Doubleheaders over the next two days highlight a college football bowl season that is about to steamroll its way into 2012. For the next five days, there will be multiple games each day, culminating with five match ups on New Year’s Eve. Here’s a look at the next four matches on the slate.
Tuesday, Dec. 27: Little Ceaser’s Bowl, 4:30PM
Western Michigan (7-5) v. Purdue (6-6)
$5 Hot and Readys for both teams as they face off at the Little Ceaser’s Bowl in Detroit. Nothing says college life like some freshly-delivered pizza, so why shouldn’t this franchise sponsor a bowl game pitting a Big-10 squad against a MAC foe.
How WMU Got Here: In their first bowl appearance since ’08, the Broncos get to stay within state lines after going undefeated at home. All-American WR Jordan White was one of the nation’s leading receiver, putting up 127 catches and 16 TDs. After going toe-to-toe in losses with Big-10 Big-1G foes Michigan and Illinois this September, QB Alex Carder and the Broncos should be ready for the Boilers.
How Purdue Got Here: 3rd-year coach Danny Hope gets his first bowl appearance at Purdue thanks to a pair of November victories that got the Boilers to .500 in the conference. Four years ago, Purdue went to this same bowl game, winning a crazy 51-48 thriller over Central Michigan.
Tuesday, Dec. 27: Belk Bowl, 8PM
Louisville (7-5) v. North Carolina State (7-5)
Wednesday, 12/28: Military Bowl, 4:30PM
Toledo (8-4) v. Air Force (7-5)
Played at RFK Stadium in DC, this game has only been around four years, and was known as the EagleBank Bowl up until this season. Tim Beckman, who has been head coach at Toledo the last three years, is nowhere to be found, as he has accepted the head job at Illinois.
How Toledo Got Here: An offense that averaged over 42 points/game, including 53+ in November, will try to put an exclamation point on a season that saw the Rockets go 7-1 in MAC play. Excitement hasn’t been a problem this year for Toledo, as the Rockets played games over the last month that have ended in scores of 63-60 and 66-63.
How Air Force Got Here: One of the nation’s last triple option offenses, the Falcons averaged over 320 yards/game on the ground this year while winning four of their last five. Air Force finds themselves in their fifth strait bowl under Troy Calhoun, but failed to beat any FBS teams with a winning record in 2011.
Wednesday, 12/28: Holiday Bowl, 8PM
California (7-5) v. Texas (7-5)
The Longhorns have came to San Diego and conquered the Holiday twice in the last 10 years, but this year Mack Brown meets Jeff Tedford in a match-up of coaches that have lost some of their auras of invincibility over the past few seasons. The Golden Bears were also a part of the Holiday Bowl in 2004 and ’06, beating Texas A&M in 2006 when Marshawn Lynch wore a Cal uniform.
How Cal Got Here: Three November wins put Cal back on track after a 4-4 start, giving Tedford his 8th bowl in 10 seasons at Cal. LB Mychal Kendricks was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, helping the Bears hang tough after a rough mid-season stretch that saw them lose four of five.
How Texas Got Here: You knew the Longhorns weren’t going to go two strait years without a bowl, but the 7-5 finish has to be modestly disappointing to a fan base that has been used to consistent BCS berths. Late-season attrition at the running back position was one reason for Texas losing three of their last four, but an anemic passing offense also played a part, and Texas will play their first bowl game since losing in the national title game two years ago.
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Category: College Sports