Northern Illinois (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (7-5)
Dec. 28, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Reason To Watch: You're in Las Vegas and for some inexplicable reason have run out of entertainment options, so you decide to bet the over/under. That or you really need one of these teams to win to keep your hopes alive in a bowl pool. Yes, there are 34 bowl games and this is among the worst. With tie-ins to the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences, the Independence Bowl usually has an entertaining matchup, but the leagues didn't have enough bowl eligible teams, so the good people of Shreveport were left with bowl crumbs. Throw in the collapse of the economy and it's crisis time for the Independence Bowl.
Keep An Eye On: Northern Illinois' Larry English, the Mid-American Conference's defensive player of the year. The defensive end had eight sacks and 15 tackles for losses.
Did You Know?: Each team played and lost to a service academy. Northern Illinois fell to Navy, 16-0. Louisiana Tech lost to Army, 14-7. Each team also played a Southeastern Conference team. The Huskies lost at Tennessee, 13-9. The Bulldogs beat Mississippi State, 22-14, in Ruston. Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley is the son of longtime Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley.
Final Analysis: This amounts to a home game for Louisiana Tech, with Ruston only 70 miles down the road. The Huskies will simply be happy to escape the cold and snow of DeKalb. Advantage Bulldogs.
The Pick: Louisiana Tech 24, Northern Illinois 23