The SEC does not have it's first bowl game until December 31st,but will participate in nine within eight days. The league is favorite to win every game, but that is more on reputation and the six teams being ranked in the top 10 of the BCS. Can the league win seven bowl games? The SEC won six games in 2008 and 2009 while winning just five in 2010. Last season the league won six again last year and seems poised to hit that number in 2012. Let's look a a quick key match up and which Bowls could be the difference in a 5-4 6-3 bowl season and a 7-28-1 season.
The games I feel best about the SEC getting the wins
Vanderbilt over NC State
The Commodores have allowed just six passing touchdowns all season need to shut down Mike Glennon and the ACC's 2nd rated passing offense. Glennon is one of three quarterbacks to throw for all his team's passing yards this season.
Why I like it: Coaching change in Raleigh and this is basically a home game for Vandy who has won six in a roll.
Florida over Louisville
Before you call me a home, I know both teams will be very motivated for this game. Florida's defense versus Louisville's offense will be the match up to decide the game. Louisville cant run the ball which makes Teddy Bridgewater a sitting target for the Gators.
Why I like it: Florida should be able to win the battles in the trenches and grind out a win over Louisville.
LSU over Clemson
This is a match up of two 10 win teams but Les Miles has had a better bowl history than Dabo Swinney. Miles found a passing game down the stretch with Zach Mettenberger, but it will be on his defense to win this game. Strength versus Strength as the Tiger defense matches up with Tajh Boyd and the motivated Clemson offense.
Why I like it: SEC over ACC and the fact that Sam Montgomery will feast on the Tiger offensive line.
South Carolina over Michigan
This is going to be a good game, but I like a "motivated" Steve Spurrier. He is looking for two bowl wins in a row and his second straight 11 win seasons. The match up that will decide the game is South Carolina's offense verus the Michigan defense. The Wolverines are pretty good on defense(11th in the nation) and the Gamecock offense closed the season strong.
Why I like it: I just think Spurrier will coach his team harder and they defense will shut down the Wolverines.
Alabama over Notre Dame
I can see a magical Irish victory, for about ten seconds and then reality sets in. The Alabama offensive line versus the Notre Dame defensive line will decide the game. I dont think the Irish practice schedule is as solid and Bama has been here before. It will be a great game, but I just don't see Nick Saban losing.
Why I like it: Nick Saban.
The "Toss up Games"
Georgia over Nebraska
I think the Dogs are better and will not mail it in. However their rush defense is just 12th in the SEC now after that title game versus Alabama. Nebraska can run the ball and should have some success. However if Georgia just runs Gurshell with a little Aaron Murray they should win.
Why I think they win: Nebraska's defense looked really bad versus Wisconsin.
Texas A&M over Oklahoma
This game worries me because of all the distractions Johnny Manziel has had to deal with being the Heisman Trophy winner. Dont get me wrong they are a good thing, but usually Heisman winners dont fare well in their Bowl games. Throw in the fact tha Kliff Kingsbury is going to Texas Tech as head coach and this game will be a tough pick.
Texas A&M wins if they run the ball. Yes I said it run the ball on poruous Sooner defense.
Ole Miss over Pittsburgh
I actually feel really good about the Rebels in this game. They could have easily gone 9-3. The only concern for me is turnovers and Pittsburgh doesnt have very many and Ole Miss committs too many. The quarteback battle will decide the game and Bo Wallace must take care of the football.
Ole Miss wins if it can forces Tino Sunseri into turnovers with their blitz pressure. He has thrown just two all season.
Mississippi State over Northwestern
I am a little surprised that the Bulldogs are favored considering the Wildcats are ranked and the Bulldogs lost 4 of 5 after a 7-0 start. Dan Mullen has faired well in bowl games and needs to get his offense going. In those four losses Mississippi State averaged just over 15 points a game.
The Bulldogs win because they win the turnover margin and have won in Jacksonville before.
Final Totals (7-2)
So can the SEC win seven games? I think so but my five locks must hit and then go 50 on the other four and 7-2 is a real possibility. The keys to a big bowl season for the league is motivation and each team has a reason to show up and compete. The six teams in the top ten all have a lot to play for and to finish in the top ten with another BCS title should be motivation enough. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss have so much momentum because of their coaches that they will want to build on a successful season for a jump start to 2013. Finally Mississippi State is playing for redemption and nine wins. There have not been alot of nine win season in Starkville.