Little Caesar's Bowl:
Marshall vs. Ohio
Why you should spend this time decorating your Christmas tree:
Both teams do not do any one thing particularly well, collectively ranking 78th (Marshall) and 98th (Ohio) in total offense. Ohio has been quite a surprise this season, led by the stellar play of QB Theo Scott, who threw for 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. However, aside from Scott, Ohio does not have much of an offense, and Marshall has lost 4 of their last 6 games. Throw in the fact that Marshall head coach Mark Snyder resigned following the last regular season game after putting together a decent season, and we can forgive you if you happen to miss this one. Ohio has been awful against the run, and that will mean a big day for the Thundering Herd's RB Darius Marshall who is back after missing games due to an ankle injury. Although the Bobcats' offense started to gel late in the year, I have to give the edge to Marshall on this one ... lets say, 24-20.
Northern Illinois vs. USF
Make sure and tune-in off and on, this one may be exciting
After disappointing finishes for both of these squads, this Bowl game looks to serve as the one smooth patch of pavement for the winner, at the end of a rocky road. After starting the season 5-0, South Florida hit the wall to finish at just 7-5. Now they will be facing a MAC team that also finished 7-5, and lost out on a shot at the MAC title, by losing their final two games. The upside? This International Bowl won't be miserable. Northern Illinois is 17th in the nation in rushing yards per game at 202.4, so keep an eye on RB Chad Spann as he looks to have another breakout game. USF QB B.J. Daniels has also put up decent numbers, and does a good job getting some wins when the Bulls punch up the score. Both teams have much success when scoring over 30 and over 40 a game, so USF will be favored if they can control the clock and spend most of the day in the endzone. USF 38 ... NIU 24
New Mexico Bowl:
Fresno State vs. Wyoming
If you've got nothing better to do...
This one could be over quickly. Fresno State is a powerhouse offensively, ranking 19th in the nation in total offense, 7th in rushing yards per game, and 15th in points per game. They also boast the nation's leader in average rushing yards per game with RB Ryan Mathews, and have one 7 of their last 8 games.The plus-side for Wyoming? They're in a bowl. Head coach Dave Christensen is the only first year Mountain West coach to get his team into a bowl. Another plus? Fresno State is horrendous against the run, one of the nation's worst, but Wyoming has virtually no offense at all. Mathews should have a field day against a Wyoming rushing defense that allows 170.5 yards per game, so if he starts to break out early, go ahead and change the channel. Fresno State 35 ... Wyoming 13