SEC Bowl Projections for Every Team After Week 13
There's only one SEC game left, and it happens to be the biggest one of the year.
No. 2 Alabama will face off with No. 3 Georgia on Saturday night, with the SEC Championship and a ticket to face Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game on the line.
With only one piece of the puzzle remaining, the SEC bowl picture is coming into focus.
Where will your favorite team be spending the holidays? Our SEC bowl projections are in this slide show.
Discover BCS National Championship Game: Georgia vs. Notre Dame
Talent-wise, Alabama is probably the best team in college football. But considering the way Georgia has played the last month of the season, it's hard to go against the Bulldogs,
Quarterback Aaron Murray has thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the final month of the season; the ground game behind Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall has remained steady and ever since safety Shawn Williams called the defense soft prior to the Florida game, the Bulldogs have been playing lights out.
Georgia's 3-9 record in games against top 25 teams over the last three seasons is concerning, but at no point during that time were the Bulldogs playing at a national championship-caliber level.
They are now.
The Bulldogs will advance to their first championship game of the BCS era, and face off against No. 1 for the crystal football. Ironically, the Fighting Irish was also Georgia's opponent in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, which capped off the 1980 National Championship for Georgia.
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Oklahoma
The bottom line is that, regardless of who wins the SEC Championship Game, Florida has the best resume of any of the one-loss teams in the SEC.
The Gators have four wins over current BCS top 13 teams—No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 10 South Carolina and No. 13 Florida State. They're not sexy, but they get the job done.
Simply put, the Gators have earned the recognition.
The intrigue in this game will take place when Oklahoma has the ball. The Sooners rank ninth in the nation in total offense, averaging 514.5 yards per game. Meanwhile, Florida boasts the nation's No. 5 defense, having given up just 282.6 yards per game.
Something's gotta given, and I can't wait to see what it is.
Capital One Bowl: Alabama vs. Nebraska
It won't be the Florida destination that Alabama fans want, but for the second time in three years, the Crimson Tide will visit Orlando for the holidays and play in the Capital One Bowl.
The last time Alabama played in this game was two years ago, when it stomped Michigan State 49-7.
This year's Crimson Tide team, led by its always solid defense, a punishing running game and the wildly efficient AJ McCarron at quarterback, will roll into Orlando to face off with Nebraska—which lost to South Carolina in this game last season.
That is, of course, assuming Wisconsin upsets Nebraska in this weekend's B1G Championship Game. If Nebraska nabs the automatic bid, Michigan would be the likely target for the Capital One Bowl.
A rematch of Alabama's 41-14 season-opening win over the Wolverines might not be the most desirable matchup, and could throw the entire bowl selection process up in the air.
Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Michigan
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw has been in and out of the lineup this year due to various injuries, but with a month to recover from the foot injury that forced him to miss the Clemson game, Shaw should be back and at 100 percent.
Kenny Miles has been the unsung hero of the Gamecocks, filling in for injured running back Marcus Lattimore in each of the last two seasons.
A date against a Michigan team that ranks 57th in the country in rush defense (156 YPG) should provide him to close out his career on a high note.
Gamecock defensive end going up against Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner? Sign me up.
AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Texas
Who said that the Texas A&M vs. Texas rivalry is dead?
Just 13 months after the Aggies lost the "last game of the series," it will be renewed inside the friendly confines of Cowboys Stadium in the Cotton Bowl.
And tickets will be hard to come by.
If Alabama is available for the Capital One Bowl, it would relegate the Aggies to the Cotton Bowl, which wouldn't be a bad way to close out the season.
It also would be a great way to get the sour taste out of the mouths of Aggie fans, after Texas A&M's 27-25 loss in College Station last Thanksgiving Night.
Texas can't tackle and nobody can tackle Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Should be fun.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson
It may seem like a slap in the face for LSU to fall all the way down to Chick-fil-A Bowl, but with six 10-win teams in the SEC, someone is going to be the odd man out.
But seeing LSU's fast and physical defense face off against the high-octane Clemson offense led by quarterback Tajh Boyd should be fun to watch.
But, will Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris be around to call the plays? Morris is one of the hot assistant coaches in the coaching silly season, and his availability and dedication to the game could add another wrinkle.
For LSU, it would provide a great chance to keep momentum going into the offseason. The light went on for quarterback Zach Mettenberger towards the end of the season, and going up against the nation's 75th-ranked defense would keep things going in the right direction.
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Northwestern
This isn't the bowl Mississippi State fans were dreaming of in mid-October, but a date with Northwestern on New Year's Day in Jacksonville isn't a bad way to cap off a season.
Dan Mullen's crew dropped four of their final five games, including the 41-24 Egg Bowl drubbing at the hands of Ole Miss.
Bulldog quarterback Tyler Russell has had a solid season, throwing for 2,791 yards, 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions, and will look to get some positive momentum going headed into his senior season.
Both defenses have struggled at times, so expect a shootout on the First Coast.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Virginia Tech
If you're looking for one of those bowl games where one team is thrilled to be there and the other just wants the season to end, look no further than this matchup.
In just his second year, Commodore head coach James Franklin led his team to an eight-win season...at VANDERBILT.
The 'Dores have developed quite an attack offensively, combining a three-headed rushing attack with wide receivers Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd. The Commodores are hot, having won six straight to close out the season, and topped the 40-point mark in four of those six contests.
Meanwhile, at 6-6, Virginia Tech is nowhere near the team many expected it to be coming into the season.
Vandy caps off its stellar season with a big win over an opponent that carries a significant amount of name-recognition.
BBVA Compass Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Pitt
How many people looked at Ole Miss' schedule in August and expected the Rebels to be playing in the postseason? If you did, you'd be one of the few.
First-year head coach Hugh Freeze has the program headed into the right direction, thanks to his hurry-up, no huddle attack featuring quarterback Bo Wallace, running back Jeff Scott and wide receiver Donte Moncrief.
Like Vanderbilt, Ole Miss is just happy to be in the postseason. The destination may not be desirable, but getting those bowl practices in December is critical to continue the development of the program.
Good things are in store for the Rebels, and even being mentioned in this discussion at all is proof.