The third-choice Pac-12 and fifth-choice Big XII team will each travel to sunny San Diego for this one -- the 35th edition of the Holiday Bowl, now sponsored by National University, which is located in nearby La Jolla. National University -- the 12th largest private, nonprofit university in the country -- now joins the likes of other illustrious Holiday Bowl sponsors, like SeaWorld, Thrifty Car Rental and Pacific Life Insurance.
Date and time, ET: December 30th, 10:15 p.m.
TV channel: ESPN
Location: San Diego, California
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium (70,651 capacity)
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: Baylor 49, UCLA 26
Last year's attendance: 55,507
Last year's TV rating: 4.04
Last year's payout for each school: $2.075 million apiece.
Team with the most all-time appearances: BYU, with 11. That's twice as many as the second and third place teams put together -- Texas and Washington have appeared five and four times, respectively.
Team with the most all-time wins: BYU, with four. They also managed a tie in the 1991.
Arizona State (10-3, 8-1 Pac-12)
All in all, not a bad second year for Arizona State under Todd Graham, as the Sun Devils won double-digit games for the first time since 2007. Save for a pair of losses to eventual conference champion Stanford, the Sun Devils blew through the rest of the Pac-12, going 8-0 against their other competition, including an impressive blowout 62-41 blowout of USC and a 38-33 victory over UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
The names to know when Arizona State has to ball are quarterback Taylor Kelly and wide receiver Jaelen Strong -- Kelly (28 touchdowns, 3510 yards) and Strong (1094 yards, 7 touchdowns) are among the conference’s most underrated players, despite playing for the nation’s 8th ranked scoring offense. Will Sutton anchors the Sun Devil defense, leading the way up front with 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks -- neither figure leads the team, but the presence he has leads the way for everything else. As a result, safety Chris Young (16.5 TFL, 103 tackles) and defensive Carl Bradford (8.0 sacks, 18.5 TFL) are two of the prime benefitters, receiving reduced attention while teams rush to figure out Sutton.
Last bowl game: 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Navy, 62-28 win
Last year without a bowl: 2010
All-time bowl record: 13-12-1
Head coach's bowl record: Todd Graham, 4-1
Texas Tech (7-5, 4-5 Big 12)
Kliff Kingsbury’s debut as the head coach in Lubbock looked initially like it could be a resounding success -- the Red Raiders reeled off seven wins to start the year, which had them ranked in the top 10. But the back half of the team’s schedule was considerably tougher, and they finished the season on a five-game losing streak.
Still, for a team that was shuffling a couple of freshman quarterbacks all season, it was by no means a bad year. Both Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb have had their ups and downs, and they managed to throw for more than 4,600 yards combined. The passing game will no doubt play a significant role in the outcome of this game; the Red Raiders average about 56 throws per contest.
Last bowl game: 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Dallas vs. Minnesota, 34-31 win
Last year without a bowl: 2011
All-time bowl record: 13-21-1
Head coach's bowl record: Kliff Kingsbury, 0-0