SEC Football: 2013 Bowl Predictions for Every Team in Conference
The SEC heads into the fall with 10 bowl berths for 2013. There is also the popular thought that the conference will land another title contender, putting 11 SEC squads in the postseason.
This is a look at which teams will go bowling and where this winter.
Alabama is the clear favorite for the title game, and unless something changes, there is nothing to indicate it won’t finish there.
Will Texas A&M or LSU take the Sugar Bowl, or will an Eastern Division team make it into the BCS?
Alabama Crimson Tide: BCS National Championship Game
Alabama finishes the year in the BCS National Championship game for the third consecutive season in 2013.
The program has reloaded at every position and will run through the schedule again this year. There may be a loss that pops up midseason, but the Tide have an extremely manageable schedule that sets them up nicely for a title run.
The toughest game of the year will be on the road to Texas A&M with the rest of the premier matchups coming at home.
This is almost a too-good-to-be-true scenario, but after two consecutive title runs, it wouldn’t seem right to leave the Tide out of the title game.
Texas A&M Aggies: Nokia Sugar Bowl
The Texas A&M Aggies will push for an SEC title this fall, but a two-loss season pushes them into the Sugar Bowl.
They finish the year with road trips to LSU and Missouri, and they have a tough three-game stretch early that begins with Alabama and ends with Arkansas.
Johnny Manziel is still able to work his magic for the Aggies, and he helps them win big, but falling short of an SEC title puts them in the Sugar Bowl.
South Carolina Gamecocks: Capital One Bowl
South Carolina is going to battle for the SEC and finish just short of the title, losing the game to Alabama.
Because Texas A&M has the better overall record, the Gamecocks will fall from the BCS and into the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
It’s another strong season for Steve Spurrier’s squad, but they fall short of a title again. This is another 10-win team, and a win after the bowl season secures the program in the SEC elite.
Ole Miss Rebels: Chick-fil-A Bowl
Ole Miss is finding its place in the SEC under Hugh Freeze, and another big year produces a bowl win. The Rebels will finish the year in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and a shot at a 10-win season.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl loves the SEC West, and finding a rising star like Ole Miss in the ranks would be huge for the bowl game.
This year, the Rebels will be under the second year with Freeze and will be settled into the offensive and defensive schemes. This will be a dangerous offense that helps the Rebels win a few games it shouldn’t.
LSU Tigers: Cotton Bowl
LSU falls short of the SEC title game this year, thanks to two regular-season losses.
The Tigers are able to stay on the national stage, however, and land in the Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl will enter the playoffs rotation in 2014, securing this bowl as one of the country’s elite.
The Tigers battle inconsistency all year, but finishing in the Cotton Bowl shows how talented the program is.
There are some hiccups from the departure of NFL talent, but by the bowl season, this team will be one of the best in the country.
Florida Gators: Outback Bowl
The Florida Gators ended the year in the BCS last season, but after a mediocre and disappointing year in 2013, they finish in the Outback Bowl looking or redemption in front of the home crowd.
The Gators finish second in the SEC Eastern Division race, but Will Muschamp’s squad was looking for a national title this fall.
This could be the year that Muschamp proves that he can be a big-game coach. It could also be the year that the Gators fall back into the middle-of-the-pack in the conference.
A finish in the Outback Bowl is dead center.
Vanderbilt: Music City Bowl
James Franklin continues the rise in Nashville with another huge year for the Vanderbilt Commodores.
There are some quarterback woes that follow the program into the year, but by the end of the season, the program will be in stride.
Landing in the Music City Bowl may not be the favorite pick of the team, but showing up consistently in the postseason is huge for this group.
Finishing the year in front of the home crowd won’t be so bad either.
Georgia Bulldogs: Gator Bowl
The Georgia Bulldogs have built a championship program over the past few years, but for the second year in a row, the cards don’t seem to line up for this program.
The Gator Bowl awaits.
The schedule starts off tough and has a lot of talented teams that land throughout the year. This is a Georgia squad that needs more leadership.
If they find it, the Bulldogs will land in the title game. If no one steps up, then they finish in the Gator Bowl.
They play tight for the Eastern Division, but South Carolina walks away with the title.
It looks like Jacksonville is in the cards for the Bulldogs in 2013.
Mississippi State Bulldogs: BBVA Compass Bowl
The Mississippi State Bulldogs return one of the most dangerous backfields in the conference anchored by LaDarius Perkins, but they lose a lot of talent on the defense.
The program is set for a bowl run after building steam last season.
Dan Mullen has to take the Bulldogs to a bowl to live up to the hype that has surrounded him since landing in Starkville.
A mediocre season produces a berth that lands them in Birmingham.
Tennessee Volunteers: AdvoCare v100 Bowl
Tennessee makes it back into the postseason with Butch Jones guiding the program.
It is a quick return to the middle-of-the-pack for the Volunteers, as they pull out a few wins they shouldn’t on the way to a AdvoCare v100 Bowl berth.
It will be the first bowl appearance for the Vols since 2009.
Tennessee needs new life, and it comes this fall with a bowl win under Jones’ guidance.
Auburn Tigers: Liberty Bowl
Auburn makes it back into the winners circle this fall with the return of Gus Malzahn to the sideline.
There are still some struggles that come that keep the Tigers from the top of the conference, but a seven- or eight-win season is in the cards for Auburn.
Landing in the Liberty Bowl will be a solid return to the postseason for a team that fell hard two years removed from a national title.