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We’ve made it through Championship weekend, and SEC teams have now figured out where they will be heading for bowl season. Besides Alabama and Georgia, who will be competing in the Playoff, 12 other SEC teams will be playing during the month of December and January.
College Football Playoff
Cotton Bowl (Playoff Semifinal)
Alabama (-14) vs. Cincinnati
The Tide are coming off a fantastic performance against Georgia to capture the SEC Championship. This will be an interesting matchup, though all signs point to Alabama playing for a National Championship. We’ll see what Cincinnati can do against Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide.
Orange Bowl (Playoff Semifinal)
Georgia (-9) vs. Michigan
The Bulldogs lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship when Bryce Young set passing records against their defense and Stetson Bennett had two costly interceptions. But this should be a wakeup call for Kirby Smart’s team. So we will see how they play against Michigan, who has been playing really good football recently.
Ole Miss (-2) vs. Baylor
The Rebels are coming off a 10-win regular season and played fantastic this season behind quarterback Matt Corral. Baylor is coming off a Big 12 Championship and will be a tough task for the Rebels. We witnessed how the Bears beat Oklahoma State for the conference crown, so this Kiffin vs. Aranda matchup should be fun.
Kentucky (+1) vs. Iowa
The Wildcats won nine games during the regular season and look to be building something nice in Lexington. Mark Stoops agreed to a contract extension and this team has played well behind quarterback Will Levis. As for Iowa, they were beaten up and outmatched by Michigan in the Big Ten title game. If Kentucky can take care of business on offense, especially with Chris Rodriguez and Wan’Dale Robinson, I don’t see why this should be very close.
Arkansas vs. Penn State (-3)
Sam Pittman has done a fantastic coaching job this season, as the Razorbacks finished the regular season 8-4 and won all three of their border rivalry games. Arkansas is feeling great right now and playing inspired football, so it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see them finish the year 9-4. I don’t like this matchup with James Franklin and the Nittany Lions.
LSU vs. Kansas State (currently unavailable)
Well, LSU finished the regular season with a win over Texas A&M and looked good doing so, but it has been such an awkward season for the Tigers. Ed Orgeron coached his last game in Baton Rouge, and Brian Kelly was named the new head coach. Kansas State has looked impressive at times this season, so it won’t be easy for the Tigers.
Music City Bowl
Tennessee (-3) vs. Purdue
The Vols are coming into this matchup feeling really good about how they handled the regular season, finishing 7-5. The offense under Josh Heupel has put up some impressive numbers, even with a banged up roster. We will see what the offensive line looks like for this game and how healthy this group is, but Tennessee has enough firepower to keep Purdue on its heels. The Boilermakers’ biggest win of the season came against Michigan State. Pay attention to this spread as we get closer to kickoff.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
South Carolina vs. North Carolina (-6)
Shane Beamer did a good job getting these Gamecocks to six wins on the season, with impressive wins over Florida and Auburn during the final month. It will be interesting to see how they handle the quarterback position against the TarHeels, who began the season ranked in the top 15. Unfortunately for North Carolina, the 6-6 finish to the regular season was capped off with a loss to NC State. But Mack Brown has talent on this team and will give the Gamecocks problems.
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
Texas A&M (-5.5) vs. Wake Forest
The Aggies are coming off a loss to LSU to end the regular season 9-3. The Aggies were hot and cold all season, with a few nice wins, including over Alabama. Jimbo Fisher will take the next three weeks and try to get his team playing better football to close out the year. Wake Forest lost to Pittsburgh 45-21 in the ACC Championship, finishing 10-3. They will present a challenge on offense for the Aggies, so this one could be interesting.
Mississippi State (-8.5) vs. Texas Tech
Mike Leach will play against his former team, Texas Tech. After a nice season, the Bulldogs will look to pass it all over the Red Raiders. Enough said about this one. Take the Over
Armed Forces Bowl
Missouri (-3) vs. Army
Missouri became bowl eligible by beating the Gators, which left a good impression on an otherwise wacky year in Columbia. We’ll see what Eli Drinkwitz does at the QB position. The Tigers’ defense could have problems with Army, so watch the spread in this one.
Florida (-6.5) vs. UCF
After Dan Mullen was fired, the Gators won their regular season finale against Florida State and became bowl eligible. This in-state battle against UCF should definitely have both teams energized to play. It could turn into an offensive shootout, so keep a close eye on the line, which may dip if folks don’t trust the Gators’ defense.
Auburn (-3) vs. Houston
Auburn had the Iron Bowl won. Until they didn’t. The Tigers have T.J. Finley at QB, who was hit and miss against Alabama. Bryan Harsin will need Tank Bigsbsy to run the football in this one, as I don’t trust the Tigers’ passing game. Houston will be a formidable opponent for the Tigers and will make this game a battle in the secondary. Good luck betting this one.
Continue following OutKick for the latest bowl game coverage, as we take you through a crazy month leading up to the National Championship.
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