Central Florida (9-4) vs. Duke (8-4)
2 p.m., ESPN
The Blue Devils had the nation’s most quietly impressive season, reaching 8-4 after last season’s 0-8 debacle in ACC play. Central Florida takes pride in regularly taking down Power 5 opponents, and has the explosiveness to hurt a leaky Duke defense. However, the Blue Devils can do the same when they have the ball against the UCF defense. This should be the first of several high scoring bowl games of the day.
Should You Watch?: Yes. Both teams want to be there and will fight to leave with a victory. This could end up being one of the most entertaining games of the bowl schedule.
Prediction: Central Florida-44, Duke-41
Kansas (6-6) vs. Arkansas (6-6)
5:30 p.m., ESPN
Kansas sure came crashing down from its 5-0 start that made them the toast of the first half of the college football season. However, they’ll still be motivated for the program’s first bowl trip since 2008. Arkansas had a similar turnaround a season ago, and have yet to be spoiled enough to take a bowl visit lightly. Both programs are led by hard-nosed coaches who expect players to overachieve. There should be plenty of fight in this one as each team looks for a winning record as they continue to build towards something far greater than 6-6 seasons.
Should You Watch?: If you have time - this is far from a battle of the titans, but both teams will show up motivated and ready to fight.
Prediction: Kansas-42, Arkansas-40
(#15)Oregon (9-3) vs. North Carolina (9-4)
8 p.m., FOX
The Holiday Bowl is usually good for some high-flying excitement leading up to New Year’s. This is about as perfect as a Holiday Bowl match-up you could hope for with two quarterbacks who will return to be on the Heisman shortlist heading into next fall. Both programs have high hopes heading into next season, and will be looking to use this game as a launchpad of momentum for a season with strong playoff aspirations. Be warned though - UNC’s already more-than-generous secondary will be a bare bones operation after several opt outs, so expect this game to go late into the night.
Should You Watch?: Yes, Drake Maye vs. Bo Nix is more than worth the price of admission.
Prediction: Oregon-51, North Carolina-42
Texas Tech (7-5) vs. Ole Miss (8-4)
9 p.m., ESPN
Texas Tech has a way to always make things interesting. An interception here, a punt return here, a key fourth down stop there, and the Red Raiders are suddenly in positon to leave with a victory against anyone. Ole Miss was clearly a top 10 squad this season until a late season collapse following a close loss against Alabama. Lane Kiffin is back though, providing some stability after it seemed like Ole Miss would be in the midst of a coaching change during bowl season.
Should You Watch?: Yes - Ole Miss is the better team, but Texas Tech will find ways to make it interesting.
Prediction: Ole Miss-30, Texas Tech-27