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Final Thoughts Before The January Bowls
Michigan OT Taylor Lewan
Michigan OT Taylor Lewan
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 14, 2012


Quick-hitting thoughts on each of the non-BCS January bowl games

 
2012-2013 Pre-Bowl Thoughts

The Non-BCS January Bowls 
 


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Before the Bowls - Final Thoughts
- December Bowls 
- BCS Bowls

Heart of Dallas
Jan. 1, 12:00 pm, ESPNU 
Oklahoma State vs. Purdue 

By Rich Cirminiello
Purdue has had a lot success in Texas over the years. Playing Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl is as much a recruiting junket for the Boilermakers as it is a ballgame.

By Phil Harrison
Ouch. Does anyone else see any possible way that Purdue finds a way to stay in this game. If the Boilermakers can’t hold down Michigan and Wisconsin on offense, there’s no way it’ll kidnap the scoreboard operator in this one.

By Russ Mitchell
Purdue beat Eastern Kentucky (FCS), Eastern Michigan, Marshall, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana...with a combined FBS win/loss total of 17-43.

By Matt Zemek
Shouldn't be a contest, period. Pokes pummel Purdue.

By Terry Johnson
With both offenses firing on all cylinders at season's end, this contest will be shootout -- regardless of who's under center.

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TaxSlayer.com Gator
Jan. 1, 12:00 pm, ESPN2 
Northwestern vs. Mississippi State 

By Rich Cirminiello
Pat Fitzgerald once again did a fantastic job at Northwestern. His reward is a New Year’s Day stage in the Gator Bowl against Mississippi State.

By Phil Harrison
A very interesting matchup. The Wildcats might be the most underrated team in the nation, and the Bulldogs may have been moonlighting as the most overrated team for a while. Kain Colter and Northwestern will give Mississippi State all they can handle, and then some.

By Russ Mitchell
State struggled down the stretch as its schedule toughened up, while Northwestern played a steady season with an excellent run offense. Statistically, the Bulldogs weakest link on defense is stopping the run.

By Matt Zemek
Northwestern has the best chance to win of any Big Ten team playing a bowl game on New Year's Day. Just get it over with, Mayans. Take us all now.

By Terry Johnson
Can Mississippi State's run defense, which ranked 11th in the SEC, stop Northwestern's two-pronged rushing attack of Venric Mark and Kain Colter?

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Capital One
Jan. 1, 1:00 pm 
Georgia vs. Nebraska 

By Rich Cirminiello
Where’s your head Georgia? So close to the national championship game, yet so bored by the prospect of playing Big Ten runner-up Nebraska in the Capitol One Bowl.

By Phil Harrison
Oh, Big Ten. What will be the psyche of a Cornhusker team that just exited a game in which it was more generous on defense than Mother Teresa? Georgia has the potential to turn the Cornhuskers into popped-corn.

By Russ Mitchell
Nebraska surrendered more than 500 rushing yards to Wisconsin in the B1G Championship, along with 70 points. Georgia allowed more than 350 yards rushing to Bama in the SEC Championship. Nebraska is averaging 5.4 ypc, while UGA is averaging 4.9. I expect we’ll see a lot of running in Orlando. B

y Matt Zemek
Will Georgia give a darn about this game? That's all it comes down to, and nothing else.

By Terry Johnson
Will Nebraska's defense rebound from a disastrous performance in the Big Ten Title game to stop a high-powered Georgia offense that had no trouble scoring points against Alabama?

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Outback
Jan. 1, 1:00 pm 
Michigan vs. South Carolina

By Rich Cirminiello
SEC-Big Ten challenge in the Outback Bowl. Will be interesting to see how Denard Robinson is used against that tenacious South Carolina D.

By Phil Harrison
Everyone wants to point to the de-clawing the Wolverines experienced against the Tide as proof that the SEC will dominate this game, but don’t be fooled. South Carolina is not the same team without Marcus Lattimore, and Michigan’s pass defense has been great this year to make this a one-dimensional type of game for the Gamecocks.

By Russ Mitchell
Michigan vs. South Carolina...two programs that started the year with great expectations but fizzled along the way. This is a matchup of two teams whose defenses far outplayed their offenses.

By Matt Zemek
Is Devin Gardner ready to gear up for 2013, a la Andrew Maxwell? Again, don't bet on it.

By Terry Johnson
Since both Michigan (11th) and South Carolina (12th) boast two of the best defenses in the country, expect to see a very physical, low-scoring contest.

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AT&T Cotton
Jan. 4, 8:00 pm, FOX 
Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M 

By Rich Cirminiello
Oklahoma may have gotten screwed, but a date with Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl is a pretty darn good consolation prize for the Sooners.

By Phil Harrison
Wait, didn’t the Aggies just leave the Big Twelve? The most intriguing thing to see here is how the Sooners stack up against a Texas A&M team that more than held its own in the SEC this year. Johnny Football against Landry Jones should put on a laser-light show.

By Russ Mitchell
If not for politics and NIU, this could have been TAMU vs. TX. Still, this is one of the season’s better matchups. It’s TAMU’s third best offense in the nation vs. OU’s tenth. The Sooners defense is a little better stopping the pass than A&M’s, but they Aggies have their non-that-secret weapon: Johnny Football.

By Matt Zemek
Will a month of rest and rejuvenation make Oklahoma's pass rush fearsome? If the Sooners can't touch Johnny Football, they could get boatraced by Texas A&M.

By Terry Johnson
This is clearly the best non-BCS game, as both Oklahoma and Texas A&M should have ended up in a BCS bowl. The Landry Jones - Johnny Manziel showdown will be fun to watch.

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BBVA Compass
Jan. 5, 1:00 pm, ESPN 
Ole Miss vs. Pitt

By Rich Cirminiello
Welcome back to the postseason, Ole Miss. It’s good to have you aboard. Pitt just hoping it doesn’t have a coaching change between now and the BBVA Compass Bowl.

By Phil Harrison
Pittsburgh has gotten markedly better throughout the year and Ole Miss has tripped across the finish line. The Big East would love to get ANY win against the SEC.

By Russ Mitchell
Ole Miss was my underrated team in the SEC, but I merely thought they’d be more competitive, not go bowling. Pitt got tougher as the season went along, seemingly gaining momentum from their OT loss to ND. But the Rebels will be too much for the Panthers.

By Matt Zemek
Pittsburgh goes to Birmingham for a post-New Year's Saturday bowl game – played on a sleepy early afternoon when most sports fans are watching college basketball – FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR! Good times.

By Terry Johnson
How will Bo Wallace perform against a Panther defense that finished the season 16th in total defense?

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GoDaddy.com
Jan. 6, 9:00 pm, ESPN 
Arkansas State vs. Kent State 

By Rich Cirminiello
How about the swing of emotions for Kent State? Thrilled to be bowling for the first time since 1972, yet can’t help but think that it—not Northern Illinois—should be in the Orange Bowl.

By Phil Harrison
To get warmed up for BCS bliss, peek in on this well-played game. Both teams are on an absolute roll, but it bears watching what kind of disappointment the Golden Flashes might be realizing by narrowly missing out on a BCS game. Both will run first and won’t beat themselves.

By Russ Mitchell
This might be one of the bowl season’s best matchups. Gus Malzahn did a remarkable job with ASU, which lost a lot of talent from last year’s conference winning team led by Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze. Kent State was a 2OT loss away from playing in the Orange Bowl. Mobile, AL and CFB fans got one hell of a game.

By Matt Zemek
Arkansas State returns to this bowl after appearing in last season's version. Both teams deserved to play a power-conference opponent in a bowl.

By Terry Johnson
This game features two of the more electrifying players in college football in Kent State's Dri Archer and ASU's Ryan Aplin. This should be a high-scoring game.

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Before the Bowls - Final Thoughts
- December Bowls 
- BCS Bowls