The season is over. So let the shamefully profitable bowl season begin.
This year has everyone excited about the return of Notre Dame as a football power. I fear, for the Fighting Irish faithful, it will be a very painful thing. You see, this is the rule of South. The fulfillment of "THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN" cries all of us here in Dixie have grown up around. This is the SEC era, and more than that, the beginning of the Nick Saban Alabama dynasty.
It is no secret that I believe the Crimson Tide will make the Fighting Irish look like a team of towel-boys. The pundits have hyped the game up as a heavy weight match-up of two powerhouses that are similar in style. It reminds me of the push by the major news networks before this year's presidential election, claiming Romney was making the race interesting.
It's hype. It's meant to make more viewers tune in. It's feeding everyone else in the country hope. Hope that the end of the SEC's rule is near. FALSE. We're just getting started.
Alright, now that we have the National Championship game out of the way, let's take a look at the other eight bowl games the SEC have made it into.
This year the SEC squares off with teams from all but one of the major conferences (PAC-12). The ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and one lonely Independent team will get their shot to de-throne the rule of South.
Music City Bowl- NC State vs Vanderbilt
This is the same NC State team the Tennessee Volunteers have already shown the power of the SEC. The same Tennessee team that was man-handled by Vanderbilt. Add that to the fact that the game is being played in Nashville, right down the street from the halls of Vanderbilt University, and Franklin's squad looks like the sure winner.
Chic-fil-A Bowl- LSU vs Clemson
LSU is one of the best teams in the SEC. They put away Clemson's rival South Carolina when SC had a healthy Marcus Lattimore. The same South Carolina squad handled Clemson without the All-American back. Les Miles doesn't need to pull a rabbit out of his hat to win this one.
Gator Bowl- Miss St vs Northwestern
The best chance for another conference to beat an SEC team this bowl season. But with Miss St coming off a tough loss in the Egg Bowl to their rival Rebels, they are going to be looking for a high point to end a season that began with so much promise.
Outback Bowl- South Carolina vs Michigan
Defense. It's what the SEC does. And when the Wolverines see South Carolina's big physical defensive line coming down on them, they will break. Hard.
Capital One Bowl- Georgia vs Nebraska
If you watched the SEC Championship game, you know how good this Georgia team is. That being said, Nebraska is a good team with a proud tradition. Good just don't cut it when you are talking about SEC talent. Georgia is going to dominate the Huskers.
Allstate Bowl- Louisville vs Florida
This is the game I anticipate the most. Charlie Strong was responsible for making the Gators defense a National Championship winning one. Now, at the reigns of Louisville, he has shaped the program into a real contender. If Strong takes one of the three open HC positions in the SEC, this should be a good game to gauge his ability. the Cards don't have nearly the talent it will take to win this game, so Strong's ability to coach is going to be clear. Even as good as Strong may be, the talent gap is too wide. Florida wins.
Cotton Bowl- Texas A&M vs Oklahoma
Jonny Football may be Jonny Heisman by this time. This is the same A&M that beat the Crimson Juggernaut. Oklahoma has shown too many weaknesses this season. Should be some good fireworks here though as A&M takes it's first bowl victory as an SEC team.
BBVA Compass Bowl- Pittsburgh vs Ole Miss
Can you say anything more about Hugh Freeze? Yes, you can. He is one of the most overlooked coaches in the country. But, hey, when you coach in the same division as Nick Saban and Les Miles, it's bound to happen. Freeze has done more with nothing than any other coach in college football. Watch this game carefully. This is the same Pitt that gave Notre Dame a scare early. And I predict the Rebels will have them well in hand. If Ole Miss gets a win by a large margin, don't even bother watching the National Championship game. You'll already be able to hear the chants... SEC! SEC! SEC!
So look away America. Look away. Look away. Dixie Land.
Until Next Time,
GO BIG ORANGE, GO SEC! (Power T-minus 277 days)