Bowl Previews: Tuesday brings offense, offense and more offense (Humanitarian, Holiday, Texas)

Another good news, bad news day on Monday, as I chose both winners correctly to move to 9-5 but feel to a truly awful 1-13 in choosing the score. C'est la vie. Today's slate:

Humanitarian Bowl, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

What it is: A reason to disorient at least two football teams by forcing them to play on the Smurf Turf of Boise.

The Teams: Maryland, Nevada

How Maryland got here: How does Maryland ever get to a bowl game? With pixie dust and unicorns, of course. A team that could only beat Delaware by seven and lost to Middle Tennessee State also defeated California and North Carolina. I have no explanation for it -- even for the ACC, Maryland took the week-to-week swings to new levels of bizarreness. They were outscored by nearly 1.5 ppg during the regular season; their best offensive player might be Da'Rel Scott, who rushed for 959 yards and 6 TDs but has a troubling tendency to disappear during big games -- 11 yards against Virginia Tech on ten carries, 19 yards on 13 rushes against Boston College. Their defense, which allowed 355.0 ypg, qualifies as mediocre.

How Nevada got here: For those of us who  saw the Wolfpack as potential WAC dark horses -- coughcough not me at all coughcough -- well, that never happened. Nevada essentially fell off the national map after losing to Texas Tech and Missouri by a combined 104-36 margin. Those would be the only two games the Pack lost by more than a touchdown, though, and Nevada had a decent enough year. For Nevada. I love their QB, Colin Kaepernick, who doesn't have a high completion percentage but doesn't make many mistakes, passing for 2,479 yards, 19 TDs and just 5 INTs this year and rushing for 1,115 yards and 16 TDs. He also has a talented and colorfully named supporting cast, from Vai Taua, who rushed for 1,420 yards and 14 TDs, and Marko Mitchell, 56 catches for 1,011 and 9 TDs. Too bad they didn't get much help from their defense, which allowed 395.6 ypg.

College football fans care because: It's the first time Maryland and Nevada have ever played each other. That's all I've got.

SEC fans care because: There are still no SEC bowls yet, so you might as well watch this one.

Watch this game if ... : You don't mind watching football played on blue grass.

The result: Nevada 55, Maryland 45

Holiday Bowl, 8 p.m., ESPN

What it is: A game surrounded by the most Pacific Life commercials you'll ever see without watching CNN.

The Teams: No. 13 Oklahoma State, No. 15 Oregon (all rankings, as always, BlogPoll)

How Oklahoma State got here: By losing only to teams that were ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 when the Cowboys played them and are now ranked No. 2, No. 3 and No. 7. That would be -- in whatever order you like, because everyone has a strong opinion about this -- Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. That said, their schedule outside of those three games goes from Missouri to Colorado to -- um, Houston? Oklahoma State's offense generated 489.3 ypg and 41.6 ppg. So they score. The offense is explosive pretty much across the board, and is led by a man. Who's 40 41. Stopping other teams' offenses has been a problem, with the defense allowing 392.3 ypg.

How Oregon got here: With a powerful rushing game led by Jeremiah Johnson (156 carries, 1,082 yards, 12 TDs) and the lower-profile LeGarrette Blount (130 carries, 928 yards, 16 TDs). The only losses were to Boise State, Southern Cal and California; the Ducks ended their season by waxing rival Oregon State 65-38, preventing the Beavers from claiming the Pac-10's Rose Bowl berth. Of course, their defense isn't much better than Oklahoma State's; Oregon's opponents rang up 383.0 ypg.

College football fans care because: These teams will score points. And then more points. And then more points. They could hit 100.

SEC fans care because: If Oregon can win, the Big XII's rep might take a hit.

Watch this game if ... : You want to find out what hideous uniform configuration Oregon has cooked up for this game.

The result: Oregon 56, Oklahoma State 34

Texas Bowl, 8 p.m., NFL Network

What it is: A bowl you've never heard of because it's always been on the NFL Network.

The Teams: Western Michigan, Rice

How Western Michigan got here: Going 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the MAC, mostly thanks to the arm of Tim Hiller. Hiller threw for 3,527 yards, 34 TDs and 8 INTs while completing almost 67 percent of his passes. Hiller attempted 40 or more passes in five of the Broncos games, including an astonishing 63 attempts in a 34-28 OT win against Buffalo. Opponents rang up 390.3 ypg against Western Michigan.

How Rice got here: An offense that includes QB Chase Clement (3,812 yards, 41 TDs and 7 INTs passing, 621 yards and 11 TDs rushing), WR Jarett Dillard (79 receptions, 1,224 yards and 19 TDs) and WR James Casey (104 receptions, 1,217 yards and 12 TDs). Rice did allow 466.8 ypg on defense.

College football fans care because: Rice hasn't won a bowl game in 54 years.

SEC fans care because: You really have no reason to.

Watch this game if ... : You want to find out what hideous uniform configuration Oregon has cooked up for this game.

The result: Rice 48, Western Michigan 36

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