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Holiday Bowl 2012: Why Baylor vs. UCLA Matchup Promises to Be Memorable

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 17:  Nick Florence #11 of the Baylor Bears throws the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2012

Do you love offense? Did you think last year's National Championship between Alabama and LSU was a total snooze fest? Do you actually enjoy the Arena Football League when it actually has enough money to exist and think that "The Greatest Show on Turf" was just about the greatest show ever, period?

Than you are going to love the Holiday Bowl between Baylor and UCLA. And even if you are more of a traditionalist, I guarantee you that you'll at least have fun watching this matchup.

Let's start with Baylor, who rivals the basketball team in terms of points scored and points allowed. Quarterback Nick Florence and the passing attack averages 353.3 yards per game, third in the nation. The offense scores 44.1 points per game, fifth in the country and has scored 40 or more points nine times this season. 

Sure, the 117th ranked defense couldn't stop a rollerblader with a sack full of gravel, but who cares? That only makes the Bears that much more fun to watch. They're never out of a game given how deadly the offense is, and they're never safe from allowing a huge comeback given how shaky the defense is.

It's edge-of-your-seat entertainment folks.

UCLA is better on defense, of course, but not good enough to slow the Bears down. UCLA's offense, led by runningback Johnathan Franklin's 1,700 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, scores 35.1 points per game, 29th in college football.

And think of the dynamic players littering the field in this one. Florence hasn't made anyone forget about Robert Griffin III, but he hasn't slowed down this offense either, throwing for 4,121 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. 

Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin give the team a dangerous one-two punch at running back. Wide receiver Terrance Williams has 95 receptions for 1,764 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Four Baylor receivers have more than 475 receiving yards.

Who do you focus on stopping? 

That's UCLA's problem, thankfully, because I don't know the answer. But maybe UCLA isn't worried about that, because they know Baylor will have its hands full as well.

Franklin has been a beast this season. Brett Hundley has been a revelation at quarterback in his freshman season, giving the Bruins a dual-threat at the position. And outside linebacker Anthony Barr played at an All-American level this season, giving UCLA with one of the most dangerous pass rushers in the nation.

Everywhere you turn, there are exciting players to watch and compelling matchups to whet your whistle. This year's National Championship between Alabama and Notre Dame and the Fiesta Bowl between Kansas State and Oregon may be more intriguing matchups, but few bowl games this season will be more fun than this one.

It will put the Arena League to shame, you just wait.

Hit me up on Twitter—only the Holiday Bowl has more fireworks in store than my tweets.

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