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Fearless bowl predictions: Dec. 27-29

Dec. 27

Little Caesars Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Purdue (-2.5), 4:30 p.m.: Purdue’s defense is going to need to show up. Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder has thrown for 3,434 yards and 28 touchdowns and wide receiver Jordan White has 127 catches for 1,646 yards and 16 touchdowns. Purdue 37, Western Michigan 35

Belk Bowl
Louisville vs. North Carolina State (-2), 8 p.m.: Louisville ended the regular season winning five of six games. North Carolina State finished by winning five of seven, including a big upset over Clemson. North Carolina State’s offense, led by quarterback Mike Glennon, will be the difference. North Carolina State 23, Louisville 17

Dec. 28

Military Bowl
Toledo vs. Air Force (+3), 4:30 p.m.: Toledo has one of the best and most balanced offenses in the country, but will be without head coach Tim Beckman, who left for the Illinois job. Air Force is going to need to control the game on the ground with its potent rushing attack (320 yards per game/second nationally). Toledo 38, Air Force 28

Holiday Bowl
California vs. No. 24 Texas (-3), 8 p.m.: Texas lost three of four to end the regular season, while California won three of four. Cal has nice some offensive players with quarterback Zach Maynard and running back Isi Sofele. But the Texas defense is better than the 48-24 loss to Baylor on Dec. 3. Getting to eight wins is important for Texas as it builds momentum for what is expected to be a bounce-back season in 2012. Texas 23, California 22

Dec. 29

Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State vs. Notre Dame (+3), 5:30 p.m.: Florida State won six of seven to end the regular season. The Seminoles’ defense has been solid, but the offense has struggled. The Irish won eight of 10 after losing their first two games of the season. The big question for Notre Dame is the quarterback spot: does Tommy Rees go back to starting after getting benched against Stanford? Florida State 24, Notre Dame 23

Alamo Bowl
Washington vs. No. 12 Baylor (-9.5), 9 p.m.: Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III should have a huge game against one of the country’s worst pass defenses. Washington has very good offensive players with quarterback Keith Price and running back Chris Polk. But it won’t be nearly enough to keep up with Griffin and one of the country’s best offenses. Baylor 44, Washington 31

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