MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
No. 17 Oregon State vs. No. 15 BYU
We finally get to games now that people want to watch on their own merit instead of watching because college football is almost over. BYU is in the Las Vegas Bowl again, but we've been spared most of the "Mormons playing football in Vegas" jokes that in retrospect weren't really all that funny when we first made them years ago.
WHY YOU CARE / Good college football is back. We don't need the surprise of overtime or the excuse of "well, it's football" to enjoy this game. But if you need another reason: The Pac-10 might end up losing a bowl, and that's always a plus for SEC fans.
OREGON STATE (8-4) / Muddled to a 4-3 start before going on a four-game winning streak and needing only a win against Oregon to go to the Rose Bowl. For the second year in a row, they lost. This time, the defeat in the Civil War sent the hated Ducks to Pasadena and sent the Beavers to Vegas. They did win against Cal and Stanford before we knew that Stanford was a good team.
BYU (10-2) / Remember when BYU defeated Oklahoma and was supposed to have a chance to play for the national title? Yeah. Remember when they got waxed by Florida State at home in the most confusing 54-28 win in football history? The other loss was to TCU -- by 31. They did win against Utah by three in overtime.
WHO WILL WIN / OREGON STATE, because BYU is too inconsistent to count on and they must be bored with Las Vegas -- if that's possible.