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(14) Boston College v. Michigan State: Champs Sports Bowl Both Michigan State and Boston College made impressive strides this season under first year coaches Mark Dantonio and Jeff Jagodinski. However, on paper this appears to be a complete mismatch in BC's favor. Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan (pictured) became one of the country's top offensive players this season by throwing for 4,258 yards and 28 touchdowns. For several weeks this season, it appeared as if Heisman voters were just about ready to hand the prestigous trophy over to Ryan. Subsequently, the BC quarterback should be more than capable of torching a pretty weak Michigan State secondary. It also doesn't help that the Spartans' key defensive standouts Jonal Saint-Dic and Darean Adams have been suspended for the game due to academic violations. Saint-Dic's defensive pressure and ten sacks will surely be missed. The Eagles' underrated defense (25th nationally) should also be able to control Michigan State's unimaginative offense. The Spartans have a good running game led by Javon Ringer but Boston College's run defense should keep him in check. With Ryan at the helm and a stifling defense, Boston College should be too much for upstart Michigan State. Boston College 31-14
Oregon State v. Maryland: Emerald Bowl Oregon State is not your typical Pac Ten football team as they feature a power running game in addition to a physical defensive front. After a slow start the Beavers have finished strong winning their final three games including the Civil War against instate rival Oregon. Running back Yvensen Bernard had another outstanding season on the ground, rushing for over 1,000 yards. With Bernard and a stout rush defense that allows just 74.9 rushing yards a game, the Beavers should be able to control the tempo. Like Oregon State, Maryland also lacks a strong passing game. If the Terps find themselves in many third and longs, it could be a long night for Ralphy Friedgen's bunch. With two average offenses, Oregon State's defense should be the X-Factor. Oregon State 21-10
Houston v. TCU: Texas Bowl While this game doesn't have the big names like a Texas or Arizona State, it does feature two exciting teams to watch. Under head coach Art Briles, Houston became one of the top scoring teams in the country and under Gary Patterson TCU continued their top notch defensive play. However, the Cougars with be without Briles who left to take the head coaching job at Baylor. With Briles away, Houston might be missing a step on offense and look for TCU to certainly take advantage. However, even without Briles at the helm, the Cougar offense will still be capable of scoring plenty as they average over 500 yards a game. Unlike other high-scoring teams such as Hawaii, the Cougars have balance as they average over 200 yards in the air and on the ground. While playing in front of the hometown crowd in Reliant Stadium, look for the Cougars to edge out a victory. Houston 35-24
I didn't have time to do a Holiday Bowl preview but I would've tabbed Arizona State anyway. Overall: 4-4