Utah State and BYU are involved in two of this season’s most intriguing bowl matchups, and I’ve discovered good, solid reasons to tune into all 35 games in the 17 days beginning Dec. 21.
Too many bowls? Absolutely not. I’ll watch ’em all. Here we go, in chronological order:
New Mexico • This logically would have been Utah’s landing spot, considering Washington State became eligible by beating the Utes.
Las Vegas • Utah State lost to USC and Fresno State by a combined 10 points.
Famous Idaho Potato • Buffalo’s offense will have to score two fourth-quarter touchdowns to match BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy’s production against San Diego State last December.
New Orleans • Tulane offensive coordinator Eric Price played for Ogden High School and Weber State. Former BYU assistant Barry Lamb took a medical leave of absence in early November.
Beef O’ Brady’s • East Carolina’s Breon Allen was a 1,600-yard rusher for Snow College.
Hawaii • Oregon State’s Sean Mannion passed for 443 yards and five touchdowns versus Utah.
Little Caesars • USU’s coaches are studying Bowling Green’s 47-point, 574-yard showing against Northern Illinois.
Poinsettia • USU’s defense should be motivated to face Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Military • Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley went 2-26 overall in two-plus tumultuous seasons at New Mexico, where USU coach Matt Wells worked for him in 2010.
Texas • Syracuse lost 56-0 to Georgia Tech, which lost 38-20 to BYU.
Fight Hunger • Ex-BYU QB Steve Sarkisian leads the Huskies against his old school? No. How about UW interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo being related to the perpetrator of the Manti Te’o hoax? Yes.
Pinstripe • Notre Dame playing at Yankee Stadium is good stuff.
Belk • North Carolina assistant coach Vic Koenning went 2-21 in Mountain West games as Wyoming’s coach in 2000-02.
Russell Athletic • Offensive line coach Art Kehoe has worked for six Miami coaches, including Dennis Erickson.
Buffalo Wild Wings • Michigan hosts Utah next September and will meet both Utah and BYU in 2015.
Armed Forces • Navy’s defensive line is coached by Murray High School graduate Dale Pehrson and ex-BYU player Shaun Nua.
Music City • Georgia Tech has been outscored 79-37 by BYU the past two seasons.
Alamo • Texas coach Mack Brown’s empire began to crumble in Provo.
Holiday • Arizona State is another reminder that Utah should have qualified for a bowl.
Advo Care • Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, who has rushed for 436 yards in two games versus Utah, opposes Boston College’s Andre Williams, a Heisman finalist.
Sun • Will UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley return for at least one more season?
Liberty • Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, who coached Utah’s QBs in 2003-04, needed an OT win over Ole Miss to become bowl-eligible.
Chick-Fil-A • Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey will watch this game versus Texas A&M. Jason Kreis, his Duke soccer teammate, won’t know it’s being played.
Gator • BYU visits Nebraska in the 2015 opener. Will Bo Pelini still be the Cornhuskers’ coach?
Heart of Dallas • Former USU quarterback Michael Canales is North Texas’ offensive coordinator.
Outback • Iowa receiver Damond Powell, from Snow College, has caught only 12 passes, but five receptions covered 38 yards or longer. Powell and Jazz rookie Trey Burke were among Ohio’s prep basketball MVPs in 2011.
Capital One • Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen versus South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier. Andersen has come a long way since coaching at Park City HS.
Rose • If not for Utah, Stanford may have played for the national championship.
Fiesta • Central Florida hosts BYU next October.
Sugar • Think anyone will ask Nick Saban about the 2009 Sugar Bowl?
Cotton • Oklahoma State defensive tackle Ofa Hautau is from East High, via Snow.
Orange • Not the destination he wanted, but Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is taking a third school to a BCS game in 10 seasons, starting with Utah.
BBVA Compass • Houston staged the craziest game I witnessed this season, and maybe ever, losing 47-46 to BYU.
GoDaddy • Having graduated from Utah State, Arkansas State QB Adam Kennedy will start his second bowl game in three seasons.
BCS National Championship • Do you really need a reason?