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Dec. 26, 2005
Dec. 26, 2005

Table of Contents
Dec. 26, 2005

Catching Up With
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
The Best of 2005
The Year in Sports 2005
Best of the Worst 2005
Departments

Hot Tickets

Two dozen games crammed into 13 days? No problem. SI picks the winners and offers a viewer's guide to which matchups are worth watching

KEY

This is an article from the Dec. 26, 2005 issue Original Layout

* Must-see TV for alumni and compulsive gamblers only

** Pleasant diversion while assembling kids' new toys

*** Worth recording if you're busy shoveling snow

**** Stock up on provisions, spot-weld self to sofa

FORT WORTH BOWL
HOUSTON
VS.
KANSAS
DECEMBER 23 • 8 P.M. (ESPN)
Fort Worth, Texas
PLAYER TO WATCH
NICK REID
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the senior linebacker leads a Jayhawks defense that ranks 19th in the country.
KANSAS 24, HOUSTON 23
*

HAWAII BOWL
CENTRAL FLORIDA
VS.
NEVADA
DECEMBER 24 • 8:30 P.M. (ESPN)
Honolulu
PLAYER TO WATCH
B.J. MITCHELL
The WAC Offensive Player of the Year, who ran for 1,221 yards, will test a defense that is 76th against the run.
NEVADA 37, CENTRAL FLORIDA 23
*

MOTOR CITY BOWL
AKRON
VS.
MEMPHIS
DECEMBER 26 • 4 P.M. (ESPN)
Detroit
PLAYER TO WATCH
DEANGELO WILLIAMS
The nation's third-leading rusher has four 200-yard games for the Tigers in '05 and a total of 5,788 yards in his career.
MEMPHIS 30, AKRON 17
**

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
CLEMSON
VS.
COLORADO
DECEMBER 27 • 5 P.M. (ESPN)
Orlando
PLAYER TO WATCH
GAINES ADAMS
The rangy defensive end had a team-high six quarterback pressures and 51/2 tackles for losses in the Tigers' last two games.
CLEMSON 28, COLORADO 24
*

INSIGHT BOWL
ARIZONA STATE
VS.
RUTGERS
DECEMBER 27 • 8:30 P.M. (ESPN)
Phoenix
PLAYER TO WATCH
DEREK HAGAN
The senior wideout averages 101.2 receiving yards per game and is the Pac-10's alltime receptions leader (253).
ARIZONA STATE 35, RUTGERS 27
**

MPC COMPUTERS BOWL
BOSTON COLLEGE
VS.
BOISE STATE
DECEMBER 28 • 4:30 P.M. (ESPN)
Boise, Idaho
PLAYER TO WATCH
MATHIAS KIWANUKA
The Broncos' high-powered offense must fend off the Eagles' 6'7", 262-pound defensive end, who has 91/2 sacks.
BC 27, BOISE STATE 20
***

ALAMO BOWL
MICHIGAN
VS.
NEBRASKA
DECEMBER 28 • 8 P.M. (ESPN)
San Antonio
PLAYER TO WATCH
JASON AVANT
If the Wolverines need a big catch, Avant, a polished route runner with 74 receptions, is the one who will make it.
MICHIGAN 24, NEBRASKA 10
**

EMERALD BOWL
UTAH
VS.
GEORGIA TECH
DECEMBER 29 • 4:30 P.M. (ESPN)
San Francisco
PLAYER TO WATCH
CALVIN JOHNSON
Tech's sensational sophomore wideout will get his share of highlights against the Utes' 65th-ranked pass defense.
GEORGIA TECH 31, UTAH 20
*

HOLIDAY BOWL
OKLAHOMA
VS.
OREGON
DECEMBER 29 • 8 P.M. (ESPN)
San Diego
PLAYER TO WATCH
ADRIAN PETERSON
After battling an ankle sprain for most of the year, Peterson ran for 626 yards and eight TDs in the Sooners' last four games.
OREGON 36, OKLAHOMA 30
***

MUSIC CITY BOWL
MINNESOTA
VS.
VIRGINIA
DECEMBER 30 • NOON (ESPN)
Nashville
PLAYER TO WATCH
GREG ESLINGER
The senior center and Outland Trophy winner leads a Golden Gophers ground game that ranks second in the land.
MINNESOTA 21, VIRGINIA 17
**

SUN BOWL
NORTHWESTERN
VS.
UCLA
DECEMBER 30 • 2 P.M. (CBS)
El Paso
PLAYER TO WATCH
BRETT BASANEZ
The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year is a prolific passer (3,206 yards) and has also run for seven touchdowns.
NORTHWESTERN 41, UCLA 34
***

INDEPENDENCE BOWL
MISSOURI
VS.
S. CAROLINA
DECEMBER 30 • 3:30 P.M. (ESPN)
Shreveport, La.
PLAYER TO WATCH
SIDNEY RICE
The big-play wideout averages an SEC-high 95.2 receiving yards a game and was All-Conference. Not bad for a freshman.
S. CAROLINA 31, MISSOURI 21
**

PEACH BOWL
LSU
VS.
MIAMI (Fla.)
DECEMBER 30 • 7:30 P.M. (ESPN)
Atlanta
PLAYER TO WATCH
ORIEN HARRIS
The senior tackle anchors the Hurricanes' No. 2--ranked scoring defense, which may end up facing LSU backup QB Matt Flynn.
MIAMI 17, LSU 10
****

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
N.C. STATE
VS.
SOUTH FLORIDA
DECEMBER 31 • 11 A.M. (ESPN2)
Charlotte
PLAYER TO WATCH
ANDRE HALL
The All--Big East running back leads the upstart Bulls (formerly of C-USA) in rushing (1,256 yards) and catches (24).
SOUTH FLORIDA 17, N.C. STATE 14
*

LIBERTY BOWL
FRESNO STATE
VS.
TULSA
DECEMBER 31 • 1 P.M. (ESPN)
Memphis
PLAYER TO WATCH
GARRETT MILLS
This versatile senior, who leads the nation's tight ends with 83 catches, will line up all over the field for Tulsa.
FRESNO STATE 37, TULSA 27
***

HOUSTON BOWL
TCU
VS.
IOWA STATE
DECEMBER 31 • 2:30 P.M. (ESPN2)
Houston
PLAYER TO WATCH
CORY RODGERS
The Houston native is second in the nation in kickoff returns (31.7 yards) and leads the Horned Frogs in catches (48).
TCU 35, IOWA STATE 24
**

OUTBACK BOWL
IOWA
VS.
FLORIDA
JANUARY 2 • 11 A.M. (ESPN)
Tampa
PLAYER TO WATCH
CHAD GREENWAY
One of the nation's top weakside linebackers, the All--Big Ten selection makes plays from sideline to sideline.
FLORIDA 23, IOWA 20
***

COTTON BOWL
ALABAMA
VS.
TEXAS TECH
JANUARY 2 • 11 A.M. (FOX)
Dallas
PLAYER TO WATCH
CODY HODGES
The Tide's No. 1--ranked scoring defense will be tested by this senior, who has thrown for 4,042 yards and 30 TDs.
ALABAMA 16, TEXAS TECH 10
****

GATOR BOWL
LOUISVILLE
VS.
VIRGINIA TECH
JANUARY 2 • 12:30 P.M. (NBC)
Jacksonville
PLAYER TO WATCH
ELVIS DUMERVIL
No defender is more disruptive than the Cardinals' senior end, who has 20 sacks and an NCAA-record 10 forced fumbles.
VIRGINIA TECH 22, LOUISVILLE 10
**

CAPITAL ONE BOWL
AUBURN
VS.
WISCONSIN
JANUARY 2 • 1 P.M. (ABC)
Orlando
PLAYER TO WATCH
STANLEY MCCLOVER
The Badgers must find a way to block this disruptive defensive end, who had 61/2 sacks in the Tigers' last three games.
AUBURN 35, WISCONSIN 20
***

FIESTA BOWL
NOTRE DAME
VS.
OHIO STATE
JANUARY 2 • 5 P.M. (ABC)
Tempe, Ariz.
PLAYER TO WATCH
A.J. HAWK
Fighting Irish ballcarriers beware: The winner of the Lombardi Award, given to the nation's best linebacker or lineman, Hawk has 13 tackles for losses, including 7 1/2 sacks.
OHIO STATE 24, NOTRE DAME 20
****

SUGAR BOWL
GEORGIA
VS.
WEST VIRGINIA
JANUARY 2 • 8:30 P.M. (ABC)
Atlanta
PLAYER TO WATCH
GREG BLUE
The Bulldogs' All-America safety, a fearsome hitter, will spend much of his night in run support, going against an offense that ranks fifth in the country in rushing.
GEORGIA 28, WEST VIRGINIA 21
***

ORANGE BOWL
PENN STATE
VS.
FLORIDA STATE
JANUARY 3 • 8 P.M. (ABC)
Miami
PLAYER TO WATCH
MICHAEL ROBINSON
Think Vince Young lite. The Lions' dual-threat QB was fifth in the Heisman vote but faces a nasty 'Noles defense that slowed Virginia Tech's Marcus Vick in the ACC title game.
PENN STATE 20, FLORIDA STATE 10
****

ROSE BOWL
TEXAS
VS.
USC
JANUARY 4 • 8 P.M. (ABC)
Pasadena
PLAYER TO WATCH
RAMONCE TAYLOR
Of the three Longhorns running backs to whom Vince Young will hand off and throw, this sophomore, a converted wideout, is the x factor. Taylor's a slashing, explosive playmaker who came on late in the season and has been described as a poor man's Reggie Bush.
PLAYER TO WATCH
DWAYNE JARRETT
The superb Texas secondary has not faced a receiver as gifted as this 6'5" sophomore, who's equally dangerous on go routes, crossing patterns and end-zone fades. With 15 receiving TDs, he's tied for the Division I-A lead, and he's Matt Leinart's go-to guy. Just ask Notre Dame.
USC 34, TEXAS 28
****

• For breakdowns on every bowl team, plus game accounts and stats, go to SI.com/collegefootball.

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