I don't know what it is about this time of year, but everything starts to sneak up on me. Holidays, holiday shopping, college bowl game season. Well, it's really just those things. But it never fails.
I can't help anyone with their shopping, but perhaps I can help shed some light on the non-BCS bowl game schedule, which will begin in just over two weeks (eek!) on Dec. 15. Here are five such games that any fan would enjoy. In the interest of not rehashing what many might already know, more under-the-radar possibilities are included along with higher-profile matchups.
Projected bowl matchups from CNNSI.com.
Date: Dec. 28
Projected matchup: Louisiana Tech (9-3) vs. Middle Tennessee (8-3)
First in the nation in scoring and total offense, Louisiana Tech is never boring. They surpassed 50 points eight times this year, eclipsed 60 twice and even hit 70 once.
Unfortunately, the Blue Raiders from Murfreesboro, Tenn., had a good season, but struggled on defense.
If you like the big fireworks, this one's for you.
Date: Dec. 22
Projected matchup: Boise State (9-2) vs. Washington (7-5)
This little appetizer pits 20th-ranked Boise State's fifth-ranked scoring defense against a Washington team that was good enough to finish the season in the top 25, thanks to wins over Oregon State and Stanford.
Date: Dec. 27
Projected matchup: UCLA (9-3) vs. West Virginia (6-5)
When you've got two teams scoring a combined 76 points a game—while giving up a combined 67—you've got the makings of a good, old-fashioned shootout.
Date: Dec. 31
Projected matchup: Clemson (10-2) vs. LSU (10-2)
On the four-game New Year's Eve slate, this is your can't-miss collision. LSU speaks for itself; they're one of the best teams in the nation, particularly on defense. But behind dynamic quarterback Tajh Boyd, the Tigers always make it interesting.
Date: Jan. 1
Projected matchup: Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)
Johnny Football versus Denard Robinson. What else do you need to know?