If you want a New Year's countdown, then just take a look at the landscape of college bowl games.
For the most part, they're games that don't count. And, let's be honest, there are really too many bowl games to count up (35 total bowls making for 70 bowl teams).
Yet, they grant schools that rare opportunity in life – a second chance. For example, how ‘bout the Arizona Wildcats on New Year's Eve?
Instead of a season-ending (and deflating) loss to ASU, the ‘Cats took out their Territorial Cup frustrations on Boston College to the tune of a 42-19 rout in the AdvoCare Bowl (formerly the Independence Bowl).
In addition, UA won the marquee matchup of running backs. Ka'Deem Carey rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns, appearing more dominant as the game unfolded.
"He's the hardest runner in the country and I think he's the best running back in the country," Rich Rodriguez said before breaking into a grin. "And he's still got some things to learn. So another year and he'd be just right."
The Arizona head coach is making a couple of points in that comment to the media. First, he's urging his two-time All-American running back to return for a final season in Tucson.
Second, Rodriguez is speaking on behalf of Wildcat Nation in citing how Carey outshined Boston College running back Andre Williams, the Doak Walker Award winner who came into the game with 2,102 yards rushing.
UA held the Heisman finalist to 75 yards rushing and one touchdown in his final collegiate game.
"The biggest key for us defensively was tackling (Williams) before he had the chance to get going," Rodriguez said. "We wanted to tackle him early and be physical."
Then again, Carey had plenty of help. Arizona (8-5) had 529 total yards and scored 35 straight points to turn a tight 7-6 game in the second quarter into a 42-6 blowout by early in the fourth.
Quarterback B.J. Denker threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for a 14-yard touchdown.
"I know when a quarterback gets it like B.J," Rodriguez said. "He's seeing everything -- good and bad. He was really sharp mentally and obviously, he showed his athletic ability on some of those runs."
Denker completed 17 of 24 passes while Nate Phillips caught nine passes for 193 yards. Redshirt freshman Trey Griffey -- the son of former baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. -- caught two touchdown passes, including a 26-yarder just before halftime that gave the Wildcats a 21-6 lead.