The pick: Boise State 38-17
Nevada (7-5) vs. Southern Miss (11-2)
When: Dec. 24, 8 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: Southern Miss doesn't have a coach, the athletic director is retiring at the end of the month and fans are upset that the Conference USA champ is headed to Hawaii. Still, the Golden Eagles do have some players, and if they show up ready to play, they will beat the Wolf Pack.
The line: Southern Miss by 6
The pick: Southern Miss 34-24
Missouri (7-5) vs. North Carolina (7-5)
Where: Shreveport, La.
When: Dec. 26, 5 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: Neither team was quite as good as it should've been, but that just adds some intrigue to this matchup. The potential exists for a close and exciting game if both teams are motivated.
The line: Missouri by 5
The pick: North Carolina 28-24
LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA
Purdue (6-6) vs. Western Michigan (7-5)
When: Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: This is just the fifth bowl in its history for Western Michigan, whose campus in Kalamazoo is about two hours from Ford Field, the venue for this game. Can Purdue cover Western Michigan WR Jordan White, who leads the nation in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,646) and is second in TD catches (16)? And can Western block Purdue DT Kawann Short, who has 6.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss?
The line: Purdue by 2
The pick: Western Michigan 35-31
Louisville (7-5) vs. North Carolina State (7-5)
When: Dec. 27, 8 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: We don't want to say that this is a boring matchup, but given that Belk is a department store, perhaps those with tickets can exchange them for a sweater or some shoes. NC State is 93rd nationally in total offense – but the Wolfpack are Patriots-esque when compared to Louisville (104th).
The line: NC State by 3
The pick: Louisville 20-17
Air Force (7-5) vs. Toledo (8-4)
Where: Washington, D.C.
When: Dec. 28, 4:30 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: Both offenses are potent and neither defense is that good. For an afternoon kickoff on a Wednesday, then, this has some potential.
The line: Toledo by 3
The pick: Toledo 37-31
California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5)
Where: San Diego
When: Dec. 28, 8 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: A Texas loss would give the Longhorns their 13th loss in the past two seasons; that would be the worst two-season span since 1988 and '89. Cal has won eight of its past 11 bowl games, including a 5-2 record under coach Jeff Tedford.
The line: Texas by 3
The pick: California 24-17
Florida State (8-4) vs. Notre Dame (8-4)
When: Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m./ESPN
The buzz: Florida State opened the season in the top 10, but a loss to the Irish means the Seminoles will finish outside the top 25. The Irish have won their past two bowl games, but that is on the heels of a nine-game bowl losing streak.
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