Welcome to the New Year’s Day non-CFP edition of SEC Football Predictions. These predictions will be for non-College Football Playoff games taking place New Year’s Day.
When determining which team has an advantage in a bowl game, the variables are much different than when previewing a regular season game. Stats and tendencies are useful for regular season games, but rendered pretty much useless for bowl games. Questions like, “Which team has something to prove?” or “Who has more players looking ahead to the NFL Draft?” are as effective as any stat or regular season precedent.
All Times Eastern | Utilizing College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings.
Monday, January 1, 2018
Michigan (8-4) vs South Carolina (8-4)
Noon ET | ESPN2 | Tampa, FL
- The biggest factor in determining the winner of this edition of the Outback Bowl could be whether or not Michigan’s offense can be inept enough to cancel out the stout Wolverines defense. Or, can South Carolina’s defense score enough to give the Gamecocks a chance to win?
- South Carolina will have a new person calling plays on offense. Wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon will be the offensive coordinator, taking the place of fired Kurt Roper. This could either light a fire under a stale offense or it may not. Expect the former as this game will be a defacto audition/job interview for McClendon to become the permanent offensive coordinator.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 21, Michigan 17
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
#12 UCF (12-0) vs #7 Auburn (10-3)
Noon ET | ESPN | Atlanta, GA
- Nebraska head coach Scott Frost will be the interim coach for UCF in Atlanta on Monday afternoon.
- UCF leading rusher Adrian Killins says Auburn has not seen speed like they have at the University of Central Florida. Mmmmm kay.
- Auburn should have Kerryon Johnson back at full speed. That sentence on its own makes my decision an easy one.
PREDICTION: Auburn 34, UCF 14
Citrus Bowl Bowl presented by Overton’s
#14 Notre Dame (9-3) vs #17 LSU (9-3)
1:00 PM ET | ABC | Orlando, FL
- If you hold a Notre Dame helmet up to your ear, you can almost hear the chants of “Overated…” The ‘Irish had a pretty good season, but they completely fell apart in a 41-8 loss to Miami and ended the season with an 18-point loss to Stanford.
- This will be the first Citrus Bowl for Notre Dame and it’s LSU’s second consecutive trip to Orlando.
- LSU has turned the ball over only four times when not including the four turnovers they had against Troy. The Tigers only loss since the upset to Troy has been a 14-point defeat on the road at Alabama.
- The Tigers are expected to part ways with their offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, after the Citrus Bowl. He is the highest paid coordinator in the nation. Although this will be a potential issue for the offense, the defense should be strong enough to get the win. Expect a game similar to Notre Dame’s game against Georgia the second week of the season.
PREDICTION: LSU 24 , Notre Dame 20
Eric Taylor is a contributor to FBSchedules.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricFromSpfld or contact him via email at EricFromSpringfield–at– gmail–dot– com. Eric sprinkles his talents across the property & casualty insurance sector and the comedy writing world. Luckily, he makes his living doing insurance, but be sure to Like the Facebook page Facebook.com/EricTaylorWritesStuff for updates on other stuff Eric may be writing or doing.