Viewers' Guide to College Bowl Games
MONDAY, DECEMBER 25Skip to next paragraph
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3:30 p.m. (ABC)
No. 11 Kansas (9-2) vs. UCLA (7-4),
Both coaches head elsewhere after this game. Kansas's Glen Mason goes to the University of Georgia after giving the Jayhawks the kind of national attention usually reserved for its No. 1-rated basketball team. Two lopsided losses - at archrival Kansas State, 41-7, and at home to Nebraska, 41-3 - marred the year. But Kansas can also point to a nine-win season.
UCLA coach Terry Donahue, retiring to the broadcast booth, has a bowl record of 8-3-1, ranking him second behind Florida State's Bobby Bowden for best career winning percentage. The Bruins beat crosstown rival Southern Cal (for the fifth consecutive year) to cap their season. Watch for Karim Abdul Jabbar, who averaged 142 yards rushing per game. Gigantic offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden (6 ft., 8 in., 310 pounds) helps open the holes.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27
Copper Bowl **
8 p.m. (ESPN)
Air Force (8-4) vs. Texas Tech (8-3),
in Tucson, Ariz.
Air Force bombed Army and Navy to continue its domination of the other military academies. The Falcons shared the Western Athletic Conference title with Colorado State, Utah, and Brigham Young. Beau Morgan has emerged as one of the nation's top quarterbacks, a running threat who threw 19 TDs.
Texas Tech, moving to the new Big 12 Conference after the demise of the Southwest Conference, began with a near-upset of Penn State and later beat highly rated Texas A&M. Back Byron Hanspard rushed for 1,374 yards and caught passes for 474 yards.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28
Alamo Bowl **
8 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 19 Texas A&M (8-3) vs. No. 14 Michigan (9-3),
in San Antonio
The A&M Aggies lost only to bowl-bound Colorado, Texas Tech, and Texas. Versatile All-American Leeland McElroy rushed for 1,122 yards, caught 25 passes for 379 yards, returned 9 kicks for 208 yards, and scored 16 touchdowns.
Michigan played five bowl-bound teams and went 2-3. But one of those wins was a late-season defeat of Ohio State that knocked it out of the Rose Bowl and national championship contention. Wolverine running back Tim Biakabutuka averages 6.2 yards per carry. That, with his 300-plus yard game against Ohio State, won him some Heisman votes.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29
Sun Bowl *r
2:30 p.m. (CBS)
No. 20 Washington (7-3-1) vs. Iowa (7-4),
in El Paso, Texas
Washington's Huskies aren't the national championship contenders former coach Don James put together a few years back, but they still managed quality wins over UCLA and Stanford and tied Rose Bowl-bound Southern Cal.
Iowa's Hawkeyes flew high for a while, winning the first five games in a soft schedule. But they dropped four in a row to the iron of the Big Ten before recovering to take their final two and a bowl bid. Look for gimmick plays from longtime Iowa Coach Hayden Fry. Iowa's tight ends provide a visual quirk: They stand, rather than crouch, at the line of scrimmage to see the field better.
Independence Bowl *
5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Michigan State (6-4-1) vs. Louisiana State (6-4-1),
in Shreveport, La.
The Spartans are one of six Big Ten teams playing in bowls this year. They capped their season with a 28-25 upset of archrival Michigan.
LSU struggled at times, but beat bowl-bound Auburn and Arkansas.
Holiday Bowl **
9 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado State (8-3) vs. No. 10 Kansas State (9-2),
in San Diego