Sugar Bowl, 1/1: Illinois-LSU
Two coaches with a pair of programs on the rise. This is basically a "home game" for LSU as the Tigers need just travel an hour east to get to the Superdome. Unfortunately for Illinois, the Big Ten champ will not get to opportunity to play in the desire Rose Bowl as Pasadena is holding the national title game this year, but still, the Fighting Illini had a great season.
The Fighting Illini are competently led by Kurt Kittner, a quarterback that could end up in the draft's first round. His favorite target is sophomore Brandon Lloyd, a big-time prospect that's come storming back from a broken leg that kept him on the sidelines a season ago. Also keep an eye on Eugene Wilson, one of the best young corners in the nation and potentially a second frame selection if he opts for the draft.
LSU has a great junior receiving threat in Josh Reed, a heady prospect and the "go-to" guy that cannot be stopped. Reed's ability to... well read the defense, is unprecedented and though not fast, does have a penchant for sneaking it down the field on occasion. Rohan Davey has made some strides at quarterback but was injured in the SEC Championship game and may not play.
Illinois: Muhammad Abdullah/S, Luke Butkus/C, Rocky Harvey/RB, Brian Hodges/TE, Bobby Jackson/S, Kurt Kittner/QB, Greg Lewis/WR, Brandon Lloyd/WR, Bandon Moore/DE, Aaron Moorehead/WR, Tony Pashos/T, Terrell Washington /DE, Eugene Wilson/CB, Walter Young/WR