Bowl teams in danger of finishing below .500
The big problem with having 32 bowl games is mediocre teams -- and that might be a generous description -- are rewarded with postseason bids.
Six 6-6 teams will try to avoid finishing the season with a losing record in bowls played before New Year's Day.
Minnesota barely defeated Division I-AA North Dakota State in mid-October, but its .500 record earned the Gophers an Insight Bowl bid.
Iowa and Alabama lost their final three games and still got bowl invites.
New Mexico's 6-6 earned the Lobos a home game against San Jose State.
The bowl picks for games played before New Year's Day:
Las Vegas Bowl
BYU (minus 3) vs. Oregon
Cougars have lost four consecutive bowls since winning '97 Cotton ... BYU 39-24.
New Orleans Bowl
Troy (plus 4 1/2) vs. Rice
Owls in first bowl game since '61 Bluebonnet ... RICE 37-14.
South Florida (minus 4 1/2) vs. East Carolina
Pirates' last bowl was 64-61, double-OT loss to Marshall in '01 GMAC ... SOUTH FLORIDA 29-21.
New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico (minus 3 1/2) vs. San Jose State
Spartans' last bowl appearance came in '90 California Bowl ... SAN JOSE STATE 26-21.
Armed Forces Bowl
Tulsa (plus 1) vs. Utah
Utes have won five straight bowls ... UTAH 28-14.
Arizona State (plus 7) vs. Hawaii
Warriors are 4-2 in bowls ... HAWAII 50-38.
Motor City Bowl
Central Michigan (plus 9 1/2) vs. Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee making its bowl debut ... CENTRAL MICHIGAN 34-14.
Florida State (plus 4 1/2) vs. UCLA
Seminoles trying to avoid first losing season since '76, Bobby Bowden's first as coach ... UCLA 24-21.
Oklahoma State (minus 2) vs. Alabama
Tide's second Indy Bowl since 2001; Cowboys' first since '81 ... OKLAHOMA STATE 28-17.
California (minus 5) vs. Texas A&M
Aggies' first bowl game against Pac-10 team since '98 Cotton ... CALIFORNIA 27-24.
Rutgers (minus 7) vs. Kansas State
Scarlet Knights are 0-2 in bowls ... RUTGERS 27-13.
Music City Bowl
Clemson (minus 9 1/2) vs. Kentucky
Wildcats' last bowl win was '84 Hall of Fame against Wisconsin ... CLEMSON 34-28.
Missouri (plus 3) vs. Oregon State
Beavers have scored 93 points in winning last two bowl games ... OREGON STATE 32-21.
South Carolina (minus 6 1/2) vs. Houston
Cougars' last Liberty Bowl appearance was '96 loss to Syracuse ... SOUTH CARLONIA 37-34.
Minnesota (plus 6 1/2) vs. Texas Tech
First bowl game against Big 12 opponent for Minnesota ... TEXAS TECH 41-23.
Champs Sports Bowl
Maryland (pick) vs. Purdue
Terps have won five of last six bowls ... PURDUE 39-31.
Navy (plus 6) vs. Boston College
Eagles have six-game bowl winning streak, best in nation ... BOSTON COLLEGE 32-17.
Iowa (plu 9 1/2) vs. Texas
In only bowl meeting, Hawkeyes beat 'Horns 55-17 in '84 Freedom ... TEXAS 55-17.
Virginia Tech (plus 2 1/2) vs. Georgia
Bulldogs 2-2 in the formerly-know-as-Peach Bowl ... GEORGIA 17-16.
MPC Computers Bowl
Nevada (plus 3 1/2) vs. Miami
'Canes trying to avoid first losing season since 1997 ... MIAMI 27-14