By Clint Switzer
Well it wouldn’t be a college football season without an SEC team playing for a BCS Championship and for the 8th year in a row, we’ve got it! The Auburn Tigers will take on the Florida State Seminoles for the big crystal ball in the last season before the anticipated college football playoff system will begin. The rest of the SEC will be thoroughly represented throughout bowl season as 10 teams will take part in various dot com bowls around the country during the holidays. Is there a real possibility that the conference could go undefeated in bowl play this year? If you break down each match-up, it is not entirely unrealistic to make such a bold prediction.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. December 30th 3:15 Eastern.
The Rebels did not end the season on a very high note as they dropped their final two. Georgia Tech has flown under the radar all season but there is no doubt that preparing for their option attack is a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Both teams come in at 7-5 but we’ll take Ole Miss and their talented young squad to overcome.
Prediction: 27-24 Ole Miss
Autozone Liberty Bowl. December 31st 4:00 Eastern.
Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen may have saved his job with a victory over rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl this season. His team showed signs of promise after winning their final two games and should be poised to with the Liberty Bowl despite the Rice Owls coming off their first championship in almost 60 years. Look for State’s defense will be too stiff for the Owls who should win in a close game.
Prediction: Mississippi State 24 Rice 17
Chick-Fil-A Bowl. December 31st 8:00 Eastern.
The fact that the Duke Blue Devils won 10 football games in 2013 might be the story of the year in all of sports. Coach David Cutcliffe has turned around this program in astonishing fashion and he is a top canidate for coach of the year in college football. On the other hand, Johnny Football and the Texas A&M Aggies has a bit of a drop off this season and were held to season lows in yards and points in their final two games. Expect Manziel to go out with guns a blazin’ in this game and for the Aggies to roll.
Prediction: 45-13 Texas A&M
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl. January 1st 12:00 Eastern.
This is a rematch from last years Capital One Bowl and could be a highly questionable outcome for the SEC representative this year. Georgia has lost quarterback Aaron Murray and Nebraska’s offense should have success against a disappointing UGA defense. But we just can’t get the 2013 game out of our heads as Georgia running backs ran roughshod through the Husker d. Controversy surrounding Nebraska coach Bo Pelini might just be too much as the Bulldogs pull out a close one.
Prediction: 31-28 Georgia
Capital One Bowl. January 1st 1:00 Eastern.
South Carolina has flown under the radar all season and have already notched impressive wins over Missouri and UCF. Wisconsin is battle tested and should be a tough test for the Gamecocks but look for Connor Shaw to have a big game here as South Carolina wins its 11th game of the season with style on New Years Day.
Prediction: 24-10 South Carolina
Outback Bowl. January 1st 1:00 Eastern.
LSU became a very balanced offensive team in 2013 utilizing the run and pass effectively all season. Their defense held Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M to their lowest point total of the year and should be able to hold the Iowa Hawkeyes in check. The LSU running game will shine in this game in route to a comfortable win as they prepare for a championship run in 2014.
Prediction: 30-13 LSU
Allstate Sugar Bowl. January 2nd 8:30 Eastern.
The Crimson Tide were one baffling play away from likely playing for the BCS Championship yet again this year, meanwhile, Oklahoma struggled to find an identity all season before knocking off Oklahoma State. Alabama is much too balanced offensively and should be able to slow OU’s offense to a crawl. Tide roll in the Sugar Bowl.
Prediction: 27-14 Alabama
AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. January 3rd 8:00 Eastern.
Two former Big XII foes will face off in what should be one of the more exciting bowl games this season. A sell-out crowd is expected and the offensive fireworks to start early and often. Missouri gave up about 10,000 yards rushing to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, but the Cowboys like to throw it around the yard with QB Clint Shelf. The pass rush of Missouri will be the difference here as the Tigers should knock off the Cowboys in a high scoring affair.
Prediction: Missouri 40 Oklahoma State 34
BVAA Compass Bowl January 4th 1:00 Eastern
The Commodores have put together back-to-back 8 win seasons and quietly enjoyed another successful season in the SEC East. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is one of the best receivers in the nation and Houston will have trouble containing the Commodores passing game. Vanderbilt wins its ninth game in a high scoring contest.
Prediction: 38-30 Vanderbilt
BCS Championship Game. January 6th 8:30 Eastern
The Auburn Tigers have enjoyed a dizzying rise to the top in 2013 following a disastrous 0-8 conference season a year ago. They feature one of the strongest rushing attacks in the nation and will keep Florida State’s defense on its heels all night long. Florida State features the most dynamic player in the game in Heisman candidate Jameis Winston, and the Seminoles have been the most impressive team this season regarding margin of victory. But this Auburn team seems destined for greatness following their miraculous victories over Georgia and Alabama this year. Auburn wins in the final seconds and claims their second BCS Championship in the last four years.
Prediction: 34-31 Auburn