As you get ready to ring in the New Year, there are still five games left to be played in the 2011 NCAA Bowl season.
As we get ready to head into 2012, there are still some NCAA football games left to go down in 2011. Here's a quick run down of the final five games of 2011:
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Texas A&M Vs. Northwestern, 12:00 pm ET, ESPN
Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald and senior quarterback Dan Persa are trying to win the Wildcats their first bowl game since they won the 1949 Rose Bowl. Texas A&M on the other hand looks to finish out a disappointing season with a win as they get ready to start the Kevin Sumlin era. You can follow the game here at our StoryStream.
National Football Post Says keep an eye on: Kain Colter. The NU all-everything offensive performer has played quarterback, receiver and running back this season. In case Persa goes down, he's someone who can fill in and this offense won't miss a beat. He's also emerged as a legit receiving weapon.
Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech Vs. Utah, 2:00 pm ET, CBS
Paul Johnson will bring the Yellow Jackets triple option and No. 3 ranked rushing attack to the Utah defense, which is one of the top ranked defenses in the country. Georgia Tech will be looking to snap a six game bowl game losing streak while Utah continues their steak of post-season bowl game appearances. You can follow the game here at our StoryStream.
National Football Post says keep an eye on: GT's ground attack vs. Utah's rush defense. Simply put, this is the most important "game within the game." The Jackets were third in the nation in rushing while the Utes finished seventh in rushing defense. Georgia Tech rushed for 44 touchdowns this fall while Utah allowed only six rushing scores. Something has to give in this one.
Liberty Bowl: Cincinnati Vs. Vanderbilt, 3:30 pm ET, ABC
The Cincinnati Bearcats may get back starting quarterback Zack Collaros, who's made a speedy recovery from the injury that knocked him out for part of the season. Vanderbilt on the other hand are in just their fifth bowl in school's history, as first-year head coach James Franklin tries to cap off the season with a win. You can follow the game here at our StoryStream.
National Football Post says keep an eye on: Turnover margin. Last season, Cincy was last in the Big East at minus-15 in turnover margin. This year, the Bearcats led the Big East at plus-11. Collaros is expected to play because his recovery is ahead of schedule, but he likely will be a game-time decision. If Collaros is unable to play, sophomore Munchie Legaux will get the nod. In the final four games, he threw for 688 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. He is talented, but Collaros gives Cincy the best chance to win and to avoid costly turnovers.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Illinois Vs. UCLA, 3:30 pm ET, ESPN
Appropriately nick named the "Interim Bowl", both Illinois and UCLA enter the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with interim head coaches after firing coaches Ron Zook and Rick Neuheisel after disappointing seasons and tenures as head coach. Both teams have dealt with disgruntled employees and player suspensions heading into the game, so it should be an intriguing one to watch. You can follow the game here at our StoryStream.
National Football Post says keep an eye on: UCLA's special teams. The Bruins have a very good punter in Jeff Locke, who placed 41 percent of his kicks inside the 20-yard line. But what about at kicker? The Bruins lost two players to injury at the position and saw that Locke wasn't the answer, so the team promoted Tyler Gonzalez, who was a student manager on the soccer team. Seriously. He went 7-of-10 on field-goal attempts, but can he continue his success against the Illini?
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Auburn Vs. Virginia, 7:30 pm ET, ESPN
The Virginia Cavaliers look to cap off a promising season that saw them compete for the ACC title. On the other side of the coin, Auburn enters the game after losing it's offensive coordinator and with offensive workhorse running back Michael Dyer suspended. You can follow the game here at our StoryStream.
National Football Post says keep an eye on: Special teams. Auburn led the SEC in kickoff return average (24.3), and Mason ranked 19th nationally in that category. The Tigers also ranked 19th in net punting at 39 yards per attempt. The Tigers' special teams advantage could come into play in a close game.