Six college football teams will face off today in the Independence Bowl, Texas Bowl and the Holiday Bowl.
Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
What: Independence Bowl
Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.
When: 2:30 p.m.
Records: Alabama 6-6, Oklahoma State 6-6.
Key stats: Alabama is 18th nationally in total defense (287.6 ypg). Oklahoma State is eighth nationally in rush offense (208.1 ypg).
The game: Oklahoma State can move the ball (409.0 ypg, 35.3 points per game). QB Bobby Reid is a duel threat, The Cowboys have three backs who have rushed for between 546 and 708 yards and WR Adarius Bowman (57 catches, 1,131 yards, 19.8 ypc, 11 TDs) had a great season. The flipside? The Cowboys are brutal on defense (371.4 ypg). Alabama QB John Parker Wilson had a solid season (2,539 yards, 16 TDs).
The line: Oklahoma State by 2.
Kansas State vs. Rutgers
What: Texas Bowl
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston
When: 6 p.m.
TV: NFL Network
Records: Kansas State 7-5, Rutgers 10-2
Key stats: Kansas State is 70th nationally in total offense (328.0 ypg). Rutgers is seventh nationally in total defense (259.8 ypg)
The game: The Scarlet Knights were one victory away from representing the Big East in the BCS, but an OT loss at West Virginia to close out the regular season has the Scarlet Knights in this low-rent bowl. Still, it’s hard to imagine Rutgers not being geared-up to play this one. TB Ray Rice (135.3 ypg, 19 TDs) and FB Brian Leonard form an excellent backfield, but QB Mike Teel and the passing attack (156.3 ypg) aren’t much. K-State surpassed all expectations under firstyear coach Ron Prince; still, the Wildcats beat just one I-A team with a winning record.
The line: Rutgers by 7.
California vs. Texas A&M
What: Holiday Bowl
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
When: 6 p.m.
Records: California 9-3, Texas A&M 9-3.
Key stats: California is 14th nationally in total offense (411.0 ypg). Texas A&M is 19th nationally in total offense (401.4 ypg).
The game: Despite the presence of TBs Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett (a combined 1,747 yards and 12 TDs), the running game has been inconsistent. QB Nate Longshore has had a good season (2,786 yards, 23 TDs) and has an excellent trio of receivers in DeSean Jackson (nine TDs), Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan. Cal’s run defense has been OK, but the secondary has been torched often. A&M really didn’t beat anybody of note until the regular-season finale against Texas, but that followed on the heels of one-point losses to Oklahoma and Nebraska. QB Stephen McGee has been excellent, and TBs Mike Goodson and Jovorskie Lane are a nice combo (1,474 yards, 23 TDs).
The line: Cal by 4.