SEC bowl games kick off tomorrow with Ole Miss and Georgia Tech thumping pads, and they run all the way through January 6th for the BCS National Championship.
RELATED: Complete SEC bowl schedule
For these particular predictions, Kevin and I are only going to run through the other bowls and save the national championship until due time.
Specifically against the spread this season, I finished 65-46 ATS and 93-18 overall, while Kevin finished 61-50 ATS and 89-22 overall.
There are 10 total SEC bowl games, including the national championship, and our SEC pride tells us, “No way any teams lose.” But we know from experience – and some proof this year that the SEC talent level may be down – that won’t be the case. The SEC’s record will end up something like 8-2 or 7-3. Which two or three teams will lose? That’s the hard part.
Here are the SEC bowl game picks, minus the national championship:
Music City Bowl: Ole Miss (-3) vs. Georgia Tech
Jon: Is this an upset special waiting to happen? Ole Miss and Kentucky gave up the most rushing touchdowns in the SEC. Tech could dominate the time of possession, making the margin of error very slim for Hugh Freeze’s offense. And frankly, I just didn’t like how the Rebels and Bo Wallace finished the year with back-to-back losses. I really hope the Rebels win (I hope all SEC teams win), but this is one of the least confidence picks during bowl season. Georgia Tech 27, Ole Miss 24
Kevin: This will be a tough matchup for Ole Miss, but I’m going to go with the Rebs in a very close win. I think Hugh Freeze will have his team ready to play in this game. Ole Miss 23, Georgia Tech 21.
Actual: Ole Miss 25, Georgia Tech 17.
Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State (-7) vs. Rice
Jon: Good thing for MSU is that Rice runs the ball…a lot. That plays into the strengths of the front seven for the Bulldogs. I love the momentum of the program, and I love Dak Prescott at QB. Rice will have a tough time stopping the Bulldogs’ running game, but it could be much closer than most anticipate. Mississippi State 31, Rice 24
Kevin: I think Miss State and Dan Mullen are underrated, and will remind us of that against Rice. Mississippi State has a little momentum after the Egg Bowl and is primed for an uptick in 2014. I think they handle Rice. Miss State 28, Rice 17.
Actual: Mississippi State 44, Rice 7
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Texas A&M (-12.5) vs. Duke
Jon: How much has Texas A&M’s defense improved? They’ll be without their best front seven player in LB Darian Claiborne. Although Johnny Manziel and the offense will bounce back, Duke could knife right through the Aggies’ defense, because they were poor all season. Texas A&M 51, Duke 38
Kevin: Johnny Manziel is going to light it up and remind us why he is such a special player in college. Remember the LSU and Mizzou games where Manziel looked beat up? Yeah, this will be different. Texas A&M 55, Duke 35.
Actual: Texas A&M 52, Duke 48
Gator Bowl: Georgia (-9) vs. Nebraska
Jon: This game is much more interesting than last year’s Georgia-Nebraska game, because of one player: Hutson Mason. It’s important for Mason to win this game and carry momentum and confidence into the offseason as a starter and offensive leader. And to be honest – Nebraska isn’t that great of a team without Taylor Martinez. Georgia 38, Nebraska 28
Kevin: Unless you’re a Georgia fan, this game is definitely lacking some sex appeal. With Murray out and a repeat matchup with last year’s bowl, this game is more about Georgia’s future, and maybe watching Bo Pelini unleash a profanity laced tirade on a player or coach on the sideline. I think Georgia wins a close one, but doesn’t cover the spread. Georgia 35, Nebraska 31.
Actual: Nebraska 24, Georgia 19
Outback Bowl: LSU (-7.5) vs. Iowa
Jon: We’ll see how motivated LSU will be for Iowa, who plays tough against the run and is physical on both lines of scrimmage. I think this turns out to be a better game than most anticipate, especially with it being Anthony Jennings’ first start. We’ll have a good foundation for what to expect next season for the offense. LSU 31, Iowa 24
Kevin: Iowa joins my list of the top two most overrated college football programs (the other being Virginia Tech of course), and I expect LSU to look impressive here. With Mett out and a number of young players looking to make a statement, Miles will have this team more hungry than usual I believe. Also, LSU wants to avoid a repeat against Clemson in the Peach last year. LSU 31, Iowa 14.
Actual: LSU 21, Iowa 14
Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin (-1.5) vs. South Carolina
Jon: Interestingly, of the nine bowl games predicted here, Carolina is the SEC’s only underdog. With it being Connor Shaw, Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Vic Hampton’s last game, the Gamecocks win this game. It may not be pretty, but rarely 11 wins are pretty. South Carolina 30, Wisconsin 27
Kevin: I don’t understand this line. Why is Wisconsin favored? Their best win is… BYU? Wisconsin isn’t good. Clowney might be screwing around all game, but it won’t matter. I like South Carolina in this game. A lot. South Carolina is a brain fart in Knoxville away from maybe playing in the National Championship. Don’t make me look stupid Connor Shaw. South Carolina 31, Wisconsin 17.
Actual: South Carolina 34, Wisconsin 24
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (-15) vs. Oklahoma
Jon: It all depends on how hungry Alabama shows up. If they’re ready to play, they’ll dominate. If they stroll into New Orleans sulking over an Iron Bowl loss, it’ll be Utah all over again. However, there’s strong leadership on both sides of the ball, and the Tide will roll. Alabama 31, Oklahoma 10
Kevin: I don’t see a Utah performance coming here. Alabama will be ready, and Big Game Bob is Big Game Bob. AJ McCarron will play well. Alabama 35, Oklahoma 17.
Outback Bowl: Missouri (-1) vs. Oklahoma State
Jon: This is one of the most interesting bowl games, pitting former Big 12 Rivals. Missouri’s defense was so solid the entire season, but they were gashed against Auburn no matter what they tried. Missouri will play much better, but I like Oklahoma State in this game in a similar scheme to Auburn. Oklahoma State 38, Missouri 35
Kevin: As much as I’ve become a Mizzou believer, I do think this is one that an SEC team can drop. Oklahoma State is a good team. Which probably means Mizzou wins because they’ve been surprising the world every week this season. Oklahoma State 41, Missouri 35.
Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt (-3) vs. Houston
Jon: This could turn into one of the best games of the bowl season. Houston is a legitimate team with a great coaching staff, and Vanderbilt continues rewriting its history book. Without Austyn Carta-Samuels, Patton Robinette is going to have to make some plays through the air, and we’ll say goodbye to record-setting WR Jordan Matthews. I like the Commodores, but this could go either way. Vanderbilt 24, Houston 23
Kevin: With Austyn Carta-Samuels out, I’m going with Houston to upset the Dores. Houston 21, Vandy 17.
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