Home » Blog » A Look at the ‘Big’ Bowls for SEC Teams

A Look at the ‘Big’ Bowls for SEC Teams

AJ McCarron

The experience of McCarron could be a difference in the BCS Title game

Last week I examined the bowl games for the Southeastern Conference that didn’t include BCS games or the Cotton Bowl. Personally, I think the Cotton Bowl was shafted many years ago in all this BCS bull crap so I include them when I discuss the ‘big’ bowls. The SEC is of course no stranger to playing in the BCS having won six straight BCS Titles so discussing their participation this year is a walk in the park.

Will Muschamp

Muschamp and his Gators should cover against Louisville.

Sugar Bowl – Louisville (+14) vs Florida – The Florida Gators make their second trip to New Orleans in the last four years  and will find the Big East Champion Louisville Cardinals waiting for them. Last we saw the Gators in the Sugar Bowl, Tim Tebow was finishing his collegiate career with a blowout of then Big East champ Cincinnati.

I don’t necessarily expect a blowout of those proportions this time around because I don’t believe Florida possess an offense that can score like that one did, but the defense is better and that’s where the Gators will have an advantage. The Cards have an excellent young QB in Teddy Bridgewater who can make plays with his feet as well as his arm but I don’t think he’ll have seen a defense as fast and athletic as this one. I just can’t see the Cardinals hanging with Florida and I like the Gators to cover.

Cotton Bowl – Texas A&M (-5) vs Oklahoma – The Texas A&M Aggies enter the Cotton Bowl having lost their last seven trips to the event. The last time the Aggies were victorious in the Dallas event was 1988 when they beat Notre Dame 35-10. Meanwhile, the Sooners have oddly only played in the Cotton Bowl one other time which was a 10-3 win over Arkansas in 2002.

This time around the Aggies will have reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel at quarterback while the Sooners will counter with a pretty good one as well in Landry Jones. I would really like to think this game would be a bit defensive in nature but don’t bet on it and whatever the final line is for the over, take the over! These teams are going to score and score often in this game and I’d be surprised to see this game played in anything under the thirty point range. I like Manziel to make a few more plays in giving the Aggies a win and to cover.

BCS Title Game – Alabama (-10) vs Notre Dame – If you want a statistic that is working against the Alabama Crimson Tide then there’s a pretty darn good one for ya right here. Any defending champion that has returned to the BCS Title game the following year has lost (Miami, Florida State, USC). Teams playing in their very first BCS Title game are 9-3 overall so any thought that experience plays a factor is blown out of the water a bit on those numbers.

I do think there is an advantage however in terms of experience and it comes at a couple of key positions for the Tide. They will have a major experience advantage at quarterback with A.J. McCarron over Everett Golson and on the offensive line where they start two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. Any which of course could be or already is an all-american. There other area where the Tide may have an edge is in the secondary where they have very good cover corners and experienced safties.

The Irish didn’t get to 12-0 without experience and obviously have it on defense with Manti Te’o at linebacker and Tyler Eifert at tight end. Notre Dame’s offensive line also has some experience as well in center Mike Golic, Jr. The Irish will rely on being efficient and aggressive on both sides of the ball in order to counter the athleticism of the Crimson Tide. Brian Kelly and Nick Saban are both masters of preparation and both teams will be ready. I like Notre Dame to cover, but I like the Tide to win with a touchdown late.

  • 100%