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New Mexico Bowl
Wyoming 35 vs. Fresno State 28
When: Dec 19, 2009  Where: Albuquerque, NM
Time: 4:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 For Fresno State, the Dec. 19 New Mexico Bowl against Wyoming feels less like a bowl appearance than a continuation of the regular season. The Bulldogs ended their regular season on Dec. 5 with a dramatic road victory against Illinois to earn their eight victory of the year. The bowl appearance is Fresno State's 10th in the last 11 years, including its second consecutive trip to Albuquerque. Colorado State topped Fresno State 40-35 in last year's game behind a huge effort from Rams running back Gartrell Johnson…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



St. Petersburg Bowl
Rutgers 45 vs. Central Florida 24
When: Dec 19, 2009  Where: St. Petersburg, FL
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 Rutgers is not yet at a stage where it gets blase over second-tier bowl games. It might be getting close. The St. Petersburg Bowl wouldn't have been the Scarlet Knights' first pick of destinations a month ago, but most fans would have taken that and been grateful following the season-opening loss to Cincinnati. It's a good result from a young team that starts a true freshman at quarterback, and a poor result from a team that, at its best, looked capable of doing more…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



New Orleans Bowl
Middle Tennessee State 42 vs. Southern Miss 32
When: Dec 20, 2009  Where: New Orleans, LA
Time: 8:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 When Southern Miss faces Middle Tennessee at the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 20, the Golden Eagles' fans might not be the only bystanders to the action inside the Superdome. Head coach Larry Fedora is so exasperated with his troubled kicking unit that he suggested he might keep those players on the sidelines. "I don't know what the answer is yet," Fedora told the Hattiesburg American. "Obviously, we haven't got it yet. We're not doing a very good job, obviously. I'm contemplating a lot of different things. We may not even send that unit out there. I don't know. We'll see…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



MAACO Bowl
(18) Oregon State 20 vs. (14) BYU 44
When: Dec 22, 2009  Where: Las Vegas, NV
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 In winning five consecutive bowl games, Oregon State has done very well at combining the desire for a positive culmination to the season along with taking a step toward next season. What better way for the 8-4 Beavers to finish 2009 and begin 2010 than beat BYU in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas? A win would lessen the disappointment of a loss in the regular-season finale to Oregon. That loss denied the Beavers their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 45 years…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Poinsettia Bowl
(23) Utah 37 vs. California 27
When: Dec 23, 2009  Where: San Diego, CA
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 If the Utes have a secret formula for their recent bowl success, they aren't revealing it. Utah (9-3) looks for its third 10-win season in the past six years when it faces California (8-4) in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Utes are also seeking to extend the nation's longest bowl winning streak, which stands at eight games. "I think it's the players work ethic and the way the approach the bowl," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham told the Deseret Morning News. "It's a reward, but at the same time, they view it as an opportunity to win another game…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Hawaii Bowl
Nevada 10 vs. SMU 45
When: Dec 24, 2009  Where: Honolulu, HI
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 Nevada is looking to snap several streaks when it takes on Southern Methodist in the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl. The Wolf Pack has lost its last three bowl games, and current SMU coach June Jones is 4-0 against the Wolf Pack in Honolulu, a stat that dates back to his days as Hawaii's head coach. Since Nevada's regular season ended with a 44-33 loss at Boise State, much has been written in the local media about the Wolf Pack's inability to win big games. Though this game is not exactly huge, it would certainly help if coach Chris Ault and the Wolf Pack…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Ohio 17 vs. Marshall 21
When: Dec 26, 2009  Where: Detroit, MI
Time: 1:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 The Bobcats have plenty of incentive heading into the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Ohio (9-4) is seeking a 10th win this season, which would tie a program record. The Bobcats, 0-3 all-time in bowl games, are also looking for the first postseason win in program history. In those terms, Ohio's spot in the Dec. 26 game at Detroit's Ford Field means a lot for a program that has not enjoyed much success over the past 40 years…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Meineke Car Care Bowl
North Carolina 17 vs. (17) Pittsburgh 19
When: Dec 26, 2009  Where: Charlotte, NC
Time: 4:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 Don't tell Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt winning isn't everything. A little more than a week ago he was thinking of a Big East championship -- that title brings a trophy and a trip to the Sugar or Orange Bowl -- payback for the long, hard stretch of trail it took to reach that fork in the road. It all went swirling down the drain by the slimmest of margins. West Virginia beat the Panthers in the Backyard Brawl on a last-second field goal and then Cincinnati roared by from a 21-point deficit…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Emerald Bowl
Boston College 13 vs. (24) Southern Cal 24
When: Dec 26, 2009  Where: San Francisco, CA
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 With the way USC played down the stretch of the season -- losing three of its last five games, sputtering on offense and lacking apparent emotion in the regular-season finale against Arizona -- this might not be the best time for coach Pete Carroll to be making guarantees. But Carroll is always pumped up, and he just might be able to pass on his evergreen enthusiasm as the Trojans step down to the Emerald Bowl against Boston College after several years of being in the national championship discussion…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Music City Bowl
Kentucky 13 vs. Clemson 21
When: Dec 27, 2009  Where: Nashville, TN
Time: 8:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 If the folks who run the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl really want a night's entertainment from Clemson and Kentucky, they should arrange to forget about plays from scrimmage and just let the two fight it out on special teams. The teams that will meet Dec. 27 in Nashville both feature electrifying return games. For Clemson, C.J. Spiller is fourth in the country in kickoff returns, averaging 34 yards an attempt. He has run back four for touchdowns. For Kentucky, Derrick Locke is averaging just under 30 yards per return and ranks eighth in the country. He has a 100-yard run-back for a score…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Independence Bowl
Texas A&M 20 vs. Georgia 44
When: Dec 28, 2009  Where: Shreveport, LA
Time: 5:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN2
 After a coaching staff shakeup, Georgia players and coaches needed a few days to decompress before preparing for Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl. But the Bulldogs (7-5) returned to practice eager to finish an up-and-down season on a positive note. "It was good to where we had the long break to get our minds right mentally refocusing and to kind of let that time pass where we were still down about coaches being gone," linebacker Rennie Curran said. "We were able to just get away from football a little bit, just relax, get our bodies back right and get back into the weight room…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



EagleBank Bowl
UCLA 30 vs. Temple 21
When: Dec 29, 2009  Where: Washington, DC
Time: 4:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 For the first time in 30 years, Temple is going to a bowl game, the EagleBank Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 29. Al Golden's Owls (9-3) will face up-and-down UCLA (6-6 in 2009) in the bowl game. The extremely young, but talented Bruins opened the season with three straight wins, then dropped five in a row before rebounding to win three of its final four games. In addition to matching teams from the East and West Coasts, the matchup features an interesting storyline in that Temple coach Al Golden interviewed for the Bruins' head coaching job back in December 2007 before UCLA's powers-that-be ultimately chose Rick Neuheisel instead…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Champs Sports Bowl
(15) Miami 14 vs. (25) Wisconsin 20
When: Dec 29, 2009  Where: Orlando, FL
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 The consensus is that when a team from the South takes on one from the Midwest, the former has the advantage in speed, the latter in size. Miami coach Randy Shannon, whose Hurricanes take on Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 29, takes issue with that. "Everybody recruits speed," Shannon said when he and Wisconsin's Bret Bielema attended an early bowl press conference in Orlando. "It's not going to be a situation where we're going to be faster than those guys or they're going to be faster than us…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Humanitarian Bowl
Idaho 43 vs. Bowling Green 42
When: Dec 30, 2009  Where: Boise, ID
Time: 4:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 Bowling Green and Idaho posted 7-5 records under first-year coaches, and their reward is a matchup in the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30. However, the two teams got there in different manners. At one point Idaho was 6-1, but it lost four of its last five games. In those four defeats, the Vandals allowed an average of 54 points a game, including 70 points to Nevada and 63 to Boise State. Meanwhile, Bowling Green was 1-4 early in the season and needed to close out strong to become bowl-eligible. The Falcons went 4-0 in November and got to 7-5 with a 38-24 win over rival Toledo in the season finale…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Holiday Bowl
(22) Nebraska 33 vs. (20) Arizona 0
When: Dec 30, 2009  Where: San Diego, CA
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 This is a rematch of the 1998 Holiday Bowl, won by Arizona, 23-20. This is Nebraska's first trip to the Holiday Bowl since that game, a destination earned after a Big 12 Conference North Division championship and narrow 13-12 loss to Texas in the Big 12 Championship. The Holiday Bowl chose Arizona from three teams tied for second in the Pac-10. The Wildcats ended the regular season with a 21-17 victory at USC. This will be only the third meeting between the Huskers and Wildcats…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Armed Forces Bowl
Air Force 47 vs. Houston 20
When: Dec 31, 2009  Where: Fort Worth, TX
Time: 12:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 Houston and Air Force will meet for the third time in the past 16 months in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars, ranked 25th in the coaches poll, will return to the postseason game, which will be played Dec. 31 at TCU's Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the fifth straight bowl game for Houston and a rematch of last year's Armed Forces Bowl, won by Houston, 34-28. It was UH's first bowl victory in 28 years…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Sun Bowl
(21) Stanford 27 vs. Oklahoma 31
When: Dec 31, 2009  Where: El Paso, TX
Time: 2:00 PM EST  TV: CBS
 Cal's loss vaulted Stanford into the Sun Bowl spot, which goes to the third-place Pac-10 team. This is Stanford's third trip the Sun Bowl, and it is 2-0 in that game, beating LSU 24-14 in 1977 when Bill Walsh was Stanford's coach and beating Michigan State 38-0 in 1996 when Tyrone Willingham was the Cardinal's head coach and Nick Saban was the coach of the Spartans. That was also the last time Stanford won a bowl game, losing its two subsequent postseason games…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Texas Bowl
Missouri 13 vs. Navy 35
When: Dec 31, 2009  Where: Houston, TX
Time: 3:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 The Tigers are 2-0 all-time against the Midshipmen and last played them in the 1961 Orange Bowl when Dan Devine's MU team held off Navy and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino 21-14. This time around, the Tigers might not be thrilled playing in the Big 12's last bowl slot, but they'll be tested against one of the country's most electric running teams…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Insight Bowl
Minnesota 13 vs. Iowa State 14
When: Dec 31, 2009  Where: Tempe, AZ
Time: 6:00 PM EST  TV: NFL Network
 This is Minnesota's second consecutive trip to the Insight Bowl and the program's third in four years. Minnesota's making its 14th bowl appearance, its ninth in 11 seasons. The Gophers own a 22-2-1 record in 25 contests against the Cyclones. Few in the college football world expected Iowa State make the postseason - the Cyclones won only five games the last two seasons - and have a chance to pick up a win against a Minnesota squad that's lost four of its last six games…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Chick-Fil-A Bowl
(11) Virginia Tech 37 vs. Tennessee 14
When: Dec 31, 2009  Where: Atlanta, GA
Time: 7:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 The schools are less than four hours apart, but they haven't met since the 1994 Gator Bowl, a 45-23 Vols win behind freshman QB Peyton Manning. Tennessee is returning to the bowl scene after sitting out last year. The Hokies are in their 17th consecutive bowl game and are shooting for a sixth straight 10-win season. UT is returning to the bowl scene after sitting out last year. The Hokies are in their 17th straight bowl game and are shooting for a sixth straight 10-win season…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Outback Bowl
Northwestern 35 vs. Auburn 38
When: Jan 1, 2010  Where: Tampa Bay, FL
Time: 11:00 AM EST  TV: ESPN
 Nobody really expected either of these teams to be in this game as the regular season ended, but here they are in what's expected to be a showcase of two offenses that are unique when compared to the rest in their respective conferences. Both teams like to spread it out, but that's where the similarities end. Auburn would prefer to beat you with its pounding running game that includes a bunch of misdirection plays and reverses. Northwestern is just fine with passing it to pick up first downs. Hitting 30 points in this game might not equal a guaranteed victory…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Capital One Bowl
(13) Penn State 19 vs. (12) LSU 17
When: Jan 1, 2010  Where: Orlando, FL
Time: 1:00 PM EST  TV: ABC
 Two teams who had high hopes coming into the season but couldn't get it done in their biggest conference games will square off with conference bragging rights on the line. The Nittany Lions have only faced the Tigers once - a 16-9 win in the 1974 Orange Bowl. This will be LSU's 10th consecutive bowl appearance and the third in the Capital One Bowl. The Tigers split the other two, losing to Iowa in the final seconds in 2005 and beating Wake Forest in the 1979 game, when it was called the Tangerine Bowl…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Gator Bowl
(16) West Virginia 21 vs. Florida State 33
When: Jan 1, 2010  Where: Jacksonville, FL
Time: 1:00 PM EST  TV: CBS
 Once the Gator Bowl officials learned Bobby Bowden was going to retire, they promised FSU officials the Seminoles would be invited to this game, despite a 6-6 record. It's now a blockbuster game for the Gator Bowl in the farewell for an iconic figure like Bowden, going against the program he once helped elevate. Bowden spent 10 seasons at WVU, including the final six (1970-75) as the Mountaineers head coach. In addition, the Seminoles next head coach, Jimbo Fisher, grew up in Clarksburg, W.Va., and offensive line coach Rick Trickett grew up in Masontown, W.Va., so this game will have emotional ties galore…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Rose Bowl
(7) Oregon 17 vs. (8) Ohio State 26
When: Jan 1, 2010  Where: Pasadena, CA
Time: 4:30 PM EST  TV: ABC
 It only took 52 years, but this will be a rematch of the 1958 Rose Bowl, won by Ohio State 10-7. Chances are that will be the score of this year's game midway through the first quarter. The Pac-10 has won the past five Rose Bowl matchups against the Big Ten, whose last victory came in the 2000 game, when Wisconsin beat Stanford 17-9. SC has held a stranglehold on the Rose Bowl for so long, it's strange to see another Pac-10 team in Pasadena on New Year's Day. The Buckeyes are making their first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1996 season, while Oregon is appearing for the first time since the 1994 season…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Sugar Bowl
(3) Cincinnati 24 vs. (5) Florida 51
When: Jan 1, 2010  Where: New Orleans, LA
Time: 8:30 PM EST  TV: FOX
 Cincinnati is making its first appearance in the Sugar Bowl, Florida its eighth. It's the second meeting between the two schools. The Bearcats lost 48-17 to Florida on Oct. 20, 1984 in Gainesville. UC is the first Big East Conference team to play in the Sugar Bowl since West Virginia defeated Georgia in 2006. Big East teams are 3-3 all time in the Sugar Bowl. It's the Bearcats second consecutive New Years Day appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game. UC lost to Virginia Tech in last year's Orange Bowl. The Sugar Bowl isn't where Florida wanted to end its season. But while a loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game cost them a chance at a national title, the Gators should be fired up for Tim Tebow's last hurrah. Cincinnati, on the other hand, is dealing with the disappointment of losing head coach Brian Kelly to Notre Dame. Interim head coach Jeff Quinn will lead the Bearcats who are decided underdogs…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



International Bowl
South Florida 27 vs. Northern Illinois 3
When: Jan 2, 2010  Where: Toronto, Canada
Time: 12:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN2
 USF will be making its fifth consecutive bowl appearance and is 2-2 in the previous four appearances. The Bulls will be going for consecutive postseason wins for the first time after beating Memphis in last season's St. Petersburg Bowl. The Huskies will play in their fourth bowl game in six years. The Bulls earned their fifth bowl invite in their program history. The two teams have met in the regular season twice, with the series knotted at one apiece…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Cotton Bowl Classic
(19) Oklahoma State 7 vs. Mississippi 21
When: Jan 2, 2010  Where: Dallas, TX
Time: 2:00 PM EST  TV: FOX
 Six years have passed since Oklahoma State last played in the Cotton Bowl and this pairing gives the Cowboys a rematch after falling 31-29 against Ole Miss in 2003. This is the first Cotton Bowl to be played in new Cowboys Stadium. Both teams are coming off losses against in-state rivals, Oklahoma State to Oklahoma and Ole Miss to Mississippi State. Each club also began the season ranked in the top 10, with hopes for winning conference crowns or at least busting into the BCS with at-large berths. Ole Miss even climbed to No. 4 before tumbling against South Carolina on Sept. 24. The Rebels feature a dangerous threat in the backfield in RB Dexter McCluster, who rushed for 282 yards against Tennessee…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Papajohns.com Bowl
Connecticut 20 vs. South Carolina 7
When: Jan 2, 2010  Where: Birmingham,AL
Time: 2:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 For a lesser-tier bowl, this is an intriguing matchup between a couple BCS programs trying to climb the ladder in their respective conferences. UConn earned a berth by winning its final three games, including dramatic victories over Notre Dame and South Florida. South Carolina ended a three-game losing streak with an impressive win over Clemson in its season finale. This will be the first meeting between the programs…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Liberty Bowl
East Carolina 17 vs. Arkansas 20
When: Jan 2, 2010  Where: Memphis, TN
Time: 5:30 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 This will be the fourth appearance for the Razorbacks in the Liberty Bowl but their first since 1987, when they lost 20-17 to Georgia. Interestingly, their other two appearances also were against SEC teams - in 1971 against Tennessee (a 14-13 loss) and in 1984 against Auburn (a 21-15 loss). The Razorbacks were members of the old Southwest Conference at that time. The Pirates are 8-7 all-time in bowl games, but have lost three of their last four. The Razorbacks are making their 37th bowl appearance and first under head coach Bobby Petrino. This is their fourth trip to the Liberty Bowl (1971, 1984 and 1987). Arkansas has won four of its last five games and ECU brings a four-game winning streak to Memphis. This is their first meeting…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Alamo Bowl
Texas Tech 41 vs. Michigan State 31
When: Jan 2, 2010  Where: San Antonio, TX
Time: 9:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 Texas Tech is bowl-eligible for the 16th consecutive season, while the bowl appearance is the 10th straight, all under Mike Leach. He is 5-4 in the postseason, which represents half the bowl wins for Tech, which is 10-21-1 overall. The 6-6 Spartans drew an invitation despite a recent wave of dismissals and suspensions. Michigan State will be without at least 10 players. Campus police continue to investigate a Nov. 22 altercation at a Michigan State residence hall. Not only could that prove to be a distraction, the Spartans probably don't match up favorably with the explosive Red Raiders. Since Nick Saban left as Michigan State's coach 10 years ago, the Spartans are 60-61. Over that same period, Leach has gone 84-43 as the all-time winningest coach at Texas Tech…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Fiesta Bowl
(4) TCU 10 vs. (6) Boise State 17
When: Jan 4, 2010  Where: Glendale, AZ
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: FOX
 It's hard to beat a matchup of unbeatens, the first non-national championship BCS bowl game to feature undefeated teams. A year ago, TCU handed Boise State its only loss of the season in the Poinsettia Bowl. While Boise State comes in recognized as one of the nation's top offenses, TCU has one of the best defenses. The difference could come down to the surprisingly potent TCU offense (actually ranked higher in the nation than Boise State in total offense) against a Broncos defense that is ranked 13th in the nation in total defense…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



Orange Bowl
(10) Georgia Tech 14 vs. (9) Iowa 24
When: Jan 5, 2010  Where: Miami, FL
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: FOX
 This is Iowa's first trip to the Orange Bowl in seven years and its second in the 76-year history of the bowl. It is Georgia Tech's first trip back to Miami since losing to Miami in mid-September. It is the last time the Yellow Jackets dropped a conference game. Georgia Tech makes its sixth trip to the Orange Bowl, but first since 1967. Iowa's only previous appearance came in 2003, when it lost to USC. Tech brings the nation's No. 11 offense, while Iowa boasts the No. 11 defense. Many observers believe LSU was able to shut down Tech in the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl because the Tigers had a month to prepare for Paul Johnson's option offense. Iowa will try to follow the same script. Except this year, Tech's offense is more diverse and explosive…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



GMAC Bowl
Central Michigan 44 vs. Troy 41
When: Jan 6, 2010  Where: Mobile, AL
Time: 7:00 PM EST  TV: ESPN
 The teams will play for the first time. Central Michigan is making its fourth straight bowl appearance, and it will be playing in the GMAC Bowl for the first time. The Trojans have an opportunity to further validate their Sun Belt Conference championship when they face MAC champion Central Michigan in the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6. However, it will be a difficult endeavor. "They've got a great football team," Troy coach Larry Blakeney said of the Chippewas, "but we're really looking forward to seeing how we match up with them…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown



BCS National Championship
(1) Alabama 37 vs. (2) Texas 21
When: Jan 7, 2010  Where: Pasadena, CA
Time: 8:00 PM EST  TV: ABC
 The Crimson Tide will be going for its 13th recognized national championship. However, the Tide is 0-7-1 all-time against the Longhorns. The team last met on Jan 1. 1982, when Texas scored twice in the fourth quarter to beat Alabama, 14-12, in the Cotton Bowl. Five of the eight meetings have come in bowl games. Texas claims an overwhelming advantage in previous matchups between these storied programs, leading 7-0-1. A 3-3 tie in the 1960 Bluebonnet Bowl is all that prevents a clean sweep by the Longhorns. Alabama goes into the game as the favorite after stomping Florida 32-13 in the SEC championship game…The Sports Xchange Bowl Breakdown








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