It’s no surprise that several of the biggest non-BCS bowls present us with annual SEC vs Big Ten matchups. Arguably the top two conferences with regards to both power and prestige, the SEC and the Big Ten have tie-ins to a number of New Year’s Day Bowls.
Three Florida-based bowls that play on the afternoon of January 1st are all SEC vs Big Ten. They are:
- Capital One: Georgia vs Nebraska
- Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs Michigan
- Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs Northwestern
The last few seasons haven’t been pretty for the Big Ten in these games. The only Big Ten victory in the last two years came in overtime against Georgia in the Outback last year.
- Capital One: South Carolina 30, Nebraska 13
- Outback Bowl: Michigan State 33, Georgia 30 (OT)
- Gator Bowl: Florida 24, Ohio State 17
- Capital One: Alabama 49, Michigan State 7
- Outback Bowl: Florida 37, Penn State 24
- Gator Bowl: Miss State 52, Michigan 14
As you look at the three 2012-13 matchups, they are very favorable matchups for the SEC. If the SEC can knock off Michigan and Nebraska (clearly two of the top teams in the Big Ten), it’s a bigger statement than if the SEC knocks off Northwestern in the Gator Bowl.
It’s been an ugly year for the Big Ten with Ohio State and Penn State banned from postseason play, a 5-loss Wisconsin team winning the conference, and one of the top coaches in the conference jetting for Arkansas. Michigan and Nebraska players have recent memories of getting beat on New Year’s Day to the SEC – you can bet they’ll be ready to play.
The Gamecocks should be motivated to get another key victory as they continue the golden age of Gamecock football.
Will Georgia be motivated in the Capital One Bowl after losing the SEC Championship Game and getting “snubbed” for a BCS Bowl? We’ll see, but it has the makings of a possible upset in that regard.
What’s your prediction for the SEC vs Big Ten games?
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