2012 college football bowl guide
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?
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