Lets take a look at the bowl line up over the next couple of days.
Missouri 9-4 vs Northwestern 9-3
A season that began with national-championship dreams for Missouri and Heisman hopes for quarterback Chase Daniel ends in San Antonio against Northwestern, one of the Big Ten's surprise teams.
Daniel and standout wideout Jeremy Maclin face a much-improved Northwestern defense led by end Corey Wootton. Missouri makes its first appearance in the Alamo Bowl, while Northwestern heads back for the first time since 2000.
Expect Northwestern to be competitive but Missouri has way too much talent for the Wildcats to contend with.
Papa John's Bowl
Rutgers 7-5 vs NC State 6-6
Tom O'Brien has his team in a bowl game in only his second year at NC State. The former BC head coach and past finalist for the Washington job four years ago knows how to build a football program. NC State started the season off 2-6 but rallied to win it's last four games.
Rutgers is making it's fourth straight bowl appearance under head coach Greg Schiano. Rutgers was 1-5 after the first six games of it's schedule so finishing with a 7-5 record is quite the accomplishment.
What you have here is a game between two teams that most people had given up for dead midway through the season. I have to go with Rutgers in this one because of their ability to put together big plays.
Maryland 7-5 vs Nevada 7-5
Nevada coach Chris Ault has the Wolfpack bowling again against a tough ACC opponent. Keep an eye on Nevada DC Nigel Burton who formerly played at UW and coached at Oregon State. He could be on Steve Sarkisian's short list for a job at UW. Nevada averaged 510.6 yards on the season -- fifth in the nation -- and has scored 41.0 points per game since a 69-17 loss to then-No. 6 Missouri on Sept. 13.
Nevada's Colin Kaepernick the WAC offensive player of the year, passed for 2,479 yards and 19 TDs while rushing for 1,115 yards and 16 scores. This could be his national coming out party.
Maryland seemed headed for the Orange Bowl but finished the season with a 1-3 slide. QB Chris Turner threw for 2,318 yards and 11 touchdowns with 10 interceptions this season.
I expect Nevada to win this one because Maryland really doesn't want to be here. If you haven't seen the Wolf pack play lately tune in because they are a pretty good team and gave Texas Tech a big run for the money earlier this season.
Rice 9-3 vs Western Michigan 9-3
Rice hopes to win it's first bowl game since 1954. Since they are staying home in Houston chances are good they will be victorious. Rice, with nine victories for the first time since 1953, is on its longest winning streak since reeling off nine in a row en route to earning a school-record 10 victories in 1949. Rice averaged 472.3 yards a game on offense and was tied for eighth in scoring with 41.6 points per contest.
The Western Michigan Broncos compiled 422.7 yards per game of offense per game in 2008. Led by quarterback Tim Hiller the Broncos' passing offense ranked 10th in the nation (301.2). He connected often with senior receiver Jamarko Simmons whose 1,184 yards were the 10th-most in the FBS.
I have to go with the Owls in this one. The system installed by Todd Graham before he fled to Tulsa is still alive.
Oregon 9-3 vs Oklahoma State 9-3
This could be Mike Bellotti's last game as an Oregon head coach. With approximately 13 head coaching slots opening up in the NFL he could be on his way out. The Ducks were impressive in their last outting against Oregon State in the Civil War. They knocked the Beavers out of the Rose Bowl in a rout.
Oklahoma State is led on the ground by sophomore running back Kendall Hunter, who rushed for a conference-best 1,518 yards on just 228 carries and also scored 14 touchdowns. The Oklahoma State defense has given up 48.3 points per game over their last five games.
Both teams rank in the nation's top 10 in scoring with more than 41 points a game, and neither is particularly stout on defense, so expect a high scoring game with Oregon finishing up on top because of a slight edge on the defensive side of the ball.