New Mexico Bowl Preview: BYU, UTEP Look for a Winning Season

New Mexico Bowl, December 18, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN

What it is: A matchup of two 6-6 teams you likely haven't watched since September (if at all) in a locale you've likely never been to.

The Teams: BYU and UTEP

How BYU got here: The Cougars were expected to fall off some from their recent four-year run of 10+ win seasons, but no one figured they'd fall off this much. They began the season 1-4, including a loss to (oof) Utah State, as hyped true freshman QB Jake Heaps learned on the job. Heaps got his footing though, and the defense began playing better too. They finished with a 5-2 stretch which, aside from a 31-3 mauling at the hands of TCU, didn't feature a bad game. It also didn't feature much in the way of good competition other than TCU and Utah, who supplied the two losses.

How UTEP got here: The Miners had a season that in some ways was the mirror image of BYU's. UTEP started the season 5-1, but it's a not terribly impressive achievement. The best team among the bunch was 5-7 Houston, who demolished UTEP 54-24 in the game where Case Keenum got hurt, followed by the mighty 4-8 Rice Owls. Mike Price's bunch finished the season 1-5 as the schedule got tougher. A win against CUSA West champ SMU and a field goal loss to Tulsa were the high points.

College football fans care because: It's the first game in a week, and we're almost out of them until next September.

SEC fans care because: There's never a bad time to crack Mike Price jokes.

Watch this game if...: You don't have anything better to do and/or you desperately love college football.

The result: BYU 31, UTEP 17

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