Awesome matchup: The Eagles have won their past five bowl games. The Broncos have not lost on the Smurf turf since 2001, a span of 31 games. This year's six home wins have come by an average of 29 points apiece. Meanwhile, Bronco coach Dan Hawkins (one of the coolest people in the business) is leaving for Colorado after the season, which may cause the Broncos' mood to match their turf.
Eagles: Mathias Kiwanuka, DL
A matchup for the ages ... in 1997. That was the year the Cornhuskers finished 13-0 and the Wolverines 12-0 and folks clamored for the bowls to realign themselves so that the two top teams would play -- because that would end all the fuss. Riiiiight. Was Cornhusker QB Zac Taylor's 392-yard passing day at Colorado the "Goodbye to Sandra Dee" moment that forever shut the door on the option in Lincoln in favor of a passing attack?
There's no better college football atmosphere than Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium, where the Yellow Jackets began the season with a win. And then there's San Francisco's SBC Park, where the Yellow Jackets will end the season with a win. Utes quarterback Brian Johnson will miss this game. I suggest you follow his lead.
Yellow Jackets: Calvin Johnson, WR.
How fitting might disgruntled fans of Gang Green find this lyric from Green Day's song Holiday: Hear the drum pounding out of time/Another protestor has crossed the line (Hey!)/To find the money's on the other side? Duck fans may want to stop moaning long enough to remember that the Sooners' Adrian Peterson was the best rusher in America last year, and he's finally healthy. Can I get another "Amen"?
Ducks: Haloti Ngata, DL
Featuring three of the nation's top 10 blockers, this game should be shown on OLN: Offensive Lineman Network. The Golden Gophers, ranked second nationally in rushing, can run on anyone (except Penn State) and should run away with this one against a Cavalier defense that is, at best, average.
Golden Gophers: Greg Eslinger, C; Mark Setterstrom, OL, Cavaliers: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OL
El Paso, a city attuned to the quandaries of a porous border, will watch with empathy as each school's goal line is crossed this afternoon frequently and with impunity. Quarterbacks Brett Basanez (Wildcats) and Drew Olson (Bruins) will treat this game like a Senior Bowl dress rehearsal, while tailbacks Tyrell Sutton and Maurice Drew will perform as if it's the Iowa caucus of the 2006 Heisman vote.
Bruins: Maurice Drew, All-Purpose; Marcedes Lewis, TE
Now everyone can see quarterback Brad Smith play, in his final game at Mizzou. And, if Gamecock evil genius Steve Spurrier is able to stop Smith, it could be Tiger coach Gary Pinkel's final game at Mizzou as well.
Quite a pair in the Peach, with two top-10 teams who are at least as good as half the eight teams in the BCS bowls. The Tigers' JaMarcus Russell, who separated his shoulder on the Georgia Dome turf earlier this month in the SEC Championship game loss to Georgia, will be replaced by backup Matt Flynn. That won't change the defensive intensity of both teams.
Hurricanes: Eric Winston, OL; Orien Harris, DL; Kyle Jennings, DB
Tigers: Kyle Williams, DL