No. 17 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl – January 1st on ESPN2 at 9am PT
Nov 23, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Ameer Abdullah (8) leaps over Penn State Nittany Lions safety Ryan Keiser (23) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
For the second bowl season in a row, Georgia (8-4) will play Nebraska (8-4). Last year it was in the Capitol One Bowl while this time around they’ll meet in the Gator Bowl. That’s not all these two teams have in common. Both have seen their starting quarterbacks knocked out for the season due to injury and will rely on backups to move their respective offenses. Both squads have top notch running backs. The difference in this game may be the distraction brought about by media and fans suggesting Cornhusker Coach Bo Pelini isn’t the man to head up their program. Pelini has spent more time delivering something akin to a sales pitch defending his record since the regular season ended than anything else. Intriguing? Not really. There’s plenty of talent on both teams to make this one a very entertaining football game.
No. 16 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – December 30th on ESPN at 12:15pm PT
Nov 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Ramik Wilson (51) tackles Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Robert Godhigh (25) for a loss during the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 41-34 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Ole Miss (7-5) will bring their potent passing attack to Nashville to play Georgia Tech (7-5) who will counter with an excellent running game. The Ramblin’ Wreck ranked atop the ACC in rushing offense with 312-yards per game, 45 rushing touchdowns while finishing third in scoring offense with 36.6 points per game. The Rebels finished third in the SEC in passing offense with 285.6 yards per game and fifth in total offense. Ole Miss strength on defense is their secondary which will be forced to play run support. Not ideal. Georgia Tech brings a similar bit of defensive irony in that they are excellent at shutting down an opponents running game. Whoever can make the best adjustments on defense will leave town a winner.
No. 15 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – December 28th on ESPN at 7:15pm PT
Nov 30, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Jake Waters (15) rushes for a touchdown against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Kansas State won the game 31-10. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan (7-5) and Kansas State (7-5) don’t bring eye-popping records into this bowl game. They definitely bring different story lines. The Wolverines got off to a great 5-0 start this past season and were ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP Poll after three weeks. Things turned sour for Big Blue after that, including a tough loss to Ohio State on a failed 2-point conversion to end the year. Conversely, the Wildcats stumbled out of the gate to a 2-4 start. However KSU finished with five consecutive wins including a sound thrashing of their in-state rival Kansas to end the year on a high note. Michigan put plenty of points on the scoreboard to begin their schedule, but didn’t find offensive rhythm until the OSU game. Too little, too late. You might as well pencil in at least 30-points for KSU in this one, making it a game for fans of watching teams score from beginning to end.