ANYBODY who complains there are too many bowl games is more than welcome to change the channel to one of the 10,000 college basketball games televised before March.
It's bowl season; a time to celebrate another good year by Temple, get a rare peek at San Diego State's star running back and figure out what in the world a Beef 'O' Brady is. Here's a look at the first five games:
NEW MEXICO BOWL
Temple (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-4)
When: Saturday, 2 p.m., ESPN
Bowl bits: The only other time these teams met was in 1990, when Temple lost, 38-23, in Laramie. The Owls committed six turnovers . . . This is the fourth bowl game in Temple history and Steve Addazio is the fourth different coach to take the Owls to the postseason . . . Running back Bernard Pierce's 25 rushing touchdowns are second only to the 32 posted by Wisconsin's Montee Ball, a Heisman finalist . . . Wyoming was 3-9 last year . . . Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith passed for 2,495 yards and led the nation in total yards for a freshman with 3,140.
The pick: Temple, 31-30.
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO
Ohio (9-4) vs. Utah State (7-5)
When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Where: Boise, Idaho
Bowl bits: The two teams combined for a charity bowling event upon their arrival to Boise and raised enough for 2,600 pounds of potato products. That's a lot of french fries . . . Ohio had a five-game winning streak snapped when it gagged to Northern Illinois in the fourth quarter of the MAC title game . . . The Bobcats are 0-5 all-time in bowls . . . Utah State running back Robert Turbin ran for 1,416 yards and 19 touchdowns and was the WAC offensive player of the year . . . USU is making its first bowl appearance since '97.
The pick: Ohio, 42-41
vs. San Diego State (8-4)
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ESPN
Where: New Orleans
Bowl bits: ULL has sent a number of players to the NFL including Jake Delhomme and Ike Taylor . . . Ragin' Cajuns are making their first bowl appearance . . . Cajuns scored 34 points vs. Oklahoma State in the season opener. Problem is they gave up 61 . . . SDSU is trying for bowl wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in its 43-year history . . . Aztecs have appeared in nine bowls, six since going D-I in '69. They are 2-3 in their previous five appearances . . . First time ever playing in a bowl east of Pacific time zone . . . SDSU's Ronnie Hillman, a soph, is third in the nation in rushing at 138.0 per game.
The pick: San Diego State, 28-17
BEEF 'O' BRADY'S
Florida International (8-4)
vs. Marshall (6-6)
When: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ESPN
Where: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Bowl bits: Nobody, FIU will tell you, had a better football record in the state of Florida. FSU also went 8-4 while Miami and the University of Florida went 6-6, South Florida and Central Florida went 5-7 and Florida Atlantic went 1-11 . . . FIU is in this game primarily because the Big East couldn't field enough bowl-eligible teams . . . Marshall's difficult nonconference schedule included losses to West Virginia and Virginia Tech and a win over Louisville . . . Beef 'O' Brady's is a chain of sports bars founded in Florida. Closest one to Philadelphia is in Baltimore.
The pick: Marshall, 34-31
Louisiana Tech (8-4) vs. TCU (10-2)
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m. ESPN
Where: San Diego
Bowl bits: La. Tech has won seven in a row, including six since Colby Cameron replaced Nick Isham at quarterback . . . Ryan Allen, an Oregon State transfer, won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter . . . TCU did the BCS a big-time favor when it beat Boise State in November to knock the Broncos out of a prestigious bowl. Instead, BSU (11-1) is playing Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl next Thursday . . . TCU won the Rose Bowl last year. The Horned Frogs' two losses were to Baylor and SMU.