MATCHUP: Georgia Tech v Utah
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Hardly any GT fans as another western bowl game leaves fans restless.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Tech WR Calvin Johnson. ACC fans know all about this guy....and hopefully the rest of the nation will know soon.
FACTS: In the last five years...Tech has played bowls in San Francisco, Fresno, Seattle and Boise.
SPORTZ PICK: Georgia Tech. It will be a squeaker...but the better team will win. Remember, Tech has played Miami, Georgia, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Clemson and NC State this year....and won 3 of those games.
MATCHUP: Oklahoma v Oregon
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: The 5th ranked team in the BCS playing before New Year's Eve. And you'll see a team that was in the National Championship game the last two years. The Holiday Bowl is routinely one of the most entertaining bowls to watch. NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Ducks' wideout Demetrius Williams.
FACTS: These two are scheduled to meet again next September. Oregon has never beaten the Sooners [0-5].
SPORTZ PICK: Oregon. I don't think the Ducks will fold when dumped from the BCS prom down to the Holiday Bowl. They might be just angry enough to dominate.
MATCHUP: Minnesota v Virginia
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: A solid defense [Virginia] trying to hold back one of the best run games [Minnesota].
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Gopher back Laurence Maroney was a name that was in the Heisman running early in the year. He averaged 135 yards per game.
FACTS: Minnesota is in this bowl for the 3rd time in four years.
SPORTZ PICK: Minnesota. They are the #2 team in the nation in rushing yards and will work on a defense that lost their defensive coordinator [and offensive coordinator].
MATCHUP: Northwestern v UCLA
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Maybe the highest scoring bowl game of all time. Both teams have great offenses and horrific defenses [N'western are rated the worst defense in the nation].
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: UCLA's QB Drew Olson will be a name to know in draft circles this spring. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 TDs and only 3 picks.
FACTS: Wildcats' QB Brett Basanez has thrown for over 10,000 yards. The only other active player to make that claim is Matt Leinart .
SPORTZ PICK: UCLA. Both teams will score...but there is a small outside chance that the Bruins can actually force a punt. At least one.
MATCHUP: Missouri v South Carolina
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: An increasingly better SoCarolina defense against one of the top QBs in the country. And Steve Spurrier in a lower-tier bowl [hey, it is still better than Tennessee].
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Mizz QB Brad Smith could be playing on Sundays next year.
FACTS: The Gamecocks have the 104th ranked offense. Eesh.
SPORTZ PICK: South Carolina. The Gamecocks played Georgia and Clemson tough...and beat Florida. Missouri couldn't stay on the field with either Texas or Colorado and padded their 6-5 record with wins over Arkansas St and Troy.
MATCHUP: LSU v Miami
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: The anti-Sun Bowl. This will be a defensive struggle as both are ranked in the top 5 in total defense.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Peach. This is the last time the game will be known as the Peach Bowl. Next year, it will be the Chik-fil-A Bowl. Chik-fil-A [which is based in Atlanta and a favorite of my wife] has been a title sponsor for 9 years now.
FACTS: A few weeks ago...this could've been a Sugar or Orange Bowl game. But the state of Georgia [Tech and those Dawgs] knocked them to....irony.....Atlanta. Oh, and Atlanta was the site of the SEC title game which LSU lost. LSU has won 14 of their last 18 games decided by a TD or less.
SPORTZ PICK: Miami. Miami's defense has played very well all year long...even in their two losses. And with LSU having QB issues, the Canes should roll.
MATCHUP: NC State v South Florida
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Another defensive struggle. Not just because they are great defenses...but because the offenses aren't very good.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Andre Hall. The USF back led the Big East in rushing.
FACTS: This was the Continental Tire Bowl the past couple of seasons. And the game is in Charlotte....my hometown.
SPORTZ PICK: NC State. Well, South Florida was an also ran in the C-USA last year. And the game is right down the road.
MATCHUP: Fresno State v Tulsa
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Offense. Fresno has the 5th best offense in the nation. Tulsa averages over 33 ppg.....and have scored at least 38 in their last four games.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: Canes QB Paul Hill has turned in a whale of a sophomore season. Over 2,600 yards and 19 TDs.
FACTS: Fresno gave up just 96 points in their 8 wins. However, they gave up 165 in their 4 losses....including an average of 42.7 pts during their three-game skid.
SPORTZ PICK: Fresno State. Despite their losing streak, the Bulldogs are usually one of the most lethal non-BCS conference teams.
MATCHUP: Iowa State v TCU
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: The best non-BCS conference team. And a clean fight. Both teams value the ball and don't commit many turnovers. So if someone makes one...it'll be huge.
NAME YOU SHOULD REMEMBER: You will hear TCU's Corey Rogers' name quite a bit here.
FACTS: This will be a great game for the bowl...as TCU will bring a local flair to the game with ISU not too far away.
SPORTZ PICK: TCU. The Frogs offense has gotten better as the year has progressed and the defense did a number on that offensive minded MWC.