2011 - 2012 College Football Conference and Bowl Predictions: Part II

This finishes out the Conference and Bowl predictions, with the BCS Bowl games plus 5 important ones... predictions after the jump

We will start out with the 5 important bowl games, we decided on these 5 because they generally show who will be contenders the following year.  The five games we chose was the Gator Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, Chic-Fil-A Bowl, and of course the Cotton Bowl.

Gator Bowl - Probably the least popular of them all, but the victor in this game, has generally gone on to bigger and better things the following year.  This year's edition, TigerTown90 and myself, decided we would see the Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the Ohio State University.  Obviously anytime OSU matches up with an SEC team (especially in the post season), they don't fare very good, unless of course they use underhanded tactics (i.e. cheating).  We feel this will not change in what has to be considered the weakest OSU team in the last decade++ combined with the fact MSU seems to be headed in the right direction.  Winner: MSU

Capital One Bowl - Even though this bowl is nearly overshadowed by the mascot challenge every year, it still determines what team could be a darkhorse in the following year.  With another SEC/B1G matchup, we think the Capital One Bowl will match up LSU against Michigan State... although it wouldn't be too surprising to see Michigan jump in which might would be a more alluring matchup (with Les Miles' connections).  But nevertheless, with the Capital One Bowl getting 2nd pick in the B1G we expect that to be MSU.  Michigan State got blasted last year in this bowl by Alabama, who finished 3rd in the West last year, and we expect it to be a deja vu for MSU again this year, except against LSU.  Winner: LSU

Cotton Bowl - The Cotton Bowl is one of the most popular bowls year in and year out, maybe more so in the past than a BCS Bowl or two, and why not?? it features perhaps the two most proud football conferences in recent memory.  We feel this year, they will square off two old rivals from an even older conference.  In this year's Cotton Bowl, the Arkansas Razorbacks will take on the Texas A&M Aggies (Longhorns won't be improved enough for this bowl, so this is the next best rivalry).  In what could be one of the best bowl games of the season, this one could come down to who gets the ball last.  Winner: Arkansas

Outback Bowl - One of the bowl games that is held most dear in Gamecock hearts around the nation, the Outback Bowl has seen its fair share of great games, and it will continue in this year's edition.  We foresee a vastly improved UGA team in this bowl taking on a possibly weaker than normal Iowa team.  This game for me comes down to returnees, and UGA has the edge there.  Winner: UGA

Chic-Fil-A Bowl - One of the most fun bowls to attend, the Chic-Fil-A Bowl has always been a bowl that shows what team will contend next year.  I will keep this one short and sweet, the ACC runner up will take on the 3rd or 4th best team in the East, and that is just enough of a differential to give UNC the edge over Florida.  Winner: UNC

                                                                                       BCS Bowls

Orange Bowl - The ACC Champ, Florida State will take on an at-large team which in this case is the Big East Champs WVU.  In what could have been quite the match-up had Bobby Bowden not been pushed out, now it's just a mismatch.  Florida State will run away with this one and reclaim its glory as a BCS winner.  Winner: FSU

Fiesta Bowl - The Big XII Champ, Oklahoma faces another at-large team.  They end up facing Arizona, in what could be a really good bowl game.  Oklahoma has a big question mark at RB with the departure of Demarco Murray, and I am not sold on Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles being able to have a solid enough campaign when the offense could be one-sided (which is why they are not in my National Championship Game), but having said that, I believe their defense will be able to hold 'Zona down just enough to squeak out a win.  Winner: Oklahoma

Sugar Bowl - Since the norm has become SEC Champ to the National Championship, I see no reason to change that pattern this year, so the Sugar Bowl gets the SEC Runner-Up, Alabama which will have a chance to avenge their last bowl game loss against a BCS Buster... this time playing Boise State.  I expect Bama to control the game tempo with their ground attack and defense to shut down Boise's offense.  Winner: Alabama

Rose Bowl - Rose Bowl gets the B1G Champ and the Pac-12 Champ... but since I have the Pac-12 Champ in the National Championship Game, they get the Pac-12 Runner-Up.  Thus I have Wisconsin to take on Oregon for the roses.  Last year we saw what can happen when Oregon goes up against a formidable running game, and Wisconsin has one of the best in the nation, if not the best.  I see Wisconsin controlling the line and running the ball down Oregon's throat all game long, eventually winning it.  Winner: Wisconsin

BCS National Championship - Now that I have given away the match-up in this game, there is nothing to do but explain it all out, and it is a rather simple one, that my friend TigerTown90 (a Clemson fan) helped me arrive at.  The last thing anyone expected to see coming into this 21st century is a Stanford/South Carolina battle for all the College Football glory... but I think that is exactly what we will get at season's end this year.  Andrew Luck will power his team to the BCS National Championship game through sheer will and gut, but when he gets there, he will find a veteran South Carolina team riding high off their first SEC Championship, mark my words, this is not your grand-pappy's (hell probably not even your fathers) Gamecocks football team, this is a new beast that was born last year... and oh how it is star studded.  Alshon Jeffery, Marcus Lattimore, Stephon Gilmore, Devin Taylor, Jadeveon Clowney (yes I think he will be a household name by season's end) and perhaps the most shocking of all, Stephen Garcia (who I expect to have nearly every QB record at South Carolina by this time).  In the end, this game, like always, will come down to star power, an advantage that seemingly has to go South Carolina's way.  The Gamecocks will finally hoist that crystal football.  Winner: South Carolina

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