Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rivals ranks the SEC Bowl Games

Rivals has ranked the bowl games from 1-34 in terms of intrigue and interest. With 68 teams making the postseason these days, there are quite a few games that even alumni probably can’t get up for. Of the 8 SEC games, 5 rank pretty high (top 13). The other 3… not so much.

Here’s how Rivals sees it:

1. BCS National Championship Game, Florida (12-1) vs. Oklahoma (12-1):
It's for the national title, which makes it No. 1 on this list. The past two title games have been decided by a total of 41 points. That may be the number of points needed to win this one.

6. Sugar Bowl, Alabama (12-1) vs. Utah (12-0):
Utah has a lot to prove, despite its unbeaten record. Will Alabama suffer any kind of hangover from its SEC title game loss?

7. Capital One Bowl, Georgia (9-3) vs. Michigan State (9-3):
An intriguing Big Ten-SEC matchup. Michigan State can't pass, but TB Javon Ringer had a great season and Georgia's defense has had trouble against the run. And can Michigan State slow Georgia TB Knowshon Moreno? In their three losses, the Spartans' defense was run over.

9. Cotton Bowl, Ole Miss (8-4) vs. Texas Tech (11-1):
Ole Miss has a good front four, and if you can harass Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, he becomes an average quarterback. But only one team was really able to harass him this season. Watch Ole Miss junior DE Greg Hardy, who could declare for the draft. Hardy could make himself quite a bundle of money with a big game.

13. Chick-fil-A Bowl, Georgia Tech (9-3) vs. LSU (7-5):
This basically is a home game for the Yellow Jackets, who will be playing a few miles from their campus in downtown Atlanta. LSU comes in having lost three of their past four. If the Tigers' defense doesn't awaken from its season-ending slumber, LSU is going to finish 7-6 one season after winning the national title.

22. Outback Bowl, Iowa (8-4) vs. South Carolina (7-5):
Iowa runs well but can't throw. South Carolina runs poorly and would like to throw but can't. At least both play good defense.

26. Music City, Boston College (9-4) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6):
Vanderbilt comes in having lost six of its past seven. Yep, that sounds like a bowl team to us. BC, by the way, holds the nation's longest current bowl winning streak, at eight games.

27. Liberty Bowl, East Carolina (9-4) vs. Kentucky (6-6):
Kentucky comes in having lost three in a row, four of five and six of eight. Yep, that sounds like a bowl team to us.

While Chris Low (ESPN) doesn’t delve into all 34 games, he ranks the SEC games in that same order. From a neutral standpoint, that’s probably how I’d have to rank them as well. On a national scale, I think the Outback should be higher than the 22nd most interesting bowl, but I agree with its pecking order in the rank of SEC games.

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