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Holiday Bowl Preview: Nebraska, Washington Play Once More

Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl, December 30, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: A game named the "Holiday Bowl" held on one of the few days in late December that is not a holiday.

The Teams: Nebraska and Washington

How Nebraska got here: By finishing their last year in the Big XII with a 10-win season and an appearance in the last conference title game, a loss to age-old rival Oklahoma. Not that the Huskers won without a few speed bumps along the way; they only defeated South Dakota State 17-3; lost to Texas; and needed overtime to defeat Iowa State by one. Taylor Martinez had 2,520 yards of total offense and 21 total TDs despite missing two games. Martinez also tried to play while banged up, accounting for no touchdowns and three picks in those three games; Nebraska lost two of them. Nebraska neither ended up as good nor as bad as they could have been; they are less disappointing from an outside perspective than they are "meh."

How Washington got here: Wait a minute -- WASHINGTON IS IN A BOWL? Yes, a puzzling early-season win against Syracuse -- shortly after losing to BYU, a team we later found out isn't very good -- a stupefying win against Southern Cal, and wins against the worst four teams in the Pac-10 were apparently enough for the Huskies to go to the postseason. Who knew? Except for the loss to BYU and another against Arizona State, none of the losses were particularly close. That includes a five-touchdown defeat against ... let me look it up here ... ah, yes, Nebraska. Because nothing says "quality game" like "rematch of a game in which one team outgained the other by a two-to-one margin."

College football fans care because: This is Nebraska's last game as a member of the Big XII?

SEC fans care because: Either the Pac-10 or Big XII will provide us a reason to laugh.

Watch this game if...: You want to see a first-round draft pick in action!

The result: Nebraska 55, Washington 22