The Capital One Bowl — The Florida Citrus Bowl — Orlando, FL
Georgia (9-3) vs. Michigan State (9-3) — January 1, 2009 — 1 EST
The Line: Michigan State +7 1/2
Here we find another New Year's Day Bowl Game with bowl conference tie-ins which have taken precedence over giving the fans the best games and the best matchups on New Years Day.
While on the surface we have two 9-3 teams coming from playing a major conference schedule, when we look not even very deep below the surface we find that equal records are always representative of an even match up.
Michigan State entered the season as a team looking to make a statement that they had arrived in the upper echelon of the Big Ten Conference and looking to make a run at the upper tier of the college football world. The Spartans' dream lasted 60 minutes of football as they played sloppily in a loss at Cal.
While the Spartans had some bright moments and some nice wins over bowl teams, they weren't even competitive when taking on the teams at the top of their conference, as both Ohio State and Penn State blew the Spartans out of the building in games that were never close.
While running back Javon Ringer had a great year, inconsistency at the QB position has been a trademark of this team. One could even argue that most of the Spartans' wins came by turnovers and by catching teams at their low points.
Georgia opened the season as the No. 1 team in the country...and that dream ended at home when Nick Saban's Alabama team played one of the most dominating first halves in the history of college football and turning the game's outcome into an after thought.
While Georgia played well in spots, they too get ran out of the building when they were called upon to step it up as their rival Florida handed them one of the worst beatings in the history of that series.
Talent isn't a problem for the Bulldogs as Knowshon Moreno and AJ Green have become household names names this season. While Matthew Stafford may not be all that they thought he would be, if he stays within himself and avoids panicking, he has plenty of help to get the job done.
This is a big game for Georgia as they should have plenty of returning stars once again, and they desperately need something to build on after the season-ending loss to Georgia Tech.
See Mitch's Capital One Bowl pick against the spread