New Mexico Bowl, the Humanitarian Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl. The docket features 35 games spread out over 23, so the message is clear – make sure your fridge is stocked and your local pizza place is on speed dial.

There will be no games played on January 1, typically the busiest day of the season. That’s because New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday this season and the NFL – lockout pending – has scheduled a full slate of games.

In last year’s national title game, Auburn, under the direction of Heisman winner Cam Newton, edged Oregon, 22-19.

[NBCSports.com]