Quality is overrated.
While it doesn’t host the best 2012-13 bowl games, there are more New Year’s Day showdowns than any other date in college football this postseason.
Here are predictions for each matchup.
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. No. 20 Northwestern
Mississippi State lost four out of its last five games. Three of those losses, though, were against Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M, so it’d be foolish to count it out against Northwestern, who hasn’t played a ranked team all year.
But when it’s all said and done, the Bulldogs’ 71st-ranked run defense will struggle to slow the Wildcats’ 15th-ranked rushing attack.
Prediction: Northwestern by 3
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue vs. Oklahoma State
Purdue hasn’t seen an offense like Oklahoma State’s this season. The Cowboys boast the No. 4 scoring attack in the entire nation, averaging a whopping 44.1 points per game.
The Boilermakers only eclipsed the 30-point mark once in Big Ten play.
Prediction: Oklahoma State by 14
Capital One Bowl: No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 16 Nebraska
Georgia lost its season finale to Alabama, arguably the most talented club in the country, by just four points. Nebraska was a bit less lucky in its conference championship, losing to Wisconsin 70-31.
These Bulldogs are simply the superior football team, and they’ll bounce back with a vengeance.
Prediction: Georgia by 10
Outback Bowl: No. 10 South Carolina vs. No. 18 Michigan
The only teams South Carolina lost to this season were LSU and Florida—two of the most talented in college football.
Denard Robinson hasn’t thrown a pass since a late-October beatdown to Nebraska, so the inexperienced Devin Gardner will be forced to face the Gamecocks’ 12th-ranked defense.
The SEC will continue to top the Big Ten.
Prediction: South Carolina by 7
Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZEO: Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Stanford
Ohio State would’ve made this a game—Wisconsin won’t.
The Badgers are unranked after beating just one ranked team all season long. Stanford, on the other hand, has taken out the likes of USC, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA twice. The Cardinal’s resume speaks for itself.
Prediction: Stanford by 17
Discover Orange Bowl: No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State
Northern Illinois earned an Orange Bowl-berth by beating up on inferior competition (outside of Iowa). But having not competed against a team on Florida State’s level, the Huskies will be in for a reality check.
The Seminoles outscore their opponents by an average of 24.8 points per game. And they actually play in a respectable conference.
Prediction: Florida State by 14
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.