Now that the bowl matchups are set, here is a summary of the best of the non-BCS games.
Las Vegas Bowl
Fresno State vs. USC (Dec. 21, 3:30 ABC): This is one of the more intriguing bowl games as Fresno State’s David Carr will take on a legit defense. Considering Carr’s status as an NFL prospect and Fresno State’s near-perfect season, this is a game worth paying for. It could be Carr’s big selling point to the NFL. You have to wonder if the Trojans will be up for a bowl game played 10 days before the New Year.
Notre Dame vs. Rutgers (Dec. 28, Noon, ESPN): Notre Dame playing in Yankee Stadium? The Fighting Irish will be the big draw. But Rutgers should have no problems with that. Just playing Notre Dame in a major venue on national TV is enough to make the Rutgers’ higher ups happy.
Russell Athletic Bowl
Louisville vs. Miami (Dec. 28, 6:45, ESPN): Its show time for Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is viewed as one of the top quarterback prospects in college. Miami took a considerable nosedive, dropping three in a row in November, but nothing would be better for the Cardinals to knock off one of college football’s traditional power programs.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Kansas State vs. Michigan (Dec. 28, 10:15, ESPN): Why does this game rate? It’s the first time these two schools have ever played.It could be a blowout. Then again, maybe not. But anytime two programs with history play each other for the first time it's usually worth a look.
Oregon vs. Texas (Dec. 30, 6:45, ESPN): Most believe Texas coach Mack Brown saved his job with a strong second half. If that didn’t, a win against Oregon would probably seal the deal. Then again, if Nick Saban decides he needs a new challenge, Brown may need to win big.
Boston College vs. Arizona (Dec. 31, 12:30 ESPN): It will be Boston College RB Andre Williams against Arizona’s top rusher Ka’Deem Cherry, two potential NFL prospects. It should be fun.
UCLA vs. Virginia Tech (Dec. 31, 2:00, CBS): This could be the game that puts UCLA QB Brett Hundley firmly on the NFL radar. If the sophomore QB can best Virginia Tech’s vaunted defense, he will be on his way.
Texas A&M vs. Duke (Dec. 31, 8:00, ESPN): This could be Johnny Manziel’s final calling card. And there’s no doubt he will want to go out with a bang. If Duke plays with the just-happy-to-be-here attitude, Manziel could have a career day.
Capital One Bowl
South Carolina vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 1, 1:00, ABC): This could be the best of the non-BCS bowls. It could also be one of the lowest scoring non-BCS games. Both teams feature big time running attacks. Wisconsin has James White and Mel Gordon, while South Carolina features Mike Davis.