By Stewart Mandel
December 21, 2011

Boise State (11-1) vs. Arizona State (6-6)Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Reason to watch: It's the final career game for Kellen Moore, the winningest quarterback in NCAA history, as well as for a host of other familiar Boise State seniors (tackle Nate Potter, running back Doug Martin, defensive linemen Billy Winn and Shea McClellin and others) who played integral roles in Moore's 49 victories over the past four years. On the other sideline, two-time national championship coach Dennis Erickson, 64, is coaching his last game for the Sun Devils following his Nov. 28 dismissal. Some college fans may also reasonably assume this will be the last time they see uber-talent/maniacal hot-head Vontaze Burfict, ASU's junior linebacker, but his draft stock has dropped this season and Erickson says it's not even certain Burfict will start against Boise.

Keep an eye on: Moore, obviously. He's completed 74.1 percent of his passes for 3,507 yards, 41 touchdowns and seven interceptions while spreading the ball around much more than he did during the Titus Young/Austin Pettis era. Six different receivers have at least 25 catches, led by senior Tyler Shoemaker (59 catches, 959 yards, 15 touchdowns). Of course, you can also mix it up and feast your eyes on perennially overlooked running back Martin. A leg injury kept him out of Boise State's Nov. 12 loss to TCU, but he came back with three straight 100-yard games to end the regular season.

Did you know: Broncos coach Chris Petersen's 61 victories in his first five seasons mark the third-most of any coach in history. Unfortunately he's not going to be able to match record-holder Walter Camp, who went 69-2-2 from 1888-92.

Final analysis: Neither team is thrilled with its postseason destination, but Boise is at full strength, while ASU is not. Boise did not lose four straight to end its regular season. Boise has 17 senior starters looking to go out on a high. And most importantly, Boise is just a much better team.

The pick: Boise State 34, Arizona State 17

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)