NCAA College Football Bowl Games Thread: Saturday, December 17, 2011

After three months of some fairly thrilling college football, the season resets and bowl season officially gets going. Through the next three weeks we will have open threads for each of the 18 days of bowl season. Some days we will have multiple threads (see January 2), and other days like today we will have a single thread.

Plenty of people are pure college football fans and will be looking to discuss the games. However, with the 2012 NFL Draft a little over four months away, we will also use these threads to help provide some players to watch in the bowl games. The 49ers have a variety of needs, so there will be host of positions to follow.

The bowl season kicks off with three bowls today. Temple and Wyoming meet in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Ohio and Utah State meet in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and San Diego State and Louisiana-Lafayette meet in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

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Temple vs. Wyoming - New Mexico Bowl

The bowl season gets going with a game that might be a prototypical random bowl. Temple and Wyoming meet for the second time ever in New Mexico. If one sentence ever summed something up, that might be it.

Temple running back Bernard Pierce appears to be the top prospect in this game, with a few additional later round prospects, primarily playing for Temple. If the 49ers consider a guard in the later rounds, it sounds like Derek Dennis could be an interesting late round option.

Kickoff time and networks:

Time: 2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PST
Television: ESPN/ESPN3.com
Radio: ESPN Radio

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Ohio vs. Utah State - Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

I believe this used to be the Humanitarian Bowl, played on the Smurf Turf in Boise. This one features another running back prospect in Utah State's Robert Turbin. Utah State outside linebacker Bobby Wagner and Ohio wide receiver LaVonn Brazill are notable as well.

Kickoff time and networks:

Time: 5:30 PM ET/2:30 PM PST
Television: ESPN/ESPN3.com
Radio: ESPN Radio

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Louisiana-Lafayette vs. San Diego State - R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

The Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette will be making their first ever appearance in bowl game and it will be in a de facto home game as they face the San Diego State Aztecs in New Orleans. It is worth noting that ESPN 3D will be airing this game as well, so if you have a 3D TV (I do not), check that out.

There do not appear to big name prospects in this game, but there is some talent we could see a bit later in the draft and in the days following the draft as undrafted free agents. Some potential UDFAs include guys like ILB Miles Burris and WR Javone Lawson. SDSU QB Ryan Lindley is a possible late round pick and while the 49ers probably will not draft a quarterback, it is still worth keeping an eye on them.

Kickoff time and networks:

Time: 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PST
Television: ESPN/ESPN3D/ESPN3.com
Radio: ESPN Radio

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