1: Will either Pitt or UNC really be able to bounce back from losses in huge games to end their regular seasons? Neither the Panthers nor the Tar Heels looked good the last time that college football bettors saw them. Pitt was dropped in heartbreaking fashion by the Bearcats to keep it out of the BCS, while North Carolina was beaten by a point by NC State to snap a four-game winning streak both SU and ATS. The two teams do battle in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Saturday in one of the best matchups of the weekend.
2: Are we set to see a breakout game from QB Jordan Wynn? In a few years, we may all be looking back at Wednesday night’s Poinsettia Bowl and thinking to ourselves, “Remember when Jordan Wynn was just a freshman playing in that game?” Wynn has the potential to be an absolute superstar, especially in the Mountain West, and he’ll get to take the national spotlight on Wednesday night against HC Jeff Tedford’s Cal defense, which allowed 260.2 passing yards per game in ’09, good enough for 108th in the nation.
3: Will Nevada’s pistol attack be stuffed up without its running backs? RBs Luke Lippincott and Vai Taua are both out of the Hawaii Bowl against SMU this week. The duo combined to rush for 2,379 yards and 19 TDs this year. We know that the Wolfpack can run the football like no one else in the nation, as they ranked #1 in the land at 362.8 yards per game when they were at full strength. However, of the three players that rushed for at least 1,000 yards on this team, only QB Colin Kaepernick will be in the lineup. This is where we’ll see whether it’s a matter of the scheme or the players that is leading to Nevada’s success. SMU’s 92nd ranked defense may not be able to put up a fight one way or the other.
4: Did the Thundering Herd really deserve to play in a bowl game? Wyoming proved its value in the New Mexico Bowl by beating Fresno State outright over the weekend. Many criticized the decision to put Marshall in a bowl game, especially to face off with an Ohio team that it used to play every year when a member of the MAC. The Little Caesar’s Bowl isn’t going to be the sexiest college football bowl matchup of the bunch, and it’ll be a game that is largely criticized if the Thundering Herd fall flat on their faces.
5: Will the ACC prove to be incredibly deep or incredibly weak? The ACC’s first three bowl teams will all play on Saturday and Sunday this week, and it’ll be the first indicator that college football betting fans will have about how good this conference really was this year. Seven teams are in bowls, while three others fell just one win shy of the mark. UNC and BC are both underdogs, while Clemson is favored. However, anything less than at least two close losses and a victory will have eyes rolling about how bad the ACC really has become.