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Weekend Express: Your fun-stuff planning tool for New Year’s weekend

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Lastly, there’s another movie opening on Christmas Day: "The Darkest Hour," a thriller in which some American college kids in Moscow are the only thing standing between humanity and an alien invasion. The movie was not screened for critics.

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The local college football season ends with a pair of teams playing in games that aren’t exactly what they were hoping for when the season began – although both are more or less glad to be there.

First up is the Armed Forces Bowl (Friday, 10 a.m., ESPN), which isn’t a bad matchup despite the ridiculous hour. The 9-3 BYU Cougars take on the 8-4 Tulsa Golden Hurricane in Dallas, and both teams are looking to validate their seasons with a victory over a team with a winning record.

(BYU has one win over a team above .500 — 7-6 Utah State. Tulsa has two — 7-5 SMU and 7-6 Marshall.)

That’s pretty much the situation in the Sun Bowl (Sunday, noon, CBS/Channel 2), which features 7-5 Utah against the 8-4 Georgia Tech Yellowjackets. The Utes’ only win over an FBS team with a winning record this season came, ironically, against BYU.

(Georgia Tech has two wins over teams above .500 — 7-5 North Carolina and 10-3 Clemson.)

Elsewhere on Friday ...

College football: New Era Pinstripe Bowl — Iowa State vs. Rutgers (1:20 p.m. ESPN); Music City Bowl — Mississippi State vs. Wake Forest (4:40 p.m., ESPN); Insight Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN)

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"Chuck" (7 p.m., NBC/Channel 5): Sarah is worried that her original handler’s return will be bad news for those she loves.

NBA (7 p.m., ROOT): Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz

"Sanctuary" (8, 9 and 10 p.m., Syfy): In the conclusion of a two-parter, the team races to prevent the unleashing of a doomsday weapon.

Elsewhere on Saturday ...

College football: Meineke Car Care Bowl — Northwestern vs. Texas A&M (10 a.m., ESPN); Liberty Bowl — Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt (1:30 p.m., ABC/Channel 4); Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl — Illinois vs. UCLA (1:30 p.m., ESPN); Chick-fil-A Bowl — Auburn vs. Virginia (5:30 p.m., ESPN);

Men’s college basketball: BYU at San Diego (4 p.m., BYUtv); Utah at Colorado (4 p.m., ROOT/FSN)

NBA (6:30 p.m., ROOT and NBATV): Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: The 40th Anniversary Party (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4annel): Highlights of past celebrations.

Live from Lincoln Center (7 p.m., PBS/Channel 7): The New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve Gala celebrates the music of Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Even with Ryan Seacrest 2012 (9 and 11:35 p.m., ABC/Channel 4): From Times Square in New York.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daily (9 and 11:30 p.m., NBC/Channel 5): From Times Square in New York.

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