No. 14 Russell Athletic Bowl – December 28th on ESPN at 3:45pm PT
Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) rolls out of the pocket during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
This game features two teams with high-powered passing attacks. No. 18 Louisville (11-1) brings with them one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has thrown for 3,523-yards and 28-touchdowns and ranks 5th in passing efficiency. Stephen Morris of Miami (9-3) has put up 2,868-yards through the air and tossed 21-touchdown passes. Needless to say, there will be footballs flying in Florida. Hard to believe this will be the first bowl game for Miami in three years, but that’s the fact. No question Hurricane Coach Al Golden has this team heading in the right direction and is poised to post the first 10-win season for Miami dating back to 2003. Since Louisville will be joining the ACC next year, this will be their first shot to show their new conference what they bring to the field. A win over Miami would complete a near perfect season for the Cardinal.
No. 13 Chick-Fil-A Bowl – December 31st on ESPN at 5pm PT
Nov 30, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Texas A
No 21. Texas A&M (8-4) limps into this game having lost their final two games of 2013 to nationally ranked LSU and Missouri. No. 24 Duke (10-3) put together an 8-game winning streak which was snapped in the season-ender against No. 1 Florida State. Any game featuring Heisman winner Johnny Manziel is worth the price of admission. There may not be a more exciting player in the college game today. The Blue Devils have folks in North Carolina talking about something other than hoops when the topic of Duke comes up. They feature a balanced offense and hope to top the school record of 10-wins they set this year by adding one more under the ‘W’ column. Playing in arguably the toughest division in college football, the SEC West, the Aggies are more than prepared to ring in the new year with their 9th win.
No. 12 National University Holiday Bowl – December 30th on ESPN at 7:15pm PT
Sep 21, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Kenny Williams (34) rushes against the Texas State Bobcats in the first half at Jones AT
No. 14 Arizona State (10-3) fell short of their goal to reach the Rose Bowl in 2013, but are unlikely to have an emotional let down if fiery Coach Todd Graham has his way. Texas Tech (7-5) exploded out of the starting blocks this season winning their first seven games for first year Coach Kliff Kingsbury. Playing three nationally ranked teams in their final five on the schedule, the Red Raiders failed to produce another victory. There’s good reason the Sun Devils won 10-games in 2013. They are a veteran team with NFL talent at key positions. Tech has their work cut out for them in this one. ASU averages 41-points a game and consistently holds opponents passing attacks under their norm. However, and this is a huge qualifier, the Red Raiders have sliced up defenses all year for an average of 392-yards a game. This game will likely turn on whether or not the Tech defense can get the Sun Devils into third downs. When it comes to getting their defense off the field in that situation, the Red Raiders are one of the best at forcing opponents into fourth down. A pair of excellent teams led by creative and emotional coaches is the formula for a great football game.