Bowl Predictions 2012: Non-BCS Bowls That Will Steal the Show

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies (C) celebrates a third quarter touchdown with teammates during their game against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on November 24, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

With the 2012 college football bowl season upon us, the excitement has grown exponentially for the biggest games on the schedule.

Many of the non-BCS matchups are being underestimated, though.

All of the following bowl games aren’t getting the hype they deserve, but each will have a chance to steal the show and go down in history as the best games of the year.


Outback Bowl

No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. No. 18 Michigan Wolverines

In one of the more underrated games on the schedule, the South Carolina Gamecocks will face an admirable test against the Michigan Wolverines.

While the Wolverines lost their final game of the regular season, the evolution of new starting quarterback Devin Gardner has given the offensive unit new life. They’ll need it against the brutal South Carolina defense allowing just 17.4 points per game (13th in the FBS).

Michigan has an equally impressive defense—ranked 16th allowing just 18.8 points per game—but it will be the stellar play of the Gamecocks’ offensive unit that catapults them to a huge Outback Bowl victory.

Prediction: South Carolina 30, Michigan 20


Chick-fil-A Bowl

No. 8 LSU Tigers vs. No. 14 Clemson Tigers

In the battle of the Tigers, the Chick-fil-A Bowl will feature the LSU Tigers against the Clemson Tigers in one of the best matchups on the entire bowl schedule.

With both teams entering this game at 10-2 on the regular season and looking to finish the year off on the right foot, this will be a battle that features LSU’s amazing defense and Clemson’s explosive offense.

Something has to give.

Despite the fact that Clemson boasts the sixth-best offensive unit in the FBS—averaging 42.3 points per game—it will be the LSU Tigers that steal this win using their 11th-ranked defense—16.9 points per game allowed—to shut down Tajh Boyd and the dynamic Clemson offense.

Prediction: LSU 17, Clemson 13


AT&T Cotton Bowl

No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners

In what will be the most anticipated non-BCS game of the entire college football postseason, the Texas A&M Aggies will square off with the Oklahoma Sooners in what will become a one-sided showcase in favor of the Aggies.

Led by star freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M is one of the best offensive units in the nation—44.8 points per game is good enough for third in the FBS—and the Aggies will dismantle the 43rd-ranked defense of the Sooners.

While Oklahoma’s offense is skilled in their own right—40.3 points per game is good enough for 12th in the FBS—the tough SEC-style defense of Texas A&M that is allowing only 22.5 points per game will stop the Sooners and seal the win for the Aggies.

Prediction: Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma 24


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