No. 29 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman – December 27th on ESPN at 11:30am PT
Dec 7, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Marshall Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato (12) passes the ball against the Rice Owls during the first half at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
The Maryland Terrapins (7-5) will play Conference USA East Division champion Marshall (9-4). Maryland began the season with a four game winning streak which placed them in the national rankings. They finished strong as well with road victories over Virginia Tech and North Carolina State. Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato is a good one, running an offense that averaged 43 points per game this season. Expect a huge turnout by Terrapins fans as this one is played just 27-miles from the Maryland campus.
No. 28 New Era Pinstripe Bowl – December 28th on ESPN at 9am PT
Nov 30, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) prepares to throw the ball against the Stanford Cardinal during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
No question this game will get a huge viewing audience with Notre Dame (8-4)taking on Rutgers (6-6) in Yankee Stadium. The Irish notched a couple of notable wins this year defeating Rose Bowl bound Michigan State and long-time rival USC. Things were pretty rocky for the Scarlet Knights this season. How bad was it? Last weekend Coach Kyle Flood cleaned house firing three of his assistant coaches. Expect to see plenty of unfamiliar names playing for Notre Dame in the second half as Coach Brian Kelly likely will get some of his young players experience before heading into the off season.
No. 27 Texas Bowl – December 27th on ESPN at 3pm PT
Nov 30, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) attempts to throw the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2nd half a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse (6-6) will travel to the Texas Bowl for the first time to play Minnesota (8-4) out of the Big Ten. Don’t be deceived by the win/loss records in this one. Three of the Orange losses came at the hands of nationally ranked opponents. On defense, Syracuse wins most of the battles at the line witnessed by their averaging over 7 tackles for a loss and nearly three sacks per game. The Golden Gophers are a program on the rise under third year Coach Jerry Kill. They were 3-9 two years ago and 6-7 the following year. A pre-season pick to finish dead last in the Big Ten Legends Division, Minnesota strung together 4 consecutive conference wins.