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December 7, 2008

The matchups: BCS bowl game capsules

BCS Bowl Capsules
BCS Title Game
The Site: Miami
Jan. 8, 8 p.m., FOX
The Matchup: Florida vs. Oklahoma | Preview
The Buzz: This game features arguably the two best teams and two best players in college football. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy last season, and Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the favorite to capture the prize this season. Bradford directs an offense that set an NCAA scoring record while averaging 54.0 points per game. The Sooners also are the first team in NCAA history to score at least 60 points in five consecutive games. Florida has averaged 49.5 points per game during a nine-game winning streak and also boasts an exceptional defense headlined by linebacker Brandon Spikes. Each team has a key player hurt. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray injured his left knee on the opening kickoff of the Big 12 Championship Game and never returned. Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin sat out the SEC Championship Game with a sprained ankle.

The Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m., ABC
The Matchup: USC vs. Penn State | Preview
The Buzz: Penn State will try to defend the honor of the Big Ten. USC has whipped Michigan and Illinois in the Rose Bowl in the past two seasons. One sign of hope for Penn State: USC lost 27-21 at Oregon State, which fell 45-14 at Penn State. The Nittany Lions' only loss this season was a one-point decision at Iowa that was decided by a field goal in the closing seconds. Penn State's "Spread HD" offense has averaged 40.2 points per game this season, but USC has allowed the fewest points and yards in the nation.

The Site: Miami
Jan. 1, 8 p.m., Fox
The Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati | Preview
The Buzz: Cincinnati overcame numerous injuries at quarterback to win the Big East title and earn its first BCS bid. The Bearcats now are crossing their fingers that star cornerback Mike Mickens and wide receiver Dominick Goodman will be able to play in the Orange Bowl after suffering late-season injuries. Cincinnati will try to continue the Big East's string of three consecutive BCS victories, while Virginia Tech will attempt to give the ACC its first BCS victory since Florida State's 1999 national championship season. Virginia Tech won its second ACC title in a row despite opening the season without any experienced running backs or receivers.

The Site: New Orleans
Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m., Fox
The Matchup: Utah vs. Alabama
The Buzz: Utah wasn't mentioned as a serious national title contender despite going undefeated, but the Utes can make a major statement by upsetting Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Utah is seeking its second BCS victory and undefeated season in the past four seasons. The Utes won the Fiesta Bowl four years ago in current Florida coach Urban Meyer's final season with Utah. This game will end the career of Utah quarterback Brian Johnson, who had a brilliant senior year after battling a variety of injuries the past two seasons. One year after going 7-6, Alabama was the season's biggest surprise and went undefeated before falling to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Tackle Andre Smith leads an Alabama offensive line that ranks among the nation's best.

The Site: Glendale, Ariz.
Jan. 5, 8 p.m., Fox
The Matchup: Ohio State vs. Texas | Preview
The Buzz: Texas was hoping to play in the national championship game after going 11-1 and beating Oklahoma during the regular season, but the Longhorns will have to settle for the Fiesta Bowl instead. Heisman candidate Colt McCoy ranks third in the nation in passing efficiency and leads the Longhorns with 576 rushing yards. Ohio State is seeking to regain some national respect after losing in the BCS Championship Game in each of the past two seasons. This game features an exceptional matchup between Ohio State running back Chris Wells (191 carries for 1,091 yards) and a Texas run defense that ranks second in the nation. Ohio State and Texas split regular-season matchups in 2005 and 2006, with the road team winning each time.

Play College Bowl Pick'em from Yahoo! Sports | Bowl schedule

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