Bowl time is Bold time: A bold prediction for each SEC bowl game
The ink may not even be dry on the bowl contracts. But it’s not holding us back. In the immediate aftermath of bowl announcements, we’re getting bold. Here’s a crazy prediction for each SEC-related bowl game:
Alabama by two scores over Clemson
It was a great day of news for the Tide — they got in, and they got what has to be their best possible match-up: a Clemson team that feasted on a not-so-great ACC.
In thumping Miami, Clemson rushed for 1.9 yards per carry. That won’t cut it against an Alabama team that has not forgotten last season by a long shot. Stripped of a running game, Kelly Bryant will not have a comfortable bowl game experience. Bama by two scores.
Georgia goes the other direction
On the other hand, Georgia celebrated the biggest win in program history in an untold number of years by getting the absolute worst draw imaginable.
UGA would probably have felt better going on and facing Bama than it will taking on Oklahoma. This CFP could be two statement games for Lincoln Riley’s offense, and if so, UGA is victim number one. Sooners by two scores.
Auburn drops the hammer on UCF
Sure, UCF is a great story. But it also has the 94th-ranked defense in the FBS.
The Knights snuck through games against South Florida and Memphis while giving up 42 and 55 points respectively. That won’t cut it against Auburn, whose defense isn’t going to allow 60 points. Everybody likes the Boise upset. Folks, I watched Boise. I remember Boise. UCF is no Boise. Auburn by 24.
Notre Dame, LSU in ground game shootout
When you hear shootout, you probably think of a ton of passing yards and big-play QBs. With Derrius Guice on one side, and Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush on the other side, this one will be a high-scoring track meet.
Notre Dame’s ground attack is probably a little too much for LSU, but this one will be must-see TV. Give us the Irish in a 45-42 run-heavy battle.
Carolina over Michigan again
We love this game because it gives a good excuse to pull out the old clip of Jadeveon Clowney tearing a UM back’s head off. Looks like the Gamecocks do it again. This Michigan team is in tatters, and Will Muschamp’s Carolina squad isn’t beating itself. Gamecocks by 17. Oh, and here you go …
Mizzou enjoys Big 12 homecoming
The Tigers find themselves in familiar company in the Texas Bowl, facing — wait for it — Texas.
The Tigers finished the season as one of the SEC’s hottest teams and UT will limp into this game with little to play for. Did we mention that UT allows 258 passing yards per game, which places them around 108th among FBS teams?
Drew Lock will make enough plays to get Mizzou an eighth win.
Wake’s high-octane offense gets it past A&M
John Wolford is a very underrated QB, and meanwhile, A&M stumbled badly down the stretch, lost its head coach, and will face Wake Forest in North Carolina. The deck on this one seems stacked for the Demon Deacons, perhaps a 31-21 game with Wolford passing for over 300 yards.
UK loses Battle of the Wildcats
On the other hand, Kentucky has a relative home-field advantage in Nashville against Northwestern. But NU’s run defense is much stingier than Kentucky’s and NU running back Justin Jackson will grind out enough yardage to get the Chicago-based Wildcats the win.
Mississippi State pulls minor shocker
State finished its season losing to Ole Miss and also losing QB Nick Fitzgerald, a.k.a 90% of the offense, as well as head coach Dan Mullen.
One thing the Bulldogs didn’t lose was their defense, and Jeffery Simmons will introduce himself to Louisville QB Lamar Jackson early and often. State could run from the wing-T formation in this game, because it will crunch Louisville on defense. MSU, 20-14.