Bowl Predictions 2012: Breaking Down Biggest Non-BCS Bowls
As we head into bowl season, we are getting a clearer picture of who will be facing who in college football's postseason.
While not everything has been determined yet, it is never too early to start projecting the matchups and looking at how teams would fare against each other.
Whether you are an SEC fan or a Big Ten fan, here's a look at the bowl games I see being the biggest matchups beyond the BCS bowls.
Cotton Bowl: Texas vs. LSU
After Texas loses to Kansas State on Saturday, the Longhorns will find themselves in the Cotton Bowl as Kansas State and Oklahoma advance to BCS bowls in the Big 12.
LSU will land here as an SEC representative after defeating Arkansas on Friday.
Given Texas has had issues defending the run this season, this doesn't figure to work out very well for the Longhorns against LSU's rushing attack.
Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs. South Carolina
As the Big Ten's No. 3 seed, Northwestern will face SEC representative South Carolina.
Northwestern loves to run the ball, but South Carolina has been stout against the run all season and held high-powered Clemson to 17 points last week.
Defense will be key for South Carolina in this one, just as it has been throughout the year.
Gator Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Mississippi State
Wisconsin should land here after it loses to Nebraska in the Big Ten championship on Saturday, while Mississippi State figures to end up in the Gator Bowl as the SEC's No. 6 seed.
You can't give Mississippi State much hope in this game given Wisconsin loves to run the pigskin and the Bulldogs have not been able to stop the run all season long.
The Bulldogs gave up 233 rushing yards to Ole Miss to end the regular season and Wisconsin has averaged 212.7 rushing yards per game, 23rd in the nation.
Capital One Bowl: Michigan vs. Texas A&M
As the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten, Michigan goes on to face SEC opponent Texas A&M.
Michigan lost a squeaker to Ohio State to end the regular season and the Aggies are rolling behind dual-threat quarterback and potential Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.
It's hard to give this to Michigan given Texas A&M beat Alabama.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Clemson vs. Georgia
Who would win between Georgia and Clemson?
As the ACC's No. 2 seed, Clemson will go on to face Georgia, who will lose to Alabama on Saturday.
This should be a great matchup featuring two explosive offenses, but Clemson's defense is worse, which will be the difference.
The Tigers gave up 27 points to a South Carolina team without star running back Marcus Lattimore and Georgia has been rolling on offense behind quarterback Aaron Murray and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
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