Baylor (9-3) vs. Washington (7-5)Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Reason to watch: Do you like offense? Do you find a 45-42 game more entertaining than, you know, a 9-6 affair? This one should do it for you, in large part because both teams have subscribed to a "defense optional" approach this season. Washington ranks 94th nationally in total defense (426.3 yards per game) and 99th in scoring defense (33.3); Baylor's even worse, at 114th (477.5) and 109th (35.7), respectively. Throw in Heisman Trophy winner and top-ranked passer Robert Griffin III (3,998 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, six interceptions) for the Bears and both a top 20 passer (Keith Price) and rusher (Chris Polk) for the Huskies and you have the ingredient for a post-Christmas scoring fest.
Keep an eye on: The running backs. That may sound sacrilegious in what will likely be Griffin's last college game, but it's a given that RG3 will burn Washington's secondary multiple times (he has 16 touchdowns of 35 yards or longer this season). And while a banged-up Price (2,625 yards, 29 TDs, 11 INTs) struggled late in the year, he threw at least three touchdowns in seven games. Therefore, the difference may be which team produces a more effective running game. Polk (1,341 yards, 11 TDs) is more consistent, but Baylor's Terrance Ganaway (1,347 yards, 16 TDs) has a pair of 200-yard games on his résumé.
Did you know: Baylor is looking to complete just its second 10-win season in school history. The other came in 1980. And while Washington may have a more distinguished history, it last produced an eight-win campaign in 2001.
Final analysis: Immediately following his regular-season finale against Texas, Griffin spent nearly a week on the awards circuit in Orlando and New York. Price, meanwhile, has had a month to recover from late-season ankle and knee injuries. Price will be sharp, Griffin a bit out of rhythm. High-round NFL prospect Polk will have a huge game as Washington pulls the upset.
The pick: Washington 40, Baylor 34
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.