College football’s opening weekend is nearly – finally – upon us. The first showcase game of Thursday night, North Carolina vs. South Carolina, has been months in the making. It should boast millions of viewers simply because fans across the nation have been waiting so very long for any and all pigskin they can get their hands on.
All of that being said, however, it’s time to look even further ahead. Fifteen weekends from writing, the 14 teams in the SEC will be wrapping up their respective regular seasons. Perhaps one will still be undefeated, perhaps not. Maybe one or a few of the league’s four new head coaches will have enjoyed success in Year 1, maybe not.
Last year, nine teams from the nation’s most dominant conference went bowling. There is a possibility the SEC exceeds that number in 2013-14, and there’s a possibility it won’t.
Peeking into our crystal (foot)balls, we here at Gamedayr believe the league will. After breaking down rosters and schedules, we’re seeing a whopping 11 teams earning an invite to postseason games to take on various teams around the country.
But where are all the teams headed?
BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Florida State
Capital One Bowl: Georgia vs. Michigan
Outback Bowl: Florida vs. Nebraska
Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma
BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. South Florida
Gator Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Wisconsin
Chick-fil-A Bowl: South Carolina vs. Miami
Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Tulsa
Independence Bowl: Auburn vs. Georgia Tech
Music City Bowl: Missouri vs. Virginia
These predictions are all subject to change, quickly – or just turn out to be completely wrong. If Texas A&M beats Alabama in their highly-anticipated Week 3 matchup, it could be the Aggies in the national title game over the Tide.
Or, of course, it could be an SEC East team. If Georgia goes undefeated in regular season conference play and then loses in the league championship, they could end up as a BCS at-large invite (unless last year’s scenario with Florida being ranked higher plays out again, which we have happening with Texas A&M). If the Dawgs already have a regular season loss and then lose in the title game, we still have them ending up in the Capital One Bowl for now.
Basically, Florida and South Carolina stand in Georgia’s way (as well as Texas A&M indirectly). Both the Gators and Gamecocks are expected to pile up double-digit win totals in 2013. A few bounces their way could easily bump them out of the Chick-fil-A or Outback Bowls and into the BCS.
For now, Alabama, Texas A&M and Georgia look like the three conference teams competing for (most likely) two BCS bowl berths.
Of course, these are merely our predictions. Do you agree? As always, sound off in the comments section below!