MATCHUP: Arkansas State v Southern Miss
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Southern Miss is much more talented, experienced and better than the Indians. The Eagles easily won the New Orleans bowl last year over North Texas. This will be an excellent building block for Arkansas State, however...who have wins this season over Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Tenn-Martin and La-Lafayette.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: ASU's Antonio Warren. He's rushed for over 3,000 yards in his career.
FACTS: This game will be played in Lafayette due to the damage done to the Superdome due to Hurricane Katrina. Arkansas State is making their first ever bowl appearance.
SPORTZ PICK: Southern Miss romps.
MATCHUP: Toledo v UTEP
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Two QBs that you may end up seeing in the NFL someday. Toledo's Bruce Gradowski and UTEP's Jordan Palmer love to light up the scoreboard. And both defenses tend to allow that to happen.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Gradowski could be the next great MAC quarterback in the NFL.
FACTS: UTEP head coach Mike Price will be coaching in Alabama for the first time since getting fired after the entire "stripper" scandal a few years ago. Jordan Palmer is the little brother of the Bengals' Carson Palmer.
SPORTZ PICK: UTEP. It's a magical year for the Palmers....and the Miners defense is a bit better than the Rockets.
MATCHUP: BYU v California
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: A team full of Mormons in Las Vegas for a week. Classic!!!
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: BYU QB John Beck. He may be a name to remember in the future.
FACTS: Cal is still the last team to beat USC. That should count for something! This thing used to be the California Bowl before moving to Vegas.
SPORTZ PICK: California. BYU's defense just isn't very good....and maybe Cal can take advantage of that.
MATCHUP: Colorado State v Navy
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Navy try run the football down the Rams' throats. Colorado State has one of the nation's worst run defenses.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Navy QB Lamar Owens leads the Navy option attack.
FACTS: CSU won't underestimate playing an academy...as they deal with Air Force every year. Also, Navy is traveling from Maryland all the way to San Diego....where there will be quite a contigent of Naval fans at the game. This is the first ever Poinseitta Bowl. And I award this bowl as the Worst Sponsorship: San Diego Credit Union. Yikes!
SPORTZ PICK: Navy. Dude...the best running team against one of the worst!!
MATCHUP: Houston v Kansas
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Houston's high octane offense against Kansas' tough nosed defense.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Houston QB Kevin Kolb broke David Klingler's school record of total yards.
FACTS: Houston hasn't won a bowl game since the Garden State Bowl in 1980.
SPORTZ PICK: Houston. I think their defense can hold up the Jayhawks' offense. Oh, and cuz the game is in Texas.
MATCHUP: Central Florida v Nevada
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: A bunch of grown men wearing flower shirts and leis while you are freezing your butt off waitingto open presents. Oh, and Nevada run the football with BJ Mitchell and Robert Hubbard.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Nevada's Mitchell led the Western Athletic Conference in rushing.
FACTS: UCF is making their first bowl appearance....all the more amazing since they lost every game in 2004. Nevada has played in 5 bowl games....including the 1947 Salad Bowl. Yeah.
SPORTZ PICK: Nevada. They can run the football and UCF isn't exactly a stellar defensive team.
MATCHUP: Akron v Memphis
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: For the first time this season...two good teams at Ford Field. Also, Akron's unis look a bit too similar to the St. Louis Rams.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Memphis back DeAngelo Williams. A preseason dark horse for the Heisman will be peddling his wares in the NFL next year.
FACTS: Akron [where Charlie Frye was last year] is making their first bowl appearance.
SPORTZ PICK: Memphis. I've been a fan of Williams for a couple of years now and this is Memphis' third straight bowl game.
MATCHUP: Clemson v Colorado
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: A Colorado team that just got pasted in their last two games and have since canned their coach.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Clemson QB Charlie Whitehurst will be playing his final game for the Tigers. What, is his 10 years of eligibility up already???
FACTS: Colorado lost their last two games 30-3 to Nebraska and 70-3 to Texas. This was formerly the Tangerine Bowl.
SPORTZ PICK: Clemson. Colorado is in shambles and are just trying to hold this thing together until the next semester starts. Clemson has lost 2 games in overtime and their 2 other games by an average of 2.5 pts. ACC baby!
MATCHUP: Arizona State v Rutgers
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Arizona State basically playing a home game.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: ASU wideout Derek Hagan.
FACTS: This will be Rutgers first bowl game in 27 years. And they need to perform well for the betterment of the Big East conference. The university is giving $300 stipends to students who want to make the trip to Tempe. This thing used to be the Copper Bowl a long while back.
SPORTZ PICK: Arizona State. Hey, they are at home.
MATCHUP: Boise State v Boston College
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: That ugly blue turf. Probably some snowflakes. Dan Hawkins final game as coach of BSU [he's heading to Colorado]. And me wondering why there is a bowl game in Idaho.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: QB Jared Zabransky hasn't had the great season at Boise as many hoped.
FACTS: Boise State has won 31 straight games at this stadium. Boston College has won 5 straight bowl games. BC got the first disadvantage from being an ACC member...as the southern bowls all passed on BC to take a closer draw. This used to be the Humanitarian Bowl.
SPORTZ PICK: Boise State. They are just sooo good at home. On that blue turf. And in the cold.
MATCHUP: Michigan v Nebraska
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Two of the greatest programs in the history of college football on the same field for the first time in 20 years. Two bad the teams aren't that good.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Chad Henne. The Michigan QB has gotten a lot of grief this year but he's turned in quite a nice effort. This may be a game that launches him into the limelight of 2006.
FACTS: Michigan is the winningest program in college football history. Nebraska is #4. Nebraska has...I can't believe I am saying this...the 112th rated rushing offense in the nation.
SPORTZ PICK: Michigan. Hey, I picked this team to be in the Rose Bowl this year. So, I obviously think too highly of them.