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College Football Saturday Bowl Games: Schedule, Picks & Open Thread

Mike Davis' last hurrah?
Mike Davis' last hurrah?
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)
MILITARY BOWL, Annapolis, Md.
ESPNESPNugh, Beth Mowins (female 80s disc jockey), Joey Galloway (too many Buckeyes in announcing)
Noon CT / 1pm ET
Rundown: The Bearcats lost three in a row (Ohio State, Memphis, Miami-FL) early in the season but then reeled off seven straight against lighter fare of the AAC. VT famously upset the Buckeyes in Week 2 but slogged their way to a 6-6 record including 3-4 at home. Cincy does it with passing offense (300.2 ypg, 13th in the nation) while Tech does it with defense allowing only 186.8 passing yards per game, good for 14th in the country. The game will be played in the 34,000 seat Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Players to watch: VaTech CB's Kendall Fuller and P.J. Williams; Cincy QB Gunner Kiel - remember this guy? He committed to Indiana, flipped to LSU, flipped to Notre Dame much to Les Miles' dismay,  and then transferred to Cincy.
Pick: It is near impossible to predict a score for this game, but on the spread I am taking Virginia Tech +3.

Arizona State (9-3) vs. Duke (9-3)
SUN BOWL, El Paso, Texas
CBSUncle Verne Carter Blackburn & Gary Danielson
1:00pm CT / 2:00pm ET
Rundown: These two teams had eerily similar seasons: starting strong, a loss in Week 5 followed by a win over a ranked team (So Cal and Ga Tech), contending for their respected division titles, and then losing twice down the stretch including losses to their rivals (Arizona and UNC). Both are balanced, disciplined teams with Duke's defense is a tick better.
Player to watch: Duke WR & Return Specialist Jamison Crowder (276 career rec, 3539 yds, 23 TD); ASU WR Jaelen Strong (2014: 75 rec, 1,062 yds, 10 TD).
Pick: Proximity tilts this game towards Arizona State. The Sun Devils win a close one but do not cover the 7.5 point spread.

Miami (Fla.) (6-6) vs. South Carolina (6-6)
ABCABCDave Neal, Andre Ware, Laura Rutledge
2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET
Rundown: Two uninspiring 6-6 teams of the Power 5 exiled to the rainy Weedwacker Independence Bowl in beautiful Shreveport, Looziana. SC coach Steve Spurrier says he is going to hang around a few more years but it seems like he has lost that magic touch to inspire his team. The 'Canes finished the season with three straight losses (FSU, UVa, Pitt). Something has got to give.
Players to watch: Get a good look at SC RB Mike Davis and Miami RB Duke Johnson because they are likely heading for the pros after this game. Also watch for Miami LB Denzel Perryman and Gamecocks OG A.J. Cann.
Pick: I am expecting a sloppy game filled with turnovers and personal foul penalties with Miami getting the win by the 3 or more points.

Boston College (7-5) vs. Penn State (6-6)
PINSTRIPE BOWL, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
ESPNESPNBob Wischusen, Matt Millen
3:30pm CT / 4:30pm ET
Rundown: If your grandad has an old black & white TV in the basement, pull it out and watch this game on it because it will look like something out of 1964. This game will be filled with slow, between-the-tackles, hard-nosed, punch 'em in the mouth football.
Players to watch: BC center Andy Gallik (first-team All-ACC) and former Gators QB Tyler Murphy; Penn State senior LB Mike Hull (134 tackles in 12 games, 19 tackles in the double-overtime loss against Ohio State).
Pick: Murphy might run for more yards than he passes, a feat he achieved three times this season. First team to 20 wins this game. Take BC minus the 3 points.

Nebraska (9-3) vs. Southern Cal (8-4)
ESPNESPNRece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Samantha Ponder
7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Rundown: Two historic programs face off in a Rose Bowl Jr. game. Nebraska fired coach Bo Pelini despite all three losses coming against ranked teams. New coach Mike Riley has yet to take over the program and you get the feeling this Cornhuskers team is in a bit of distracted disarray. Southern Cal's Steve Sarkisian is far from winning over Trojans fans and appears to be losing grip on the city of Los Angeles to cross-town rival UCLA. He has a lot to prove today.
Players to watch: 'Huskers RB and Homewood, AL native Ameer Abdullah (1,523 rush yds, 18 rush TD); So Cal DT Leonard Williams (Lane Kiffin recruited this Florida native to the west coast and he has been a fine one for Troy).
Pick: Again, proximity leans towards the PAC-12 team. Take Southern Cal at -7.

* For more in depth previews, SBN's Bill Connelly has provided some outstanding previews here.

Also hoops: #1 Kentucky at #4 Louisville - 1:00pm CT / 2:00pm ET - ESPN2ESPN2