Just a quick look ahead/predictions set for all the 2019 season bowl games involving SEC teams.
By Steve Wright
Just before I get into my thoughts, the bowl odds have been compiled at SBD. Though, take anything from online sports betting sites with a grain of salt because you’d need to check back next week to see if there is any line movement.
Last week’s record: 8-2
Overall record: 95-26
Exact score predicted: 0
Misses: Oregon ruined any shot the Pac-12 had at the CFP by knocking off Utah while Miami (Ohio) beat Central Michigan in a snoozefest.
Closest Pick: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 21. I went with the Buckeyes by a score of 38 to 20. Closer game than expected for a while though.
Friday, December 27
No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M (Texas Bowl) – A renewal of a Big 12 South rivalry that could be a whole lot of fun. This game feels like the official opening of bowl season and in Chuba Hubbard the Cowboys have a back as good as any in the country, but this has not been the same team without Tylan Wallace and Spencer Sanders. It is time for Kellen Mond to have a good game against a good team, something he has struggled with this season. A&M 31, Oklahoma State 24.
Saturday, December 28
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 LSU (Peach Bowl) – The matchup between Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts sells this one on its own. A pair of transfers who became Heisman Trophy Finalists, all signs point to this being an offensive explosion of a game with the winner having a shot at the National Championship. Burrow will do just enough to see LSU over the line as he has been unreal in big games for the Tigers this season. LSU 38, Oklahoma 31.
Monday, December 30
Mississippi State vs. Louisville (Music City Bowl) – The Bulldogs will have seen what Kentucky did to Louisville in the final game of the regular season. The game plan here is simple, just run the ball down the throat of the Cardinals overmatched defense. If Kylin Hill plays – he has declared for the draft so you never know – then Mississippi State will carry this. Mississippi State 31, Louisville 14.
No. 8 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia (Orange Bowl) – This looks like a little bit of a mismatch. Florida was consistently good this season, while Virginia just got smoked by Clemson in the ACC Title Game. The Gators ‘havoc’ defense is going to be way too much for the Cavaliers to handle upfront. Florida 31, Virginia 14.
Tuesday, December 31
Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky (Belk Bowl) – This will be the last chance for Kentucky fans to see Lynn Bowden at QB before he jumps to the NFL. There is no subtlety to the Wildcat offense over the last month; it is simply a powerful offensive line and Bowden being more athletic than anyone else on the field. That combination will be enough to beat the Hokies here. Kentucky 27, Va Tech 20.
Wednesday, January 1
No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn (Outback Bowl) – Minnesota had a hot start but tailed off late in the year. Auburn come into this off of an Iron Bowl win with Bo Nix playing his best football of the season. Much of this will depend on how many of the Auburn defensive line – we are looking at Derrick Brown specifically – decide they want to play in this game. Auburn 38, Minnesota 20.
No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama (Citrus Bowl) – The sitting for Alabama has already started with defensive stars Terrell Lewis and Trevon Diggs both sitting out the Citrus Bowl. Michigan looks to be at full strength, something that they will need defensively against the vast array of Crimson Tide WRs with talent. Alabama will go into the offseason looking more like Alabama than we have seen in the last month. Alabama 31, Michigan 17.
No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor (Sugar Bowl) – The status of Baylor QB Charlie Brewer for the Sugar Bowl is in serious doubt after he was injured in the Big 12 Title Game. The Bulldogs will be down one starter at least, with OT Andrew Thomas skipping to prepare for the NFL Draft. The bears were a nice story this year under head coach Matt Rhule, but the Georgia D will overwhelm them here. Georgia 27, Baylor 17.
Thursday, January 2
Indiana vs. Tennessee (Gator Bowl) – Indiana have a gaudy record that is boosted by eight wins over teams with losing records. Don’t discount the important of WRs Juan Jennings being suspended for the first half of this one after his ugly incident in the finale against Vanderbilt. Indiana 28, Tennessee 27.