Bowl games are like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates.

You never know what you’re going to get.

It’s one of many reasons I’m not a fan of major college football’s postseason.

You never know which teams want to play in the game. Some are motivated, some are not. Some prepare hard for the game. Some party. Some players are thinking more about their post-collegiate futures than the game at hand.

The long layoff between the end of the regular season and the bowl game can be tricky. It’s hard to stay sharp. Some teams go stale.

If you’ve been an Oregon fan for long, you can remember bowl games in which the Ducks just went through the motions. The 2002 Seattle Bowl and the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl spring to mind.

The O’s John Canzano touches on this in his column about Oregon’s selection to the Alamo Bowl, where the Ducks will play TCU.

I agree with Canzano that Oregon should be motivated this year.

I think TCU will be too. I’m expecting one heck of a game.

Here is yesterday’s Issues & Answers, in which I wrote the Alamo Bowl is the perfect, postseason landing spot for the Ducks, and noted Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake is a leading candidate to be BYU’s head coach. It didn’t post yesterday until late afternoon because of issues with the O Live blog tool.

OK, more links:

Oregon and TCU will match prolific offenses in the Alamo Bowl.

It’s a “What If” bowl for the Horned Frogs and Ducks.

Oregon and TCU both had playoff hopes this season.

TCU is the early favorite in the Alamo Bowl.

Mac Engel of the Star-Telegram: It will be a crime if TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin isn’t invited to the Heisman ceremony.

Some quick facts about TCU.

Here is the way the Dallas Morning News sees the Oregon-TCU matchup.

TCU finished the regular season ranked as the best team in Texas by the Dallas Morning News.

TCU coach Gary Patterson says the teams in the Alamo Bowl could have met in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

The Ducks want to end the season with an exclamation point.

Oregon will be making a second Alamo Bowl appearance in three seasons.

Expect lots of offense when TCU and Oregon square off.

Stifling run defense and punishing ground game were the big keys for Northern Iowa against Portland State in the FCS Playoffs.

Samuel Chi for the San Francisco Chronicle: The biggest loser of college football’s postseason? The Pac-12’s Conference of Champions.

The Merc’s Jon Wilner takes a scatter gun approach to the bowl selections. Among his many observations, the College Football Playoff Committee got it right, the Pac-12 is a big financial loser, and using a spread offense might not be the best way to win a national championship.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic: The committee did as well as it could given the constraints of a terrible system.

Nancy Armour of USA Today: How broken is the bowl system? Let’s count the ways.

ESPN.com Pac-12 guru Ted Miller: Plenty of disappointment this year for the Pac-12.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com: Imagine an eight-team playoff; it’s easy if you try.

The contracts of most FCS and FBS head football coaches can be found on this website, maintained by six Seattle attorneys.

Clay Helton’s purge of the USC coaching staff includes Justin Wilcox, Keith Heyward and two others; the Trojans will prepare for Holiday Bowl with the remaining assistants.

Helton makes a bold move ahead of the Holiday Bowl.

USC is a surprise choice for the Holiday Bowl, but bowl organizers reportedly like the Los Angeles television market.

The Rose Bowl is a consolation prize this year, but Stanford and Iowa aren’t complaining.

Two old-school offenses will collide when Iowa and Stanford meet in the Rose Bowl.

How Stanford and Iowa match up.

The Daily Star’s Greg Hansen: RichRod’s flirtation with South Carolina is business as usual for a sport in which coaches can be bought and players can be sold.

Arizona gets another postseason trip to Albuquerque, but RichRod’s job status gets more attention.

UCLA will face Mike Riley’s 5-7 Nebraska team in the Foster Farms Bowl.

The Foster Farms Bowl is a disappointing place for UCLA to end the season.

The Bruins have not fared well in this game, which has gone through several name changes.

Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune: The Las Vegas Bowl is a disappointing landing spot for both BYU and Utah, but this is a good matchup.

Lafe Peavler of the Deseret News: Utah-BYU is an exciting matchup.

Utah’s Holy War will resume in this year’s Las Vegas Bowl.

The Las Vegas Bowl isn’t much of a consolation prize for the Utes.

The Cougs hope to bring lots of fans to El Paso for the Sun Bowl.

WSU is expected to have quarterback Luke Falk back for the Sun Bowl.

Resurgent Washington State heads to the Sun Bowl to play Miami.

Playing Southern Mississippi in the Heart of Dallas Bowl will be a measuring stick for Washington.

UW defensive line coach Jeff Choate will stay with the Huskies through the bowl before moving on to Montana State.

After a three-year hiatus, Cal returns to the postseason against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl.

The Golden Bears get a return trip to Texas while coach Sonny Dykes ducks the media.

Dykes reportedly still is negotiating with the school about a contract extension.

Arizona State stays home for the Cactus Bowl.

The links from Duck Sports Now.

The links from Beaver Sports Now.

— Ken Goe

[email protected]

503-221-8040 | @KenGoe

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