There are some solid SEC bowl matchups coming your way in a couple weeks. Obviously, the sexiest matchup comes in the form of the national championship, but you’ll find some other solid and very watchable games.
Related: Complete SEC bowl schedule
Let’s roll and rank in order of watchability and star power matchups:
10. Music City Bowl
Matchup: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Buzz: Although the SEC wants bragging rights over the ACC, that’s about all the intrigue with this game. I’m fascinated by Ole Miss’ young talent, but Georgia Tech’s offense is just boring to watch. They may run as much as Auburn does, but there’s little creativity. Ole Miss should roll against Tech.
Related: Early SEC football bowl game lines
9. Liberty Bowl
Matchup: Mississippi State vs. Rice
Buzz: Because MSU finished the season 2-0 and on a hot streak, maybe they will fare better than they did last year against Northwestern. Rice is a 10-win team that gave Texas A&M a dogfight earlier in the year, in what has come to be known as the Johnny Autograph Game.
8. Compass Bowl
Matchup: Vanderbilt vs. Houston
Buzz: Jordan Matthews alone makes this game interesting, and combine that with a pretty good Houston team, and it’s certainly watchable. I’m a fan of what James Franklin is doing at Vandy, and I certainly hope he sticks around in the SEC…forever.
7. Gator Bowl
Matchup: #22 Georgia vs. Nebraska
Buzz: Georgia and Nebraska again? At least they could have taken Michigan and not had Nebraska and UGA play two years in a row. The Bulldogs have already played in Jacksonville once this year, and how many fans from either fan base are going to want to show up? Neither Aaron Murray nor Taylor Martinez are playing, as they both suffered season-ending injuries earlier this season.
6. Outback Bowl
Matchup: #16 LSU vs. Iowa
Buzz: One of my favorite states is Iowa. Yeah, you heard me. It’s the Heartland. How can you not like that? We’ll get to see the Hawkeyes and LSU’s freshman QB Anthony Jennings replacing Zach Mettenberger because of injury. This will give us a look into the future of LSU football, which is very intriguing.
5. Chick-fil-A Bowl
Matchup: #21 Texas A&M vs. #24 Duke
Buzz: How do you think Duke feels? They just got pounded by the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, and they are about to face another in Johnny Manziel. In all seriousness, one of the SEC’s most prolific players in Manziel will likely play his final game as an Aggie. Anything Johnny Football is must-watch TV.
4. Capital One Bowl
Matchup: #9 South Carolina vs. #19 Wisconsin
Buzz: Carolina and Wiscy will play in the biggest SEC-Big Ten matchup, one of three on the day. The Gamecocks need to put their big boy run defense pants on against the Badgers, and it will be Connor Shaw’s, Jadeveon Clowney’s and Kelcy Quarles’, among others, last games as Gamecocks. Salute.
3. Sugar Bowl
Matchup: #3 Alabama vs. #11 Oklahoma
Buzz: History and tradition collides with history and tradition. Remember all those ‘SEC propaganda’ comments by Bob Stoops earlier this year? Well, one of the bottom eight teams he was talking about is playing for the national championship. Lucky for him, though, he’ll survive this one because Alabama is considered a top six SEC team. The last time the Tide played in the Sugar Bowl, they were beaten by Utah. Big Game Bob will have another chance to win a big game.
2. Cotton Bowl
Matchup: #8 Missouri vs. #13 Oklahoma State
Buzz: Former Big 12 rivals clash in the Cotton Bowl, and it’s the SEC’s second most intriguing game. Both teams lost their last games, Missouri to Auburn and OSU to OU, and this creates a fascinating matchup that’s sure to be an ole’ fashioned Big 12-style shootout. If you like points and fast-paced offenses, this is your game.
1. BCS National Championship
Matchup: #1 Florida State vs. #2 Auburn
Buzz: There’s nothing not to like in the BCS National Championship Game. It’s dominance vs. destiny, and Auburn is trying to make it eight in a row for the SEC. For the fifth straight year, the Iron Bowl winner is playing in the national title against one of the best teams in FSU during the BCS era. The Noles have dominated everyone in sight this year, and Auburn enters as the underdog. The ACC hasn’t won a championship since 1999, when FSU won the title.
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