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Three Days Of College Football Bowl Madness 

We’ve reached the post-Christmas portion of the college football bowl season. Fourteen relatively minor bowl games have come and gone; over the next three days, we’ll be hit with another 16, including three of the four traditional major bowls. Let’s get up to speed with the basic facts. All game times are Eastern; for current lines, visit the Bodog Sportsbook.  

Check out Bodog’s free printable 2008 college bowl schedule.

Wednesday, Dec. 31

Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Oregon State

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas
2:00 p.m., CBS
Clear, 50 degrees, light winds
Pittsburgh: 9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS, Under 7-5
Oregon State: 8-4 SU, 8-3 ATS, Over 6-5
Odds: Oregon State –3 (+100)

Not only did OSU lose the Civil War season finale 65-38 to the Ducks, but adding injury to insult, star RB Jacquizz Rodgers is considered “highly questionable” with a broken shoulder blade. Rodgers is No. 13 in the nation with 113.9 rushing yards per game (4.84 yards per carry). Pitt is 1-4 ATS in its last five bowl games.

Music City Bowl: Boston College vs. Vanderbilt

LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
3:30 p.m., ESPN
Mostly sunny, 40 degrees, 10-mph winds
Boston College: 9-4 SU, 6-5 ATS, Over 7-4
Vanderbilt: 6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, Under 7-4-1
Odds: Boston College –3.5

This is the first bowl game in 26 years for the Commodores. Vandy had the No. 13-ranked strength of schedule coming out of the incredibly tough SEC East. But Boston College’s road to the Music City Bowl was even tougher at No. 3, with all six teams in the ACC Atlantic going bowling this year. The ‘Dores are 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games; BC is 4-1 SU and 3-1 ATS in its last five.

Insight Bowl: Minnesota vs. Kansas

Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
5:30 p.m., NFL Network
Clear, 60 degrees, light winds
Minnesota: 7-5 SU, 7-4 ATS, Under 6-5
Kansas: 7-5 SU, 6-5 ATS, Over 7-4
Odds: Kansas –10 (+105)

The Golden Gophers lost 55-0 to Iowa (-7) to finish the regular season on an 0-4 SU (1-3 ATS) skid. Kansas had lost four of five (2-3 ATS) before upsetting Missouri 40-37 as a 16-point road dog in their season finale. The Jayhawks are playing back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history after upsetting Virginia Tech at last year’s Orange Bowl.

Chick-fil-A Bowl: Louisiana State vs. Georgia Tech

Georgia Dome, Atlanta
7:30 p.m., ESPN
LSU: 7-5 SU, 2-9 ATS, Over 7-4
Georgia Tech: 9-3 SU, 7-2-1 ATS, Under 6-4
Odds: Georgia Tech –4

Although the SEC West was a dog’s breakfast this season, LSU still had the No. 11-ranked strength of schedule. Georgia Tech rambled through the No. 12-ranked sked to win the ACC Coastal title, and bounced Georgia (-7.5) out of the BCS bowl picture with a 45-42 road upset. The Tigers haven’t covered in six games, starting with a 52-38 home loss to the Bulldogs (PK) in Week 9.

College football bowl odds in the Bodog Sportsbook.

Thursday, Jan. 1

Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. South Carolina

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
11:00 a.m., ESPN
Mostly sunny, 60 degrees, light winds
Iowa: 8-4 SU, 7-4 ATS, Under 6-4-1
South Carolina: 7-5 SU, 5-5-1 ATS, Over 5-5-1
Odds: Iowa –4

Iowa rebounded from a slow start to win five of its last six games at 4-2 ATS, including a 24-23 upset of visiting Penn State (-7.5). South Carolina lost its last two in a row, dropping the cash at Florida (-21) and Clemson (-1). The Hawkeyes are ranked seventh in defensive efficiency; the Gamecocks are No. 16 in that category.

Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Nebraska

Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
1:00 p.m., CBS
10% chance of rain, 60 degrees, light winds
Clemson: 7-5 SU, 4-6 ATS, Under 7-3
Nebraska: 8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, Over 7-5
Odds: Clemson –3 (+105)

The Tigers were ACC title contenders going into the 2008 campaign, paid coach Tommy Bowden to resign after a 3-3 start (0-4 ATS), then went 4-1 SU and ATS to close the season. Nebraska won five of its last six at 3-3 ATS, but the Cornhuskers are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games against winning teams.

Capital One Bowl: Michigan State vs. Georgia

Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
1:00 p.m., ABC
10% chance of rain, 65 degrees, light winds
Michigan State: 9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS, Under 6-6
Georgia: 9-3 SU, 3-7-1 ATS, Over 6-5
Odds: Georgia –8 (–105)

Georgia’s defense slipped all the way to No. 60 in efficiency this year; the Bulldogs have allowed 25.6 points per game this year, up from 20.2 points last year. The Dawgs lost 19 players for the season to injury. Michigan State was on a 9-1 run (6-4 ATS) before losing 49-18 at Penn State (-16.5). Spartans RB Javon Ringer is third in the FBS in rushing with 132.5 yards per game on 4.3 yards per carry.

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Southern California

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
4:30 p.m., ABC
Clear, 60 degrees
Penn State: 11-1 SU, 7-3-1 ATS, Over 7-4
USC: 11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS, Under 8-3-1
Odds: USC –9.5 (–105)

The Trojans are looking at their smallest spread of the year at the Rose Bowl; they’re 22-6 ATS in their last 28 non-conference games and 8-0 ATS in their last eight versus Big Ten opponents. Penn State hasn’t been an underdog all season. The Lions are fourth in the FBS in offensive efficiency, while USC is eighth.

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

Dolphin Stadium, Miami
8:30 p.m., FOX
15% chance of rain, 65 degrees, light winds
Virginia Tech: 9-4 SU, 5-7 ATS, Under 7-5
Cincinnati: 11-2 SU, 6-6 ATS, Over 7-5
Odds: Cincinnati –2.5

Virginia Tech has won four of five (3-2 ATS), but Cincinnati is the hotter team going into Miami on a six-game winning streak at 4-2 ATS. The Bearcats beat West Virginia (-7) and Pittsburgh (+6) for the first time ever in conference play. Market reports have the betting public slightly favoring Cincinnati at 58-percent support.

Friday, Jan. 2

Cotton Bowl: Mississippi vs. Texas Tech

Cotton Bowl, Dallas
2:00 p.m., FOX
10% chance of rain, 55 degrees, 15-mph winds
Mississippi: 8-4 SU, 8-3 ATS, Under 6-5
Texas Tech: 11-1 SU, 5-4-1 ATS, Over 6-4
Odds: Texas Tech –5.5

Ole Miss appeared on the radar screen with a 31-30 win at Florida (-23), then won its last five straight at 4-1 ATS to finish second in the SEC West. Texas Tech was the No. 2 team in the AP rankings after beating Texas (-3.5), but got pasted 65-21 at Oklahoma (-7). The Red Raiders are fourth in the nation in offense at 536.2 yards per game; the Rebels have the better defense of the two teams at 294.8 yards allowed.

Liberty Bowl: East Carolina vs. Kentucky

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.
5:00 p.m., ESPN
25% chance of rain, 45 degrees, 15-mph winds
East Carolina: 9-4 SU, 5-8 ATS, Under 7-6
Kentucky: 6-6 SU, 5-6 ATS, Under 6-4-1
Odds: East Carolina –3 (–105)

The Pirates were in the rankings early in the season with upsets over Virginia Tech (-9) and West Virginia (-7.5), but were a little sketchy after that at 7-4 SU and 3-8 ATS. Kentucky lost six of its last eight at 3-5 ATS; the Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last six against C-USA opponents.

Sugar Bowl: Utah vs. Alabama

Superdome, New Orleans
8:00 p.m., FOX
Utah: 12-0 SU, 7-3-1 ATS, Over 9-2
Alabama: 12-1 SU, 9-4 ATS, Under 9-4
Odds: Alabama –10

Utah is the only undefeated team left in the FBS. Utes QB Brian Johnson has completed 68.3 percent of his passes, tied with Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma for seventh in the nation. Alabama was undefeated and held the No. 1 AP spot for five weeks before losing the season finale 31-20 at Florida (-10).

NCAA football betting in the Bodog Sportsbook.

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