All times Central
The last college football preview of the season. This one will wrap up the remaining bowl games.
Wednesday, January 1st
Wisconsin vs. South Carolina (12 pm/ABC) – Unlike the other games around this same timeslot, this one doesn’t feature teams missing QBs to injury. South Carolina QB Connor Shaw had a majorly underrated season, and South Carolina was very close to playing for the SEC championship. They are a worth 9th ranked team in the country, and that would make this game very interesting. Wisconsin has a stable of good running backs and can put up points. This game should be really fun.
Nebraska vs. Georgia (11 am/ESPN2) – Nebraska lost their QB months ago, Georgia lost theirs far more recently. It seems unlikely that Bo Pelini would get fired at this point, but a bowl win against a top 25 team would be a huge boost for him. Georgia is playing without Aaron Murray, but Todd Gurley might lay the groundwork for a 2014 Heisman run with this one. Ameer Abdullah is one of the more underrated running backs in the country, so this game could see a whole lot of rushing yards. Tough to see the Huskers pulling this off even with no Aaron Murray.
Iowa vs. LSU (12 pm/ESPN) – Iowa had an underrated, and surprising season in the Big Ten. LSU was in the SEC hunt for a while, but lost their QB late and couldn’t win some big games. They are one of the top programs in the country, but it will be interesting to see if they can get up for this game. Iowa is shaping up to be a player in the Big Ten next year, and a win here would go a long way to furthering that.
Stanford at Michigan St. (4 pm/ESPN) – The hype for this one keeps building. It’s going to be interesting to see if this game can live up to the hype at this point. Most people are expecting an “old school”, grind it out type of game. Michigan St. pulled off the upset against Ohio St. to get to this one and seemed to just get better as the season went on. It’s crazy to think that they could end the season ranked third potentially. Stanford lost two games, but some still think they deserved to play for the BCS title. It’s likely that with next year’s rules they would make the playoff. They will be up for this one though, and it could be great.
UCF vs. Baylor (7:30 pm/ESPN) – A potentially underrated game, that could easily end up being a blowout. UCF has a talented QB and a much stronger team that people want to give them credit for. And they surely are one of the better Big East/American conference champs in a while. Baylor is very good though, and despite all the points are a good defensive team. This one could be ugly, but UCF is capable of playing it tight. This is the most high profile game in the history of these schools, so both teams should be up to play.
Thursday, January 2nd
Oklahoma vs. Alabama (7:30 pm/ESPN) – Alabama probably thinks they should be playing for the National Championship. A few years back they got crushed by a Utah team they didn’t get up for. It’s hard to see that happening to a Saban team again. This OU team is probably better then most people give it credit for, but Alabama is still probably, at worst, the 2nd best team in the country. If OU hangs around early, they might have a shot, but Alabama should win this one comfortably.
Friday, January 3rd
Clemson vs. Ohio St. (7:30 pm/ESPN) – Ohio St. blew the Big Ten Championship against Michigan St. and had to settle for this game instead of National Championship. Hopefully they defy the stereotype and get up for this game anyway. Clemson had a good and underrated season, and they have skill position players that can make plays. This game could be one heck of a shootout, but assuming OSU comes to play, their defense has the edge after a long layoff.
Oklahoma St. vs. Missouri (6:30 pm/FOX) – A pair of underrated teams that ended up missing BCS games and landed here. Missouri had a great season and came from nowhere to make the SEC championship game. They are building on something and could cap off a big season with a chance to crack the final season top 5. OK St. was supposed to be the top team in the Big 12, but they stumbled a couple of times and ended up with 2 losses. Mike Gundy is a rumored name for Texas, and if it is a real candidate the distractions might come up before this game. Hard to pick a winner, but should be a good game.
Monday, January 6th
Florida St. vs. Auburn (7:30 pm/ESPN) – Nobody had either of these teams, let alone both of them, playing in this game when the season started. Florida St. looks invincible, and some advanced stats have them as the best team of the BCS era. They will need to win this game to have a chance to be in that argument. Auburn had some incredible things break their way in the Georgia and Alabama games. But they took care of business in SEC Championship. Gus Malzahn has been here as a coordinator, and recently, so that shouldn’t be a factor. FSU’s defense is better though, and the question will be whether Auburn can stop FSU.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?