New Year's Eve Bowl capsule previews

Today's games

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl

Who: Texas A&M (6-6) vs. Northwestern (6-6)

When/where: Noon; Reliant Stadium, Houston

TV: ESPN

Line: Texas A&M by 10

Notable: The Aggies haven't won a bowl since 2001. The Wildcats have waited far longer — their only bowl victory was in the 1949 Rose. Texas A&M is averaging more than 209 yards rushing, and the Wildcats are yielding more than 185 average. A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter will serve as interim coach; Mike Sherman was fired after the regular season.

Sun Bowl

Who: Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Utah (7-5)

When/where: 2; Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

TV: Ch. 10

Line: Georgia Tech by 21/2

Notable: Georgia Tech has lost its past six bowls while Utah had its nine-year bowl winning streak end last year against Boise State at the Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes allow just 97 yards rushing per game (ranked seventh), but the Yellow Jackets are third with 316.8 yards rushing per game. CBS (Ch. 10 here) will broadcast the game for the 44th consecutive year, the longest running partnership between a bowl and a network.

Liberty Bowl

Who: Vanderbilt (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)

When/where: 3:30; Liberty Bowl, Memphis

TV: Ch. 28

Line: Vanderbilt by 2

Notable: Vanderbilt is going for only its second winning season since 1982 as Zac Stacy has led the way with a single-season school record of 1,136 rushing yards. The Bearcats allow an average of 93.7 yards rushing, sixth-best in Division I-A, and led the nation in sacks (3.58 per game average). Cincinnati has a big running threat, too — Isaiah Pead rushed for 1,100 yards and led the Big East in scoring with 14 total TDs.

Fight Hunger Bowl

Who: UCLA (6-7) vs. Illinois (6-6)

When/where: 3:30; AT&T Park, San Francisco

TV: ESPN

Line: Illinois by 3

Notable: Illinois looks to snap a six-game losing streak in its first game under interim coach Vic Koenning, who replaces the fired Ron Zook. UCLA also has an interim coach, with Mike Johnson taking over for Rick Neuheisel. Illinois ranks seventh in the nation in total defense behind All-America DE Whitney Mercilus, who forced nine fumbles this season, one shy of Elvis Dumervil's record set in 2005.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Who: Virginia (8-4) vs. Auburn (7-5)

When/where: 7:30; Georgia Dome, Atlanta

TV: ESPN

Line: Auburn by 3

Notable: Star running back Mike Dyer has been suspended, capping a rough season for Auburn coming off of a national championship. Kevin Parks is 10th among Division I-A freshmen with 661 yards rushing and led Virginia with eight rushing touchdowns. Auburn coach Gene Chizik is the fill-in defensive coordinator after Ted Roof left for the same post at UCF.

Times wires

New Year's Eve Bowl capsule previews 12/30/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 30, 2011 9:17pm]

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