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What to watch: Non-BCS mid-bowl season edition

12/24/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
1.Keep the momentum going: The second round of bowl games will have a lot to live up to after the excitement the first week produced. Look for another set of games with close scores and a lot of offense.

2.Revenge is sweet: For the second consecutive week we'll have a rematch, this time between Houston and Air Force which played their first meeting in a hurricane in Dallas. With no inclement weather on the horizon, Houston's aerial offense will be looking to attack.

3.Exceeding expectations: The Independence Bowl has been declared the dog of the bowl season this year, but Northern Illinois and Louisiana Tech have the ability to make it the type of close game since both teams have similar offenses and defenses.

4.End on a high note: Nevada coach Chris Ault challenged his team several weeks ago to be better than it was playing. The Wolf Pack responded and now have a chance to finish with eight wins with a win in the Humanitarian Bowl.

5.Historical careers: The record-setting careers of Rice quarterback Chase Clement and receiver Jarett Dillard will come to an end in the Houston Bowl so expect both to go out on a high note.

6.Nine more wins: Air Force exceeded expectations for the second consecutive season and are now in line for their second consecutive nine-win campaign. They'll have a tough time getting it against a Houston team that is playing about as well as any team in the country right now.

7.Run Vai run: Colin Kaepernick gets a lot of press for Nevada, but running back Vai Taua is the team's leading rusher with 118.33 and the catalyst of the nation's second-best offense. He's having a dream season considering he wasn't the starter at the beginning of the year, and he'll look to finish it of in style.

8.Just call me: There was a published story last week that FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger made some calls to get his team into a bowl, if that's true then the Owls better hold up their end of the bargain. Rusty Smith could have a career day against a porous Central Michigan secondary.

9.Live up to the hype: Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour has battled a couple injuries this year, which has limited his effectiveness. Still, he's one of the more dangerous quarterbacks in the country and he'll have a chance to put that on display in Detroit.

10.End the year in style: The non-BCS has had to carry the bowl load so far and it's time to end the year by changing opinions about the non-AQ schools. Boise State and TCU laid the groundwork on Tuesday and with several great matchups looming, the trend should continue.