Bowl games are tacked on artificially to the end of the regular season, which is one reason they are so difficult to predict.

There is a long gap between the end of the regular season and most bowl dates. You never know for sure which teams want to play the game, which teams are at the bowl sites to party and which teams don’t want to be there at all.

It didn’t look to me that many UCLA players were invested in the Foster Farms Bowl. The game was played on the day after Christmas in a largely empty Levi’s Stadium against a sub-.500 Nebraska team.

As Jack Wang points out in the Los Angeles Daily News, a sloppy paint job in the end zones couldn’t entirely hide the 49ers logos.

It wasn’t the stage on which the Bruins expected to end the season.

But I expect a good effort from Oregon against TCU in the Jan. 2 Alamo Bowl.

The Ducks seem to have a nagging sense of unfinished business after a midseason slump took them out of College Football Playoff contention. TCU is a quality opponent. The defense has every reason to buckle down against the explosive Horned Frogs’ offense.

Aaron Fentress of CSNNW.com lists some of the things the Ducks have to play for in the Alamo Bowl.

Unlike Fentress, I don’t think the players care much about Oregon’s postseason history or fan sanity.

I do think they care about this team, and about ending this season on a high note.

OK, more links:

Oregon players Darren Carrington and Tyree Robinson grieve for the death of a close friend.

Carrington will wear the jersey number of his close friend, Markel Byrd, in the Alamo Bowl.

How TCU’s receivers match up with Oregon’s secondary.

See the special gear the Oregon Ducks are wearing at the Alamo Bowl
The No. 15 Ducks arrive in San Antonio on Dec. 26 to prepare for their Jan. 2 bowl game against No. 11 TCU.

Comparing the Oregon and TCU tight ends.

Andrew Greif and Tyson Alger of The O, and the Forth Star-Telegram’s Carlos A. Mendez take a long look at TCU in this podcast.

With injured TCU receiver Josh Doctson on the shelf, can the Horned Frogs hang with Oregon?

The flight-delayed Vernon Adams makes it to the Ducks’ first practice in San Antonio.

Adams arrives — just in time.

Scholarship in hand, UO kicker Aidan Schneider says his approach won’t change.

The Ducks settle into a familiar routine.

What to make of the Ducks?

Oregon State is among the Power 5 schools to ease drug-testing policies.

Ed Lamb explains his decision to step down as head coach at Southern Utah and join Kalani Sitake’s staff at BYU.

Samuel Chi for the San Francisco Chronicle: The College Football Playoff gambles on New Year’s Eve.

Pete Thamel of SI.com: What’s next for the Big 12?

Andy Staples of SI.com on the reinvention of Lane Kiffin.

Dan Wolken of USA Today: How long before Kiffin’s next head-coaching job?

Stanford’s Kevin Hogan will be the first quarterback to start in three Rose Bowls since 1979.

The injury news is all good for Stanford.

Troubled USC tackle Chad Wheeler will miss the Holiday Bowl.

USC’s Zach Banner gets comfortable at left tackle.

USC veterans see a bright future for the program.

Cal special teamer Patrick Worstell wants to be a Navy SEAL.

Cal coaches hoped the Bears’ appearance in the Armed Forces Bowl will be a boon for Texas recruiting.

Arizona State coach Todd Graham says success in bowl games comes down to desire.

Washington State receiver Gabe Marks announces he will return for his senior season.

WSU fans find their travel plans rearranged by Texas storms.

Quarterback Jake Browning is one of many Huskies stranded in Dallas by the weather.

Tweets reveals some frustrated UW players, who have been unable to get out of Dallas.

Arizona receiver Cayleb Jones declares for the NFL draft.

ESPN.com Pac-12 guru Ted Miller: No way to get around it, UCLA’s 2015 season was a failure.

UCLA needs to find a way to protect quarterback Josh Rosen.

UCLA coach Jim Mora says the Bruins need to get bigger and stronger.

Mora could be in the mix for a NFL job.

The links from Duck Sports Now.

The links from Beaver Sports Now.

— Ken Goe

[email protected]

503-221-8040 | @KenGoe

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