Bowl Predictions 2012: Breaking Down the Most Exciting Non-BCS Games

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 10: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs with the ball against  the Penn State Nittany Lions defense during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska beat Penn State 32-23. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Unlike any other sport, college football gives fans to see great postseason matchups outside of the national championship race.

There are 35 bowl games this season, each with a unique story that should keep fans interested. However, there are a few battles that will be better than others.

With many of the BCS bowls being mismatches, these other bowl games could be the most exciting of the entire postseason.

Here are the games you should be watching with full predictions of each.


Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Michigan

South Carolina has learned how to win without the injured Marcus Lattimore. However, none of the teams that the Gamecocks have faced over the past month has had as good of a defense as Michigan.

The Wolverines are No. 11 in the nation in yards allowed and No. 18 in points allowed. South Carolina will have a tough time moving the football all game.

On the other hand, Michigan has been very inconsistent offensively all year. The team topped 30 points on seven occasions, but it was also held to 14 or fewer in four different games.

Junior quarterback Devin Gardner has been a steady presence at quarterback with Denard Robinson limited. If he continues his solid play, he should be able to lead the team to a win.

Michigan is also battle-tested after facing each of the top three teams in the AP poll, and that will help the Wolverines defeat this SEC team.

Prediction: Michigan 24, South Carolina 20


Capitol One Bowl: Georgia vs. Nebraska

This could be called the "What If Bowl" after both teams were devastated by losses in their conference championship games.

Georgia had a chance to play for the national championship, but could not hold onto the lead against Alabama. Nebraska was blown out by Wisconsin in its chance to play in the Rose Bowl.

Still, these are both incredibly talented teams.

The Cornhuskers are led by quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has the ability to score from anywhere. While he was enough to win a few games by himself in the Big Ten, he will need help to win one more game.

Georgia presents a much bigger problem due to its balance. Aaron Murray can spread the ball around the field in the passing game, while Todd Gurley is one of the best playmaking running backs in the nation.

Nebraska has not shown that it can handle this type of attack, and it will struggle throughout this game.

Prediction: Georgia 38, Nebraska 21


Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

These two teams are in different conferences nowadays, but they know each other quite well after spending many years competing in the Big 12.

Although they achieved success in very different ways, both teams have put together outstanding seasons.

Johnny Manziel has been a one-man show for Texas A&M, breaking the SEC record with 4,600 total yards in his freshman season. He will have to outplay an Oklahoma squad that can defeat teams in many different ways.

This game will come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes.

Landry Jones of Oklahoma has thrown at least one interception in all but three games this year, including losses to Notre Dame and Kansas State. This is in contrast to Manziel, who has only two picks in the last five games.

The Aggies seem incredibly confident since defeating Alabama and this should carry over into the bowl season.

Prediction: Texas A&M 31, Oklahoma 28