This one might be a lot more fun if the schools would bring back former coaches Ed Orgeron and Pat Hill to fight in a cage match. Instead, USC heads into its bowl game under the direction of offensive coordinator Clay Helton, its third coach (and second interim) this season. The Bulldogs were knocked out of BCS contention by a 62-52 loss at San Jose State two weeks ago, but they recovered to beat Utah State 24-17 in Saturday night's Mountain West championship game.
14. Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31 (CBS, 2 p.m. ET): No. 17 UCLA (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (8-4)
UCLA's Brett Hundley looks like a future NFL quarterback; Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas used to look like an NFL quarterback. Thomas can really improve his plummeting NFL draft stock by outgunning Hundley near the Mexican border.
15. National University Holiday Bowl, Dec. 30 (ESPN, 10:15 p.m. ET): No. 14 Arizona State (10-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
It might not be the Rose Bowl, but the Sun Devils are still headed to Southern California for the postseason. They'll face the Red Raiders for only the teams' second meeting. The game features two of the country's hottest coaches: Tech's Kliff Kingsbury and ASU's Todd Graham.
16. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (ESPN, 10:15 p.m. ET): Michigan (7-5) vs. Kansas State (7-5)
Both teams limped through rebuilding years this season and head into the postseason going in opposite directions. The Wildcats won five of their last six games after a 2-4 start; the Wolverines lost four of their last five games after a 6-1 start. Michigan hasn't played in Arizona since appearing in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl.
17. Fight Hunger Bowl, Dec. 27 (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET): BYU (8-4) vs. Washington (8-4)
If only the Huskies could pull incoming coach Chris Petersen out of the stands to run a few trick plays in its bowl game. Petersen, the former Boise State coach, will only watch as interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo directs the Huskies in their bowl game. BYU has won its past three games against Washington, including a 23-17 win in 2010.
18. San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 26 (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET): No. 23 Northern Illinois (12-1) vs. Utah State (8-5)
The Huskies' stunning 47-27 loss to Bowling Green in Friday night's MAC championship game knocked them out of a BCS bowl game. They'll have to regroup emotionally to play the Aggies, who went 5-2 after losing star quarterback Chuckie Keeton to a knee injury in a 31-14 loss to BYU on Oct. 4. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch will put the finishing touches on what has been a brilliant college career.
19. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET): Boise State (8-4) vs. Oregon State (6-6)
The Broncos will begin life without Petersen, who left after eight seasons to take over at Washington. Linebackers coach Bob Gregory will serve as interim coach in the bowl game. The Broncos lost four games in a season for the first time since 2005. Oregon State dropped its final five games, but it's still worth watching quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks, one of the best passing tandems in the country.
20. AdvoCare V100 Bowl, Dec. 31 (ESPN, 12:30 p.m. ET): Arizona (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5)