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Christmas Eve Aloha Bowl open thread, viewing guide and why-to-watch

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It’s football. You should watch it.

Virginia v Fresno State Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

When you’re pounding down the ‘nog and looking for that missing bolt on your kid’s hastily-assembled bicycle, don’t despair. Aloha Bowl action is here for you.

The history of this game is a weird one: Hawaii usually plays well in its home venue. West Coast teams have traditionally fared pretty well too. And for everyone else, well, it’s a matter of not letting the distractions of Oahu get to you. It’s the hardest road trip to make in the country for a reason. That’s compounded with an experienced team, an inconsistent team, a schizoi defense that gives up scads of big plays, and a new head coach --- meet the Houston Cougars! Who knows what kind of performance you’re getting from week to week with this crew. The siren call of the North Shore may be too enticing: Diamond Head sure beats the Galveston estuary.

Meanwhile, the Fresno State Bulldogs have led the way with an annoyingly efficient offense (remember how much chain those guys nibble away at?,) an excellent experienced big conference coaching staff, and a defense that surrenders just 17 points-per-game. Oahu likely won’t distract FSU either. This is the Bulldogs’ second jump across the Pacific: They’ve already traveled to Hawaii once this season.

All signs point to the wrong team being the underdog here.

Aloha Bowl -- Fresno State at Houston (-2.5)

ESPN/WatchESPN