New Year's Day bowl lineup

TicketCity Bowl

Northwestern (7-5)vs. Texas Tech (7-5)

Time: 10 a.m. TV: ESPNU

Line: Texas Tech by 9½

Series: First meeting


■ Northwestern hasn't won a bowl game since its very first, the 1949 Rose Bowl. The Wildcats have lost seven straight, all since 1996. At least they're getting closer, having gone to overtime each of the last two seasons. A victory would be the 35th for the senior class, the most since the early 1900s.

■ Texas Tech can wrap up a three-game win streak to end Coach Tommy Tuberville's first season since he took over for Mike Leach. The Red Raiders won their bowl game last year despite the huge distraction of the Leach saga and are in the midst of another coaching shuffle with defensive coordinator James Willis being sent away Sunday because he was interested in interviewing elsewhere.

Outback Bowl

Penn State (7-5) vs. Florida (7-5)

Time: 1 p.m. TV: ABC-36

Line: Florida by 7

Series: Florida leads 2-0


■ Penn State is appearing in its 37th post-season game under Joe Paterno, the all-time leader in bowl wins with 24. The 84-year-old coach has shrugged off rumors that this may be his last game, saying he has no plans to retire, and the Nittany Lions are approaching the game with intentions of setting the tone for the 2011 season.

■ Florida will be playing its last game under Urban Meyer, who resigned Dec. 8 because of health concerns and to spend more time with his family. The Gators, who won two of the past four national championships, have hired former Texas head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp as his replacement.

Capital One Bowl

No. 15 Alabama (9-3)vs. No. 7 Michigan State (11-1)

Time: 1 p.m. (ESPN) TV: ESPN

Line: Alabama by 10

Series: First meeting


■ Michigan State is looking to prove it belonged in a BCS bowl after sharing the Big Ten title with Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Spartans were left out because of a lower ranking in the BCS poll, and knocking off the defending national champion Crimson Tide would give them some satisfaction.

■ This could be the last game for several of Alabama's stars, including 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, so the Crimson Tide are looking to go out in style.

Gator Bowl

No. 21 Mississippi State (8-4) vs Michigan (7-5)

Time: 1 p.m. TV: ESPN2

Line: Mississippi State by 4½

Series Record: First meeting


■ Probably a recruiting boost and certainly positive feelings heading into the off-season.

■ Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez might be able to save his job with a resounding victory, although Athletics Director Dave Brandon has offered no guarantees.

Rose Bowl

No. 3 TCU (12-0)vs. No. 4 Wisconsin (11-1)

Time: 5 p.m. TV: ESPN

Line: TCU by 3

Series: Tied 0-0-1 (Tied 14-14 in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 26, 1970)


■ TCU was the third wheel at the BCS title dance but can complete an unbeaten season in the school's first Rose Bowl appearance as the first back-to-back BCS busters.

■ Wisconsin returns to Pasadena for the first time since the 2000 game after winning a share of the Big Ten title, with Bret Bielema hoping to join Barry Alvarez as the Badgers' only Rose Bowl-winning coaches.

Fiesta Bowl

No. 25 Connecticut (8-4)vs. No. 9 Oklahoma (11-2)

Time: 8:30 p.m. TV: ESPN

Line: Oklahoma by 161/2

Series: First meeting


■ Oklahoma is looking to end a five-game losing streak in BCS bowls that includes two disappointing losses in the Fiesta Bowl as favorites. The Big 12 champions did win a bowl game last season, beating Stanford in the Sun Bowl.

■ UConn is hoping to avoid a big dud in its first BCS bowl after sharing the Big East title with Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

Associated Press

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