There's an eerie similarity to the bowl games involving the four teams of local interest -West Virginia University, Marshall University, Ohio State University and Ohio (which doesn't want to be called Ohio University).
All four teams are underdogs, but none by more than a touchdown. meaning there's a good chance each game will be competitive.
Let's take a brief early look at the matchups and the way the oddsmakers view them:
Although this matchup will get dissected in every way possible, it is a battle of the quarterbacks -West Virginia junior Geno Smith vs. Clemson sophomore Tajh Boyd, who originally committed to WVU.
It's also interesting that WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen wasn't supposed to be the head coach this year and that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was on one of the nation's hottest seats when the year began.
The oddsmakers- who are smarter than you, me and every talking head on TV - have installed Clemson as a 3-point favorite. While the line is designed to get an equal amount of action on each team, that won't happen at 3, which seems low. It tells me the oddsmakers lean to West Virginia.
Playing the Gators in the Gator Bowl reminds me of when West Virginia played in Jacksonville against Florida State in Bobby Bowden's final game, dubbed the Bowden Bowl -you go in at a disadvantage.
Still, Florida is nearly as offensively challenged as is OSU, which is why the over-under on this game is just 42, very low for college football, especially a game likely played in warm weather. The Gators are a 1-point favorite. Given that the game is played in Florida and it's SEC vs. Big Ten, the line tells me to take OSU.
FIU, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, is a five-point favorite. Ironically, both teams own a win over co-Big East champions Louisville. FIU appears to have the stronger offense, Marshall the better defense.
Utah State enters the bowl on a five-game winning streak after starting out the season 2-5. While none of its wins are particularly impressive, it lost by just four points in the season opener at Auburn and by just three at BYU. Ohio's most impressive result is a 44-7 blasting of Marshall.
Utah State is a two-point favorite. Given its late-season momentum, that number seems low.
We'll have plenty of time to go more in-depth into each game. After all, we spend much more time speculating about football than the teams do playing it.
For now, it's always interesting to see what the oddsmakers think.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org