It's a good day for college football fans from Florida: every game today features a team from the sunshine state. Schedule, reasons for watching, and predicted winners below. Take the predictions with a grain of salt, though. Yesterday I was 0 of 4.
Friday, December 31
12:00 PM E
South Florida vs. Clemson
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
2:00 PM ET
Notre Dame vs. Miami (FL)
HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
3:30 PM ET
Georgia vs. No. 25 UCF
AutoZone LIBERTY BOWL
7:30 PM ET
No. 20 South Carolina vs. No. 23 Florida State*
Why watch the Meineke Car Care Bowl?
You want to watch a good, old-fashioned defensive battle. Both these teams rank in the top-25 in several defensive categories and both teams have unimpressive offenses. Look for special teams to help decide the game. Winner? Clemson by the smallest of margins.
Why watch the Sun Bowl?
Because you set your time machine to 2002 and saw this as one of the best matchups of the year. In 2010, this pits interception machines Tommy Rees and Jacory Harris against one another. This is Miami's first game since firing coach Randy Shannon. Winner? Whoever wins the turnover battle--Miami by a field goal.
Why watch the Liberty Bowl?
Admit it, you're a sucker for the adorable Uga. Both these teams can put up plenty of points. After a rough 1-4 start (including a loss to Colorado), Georgia bounced back to win 5 of its final 7 games. UCF has slightly better stats, but UGA is a more talented, better coached team. Winner? Dawgs by a TD.
Why watch the Chick-fil-A Bowl?
Surely this matchup between ranked teams will be more exciting than that Boise St-Utah debacle. The 'Cocks are led by the three-headed monster of Stephen Garcia, Alshon Jeffrey, and Marcus Lattimore on offense. Florida State's starting QB Christian Ponder is questionable with an elbow injury, but his backup E.J. Manuel is serviceable. Serviceable might not be able to keep up with an offense like South Carolina's, however. Florida State will rely on its ferocious pass rush, which registered 46 sacks in its first year under Mark Stoops (brother of Mike and Bob Stoops). But without Ponder, FSU will fall behind in the second half. Winner? Sakerlina by two TDs (assuming Ponder sits).