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Games to Watch: Bowl Week Preview 12/20-12/23

On the first week of bowl games, college football gave to meeeeeee...

This guy is good...really good
This guy is good...really good
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This truly is the most wonderful time of the year if you're a college football fan.  Bowl games for the next four days in a row, as many as five games in one day, and rock solid match-ups to provide you with plenty of holiday cheer.  This Saturday marks the kickoff of the 2014-2015 bowl season, with four games back to back to back to back.

If you haven't already signed up for the TCR Bowl Game Pick 'Em, you can click on the link below to sign up.  The winner will get something special, which we will announce after the bowl games are done.  Be sure to sign up before the first game is played on Saturday!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>It&#39;s game time! Join my Yahoo Sports College Bowl Pick&#39;em group, <a href="">@Champaign_Room</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Brad Repplinger (@brepp310) <a href="">December 16, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Saturday 12/20:

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5 MTN West) vs Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (8-4 Sun Belt) ~ 10:00am CT (ESPN)

Louisiana-Lafayette will play their 4th consecutive bowl game in NOLA this season, and have won the previous three games.  This year, they will face a Nevada team that houses the one of two quarterbacks in college football history to run for 3,000+ career yards and throw for 9,000+ career yards in Cody Fajardo.  The only other guy to do that is some nobody named Colin Kaepernick (also from Nevada).  The Wolf Pack haven't won a bowl game since 2010 though...will this be the season they end their postseason losing streak?

Lowest ticket price on StubHub: $64.75 <- and there are not many available

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

Utah State Aggies (9-4 MTN West) vs Texas-El Paso Miners (7-5 CUSA) ~ 1:20pm CT (ESPN)

The Aggies are looking to get to double digits in their win column this season after dropping a few close games this year.  Utah St would LOVE to continue their success in bowl games as they knocked off a very good NIU team last bowl season, and have won 2 consecutive bowl games.  Aaron Jones and the Miner's rushing attack would like to put those plans on hold though, as they haven't won a bowl game since the 1967 Sun Bowl.  Jones is ranked 23rd nationally in rushing yards per game, and could give State's defense something to think about come Saturday afternoon.

Lowest ticket price on main website since StubHub didn't have tickets available: $25 <-endzone seats

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

#22 Utah Utes (8-4 PAC12) vs Colorado State Rams (10-2 MTN West) ~ 2:30pm CT (ABC)

Since the departure of Jim McElwain to Florida, Colorado St has named Dave Baldwin the interm HC for Saturday's game.  It's always interesting to see how a team plays after losing a head coach, but Colorado St's offense is so good they might not even need a head coach come Saturday.  Even though they average just over 35 points per game, the Rams face the nation's leader in sacks in the Ute defense.  Defensive End Nate Orchard is someone to keep an eye on, as he's the nation's best pass rusher (averages 1.46 sacks per game) and could really give CSU's offense a tough time to settle in.

Lowest Ticket Price on StubHub: $70.21 <- and there are TONS of seats available

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Western Michigan Broncos (8-4 MAC) vs Air Force Falcons (9-3 MTN West) ~ 4:45pm CT (ESPN)

After watching Western give away a MAC West Division title to the Huskies, I'm convinced they'll be playing passionately in this game.  If I had naming rights, this game would be the Rebound Bowl as Air Force (2-10 last year) and Western (1-11 last year) are both coming off brutally bad seasons.  Jarvion Franklin gives WMU an edge as he ranks 9th nationally in total rushing yards this season (1,525, but don't count out a stingy Air Force defense that ranks in the Top 50 nationally in points allowed per game.

Lowest ticket price off the main website: $22 <- nothing on StubHub or TicketCity

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

South Alabama Jaguars (6-6 SunBelt) vs Bowling Green Falcons (7-6 MAC) ~ 8:15pm CT (ESPN)

In their second full season as an NCAA Div 1 FBS team, South Alabama will play in their first ever bowl game (the program is only 5 years old).  Seeing that the game will be played in Montgomery, AL...the Camellia Bowl will be a virtual home game for the Jags.  However, one bright spot of a dark MAC Championship game for the Falcons was the play of RB Travis Greene.  He looked great when I saw him in Detroit and could easily carry BG to a victory Saturday night.

Lowest Ticket Price available on StubHub: $25.07 <- small stadium at 25k, only 5 seats left on StubHub

Monday 12/22:

Miami Beach Bowl

BYU Cougars (8-4 Ind) vs Memphis Tigers (9-3 AAC) ~ 1:00pm CT (ESPN)

BYU looked like a team that could make a TON of noise with QB Taysom Hill making an early run at some Heisman votes.  An injury sidelined him though, and the Cougars have since dwindled back into the realm of the independents.  Memphis hasn't played in a bowl game since 2008, and winning the American Athletic Conference this season gives them a bountiful amount of confidence heading into this game (which is played in the Miami Marlin's ballpark...big fan of the baseball stadium crossover games).  Can BYU use this game to gain some national attention?  Or will the Tigers return to Memphis with a victory?

Lowest ticket price available on TicketCity: $32 <- I'd drop $32 to see that goofy neon statue/monument thing in left field

Tuesday 12/23:

Boca Raton Bowl

Northern Illinois Huskies (11-2 MAC) vs Marshall Thundering Herd (12-1 CUSA) ~ 5:00pm CT (ESPN)

This game also known as the "Bracket Buster Bowl" as both Marshall and NIU had very good chances to break into the Fiesta Bowl as the highest ranked Non-Power 5 team.  Marshall looked like the team to beat late in the season, but falling to Western Kentucky and almost losing to Louisiana Tech is causing a lot of people to doubt how good they really are.  Drew Hare has continued the NIU tradition of dual threat QB's as he's helped the Huskies win multiple games all season.  But Rakeem Cato of Marshall has broken all of Chad Pennington's school passing records this year, and want's to prove that his Herd are better than their soft-schedule suggests.

Lowest ticket price available on StubHub: $75 <- and there are not a lot of seats left...

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Navy Midshipmen (7-5 Ind) vs San Diego State Aztecs (7-5 MTN West) ~ 8:30pm CT (ESPN)

Everything about Navy's offense runs through Keenan Reynolds, who is the nation's best rushing QB in total yards, touchdowns, and total rushes (and he even missed two games this season).  But on the other side on the football, the powerful rushing attack of Donnel Pumphrey (3rd nationally in total rushing yards at 1,761) could provide viewers of this game a GREAT balance of offense between both teams.

Lowest ticket price available on StubHub: $75.45 <- not bad considering this is a home game for SDSU


More previews to come next week!