Michigan's 5 Most Likely Bowl Opponents

Austin FoxCorrespondent IINovember 17, 2011

Michigan's 5 Most Likely Bowl Opponents

0 of 5

    The regular season is coming to an end, and we can now start taking a look at who Michigan's most likely bowl opponent will be.

    As of right now, it looks like Michigan will end up in the Outback Bowl, where they would face an SEC team.

    However, the Capital One Bowl is a slight possibility, but much less likely.

    The Gator Bowl is also an option, but there is a lot of talk that Michigan wouldn't even accept an offer if they were invited.

    Worst-case scenario looks to be the Insight Bowl.

    Here's a look at the five most likely teams Michigan will face.

5. Arkansas

1 of 5

    The chances of Michigan playing Arkansas in a bowl game seem reasonably slim.

    More than likely, Arkansas will end up in the Capital One Bowl, and Michigan seems like a long shot for that bowl right now.

    Michigan would, without a doubt, have to win out just to have a shot at the Capital One Bowl.

    Arkansas has one of the best passing offenses in the country.

    Ryan Mallett hasn't been missed at all, as Tyler Wilson averages over 300 yards a game.

    Even though Michigan's defensive numbers against the pass have been very good this year, you'd think they would have a hard time going up against the likes of Jarius Wright and Joe Adams.

    As mentioned earlier though, the chances of Michigan playing Arkansas in a bowl are very slim.

4. Texas A&M

2 of 5

    There's a chance that Michigan could drop to the Insight Bowl, and they'd likely face Texas A&M in it.

    The Insight Bowl is listed as taking the Big 12's No. 4 team, but the middle of the Big 12 is in a huge logjam.

    In fact, as many as three or four other teams from that conference could end up here.

    Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas all have a shot at playing in this bowl.

    If it is indeed Texas A&M, Michigan would likely have a hard time slowing down their offense.

    The Aggies are sixth in the country in yards per game, averaging over 500 a game.

    Even though they recently lost Christine Michael to injury, they still have a great rushing attack with Cyrus Gray.

    Their passing attack is also great, with guys like Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope.

    If these two teams met, it would likely be a shootout.

3. Georgia

3 of 5

    It is extremely hard to predict what bowl game Georgia will end up in, seeing as how they'll likely be the loser of the SEC Championship Game.

    As with any conference championship game, it is hard to tell how far the loser will drop in the bowl process.

    There's a chance they could end up in the Capital One Bowl over Arkansas, but that would likely mean that the Bulldogs would have to beat Georgia Tech in the season finale and at least compete with LSU in the SEC Championship Game.

    If Georgia loses to Georgia Tech and gets blown out by LSU, then they may end up in either the Gator or Chick-fil-A Bowl.

    However, the Outback Bowl does seem like a very real possibility.

    If they do play Michigan there, it would be a very intriguing matchup.

    Aaron Murray is setting all kinds of records as a sophomore, and Isaiah Crowell is running through the SEC as a true freshman.

    Tavarres King and Marlon Brown have also filled in well enough for the departed A.J. Green.

    If Michigan and Georgia face each other, it would be one of the best bowls of the bowl season, and a complete tossup.

2. Auburn

4 of 5

    There's a very good chance that Michigan faces the defending national champions in the Outback Bowl.

    It looks like Auburn will go 7-5 at best, and would have to be pretty happy if they ended up in the Outback Bowl.

    After their 4-1 start, they haven't been as sharp lately, with recent blowout losses to both LSU and Georgia.

    However, a game against Michigan would be very intriguing.

    Quarterback has been somewhat of a mess for the Tigers since Cam Newton left, with both Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley getting starts.

    The rushing attack hasn't been bad, with guys like Michael Dyer, Onterio McCalebb and even Tre Mason seeing playing time.

    However, the passing game has been horrible.  They rank 107th in the country, throwing for just over 160 yards a game.

    A game against Michigan in the Outback Bowl would be very intriguing, and looks like a very real possibility.

1. South Carolina

5 of 5

    As of right now, South Carolina seems to be Michigan's most likely bowl opponent.

    The Gamecocks look like they'll finish second in the SEC East, and figure to end up in the Outback Bowl.

    South Carolina is a hard team to judge.  Now that they are without Marcus Lattimore and Stephen Garcia, they are still a good team, but nobody seems to know how good.

    They recently went on the road and lost by 16 to a very good Arkansas team, and then came back home and struggled mightily to beat a bad Florida team.

    We will find out just how good (or bad) they are when they face Clemson in the season finale.

    South Carolina has only lost twice this season, and realistically might not lose again.

    They will have a great chance to beat Clemson in the finale because it's at home.  Plus, Clemson hasn't looked like themselves lately; in their last two games, they were blown out by Georgia Tech, and then came back and needed a last-second field goal to beat Wake Forest at home.

    If South Carolina can beat Clemson and finish 10-2, it would make for a very exciting matchup with Michigan.

    On offense, Brandon Wilds has filled in nicely so far for Lattimore.  But where has Alshon Jeffery been this season?  We haven't heard a word about him this year.

    Regardless, you'd still have to be wary of the 6-4, 230-pound receiver.

    This game would be very intriguing, and right now looks to be the most likely matchup for the Outback Bowl.