Time to get at least one post up today ...
* Independence Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Air Force (Dec. 27, 5, ESPN): Falcons 31-20. The Yellow Jackets have flopped in their last two bowl games with good teams. This time, Georgia Tech brings a 6-6 team with a shaky defense and likely a backup quarterback against a team that is well versed in stopping the triple option. That's not a good combination.
* Champs Sports Bowl: N.C. State vs. West Virginia (Dec. 28, 6:30, ESPN): Wolfpack 28-17. After the regular-season finale flop at Maryland, N.C. State should be re-energized in a game that should determine whether both teams can crack the top 25 in the final poll. The Mountaineers, despite their occasional foibles and odd coaching arrangement going forward, have yet to surrender more than 21 points this season. They also haven't faced a quarterback as good as Russell Wilson.
* Military Bowl: Maryland vs. East Carolina (Dec. 29, 2:30, ESPN): Terrapins 51-24. Time to go all-in for what could be the bowl season's most unpredictable scenario. Maryland will play its final game under 10th-year coach Ralph Friedgen, but must replace only one staff member (offensive coordinator James Franklin) for this game just down the street from College Park. Two things that are worth keeping in mind: Maryland has beaten everyone it was supposed to this year, and East Carolina can't stop anyone. Coaching tumult or no, neither of those things should change.
* Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee (Dec. 30, 6:40, ESPN): Tar Heels 24-23. A tough call going against the Volunteers --- however limited they might be --- in their home state. Tennessee owns one victory over a bowl-bound team (6-6 Kentucky), and a late-season four-game run should be scrutinized simply because the victories came against Memphis, Mississippi, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. North Carolina, meanwhile, can close out its wild ride with a bowl victory for the first time since 2001. Look for T.J. Yates and Co. to do just that.
* Meineke Car Care Bowl: Clemson vs. South Florida (Dec. 31, Noon, ESPN): Tigers 21-17. If I was a betting man, I would never put money on Clemson, one way or the other. And I'd surely never put money on Clemson in a bowl game, when it's anyone's guess whether a team really wants to be playing.
* Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Notre Dame (Dec. 31, 2, CBS): Fighting Irish 28-23. Miami is in transition, and Notre Dame can use this game --- more than a month after it closed out the season with its first victory over Southern California since 2001 --- as a springboard for what sets up to be a highly productive 2011. If the Irish can contain wideout Leonard Hankerson, it is easy to like their chances against the Hurricanes.
* Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Florida State vs. South Carolina (Dec. 31, 7:30, ESPN): Seminoles 24-17. Assuming Christian Ponder plays --- and that's a big if a week out from the game --- this probably tilts to Florida State. So much depends on which South Carolina team shows up. Nonetheless, getting a 10-win season in his first year would further enhance Jimbo Fisher's resume as a head coach. It certainly won't be easy --- not with Marcus Lattimore likely to roll up his usual big numbers --- but look for the Seminoles to survive.
* Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Stanford (Jan. 3, 8:30, ESPN): Cardinal 31-27. The Hokies bring an 11-game winning streak into the postseason, but they haven't seen a team as good as Stanford this season. The Cardinal's only loss came against Oregon, and coach Jim Harbaugh has built them into an imposing outfit in just four years. This is precisely the sort of game Virginia Tech historically puts up a good fight in and ultimately loses. That's probably the most likely outcome this time around, too.
* Fight Hunger Bowl: Boston College vs. Nevada (Jan. 9, 9, ESPN): Eagles 26-24. This could turn out to be crazy, but here's guessing Nevada will find it difficult to run on Boston College's defensive front. This pick is probably influenced heavily by seeing a middle-of-the-road Maryland defense stifle the Wolf Pack's vaunted ground game in the Humanitarian Bowl two years ago. Yes, Nevada is better and Boston College is probably comparable overall to that Maryland. At the same time, the Eagles have played seven straight games decided by 10 points or less. Maybe BC won't win, but it's not a stretch to believe it will be close.
ACC title game: 1-0
Season record: 72-25 (36-12 ACC + 1-0 in title game)