New Mexico Bowl: Washington State vs Colorado State, 2:00 (ESPN: Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza) Is there a better way to start the bloated bowl schedule with two teams that are a combined 13-12 on the season in New Mexico? Washington State should throw all day against the 111th ranked pass defense in the nation.
Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State vs USC, 3:30 (ABC: Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Sam Ponder) Now here's one positive about the bowl season. You do get some interesting matchups like this one. USC is playing for their third head coach of the season and Derek Carr is trying to close out his incredible career on a high note. Also it never ceases to amaze me that a team like Fresno State could go from possibly playing in a New Year's bowl to playing in a bowl game that takes place 9 days before New Year's Day. Gotta keep the Mountain West down.
Famous Idaho Potatoes Bowl: Buffalo vs San Diego State, 5:30 (ESPN: Clay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport) Do you know Idaho's Famous Potatoes host a pregame event called the "Mash Bash"? I find this fact more interesting than the actual game itself.
New Orleans Bowl: Tulane vs UL Lafayette, 9:00 (ESPN: Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Jeannine Edwards) Congrats to Tulane for reaching their first bowl game since 2002. Their prize is getting to play a home game against another Louisiana team. I'm sure the tailgating at this game will be fun and I look forward to videos of fans fighting in the parking lot being posted at The Big Lead and Deadspin.
Beef 'O' Brady Bowl: East Carolina vs Ohio, 2:00 (ESPN: Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway, Paul Carcaterra) Ohio received the bowl bid to this game despite losing three out of their last four games by big margin and with nine other bowl eligible teams left to be chosen. I admit to having weird fascinations and bowl politics is one of those weird fascinations. Why did Ohio get into this game and Western Kentucky or San Jose State didn't? These decisions need to be investigated and explained.
Hawaii Bowl: Boise State vs Oregon State, 8:00 (ESPN: Steve Levy, Mark May, Lou Holtz, Maria Taylor) This bowl game would have been interesting a few years ago but today it's just another bloated matchup between two mediocre teams. I'm interested in how Boise State does in the future without Peterson. Will they have the same success? Will they still find the undervalued California recruits? Interesting future in Boise.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Pittsburgh vs Bowling Green, 6:00 (ESPN: Dave Lamont, Ray Bentley, Niki Noto) This is the first time in a couple of years Pitt isn't playing in the Birmingham bowl with an interim coach. So congrats Pitt, I guess. Bowling Green's reward for winning the MAC is returning to Detroit to play that awful Pitt team. Congrats boys on the great season, now go back to Detroit.
Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State vs Northern Illinois, 9:30 (ESPN: Joe Davis, Mike Bellotti, Cara Capuano) Once again this would have been a much more interesting matchup if Utah State had Chuckie Keeton. But they don't have him so instead we'll have to enjoy the last stand of Jordan Lynch. Once again it amazes me that a team like Northern Illinois can go from possibly playing in a BCS game to a bowl game that is played before the New Year.
Military Bowl: Marshall vs Maryland, 2:30 (ESPN: Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Jeannine Edwards) Maryland fired Friedgen after leading them to the Military bowl. Randy Edsall leads Maryland to their first bowl appearance under his tenure right back to the military bowl. Well at least you won't have to hear about attendance shamming in this bowl because both teams are local........
Texas Bowl: Syracuse vs Minnesota, 6:00 (ESPN: Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza)..........which leads us to this game. Who thought it was a good idea to place two northern teams in this bowl game? I can already hear the ticket/attendance shamming coming from smart asses like Rovell. Thankfully a Syracuse blog is sending kids to this game.
Fight Hunger Bowl: BYU vs Washington, 9:30 (ESPN: Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Luginbill) Because this game is played in San Francisco the two coaches from these teams speak to Tom Tolbert at KNBR. And because this is the silly season when coaches leave or get fired, you get your fair share of interim coaches which is always awkward. And this conversation was very awkward. The Washington interim coach describing the bowl game while he doesn't know if he'll have a job after the game is beyond weird.
Pinstripe Bowl, Rutgers vs Notre Dame, Noon (ESPN: Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer, Paul Carcaterra) I love Notre Dame sidewalk alums. They pretend Notre Dame is the only college football team that exists and that the sport isn't whole unless Notre Dame is good. Well those sidewalk alums won't have to travel far this year to see Notre Dame play in a crappy bowl game against a mediocre Rutgers teams.
Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs UNC, 3:20 (ESPN: Carter Blackburn, Danny Kanell, Allison Williams) I love when teams return to these menial bowl games like Pitt and the BBVA Compass bowl and Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. Do you think the bowl officials for this game were thinking, "you know last year's game with Cincinnati was fun so let's invite them again!"?
Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami vs Louisville, 6:45 (ESPN: Bob Wischusen, Rod Gilmore) Nice season for the Hurricanes and they're rewarded with a tough matchup against Louisville. Teddy Bridgewater gets one last audition for either the Texans, Jaguars, or Raiders. If I was him I would sabotage myself for those teams wouldn't draft me.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Michigan vs Kansas State, 10:15 (ESPN: Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake) Oh man I'm already looking forward to the dumb look on Brady Hoke's face when Bill Snyder takes him behind the woodshed. It's going to be glorious watching the old man take Hoke to school.
Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs Navy, 11:45 (ESPN: Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway, Paul Carcaterra) ......um................uh..............hmm............I have no idea what to say about this game. Let's just move on.
Music City Bowl: Georgia Tech vs Ole Miss, 3:15 (ESPN: Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza) Usually when I predict a game should be fun, usually the opposite is true. So I believe this game should be fun with lots of offense means this game will be a 10-7 snoozer.
Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs Texas, 6:45 (ESPN: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe) I love how Marcus Mariota complained that playing in the Rose Bowl would be a let down. I wonder how he feels about playing in the Alamo Bowl in front of a mostly Texas crowd? Next time don't complain about playing in the Rose Bowl Marcus before the season ends because you might be blown out by Arizona and then sent to Texas.
Holiday Bowl: Arizona State vs Texas Tech, 10:15 (ESPN: Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Maria Taylor) I'm gonna laugh and laugh when Texas swings and misses on all of their coaching candidates and they end up with Arizona State coach Todd Graham. And how funny would it be if Graham accepts that job. He's already jilted BOTH Rice and Pitt after just one year and has proclaimed Arizona State as his "dream job". I know college coaches are hypocrites, but Graham takes the crown as the biggest one.
Independence Bowl: Arizona vs Boston College, 12:30 (ESPN: Tom Hart, John Congemi, Niki Noto) Is you like watching running backs, then this is your game. The nation's two leading rushers will be featured in this game so expect at least 200 combined rushing yards in this game with plenty of point.
Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech vs UCLA, 2:00 (CBS: Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson) How happy are Virginia Tech fans that this is Logan Thomas' last game? On a scale from 1 to 10, I'm guessing 1 million on their happiness scale. And speaking of Thomas, the problem with coaches like Beamer and Mack Brown is their unusual faith in crappy QB's. It was Tedford's downfall at Cal, Brown's downfall at Texas, and if Beamer sticks with another crappy QB after Thomas, could be his downfall.
Liberty Bowl: Rice vs Miss State, 4:00 (ESPN: Bob Wischusen, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich) Now this is a game that proves my point about the schedule being bloated with mediocre teams. Miss State is 6-6 on the year and quite frankly I'm not sure how they even won 6 games. Meanwhile Rice had a nice season but are you running to the TV to watch them?
Recipe of the Week, Christmas Breakfast Sausage: People always make a big deal out of bacon, but I'll always maintain sausage is a better food item. And this recipe sounds delightful. Sausage, bread crumbs, and eggs combined to make a beautiful meal.
Alcoholic Beverage of the Week, Irish Whiskey Cask: I tried this beer the other day and it might be the best beer I've ever tasted. This is because it doesn't taste like a beer. It tastes like a combination of a cream soda and the best coffee you've ever tasted. Cannot recommend this beer enough.