4. Alamo Bowl: No. 13 Stanford vs. No. 15 TCU
Broadcast info: Dec. 28, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
Stanford was three points away from winning the Pac-12 and heading to one of the big six bowls, but their second loss to USC in the Pac-12 title game sent them here. Luckily, Heisman hopeful Bryce Love has struggled with a high ankle sprain and should finally be healthy.
Meanwhile, TCU lost to a playoff team (Oklahoma) twice, and fell in a fluky 14-7 matchup at Iowa State. Other than that, the Horned Frogs looked great this season, including two big wins over Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
Stanford boasts a rushing attack that racked up 205.8 yards per game, and Love has rushed for 1,973 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging a ridiculous 8.3 yards per carry this season. TCU’s defense ranked 19th in the country in total defense (329 yards allowed per game) and fourth in rushing defense (99.8 yards per game). It will be a battle between Stanford’s power and TCU’s attacking defense.
Love is a blast to watch, but Stanford’s offense has completely changed since K.J. Costello took over at quarterback. The Cardinal can actually throw the ball now. TCU’s defense will have to come up big, but Gary Patterson always seems to figure out something on that side of the ball.