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NCAA Football Conference USA FootballMississippi State Bulldogs

5 Reasons To Watch The AutoZone Liberty Bowl

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5 Reasons To Watch The AutoZone Liberty Bowl

5 Reasons To Watch The AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

This is my favorite time of the year. There’s just something about the holiday season that brings out the best in me. Whether it’s all the food, the friends or the hope and optimism of New Years, I just can’t get enough of the month of December. And one of the best parts is all the college bowl games, especially the minor ones.

The thing is, they’re one of the last vestiges of a system that, while being undoubtedly outdated, I already miss. Like so many things that you know need to be changed to keep up with the times, there are still parts of the old, familiar system that I will look back on fondly. It used to be that college teams could consider any season a success that ended with a win in December, even more so if that win came on the first day of the new year.

Those days are about to end. With the institution of a playoff system, college football will bring excitement and a true champion to their fans, but they will also lose the innocence of a six-loss team celebrating a bowl win with as much gusto as a national championship. Just watch how much it will mean to the Mississippi Bulldogs if they can end their season with a win over the Rice Owls in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Both teams come into the game looking for a win, but for different reasons. The Owls would like to cap off one of their best years ever with an upset, and the Bulldogs can change the narrative on a disappointing season with a victory.

Savor how great these bowl games are this year; you’ll be glad you did. You’ll especially be glad you watched the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and here are five reasons why.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. To Be The First Of Your Friends To Know Rice Is A Program On The Rise

Rice Owls
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Owls have won 17 games in the last two years and their first conference championship since 1957. This is a program on the rise, and you want to be the first among your friends to jump on the bandwagon.

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4. You Need To Know Who Chris Jones Is

Chris Jones
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most talented freshman defenders in the country, 6-foot-5, 305 pound defensive tackle Chris Jones is a star in the making for the Bulldogs.

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3. Plenty Of Star Power

Star Power
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Both squads feature stud offensive players. Bulldogs dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott is due for his breakout game on a national stage, while Rice’s 16th ranked rushing offense begins with the running of tailback Charles Ross and his 14 touchdowns on the year.

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2. Both Teams Can Play Defense

Defense
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Offense can be exciting, especially in bowl games, but most of the time, the high scoring affairs we get this time of the year are due more to poor defenses than they are to efficient offenses. This game will feature two teams that will make each other earn every point.

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1. You Just Might Get Some Extra Football

Overtime
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State’s last two games went into overtime, so there’s a good chance you’ll get some extra football in this one too. Who doesn't like a little something extra this time of year?