SATURDAY DECEMBER 15
Noon, ESPN, New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque, N.M., University Stadium, Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Prepare for a shoot-out as both teams rank in the top 20 in scoring. Nevada, though, staggers into this game, losing four of its last five.
2 stars (out of 5)
3:30 p.m., ESPN, Potato Bowl, Boise, Idaho, Bronco Stadium, Toledo (9-3) vs. Utah State (10-2)
Utah State’s losses (Wisconsin, BYU) were by a total of five points while Toledo’s losses (Arizona, Ball State, Northern Illinois) were all by seven points.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 20
7 p.m., ESPN, Poinsettia Bowl, San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium, BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)
San Diego State has won seven straight, including a two-point win vs. Boise State. Four of BYU’s five losses were by six points or less.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 21
6:30 p.m., ESPN, St. Petersburg Bowl, St. Petersburg, Fla., Tropicana Field, Ball State (9-3) vs. Central Florida (9-4)
UCF was a whisker away from a C-USA title, but instead, two of its four losses came vs. Tulsa. Ball State has won six consecutive games.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 22
11 a.m., ESPN, New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)
East Carolina has scored 40-plus points in four of its last five wins. Yet, Louisiana-Lafayette averages more points per game, 34.8 to 31.3.
2:30 p.m., ESPN, Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas, Sam Boyd Stadium, Washington (7-5) vs. Boise State (10-2)
Washington wins with defense. Boise wins with offense. Should be a nice chess match between Steve Sarkisian and Chris Petersen.
MONDAY DECEMBER 24
7 p.m., ESPN, Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, Aloha Stadium, SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)
SMU became bowl eligible upsetting Tulsa in its regular-season finale, but Fresno brings in one of the nation’s highest-scoring offenses (40.3 ppg).
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 26
6:30 p.m., ESPN, Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Detroit, Ford Field, Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)
After a 2-5 start, Central Michigan rallied late to get bowl eligibility. Western Kentucky’s season went the other way, losing four of its last six.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 27
2 p.m., ESPN, Military Bowl, Washington, D.C., RFK Stadium, Bowling Green (8-4) vs. San Jose State (10-2)
San Jose State won eight games the past three years combined. It averages 35.3 ppg while Bowling Green allows only 15.8 ppg.
5:30 p.m., ESPN, Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C., Bank of America Stadium, Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6)
Duke, a feel-good story, became bowl eligible in mid-October — and hasn’t won since. Cincy’s losses have been by a combined 16 points.
8:45 p.m., ESPN, Holiday Bowl, San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium, Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4)
Can you say offense? Well, both of these teams can play it well. The only question — will Arkansas target Art Briles be there with the Bears?
FRIDAY DECEMBER 28
1 p.m., ESPN, Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La., Independence Stadium, Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)
Both of these teams were early season darlings, Louisiana-Monroe beating Arkansas and Ohio beating Penn State. But both struggled late.
4:30 p.m., ESPN, Russell Athletic Bowl, Orlando, Fla., Florida Citrus Bowl, Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Rutgers (9-3)
Rutgers has a five-game bowl winning streak, tied for the nation’s longest. Virginia Tech lost to both Big East teams it played this season.
8 p.m., ESPN, Meineke Bowl, Houston, Reliant Stadium, Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
Minnesota has not faced an offense like Texas Tech’s. Seth Doege and the Red Raiders might make the Gophers’ heads spin.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 29
10:45 a.m., ESPN, Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)
Rice is surging, winning its last four to become bowl eligible. Air Force is struggling, losing three of its last four. Does momentum decide this game?
2:15 p.m., ESPN, Pinstripe Bowl, Bronx, N.Y., Yankee Stadium, Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)
Beware, West Virginia. Syracuse can score in bunches, too. In winning five of its last six, the Orange averaged 38.2 points per game.
3 p.m., ESPN2, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, San Francisco, AT&T Park, Navy (7-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5)
If you want to beat Navy, you have to stop the run. Arizona State’s rushing defense hasn’t been great; Oregon ran for 406 against the Sun Devils.
5:45 p.m., ESPN, Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, Alamodome, Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)
The Longhorns should have home-field advantage. But Oregon State running back and Pflugerville native Storm Woods will feel at home, too.
9:15 p.m., ESPN, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Tempe, Ariz., Sun Devil Stadium, TCU (7-5) vs. Michigan State (6-6)
An old-time football game. Both teams put games on the backs of their defense. Neither allows more than 24 points a game.
MONDAY DECEMBER 31
11 a.m., ESPN, Music City Bowl, Nashville, Tenn., LP Field, Vanderbilt (8-4) vs. North Carolina State (7-5)
N.C. State will have an interim coach after Tom O’Brien was fired. Another advantage to Vandy? The game is only a few miles from its campus.
1 p.m., CBS, Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, Sun Bowl, Georgia Tech (6-7) vs. USC (7-5)
An under .500 team vs. an underachieving team makes for an underwhelming matchup.
2:30 p.m., ESPN, Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn., Liberty Bowl, Tulsa (10-3) vs. Iowa State (6-6)
Let’s play two. Really? These teams started the season playing each — Iowa State won 38-23 — and they’ll finish it against each other.
6:30 p.m., ESPN, Chick-fil-A, Atlanta, Georgia Dome, LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)
Clemson quarterback Taj Boyd leads a high-powered offense, so with little offensive firepower, LSU will need its defense to play big.
TUESDAY JANUARY 1
11 a.m., ESPN2, Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Fla., Everback Field, Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)
A year ago, the Gator Bowl got Ohio State and Florida. This year, not so lucky. Mississippi State limps in, losing four of its last five.
11 a.m., ESPNU, Heart of Dallas Bowl, Dallas, Cotton Bowl, Oklahoma State (7-5) vs. Purdue (6-6)
The Cowboys’ late-season slide continues all the way to their bowl destination. Will they be fired up? Ditto for the coachless Boilermakers.
Noon, ESPN, Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla., Raymond James Stadium, Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (10-2)
A bowl pitting teams once considered national title contenders. Could be a track meet with Denard Robinson and the Old Ball Coach.
Noon, ABC, Capital One Bowl, Orlando, Fla., Florida Citrus Bowl, Nebraska (10-3) vs. Georgia (11-2)
Only seconds away from playing for a national title, Georgia is relegated to the Cap One. Will the Bulldogs be motivated to play the Huskers?
4 p.m., ESPN, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif., Rose Bowl, Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)
Wisconsin is in because Ohio State and Penn State are postseason ineligible. Still, Badgers and Cardinal finished strong. Could be high scoring.
7:30 p.m., ESPN, Orange Bowl, Miami, Sun Life Stadium, Florida State (11-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)
BCS crasher Northern Illinois is catching flack, but Cinderella will become a feel-good story — and shut up lots of folks — if it beats Goliath.
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 2
7:30 p.m., ESPN, Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)
Will Muschamp and the Gators are serious about defense. Same for Louisville coach Charlie Strong, who used to be Florida’s defensive coordinator.
THURSDAY JANUARY 3
7:30 p.m., ESPN, Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz., University of Phoenix Stadium, Kansas State (11-1) vs. Oregon (11-1)
This was a national-title-game matchup only a couple weeks ago. Chip Kelly vs. Bill Snyder. Kenjon Barner vs. Collin Klein. It’s still a good one.
FRIDAY JANUARY 4
7 p.m., Fox, Cotton Bowl, Arlington, Texas, Cowboys Stadium, Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Texas A&M (10-2)
The best of the non-BCS bowls. There’s no love lost between the old Big 12 foes. But can the Sooners do anything to slow Johnny Football?
SATURDAY JANUARY 5
Noon, ESPN, BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala., Legion Field, Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Mississippi (6-6)
Both faced a team in the national title game, Pitt taking Notre Dame to overtime and Ole Miss losing by 19 points to Alabama.
SUNDAY JANUARY 6
8 p.m., ESPN, GoDaddy.com Bowl, Mobile, Ala., Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)
Kent State was ohsoclose to a BCS bowl, but now, it has to get motivated for the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Can it?
MONDAY JANUARY 7
7:30 p.m., ESPN, BCS National Championship Game, Miami, Sun Life Stadium, Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (11-1)
What a matchup. It’s got historical significance, stellar intrigue and marquee personnel. Football fans and TV execs alike are salivating over this.