5 possible SEC bowl results that could spark overreactions
Bowl season is here. We have just a few weeks left to get our college football fix. It feels like the season flew by.
Soon, we may actually have to leave our couch on Saturdays. It’s a depressing realization.
But for now, there is still plenty of football to be played. It has been an eventful week with various big name assistants taking over new SEC head coaching gigs. There have been other assistants like Jeremy Pruitt that will stay in the SEC but swap schools.
There hasn’t been a lack of excitement.
With several unknowns heading into next season, what could happen during bowl games that could cause overreaction from fans and media?
Let’s take a look:
ALABAMA FALLS TO MICHIGAN STATE
Right now, Alabama looks like the class of college football. The Tide looked vulnerable earlier in the year with a surprising loss to Ole Miss but has charged back with a vengeance. They boast the No. 2 defense in the nation and have an offense that has found its rhythm as of late under Lane Kiffin. So everything stacks up in favor of Alabama knocking off Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl and advancing to the College Football Championship right? Yes, on paper the Tide stands out as the better squad. But if the Tide loses, are people going to question Alabama’s failure to win a national title in back-to-back years? Expectations are high in Tuscaloosa, so you can’t rule anything out.
FLORIDA BEATS MICHIGAN
On paper, these teams match up fairly evenly. They both have dominant defenses and have been inconsistent on offense. Florida has a chance to snag a win after losing its last two games against Florida State and Alabama. But even if the Gators win, it won’t mean much. Florida is playing against a Michigan squad without its defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, who left for Maryland and won’t coach in the Citrus Bowl. Florida’s offense will likely undergo major changes next year and it isn’t likely Treon Harris will be the quarterback. The Gators have a commitment from highly touted QB prospect Feleipe Franks — who was committed to LSU for more than a year — and Will Grier is set to return at mid-season. A win over Michigan would be nice, but probably not something to build on for next season.
BRANDON ALLEN LIGHTS UP KANSAS STATE
Arkansas QB Brandon Allen has been great all season. Nothing he does should come as a shock at this point. He threw for 3,125 yards, 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He has an opportunity to increase draft stock as he faces Kansas State and the 102nd defense against the pass. But other than leaving on a memorable night to close out his Razorbacks career, a victory over Kansas State won’t mean much for the overall program. Allen was a big reason for the Razorbacks success this year and will be hard to replace in 2016. Arkansas is trending in the right direction but will have to rely on someone else under center next year.
GEORGIA’S DEFENSE PUMMELS PENN STATE
The Bulldogs have been stout defensively. They are currently ranked No. 8 in the nation on defense and have thrived under Jeremy Pruitt. In the TaxSlayer Bowl, Georgia will take on Penn State offense that has struggled throughout the year. The Nittany Lions ranked 100th in the nation on offense averaging 135 yards rushing and 187 yards through the air per game. The Georgia defense should keep the score low and give the Bulldogs a chance to win. But even if the Bulldogs close it out, they are getting a brand new system in 2016 with the addition of Kirby Smart as head coach and departure of Pruitt to Alabama.
TENNESSEE LOSES TO NORTHWESTERN
There are a lot of people high on Tennessee right now. Everything seems to be clicking for the Vols and they look to be the favorite to win the SEC East next year. Tennessee closed out the season with five straight wins and is playing a good Northwestern team in the Outback Bowl. The Wildcats’ only losses came to Michigan and Iowa so this should be a solid matchup. If Tennessee loses, it isn’t time to panic. The Vols have a solid foundation in place and are in position for a breakout year in 2016 regardless of what happens in the bowl game.