The Alamo Bowl has proven to be one of the more entertaining bowl games in the last 15 years or so. Since the 2005 game between Nebraska and Michigan, there have been 13 Alamo Bowls played. Of those 13 games, only four have finished with margins greater than 10 points, and one of those was an 11-point win by Baylor over Washington. The final score of that game was 67-56.

Points have also been a theme in the game. Since 2005, there's been an average of 63.5 points per Alamo Bowl, so it isn't short on points, nor is it short on drama. Simply put, the Alamo Bowl is your favorite bowl's favorite bowl game. It just manages a way to be consistently entertaining, no matter who is playing in it, and this year's game between No. 12 Washington State and No. 24 Iowa State has the promise to continue the tradition.

Mike Leach and the Cougars once again bring one of the fiercest passing attacks in the country to Texas while Matt Campbell and the Cyclones are more methodical in their approach on the offensive side.

Let's take a closer look at the matchup in this year's Alamo Bowl.

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Event: Alamo Bowl
Date: Friday, Dec. 28 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Alamodome -- San Antonio, Texas
ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN


Washington State: The Cougars are 10-2 on the season, yet odds are they enter this game feeling a little disappointed. Heading into their regular season finale in the Apple Cup against rival Washington, the Cougars had won seven straight, risen to No. 8 in the rankings and were in a position to win the Pac-12 North for a shot at the Pac-12 title, and maybe, if things broke right, a playoff berth. Instead, they lost to the Huskies 28-15 in the midst of some horrible weather. It was their sixth straight loss to Washington. On the bright side, the Cougars are playing in their fifth bowl game in seven seasons under Mike Leach, and their fourth in a row. It's the first time the program has ever reached a bowl game in four straight seasons.

Iowa State: The Cyclones are making their first appearance in the Alamo Bowl, but it's the second straight season Matt Campbell's program has gone bowling. The last time Iowa State reached a bowl game in consecutive seasons was in 2011 and 2012, which was also the last time the program had been bowling before last year's Liberty Bowl win. Iowa State rebounded from a 1-3 start to the 2018 season, winning seven of their last eight games to finish the regular season at 8-4. A win in the Alamo Bowl would mean bowl wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history.

Game prediction, picks

When it comes to bowl games I tend to lean toward underdogs naturally, and that's the case here as well. As I mentioned earlier, for Washington State, a trip to the Alamo Bowl is a bit of a disappointment as this was a team dreaming of a possible Rose Bowl trip and conference title. Plus, while Mike Leach has done an excellent job of leading the Cougars to postseason play, they haven't performed all that well in the bowl games themselves. In four bowl games under Leach, Washington State is 1-3. I believe Iowa State will be the more motivated team in this game, and when it comes to bowls, motivation is often the deciding factor. Pick: Iowa State +3.5

So, which side of Washington State vs. Iowa State covers? And what crucial x-factor gives one side a huge edge? Visit SportsLine right now to see Stephen Oh's 2018 Alamo Bowl picks, all from the expert on a 4-0 run picking the Cyclones, and find out.