MUSIC CITY BOWL
North Carolina State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)
Where: LP Field, Nashville
Time, TV: 11 a.m., ESPN
Line: Vanderbilt by 7 1/2
The skinny: The Commodores, playing in only their sixth bowl all-time, come in with a six-game winning streak that is longest in the Southeastern Conference going into bowl season. N.C. State can make up for a season that cost coach Tom O'Brien his job by winning its third bowl in a row.
Southern California (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)
Where: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
Time, TV: 11 a.m., Ch. 4
Line: USC by 7 1/2
The skinny: The Sun Bowl is a consolation prize for USC, which will play without QB Matt Barkley (shoulder injury). Despite a losing record, the Yellow Jackets are bowl-eligible for a 16th consecutive season -- but they have lost their past seven bowls, including 30-27 in overtime to Utah in last year's Sun Bowl.
Iowa State (6-6) vs. Tulsa (10-3)
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis
Time, TV: 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Line: Iowa State by 1
The skinny: Tulsa will attempt to avenge a 38-23 loss at Iowa State on Sept. 1 in the season opener. The two schools also will meet at Tulsa in the fourth week of the 2013 season. A victory would give the Cyclones their first winning season since 2009.
No. 9 Louisiana State (10-2) vs. No. 14 Clemson (10-2)
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Time, TV: 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Line: LSU by 6
The skinny: Clemson, behind QB Tajh Boyd and his 34 touchdown passes, is trying to reach 11 victories for the first time since a 12-0 finish in its 1981 national championship season. LSU, which one year ago was preparing for the national championship game, is hoping to finish with a top-five ranking and a five-game winning streak since its 21-17 loss to Alabama on Nov. 3. LSU is 9-1 all-time at the Georgia Dome, including four victories in this bowl game.