No. 25 Central Michigan (11-2) vs. Troy (9-3)Jan. 6, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Reason to watch: It's the swan song for Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour, one of the most prolific quarterbacks in FBS history. The dual-threat passer holds the major college football record with 148 total touchdowns (passing, rushing and receiving) and his 12,446 total career yards rank third all-time. He'll be facing a Troy defense that hasn't offered much resistance, giving up 417.9 yards per game, 100th nationally. The unit has also struggled against multitalented quarterbacks, giving up 308 total yards and five touchdowns to Florida's Tim Tebow and 298 and a score to Middle Tennessee State's Dwight Dasher.
Keep an eye on: Troy QB Levi Brown. LeFevour will get most of the attention, and for good reason, but the Trojans senior has put up gaudy stats of his own. His 322.3 passing yards per game rank second nationally, and only Houston's Case Keenum and Bowling Green's Tyler Sheehan have thrown for more yards than Brown's 3,868. He helms a fourth-ranked passing attack piling up 331 yards per game.
Did you know: This game is no stranger to coaching changes. With Butch Jones gone for Cincinnati, the Chippewas will be led by interim coach Steve Stripling; last season, Brady Hoke left Ball State for San Diego State before the Cardinals played Tulsa; in 2000, Dennis Franchione took the Alabama job, leaving TCU prior to its matchup with Southern Miss; and in 2002, John L. Smith told Louisville at halftime of its game versus Marshall that he was leaving for Michigan State. Unfortunately for Central Michigan, each previous team dealing with coaching drama left Mobile a loser.
Final analysis: This game should deliver a ton of points. In the bowl's 10-year history, the winning team has scored 38 or more points seven times. Considering the offenses (and defenses) involved in this year's contest, expect more of the same. With a shootout seemingly in store, the edge goes to LeFevour. Brown can spread the ball around (eight receivers have at least 236 yards), but LeFevour has more big-play weapons at his disposal, including Antonio Brown (1,020 yards, nine scores) and the record-breaking Bryan Anderson (pass caught in 53 straight games). Plus, the Chippewas signal-caller can rely on his own legs, which have produced 2,936 yards and 46 scores over his Central Michigan career.
The pick: Central Michigan 38, Troy 31.
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