SEC Football Struggling in Bowls Early: Dec. 29 Preview and Picks

BY Fansided and Jake Mastroianni/FanSided via Fly War Eagle • December 29, 2016

SEC football teams are just 1-2 in the early going of the bowl schedule. They’ll try to get back on track in the December 29 games with South Carolina and Arkansas playing.

Texas A&M certainly didn’t do SEC football any favors Wednesday night by losing to Kansas State. And now South Carolina and Arkansas have to pick up the slack today.

Right now the ACC and Sun Belt are tied with a 4-1 record during the bowl season. The SEC sits at 1-2, which is the worst record of any power five conference right now.

Let’s see if it will get any better for SEC football today.

South Florida vs. South Carolina – 1 CT – ESPN – Birmingham Bowl

South Carolina certainly overachieved in Will Muschamp’s first year winning six games when many thought they’d only win three. Now they face a tough South Florida team that won 10 games this year playing in the American conference.

Quarterback Quinton Flowers does it all for the Bulls leading the team in passing with 2,551 yards and 22 touchdowns, and in rushing with 1,425 yards and 15 touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see if a very strong South Carolina defense can slow him down.

As for South Carolina offensively, it will be fun to see the development of freshman quarterback Jake Bentley. We’ll get one more look at him before he gets ready to break out as a sophomore next year.

Prediction: South Carolina – 27 South Florida – 20

Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech – 4:30 CT – ESPN – Belk Bowl

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    Both of these teams overachieved a little bit in my eyes this year. I thought Arkansas wouldn’t make a bowl game, and they went on to win seven games. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech gave Clemson a run for their money in the ACC championship game.

    After starting 3-0 the Hogs lost every other game the rest of the way. If that pattern continues they should win the Belk Bowl because they lost their last game of the season.

    Austin Allen picked up right where brother Allen left things off at quarterback for Arkansas. Austin threw for 3,152 yards and 23 touchdowns this year. Rawleigh Williams II had a great year at running back rushing for 1,326 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    The defense for Arkansas has been downright terrible at times, and they’ll have trouble stopping Jerod Evans and the Virginia Tech passing attack.

    The difference in this game could be the Hokie defense. If they can get pressure on Allen it will be a long day for the Hogs.

    Prediction: Virginia Tech – 31 Arkansas – 24

    Oklahoma State vs. Colorado – 8 CT – ESPN – Valero Alamo Bowl

    A couple of top 12 teams will meet for what should be a good matchup in the Alamo bowl. Oklahoma State finished the year 9-3 and just missed out on the Big 12 championship. Buffalo went 10-3 after getting beat down by Washington in the Pac 12 championship game.

    Per usual, Oklahoma State is going to try and light up the scoreboard. Quarterback Mason Rudolph passed for 3,777 yards and 25 touchdowns this year. His favorite target, James Washington, had 1,209 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. At running for the Cowboys Justice Hill ran for over 1,000 yards.

    Colorado will rely more on their defense and running game to win. Running back Phillip Lindsay leads the team with 1,189 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Quarterback play has been an issue all year, and I’m not sure how that will go in this game.

    Prediction: Oklahoma State – 31 Colorado – 21



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