Like a smorgasbord, the bowl season is upon us.
And like a smorgasbord, not all the football is good but, hey, at least there's a lot of it.
So, while you're decking the halls, shopping in the malls and making holiday calls, it will be hard to forget there's also a lot of football. Here's a rundown of the 35 postseason matchups:
NEW MEXICO BOWL
Temple (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-4)
When: Dec. 17, 2 p.m. EST/ESPN
The buzz: Wyoming is one of the better bounce-back stories in the nation, as the Cowboys were 3-9 last season. Temple's Steve Addazio is one of 12 first-year coaches to have led to his team to a bowl.
The line: Temple by 7
The pick: Temple 23-20
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO
Ohio (9-4) vs. Utah State (7-5)
Where: Boise, Idaho
When: Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: This is Utah State's first bowl appearance since 1997, when John L. Smith was coach. (Smith was named coach at FCS member Weber State last week.) Ohio lost on a last-play field goal in the MAC title game.
The line: Utah State by 2.5
The pick: Ohio 38-34
Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) vs. San Diego State (8-4)
Where: New Orleans
When: Dec. 17, 9 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: This is the first-ever bowl appearance for ULL, whose fans snapped up the Ragin' Cajuns' allotment of tickets in less than a week. ULL is guaranteed just its second winning season since 1995. San Diego State is making its second consecutive bowl appearance, but this is just the Aztecs' third bid in the past 20 years.
The line: San Diego State by 4.5
The pick: San Diego State 34-28
BEEF 'O' BRADY'S
Florida International (8-4) vs. Marshall (6-6)
Where: St. Petersburg, Fla.
When: Dec. 20, 8 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: FIU is making its second consecutive bowl appearance, not bad considering the school didn't begin playing football until 2002 and didn't join the FBS ranks until 2006. That makes you wonder how much longer coach Mario Cristobal is going to be at FIU.
The line: FIU by 3.5
The pick: FIU 23-17
Louisiana Tech (8-4) vs. TCU (10-2)
Where: San Diego
When: Dec. 21, 8 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: TCU won the Mountain West, and Louisiana Tech – coached by Sonny Dykes, the son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes – is the WAC champ. Tech is looking for its first nine-win season since 1997, when Gary Crowton was coach.
The line: TCU by 10
The pick: TCU 34-21
Boise State (11-1) vs. Arizona State (6-6)
Where: Las Vegas
When: Dec. 22, 8 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: Had Dan Goodale made a 39-yard field goal on the final play of the game against TCU, Boise State would be unbeaten and likely getting ready for the national title game. Alas, for the second season in a row, a Boise kicker missed a makeable field goal at the end of a game and Boise again is relegated to the Las Vegas Bowl.
The line: Boise State by 14
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