Our first big matchup of bowl season (at least by name) is today as the #10 Oregon Ducks battle lame-duck head coach Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee (8 - 4) vs. Navy (8 - 4)
9:45am PT ESPN from Fort Worth, Texas.
Well. We start off slow this morning. Gives you a chance to settle in...drink some coffee...stretch.
Since our Navy boys have much bigger fish to fry after their football careers are over and since Middle Tennessee has only seen five players drafted in the last thirteen years...just enjoy the football game.
Franklin American Mortgage Music Bowl: Ole Miss (7 - 5) vs. Georgia Tech (7 - 5)
12:15pm PT ESPN from Nashville, Tennessee.
The second matchup of the day features two teams heading in opposite directions. Ole Miss is coming off Its best regular season since 2009 while Georgia Tech is coming off another disanointing seven win season.
Ole Miss has a lot of NFL talent on its roster and will begin making more draft noise in the coming seasons. This year, WR Donte Moncrief may be their best eligible prospect. At 6-2, 226lbs, Mocrief has the size NFL teams covet and with a 4.4 forty time he has the speed to boot.
Tech's Jeremiah Attaochu posted 10 sacks in the month of November alone including four against archrival Georgia in the regular season finale. Attaochu plays outside linebacker in Tech's 3-4 but at only 245lbs he may be looking at a move to defensive end.
Valero Alamo Bowl: #10 Oregon (10 - 2) vs. Texas (8 - 4)
3:45pm PT ESPN from San Antonio, Texas.
Two teams coming of disappointing seasons square off in the most intriguing matchup to date in the young bowl season. Texas coach Mack Brown is coaching in his final game at Texas. After 16 seasons, it figures to be an emotional one for he and his players.
Oregon will be looking to build momentum on the announcement that junior QB Mario Mariota will return for his senior season. Win or lose, the Ducks figure to start the season next year in the top four (which is important because a four team playoff begins in 2014).
A player on my early wish list is Oregon's Ifo Ikpre-Olomu. Ifo might be the top corner in the draft and as such is likely a top 10-15 pick. Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat is an above average pass rusher that will test really well at the combine. Keep an eye on Texas receiver Mike Davis. He never had a really huge season but he's the model of consistency. Davis caught at least 45 balls each of his four season at Texas.
National University Holiday Bowl: #14 Arizona State (10 - 3) vs. Texas Tech (7 - 5)
7:15pm PT ESPN from San Diego, California.
After what's being called a ‘miscommunication' Texas Tech freshman QB Baker Mayfield has left the team and is seeking a transfer. Michael Brewer hasn't played a down all season despite being named the starter prior to the start of the season. Injuries and the emergence of Mayfield kept him on the sidelines.
Red Raider tight end Jace Amaro could be a first round selection. At 6-5, 260lbs Amaro runs with power and toughness similar to that of New England's Rob Gronkowski. Teams looking to create mismatches over the middle will be drooling over Amaro especially toward the later part of round one.
Arizona State coming off a disappointing lost in the PAC12 Championship will be looking to add to its already successful 10-win season. DT Will Sutton didn't have quite the season he had in 2012 but he's still likely to be a first or second rounder at best. Sutton apparently received just a fifth round grade from the NFL advisory committee last year and added weight this season while maintaining his, at times, dominate play.