Back in November when bowl selections were made, it looked as if the SEC would continue dominating the bowl season with several matchups that appeared favorable at the time. Let us grade out how these predictions panned out. First, let us look at CBS Sports predictions as of 1 November, since they cover many SEC games and would theoretically have good insight into SEC team performance a month before bowl selection.
Edit: As of New Year’s Day 2015, it appears that the era of SEC dominance has ended. It was a matter of time before the SEC reached this level of parity. On a bright note, the weaker SEC bEast is 5-0 this bowl season! #SEC!
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF|
|Championship Bowl||Jan. 12||Arlington, Texas||Semifinal winners||
Ohio State vs OregonI will jump in on 29 December and predict Alabama versus Florida State. On November 1st, most pundits were predicting a Mississippi school from the SEC versus Michigan State, Florida State, or Ohio State. Edit: As of January 1st, this game will be Ohio State vs Oregon.
I was wrong last time, but I am confident that the Nike-sponsored Oregon will win.
|Sugar Bowl||Jan. 1||New Orleans, La.||Semifinal||
(1) Alabama 35 – (4) Ohio State 42
Florida State kept winning games, but not convincingly enough to warrant a #1 seed. To the Rose Bowl goes Forced Sex University! Roll Tide! Maybe Urban Meyer can remember how to beat Nick Saban…using his #3 quarterback?
|Rose Bowl||Jan. 1||Pasadena, Calif.||Semifinal||
(3) Oregon 59 – (2) Florida State 20.Yes! As a Florida Gator, it does feel good to see Forced Sex University lose a game like this. More importantly, this game was good for college football. In a matchup between Heisman winners, the more humble, student athlete won the game and the hearts of true college football fans.
|SELECTION COMMITTEE BOWL GAMES|
|Cotton Bowl||Jan. 1||Arlington, Tex.||At-Large vs. At-Large||
(8) Michigan State 42 – (5) Baylor 41
|Orange Bowl||Dec. 31||Miami, Fla.||ACC vs SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame||
(7) Mississippi St. 34 – (12) Georgia Tech 49
CBS got it half correct last month, but the bowl selection committee got this 100% correct. Who knew that Georgia Tech would rack up 120 yards in the air, and contain a QB once considered a Heisman candidate?
|Fiesta Bowl||Dec. 31||Glendale, Ariz.||At-Large vs At-Large||
(20) Boise State 38 – (10) Arizona 30.BSU once again proved that they belong in elite bowl games. This was an exciting game!
|Peach Bowl||Dec. 31||Atlanta, Ga.||At-Large vs. At-Large||
(9) Ole Miss 3 – (6) TCU 42.
Why anyone in their right mind would pick Georgia this high in the pecking order, I do not know. TCU or East Carolina would have both been safe bets for an exciting Peach Bowl, but a last-minute ECU loss to UCF knocked them out of this bowl game.
TCU definitely made a statement in dismantling a team that was #1 for a few weeks after taking down powerhouse Alabama, and showing that there *might* be a reason to expand the College Football Playoffs.
|OTHER BOWL GAMES|
|GoDaddy.com Bowl||Jan. 4||Mobile, Ala.||MAC vs. Sun Belt||
Toledo vs. Arkansas State
|Birmingham Bowl||Jan. 3||Birmingham, Ala.||American vs. SEC||
East Carolina 20 vs. Florida 28
I never would have guessed this one either. Who knew that Florida could figure out how to beat Georgia, but lose to South Carolina and get pitted against the explosive East Carolina offense…during a coaching change? Florida might give the SEC its only loss to a non-Power 5 team this bowl season.
Edit: somehow my Gators pulled a win out of their collective asses. D.J. Durkin will go down as the only undefeated Gator coach in history!
|Cactus Bowl||Jan. 2||Tempe, Ariz.||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||Okla. State vs. Washington
Washington 22 vs. Oklahoma State 30
Ding! Ding! Ding! One accurate prediction out of many! Somehow Chris Peterson forgot to prepare his team for this bowl game. I am glad Florida never tried to pull him away from BSU.
|Alamo Bowl||Jan. 2||San Antonio, Tex.||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||
(11) Kansas State 35 vs. (14) UCLA 40. Meh. Nice game.
|TaxSlayer Bowl||Jan. 2||Jacksonville, Fla.||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||
Iowa 28 vs. Tennessee 45
Nope. Not even close on the bowl predictions. Tennessee whooped up on Iowa and reminded the world that the Vols are on the rise.
|Armed Forces Bowl||Jan. 2||Fort Worth, Tex.||American vs. Army||Houston vs. Air Force*
Houston 35 vs. Pittsburgh 34. What a great comeback by Houston to score a bazillion points in the last 2.2 femtoseconds of the game with two brilliant onside kick recoveries and two quick TD strikes!
|Outback Bowl||Jan. 1||Tampa, Fla.||Big Ten vs. SEC||Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M
(19) Auburn 31 vs. (18) Wisconsin 34
CBS got it half correct, thanks to Texas A&M losing more games than expected.
Auburn helped the mighty SEC West earn that trophy for most overrated division. Auburn will fix their defensive woes next year with the hiring of former Gator head coach Will Muschamp as their defensive coordinator in 2015.
|Capital One Bowl||Jan. 1||Orlando, Fla.||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||
(25) Minnesota 17 vs. (16) Missouri 33
Nope. CBS even the name of the bowl game incorrect! The new CFP format has forced many of the bowl games to change sponsorship strategies.
Missouri keeps the SEC East undefeated!
|San Francisco Bowl||Dec. 30||Santa Clara, Calif.||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||
Maryland 21 vs. Stanford 45. It looks like the Pac-12 is here to prove a point.
|Belk Bowl||Dec. 30||Charlotte, N.C.||ACC vs. SEC||
(13) Georgia 37 vs. (21) Louisville 14
Nope. Not even close. Your punishment is having to watch Georgia in a football game. Sucks to be you. My punishment is having to listen to Danny Kanell brag about the ACC beating SEC on rivalry weekend last month. Sucks to be me. At least the SEC East stayed undefeated this bowl season.
|Music City Bowl||Dec. 30||Nashville, Tenn.||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||
Notre Dame 31 vs. (23) LSU 28
Who really wants to go to the Music City Bowl any way? Apparently not the LSU Tigers. Suck it, SEC West!
|Texas Bowl||Dec. 29||Houston, Tex.||Big 12 vs. SEC||
Arkansas 31 vs. Texas 7
Yay…a Monday bowl game. CBS did not even insert an SEC team here, because they bought into the hype of more SEC teams missing out on bowl eligibility.
|Russell Athletic Bowl||Dec. 29||Orlando, Fla.||ACC vs. Big 12||
(17) Clemson 40 vs. Oklahoma 6
Duke and Baylor both looked good back on 1 November and were good picks for this bowl game. Both teams sputtered towards the end and now we get to watch Big Game Bob vs Dabo Swinney. Big Game Bob apparently forgot that there was a game today, or he was too concerned with visiting family in Florida over the holidays.
|Liberty Bowl||Dec. 29||Memphis, Tenn.||Big 12 vs. SEC||
Texas A&M 45 vs. West Virginia 37.
CBS got it half correct. This one was a shootout between two similar offenses. Apparently neither team brought a defense.
|Holiday Bowl||Dec. 27||San Diego, Calif.||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||Penn State vs. USC
(24) USC 45, Nebraska 42
Good guess, CBS! USC and PSU both brought offense to the Holiday Bowl, but they both left their defenses back home. What a shootout! Too bad I do not care for non-SEC games.
|Pinstripe Bowl||Dec. 27||New York, N.Y.||ACC vs. Big Ten||Georgia Tech vs. Rutgers
Penn State 31, Boston College 30 (OT)
Not even close, CBS. I only watched this game to see if another former Florida Gator would be able to win a game. Tyler Murphy did well, but his kicker shanked an extra point and helped PSU win in overtime.
|Independence Bowl||Dec. 27||Shreveport, La.||SEC vs. ACC||
South Carolina 24, Miami, FL 21
Wrong Carolina, wrong opponent, decent game. I love watching Spurrier beat a Miami team.
|Sun Bowl||Dec. 27||El Paso, Tex.||ACC vs. Pac-12||Louisville vs. Stanford
(15) Arizona State 36, Duke 31
|Military Bowl||Dec. 27||Annapolis, Md.||ACC vs. American||Miami (FL) vs. Memphis
Virginia Tech 33, Cincinnati 17
|Bitcoin Bowl||Dec. 26||St. Petersburg, Fla.||ACC vs. American||N.C. State vs. UCF
NC State 34, UCF 27
Good guess, CBS! Former Gator QB Jacoby Brissett looked sharp in this win, except maybe later in the game.
|Quick Lane Bowl||Dec. 26||Detroit, Mich.||ACC vs. Big Ten||Boston College vs. Ohio*
Rutgers 40, North Carolina 21
|Heart of Dallas Bowl||Dec. 26||Dallas, Tex.||Big Ten/Big 12 vs. C-USA||Iowa vs. Marshall
Louisiana Tech 35, Illinois 18
|Hawaii Bowl||Dec. 24||Honolulu, Hawaii||Mountain West vs. C-USA||Nevada vs. UAB
Rice 30, Fresno State 6
|Bahamas Bowl||Dec. 24||Nassau, Bahamas||C-USA vs. MAC||Middle Tenn. vs. W. Michigan
WKU 49, Central Michigan 48
|Poinsettia Bowl||Dec. 23||San Diego, Calif.||Mountain West vs. Navy||Colorado State vs. Navy
Navy 17, San Diego State 16
|Boca Raton Bowl||Dec. 23||Boca Raton, Fla.||C-USA vs. MAC||Louisiana Tech vs. C. Michigan|
|Miami Beach Bowl||Dec. 22||Miami, Fla.||American vs. BYU||Cincinnati vs. BYU|
|Camellia Bowl||Dec. 20||Montgomery, Ala.||MAC vs. Sun Belt||Toledo vs. South Alabama|
|Idaho Potato Bowl||Dec. 20||Boise, Idaho||MAC vs. Mountain West||Akron vs. Fresno State|
|Royal Purple Bowl||Dec. 20||Las Vegas, Nev.||Mountain West vs. Pac-12||Boise State vs. Utah|
|New Mexico Bowl||Dec. 20||Albuquerque, N.M.||Mountain West vs. C-USA||Utah State vs. Rice|
|New Orleans Bowl||Dec. 20||New Orleans, La.||Sun Belt vs. Mountain West||Ark. State vs. San Diego State|