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SportsPulse: They were on a collision course year round and will eventually collide in Santa Clara. At Hard Rock Stadium, Trysta Krick and our college football experts give a preview of the annual Juggernaut matchup.
USA TODAY

Nothing says college football like bowl games on New Year's Day.

Here's what you should know about today's five matchups:

OUTBACK BOWL

Iowa (8-4) Vs. Mississippi State (8-4) [19659010] Time, TV: Noon ET Tuesday, ESPN2

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida Reasons to see

Iowa was really close on a huge season. It was a victory over Iowa State. However, it lost to Wisconsin 28-17 and had a loss of three consecutive losses by six points or less and a total of 12 points. Beating Mississippi State would be the deciding moment.

Last year's Mississippi State Team was 9-4. This year's team can do this with a win that represents a seamless transition from the era of Dan Mullen to Joe Moorhead. The offense was solid, but the defense determined the year.

Players to Watch

QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State: He was fine when he threw the ball, finishing 53 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns. When he takes off, but be careful; He ran over 1,000 meters with 12 hits, including six 100-meter games.

QB Nate Stanley, Iowa: The 6-4, 242-pound junior combined 58 percent of his scores for 2,638 yards and 23 TD with nine picks, but had to battle his way through some games in bad weather. If he is there, he is the offense.

More: Opinion: Alabama Must Be Better Against Clemson vs. Oklahoma To Win The Title

VRBO CITRUS BOWL

Kentucky (9-3) Vs. Penn State (9-3)

Time, TV: 1 pm ET Tuesday, ABC

Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Reasons you should see [19659010] It was a great season for Kentucky. To be deep in the title chase of the Southeast Conference? Beat Florida for the first time in over three decades? Well, that's just a sauce. Win, and it's the first 10-win season since 1977.

Penn State's CV is a bit out of the dominant performance over Wisconsin and the outbreak of Pitt. Defeat Kentucky for the first time since the outback of 1999, and it is the first time that the Nittany Lions have won ten games or more for three consecutive years from 1980 to 1982.

Players to Watch

RB Benny Snell, Kentucky: He can do anything and runs for 1,305 yards and 14 TDs, but it's more than that. His workhorse skills allow for everything else in the UK , He's a tough, hard runner who can catch something too.

QB Trace McSorley, Penn State: He's not too specific, having completed less than 60 percent of his career passes, and he only threw 16 TD passes after throwing 29 as a second grader and 28 as a junior. But he ran more this season and ended up with 723 yards and 11 TDs. He is as good as any quarterback in college football.

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PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

Central Florida (12-0) Vs. LSU (9-3)

Time, TV: 1 pm ET Tuesday, ESPN

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

Reasons for Observation

The LSU should not be here. The schedule was far more brutal than the one UCF had to deal with and passed the test with flying colors. The losses? A tough fight in Florida, Alabama and a seven-hour overtime game at Texas A & M. This is a rock solid, tough team that does not do anything nice, but has the limits and the defense to make a statement. Motivation should not be an issue for LSU.

There were many parts of the dream season of last year, but head coach Josh Heupel is new. Scott Frost is gone, and QB McKenzie Milton is also recovering from a broken leg that was sustained at the end of the season. Shaquem Griffin is not in this game and not the top last season's receiver, Tre Quan Smith, or dangerous defender Jamiyus Pittman. There is much more to prove.

Players to Watch

QB Joe Burrow, LSU: He Wanted to Be American Quarterback, But Dwayne Haskins Turned Into a Overtake Heisman finalist Burrow went to LSU, took over the gig and became the ultimate game manager. He ran for 375 yards and seven scores and threw with 2,500 yards and 12 TDs with four picks.

QB Darriel Mack, UCF: The Newcomer Had Somehow Kick-Off for Heart-and-Soul Leader Milton, and after a rough start, he became big. The LSU is fully trained to prevent the 6-3 230-pounder from taking over.

Rose Bowl

Ohio State (12-1) vs. Washington (10-3)

Time, TV: 17.00 ET, Tuesday, ESPN

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

Reasons to Look

Is this really the last game Urban Meyer will ever train? Undoubtedly, but before he brings it up to a track job like a track and field athlete, he practices in his first Rose Bowl. 11: 3 in bowl games, Meyer's teams show up in these things, and this should have a serious attitude. It is respected and there is the first 12-win Power Five conference champion not entering the college football playoffs.

Chris Petersen has been fighting in bowl games lately and loses three of his four with the Huskies, but there are no no cheap dropouts. Last year was a fiesta loss for Penn State and the year before was a loss of CFP for Alabama. It was nice to win the Pac-12 title, but achieving that will be one of those moments of the "program is here". The huskies are in no way pretty. They are hard, they pop, and they can crunch if necessary.

Players to Watch

QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio (Ohio State): In almost every other year, he is the escaped Heisman winner after hitting 4,580 yards and 47 TDs with just eight picks.

QB Jake Browning, Washington: The four-year starter is about to start the historic pass charts with another good game. 37th place among NCAA leaders of all time is 118 yards from 32nd position and 213st by Jared Goff at 31st.

Sugar Bowl

. Texas (9-4) vs. Georgia (11-2)

Time, Television: 8:30 pm ET Tuesday, ESPN

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, New Orleans

Reasons to See [19659010] This was a small recharge season for Georgia, and it was not always smooth. There is no idea how good the Bulldogs really were. Outside the clunkers in Death Valley against Clemson Georgia won all other eleven regular season games in the double-digit range.

It was a very contradictory and extremely entertaining year for Texas. The Longhorns have a crime that just showed enough explosions to keep up with the Big 12 Conference attacks and a D that could shut down the weaker ones.

Players to Watch

Georgia: There's nothing eye-catching about his game, but he beats 68 percent of his passes, threw 27 TD passes with only five picks, and he has the wars in only undergone two years as a subclass. He is unimpressed, unwavering and good at getting the ball into the hands of his playmaker.

QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas: He did a few things in the Big 12 championship game and was still solid enough to finish with 25 TD passes, just five picks and 418 rushing yards and 13 TDs. He's a runner's 6-3, 235-pound Tim Tebow-style battering ram, but against Georgia it matters only if he moves the chains.

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