Motivating factor for UNLV: Believe it or not, UNLV has never lost in the postseason. The Rebels are 3-0 in bowl games, defeating Toledo in the 1984 California Bowl, Central Michigan in the 1994 Las Vegas Bowl and Arkansas in the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl.
Motivating factor for North Texas: The Mean Green will be playing what is essentially a home game; the Cotton Bowl is less than 50 miles from their campus in Denton, Texas. North Texas has won only one bowl game, beating Cincinnati 24-19 in the 2002 New Orleans Bowl, and it has lost its previous four games against UNLV.
Pick: North Texas 31, UNLV 23
Wisconsin vs. South Carolina, Jan. 1 (ABC, 1 p.m. ET)
Why to watch: Both the Badgers and Gamecocks were in the mix for BCS bowls, but late upset losses ruined their chances. One of the SEC's most physical defenses will try to slow down the Big Ten's most punishing ground game. South Carolina is aiming for its third 11-win season in a row; Wisconsin will try to win at least 10 games for the fourth time in five seasons.
Who to watch: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the potential No. 1 pick in next spring's NFL draft, became a household name with his vicious tackle of Michigan running back Vincent Smith in last season's Outback Bowl. He was plagued by injuries this season and didn't live up to the hype, finishing with three sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in 10 games. Will Wisconsin choose to run away from him as so many SEC opponents did this season?
Motivating factor for Wisconsin: The Badgers lost in each of the past three Rose Bowl games, and they'll try to end the skid in coach Gary Andersen's first season. The Badgers haven't defeated an SEC team in a bowl game since beating Arkansas 17-14 in the 2007 Capital One Bowl.
Motivating factor for South Carolina: As good as Clowney has been the past two seasons, quarterback Connor Shaw has been just as important in South Carolina's unlikely rise in the SEC. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier would like nothing more than to send his senior quarterback out with a victory.
Pick: South Carolina 21, Wisconsin 17
Iowa vs. LSU, Jan. 1 (ESPN, 1 p.m. ET)
Why to watch: Hopefully it will be as exciting as the last time these teams played. In the 2005 Capital One Bowl, Iowa's Drew Tate threw a 56-yard touchdown to Warren Holloway on the final play of the Hawkeyes' 30-25 victory, spoiling Nick Saban's final game as LSU's coach.
Who to watch: LSU freshman Anthony Jennings will start at quarterback after senior Zach Mettenberger tore the ACL in his left knee in a 31-27 win over Arkansas on Nov. 29. Jennings, from Marietta, Ga., came off the bench in the fourth quarter and led the Tigers on a 99-yard scoring drive in the final three minutes, throwing a 49-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural with 1:15 to go. Jennings completed 4 of 7 passes for 76 yards in the game.
Motivating factor for Iowa: The Hawkeyes already have doubled their victory total from 2012, improving from 4-8 to 8-4. They can win nine games in a season for the first time since going 11-2 in 2009.
Motivating factor for LSU: As good as the Tigers have been under coach Les Miles, they haven't fared well in the postseason lately, losing three of their past four bowl games. LSU lost to Clemson 25-24 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl after last season.
Pick: Iowa 24, LSU 21