Wednesday Bowl TV - Little Caesars Bowl

We hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday. Central Michigan and Western Kentucky will get the bowl season restarted tonight in the Little Caesars Bowl.

As always, Eastern time is listed.


No games


Little Caesars Bowl - Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky - 7:30 - ESPN

High School:

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The Scoop on the Hawaii Bowl - SMU vs. Fresno State

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - SMU vs. Fresno State (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

SMU returns to the scene of its only bowl victory since 1984, and June Jones returns to the stadium where he lead Hawaii for nine seasons. In his first season at Fresno State, Tim DeRuyter has already brought home a share of the Mountain West title and now looks to win the Bulldogs' first bowl game since 2007.

Fresno State is one of the most underrated teams in the country. This is a team that ranks in the FBS top 20 in 10 of the 17 official statistics tracked by the NCAA. The Bulldogs' defensive backfield, led by FootballScoop Defensive Backs Coach of the Year finalist Tim McDonald, ranks sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense and fourth in pass defense, and are tied for fourth in the nation with 20 interceptions. The defensive unit ranks 19th in total defense and tackles for loss, tied for 11th in sacks and fifth in turnover margin.

On offense, Fresno State is led by the diminutive but powerful runner Robbie Rouse, who ranks 13th nationally with 1,468 yards and 12 touchdowns and also boasts 58 grabs for 406 yards and two scores. Rouse's backfield mate, quarterback Derek Carr, places 12th nationally in total offense and ninth in passing efficiency with 3,742 passing yards to go with 36 touchdowns and five picks. 

Fresno State has won five straight contests by an average score of 47-21.

Attempting to slow down Fresno State is an SMU team that needed a 35-27 upset of Tulsa, in which Tulsa's comeback bid fell one yard short of potentially tying the game, to reach 6-6. The Mustangs are keyed by running back Zach Line, Conference USA's leading rusher, and his 1,207 rushing yards and a dozen scores. In his first year since transferring from Texas, Garrett Gilbert has accumulated 2,720 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. Gilbert struggled early, throwing 14 interceptions in his first seven games, but has completed 93-of-161 passes for 1,062 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions over his last five outings.

SMU ranks 59th or lower in every defensive category but, like Fresno State, has forced 33 turnovers this fall. SMU may not have the best defensive unit but it does boast the best defensive player in defensive tackle Margus Hunt. A 6-foot-8 former discus thrower from Estonia, Hunt has posted six sacks, one interception, 4.5 TFL and holds the NCAA record with 10 career blocked kicks. 

Saturday Top Ten - 2012's Best Alternate Uniforms

You've seen plenty of columns debating the best uniforms in college football. But with uniforms becoming less uniform by the year, we thought this edition of our Saturday Top Ten would focus on the best alternate looks in college football so far this season.

1. Navy - The Midshipmen shelved their gold helmets for a white look with an anchor and blue and gold stripes for their 17-13 win over Army on Dec. 8. 

2. Oregon - NCAA bylaws mandate that any uniform column mention Oregon, and since any uniform the Ducks broke out this season could technically be described as "alternate", we chose to go point out the one time Oregon wore its traditional colors, green and yellow. Oregon beat Arkansas State 57-34 on Sept. 1.


3. UCLA - The Bruins dubbed their all-blue look as "L.A. Nights". UCLA played lights out in racing past Arizona 66-10 on Nov. 3.


4. Boise State - Boise State is forbidden from wearing all blue at home by the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos went a shade darker for their 32-7 victory over UNLV on Oct. 20.

Boise State

5. Vanderbilt - Black and gold is one of the best color combinations a team can wear, and Vanderbilt worked it to perfection against Florida on Oct. 13. The Gators topped Vanderbilt, 31-17. 


6. Rutgers - For the second straight year, the Scarlet Knights traded scarlet in their scarlet, this time for a metallic silver with stars and stripes, against Army on Nov. 10. The Scarlet Knights beat the Black Knights, 28-7.


7. Southern Miss - Not a lot went right for Southern Miss this season, but the Golden Eagles looked good in their 1970's throwbacks in a 59-24 loss to Marshall on Oct. 20.

Southern Miss

8. Northwestern - Pat Fitzgerald's team wore an exploded Wildcat on their helmet for its game with Illinois on Nov. 24. Northwestern exploded on the Fighting Illini, 50-14.


9. Oklahoma State - Much like Oregon, nearly every uniform Oklahoma State wears could be classified as an alternate. We chose to honor the all-black kits with Pistol Pete on the helmet that the Pokes wore for their 36-10 defeat of TCU on Oct. 27.

Oklahoma State

10. West Virginia - The Mountaineers broke away from their traditional blue and yellow for an all-gray look in their 31-21 win over Maryland on Sept. 22. The gray was worn to honor the state of West Virginia's coal miners. 

West Virginia

The Scoop on the New Orleans Bowl - ECU vs. ULL

R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (12 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN)

Mark Hudspeth's team returns to the scene of one the best moments in last year's bowl season - a 50-yard field goal as time expired to clinch the first bowl win in Ragin' Cajuns history. Louisiana - Lafayette squares off against an East Carolina team returning to the postseason for the sixth time in seven years after a one-year absence. 

Louisiana - Lafayette enters Saturday's game riding a three-game winning streak, rebounding from a mid-season span in which they dropped three out of four. Sophomore quarterback Terrance Broadway is the straw that stirs the drink for the Ragin' Cajuns offense, compiling 2,531 passing yards and 16 touchdowns while ranking second on the club with 661 rushing yards and eight scores. 

Ruffin McNeil's East Carolina team comes with wins in five of its last six outings. The Pirates play an up-and-down style evidenced by their scoring average: 31.3 points per game, and their scoring defense average: 30.7 points per game. East Carolina played it perfectly down the middle this season, going 0-4 against FBS teams that finished .500 or better, falling by an average score of 43-16, and going 8-0 against everyone else, winning by an average score of 39-25. 

The Scoop on the Las Vegas Bowl - Washington vs. Boise State

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas - Washington vs. Boise State (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN)

Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl will be just the second all-time meeting between Boise State and Washington, but the first of two consecutive games between the Pacific Northwest foes. Boise State is set to open the 2013 season at Washington's return to the renovated Husky Stadium. A win would give the Broncos their fifth straight season with 11 or more wins, while Washington seeks its first eight-win season since 2001.

The Huskies have struggled mightily away from Seattle recently, winning two away games in the past two seasons, and Saturday's date in Las Vegas could be a nice time to flip that trend.

One trend that Washington has definitely reversed is its porous defense, as this game will in effect represent the one-year anniversary of Washington's 67-56 Alamo Bowl loss to Baylor and the subsequent hiring of defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. In 12 games, Wilcox has boosted the Huskies' total defense and scoring defense rankings from 94th and 99th, respectively, to 30th and 37th. In the Pac-12, Washington has jumped from 10th to third in total defense.

Boise State has played its customary stout defense, ranking in FBS's top nine in pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. A strong defensive effort has proven necessary as the Broncos' offense has adjusted from the losses of quarterback Kellen Moore and running back Doug Martin.

D.J. Harper has filled Martin's void, carrying for 1,065 yards with 15 touchdowns and six 100-yard efforts. Quarterback Joe Southwick has come into his own lately, snapping a string of five straight games with an interception by completing 53-of-75 passes (70.7 percent) for 624 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three outings.

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