UCLA is finishing their season 6-7 after losing in the Pac-12 championship game to Oregon 49-31, but applied for a bowl waiver and were granted it for the BCS. They will be a headless team as Rick Neuheisel is no longer the head coach, so it'll be interesting the effort they put into this one for interim head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Johnson.
If UCLA had a tough season, Illinois's pretty much teetered on disastrous. Ron Zook had the Fighting Illini at 6-0 before they dropped their final six games, and he was also fired. This matchup will be a bit strange for both teams, and I wonder how much excitment either fanbase will be able to muster for this contest.