SEC Bowl Grades
SEC Bowl Grade: A-
SEC Straight Up: 7-2
SEC Against The Spread: 4-5
The SEC won a national title.
Considering social media couldn’t jump all over Florida fast enough and scream “overrated” after every SEC opponent’s first down, 7-2 isn’t bad. Going 4-5 against the spread, though, was sort of indicative that it wasn’t the dominant bowl run the league probably should’ve had, and …
The SEC won a national title.
Florida missing guys mattered – but a fully-functional UF wasn’t beating that Oklahoma team on that night. Mississippi State took care of the second-best AAC team, Georgia saved face by taking care of the AAC’s big fish. Texas A&M did what it needed to do, Kentucky got the 50/50 game, and Auburn losing to Northwestern really wasn’t that big a deal.
Oh yeah, and Ole Miss took out the Big Ten’s second-highest ranked team, and Alabama barely had to play more than five minutes to all but end a College Football Playoff semifinal.
And the SEC won a national title.
Alabama Bowl Grade: A+
Line: Alabama -19.5, o/u: 65.5
Prediction: Alabama 44, Notre Dame 23
Final Score: Alabama 31, Notre Dame 14
– 5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Rose Bowl
Line: Alabama -9.5, o/u: 74
Prediction: Ohio State 45, Alabama 42
Final Score: Alabama 52, Ohio State 24
– 5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: CFP NC
Alabama won the national title, the offense was amazing, and it was a 28-point win that didn’t have a whole lot of drama. How much more perfect could this bowl season be?
Alabama did exactly what it was supposed to do against a vastly inferior opponent in the Rose Bowl. It got up fast, answered instantly after there was the slightest bit of a threat in the first half, and was able to put it into cruise control from there. No, the Tide didn’t cover, but so what if they allowed a touchdown run with less than a minute to play? The team pitched a gem.
Auburn Bowl Grade: C
Line: Northwestern -3.5, o/u: 43.5
Prediction: Northwestern 23, Auburn 20
Final Score: Northwestern 35, Auburn 19
– 10 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Citrus Bowl
Northwestern’s offense was miserable against everyone except the miserable, and yet QB Peyton Ramsey all of a sudden turned into Aaron Rodgers against the Auburn secondary and RB Cam Porter went Derrick Henry on a late drive. To be fair, the coaching change mattered, and not having RB Tank Bigsby hurt, but there were still chances to pull this off down 14-13 in the second half and it didn’t happen. The Wildcats were the tougher, better team.
Florida Bowl Grade: D
Line: Oklahoma -8.5, o/u: 65
Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Florida 30
Final Score: Oklahoma 55, Florida 20
– 10 Thoughts on the Cotton Bowl
It’s not fair to the players who stuck around and gave it their all that the missing pieces all but gutted the team’s chances against a jacked up Oklahoma squad looking to prove a point. Even so, the defense was a disaster – as expected – and the offense just couldn’t function well enough to the point of Heisman finalist Kyle Trask being benched. The Gators did pull within four late in the first half, and then came the landslide. A program with this much talent should’ve been able to avoid being embarrassed like this.
Georgia Bowl Grade: B
Line: Georgia -8.5, o/u: 53
Prediction: Georgia 34, Cincinnati 26
Final Score: Georgia 24, Cincinnati 21
– 5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Peach Bowl
Okay, it’s a big win in a big bowl game in sort of a no-win situation for Georgia. This is one of the most talented teams in the country, it was the fourth-best team in the SEC, and it was going against a team that struggled to get by a Tulsa squad that lost in the bowl season to Mississippi State.
And it took bad Cincinnati clock management and a bomb of a field goal to get the win. But it’s a W, it’s an exhale moment for Kirby Smart and the SEC, and it’s the only loss UC suffered all year. It wasn’t the statement Georgia made last year against Baylor, though.
Kentucky Bowl Grade: B
Line: Kentucky -3, o/u: 50.5
Prediction: NC State 27, Kentucky 23
Final Score: Kentucky 23, NC State 21
– 5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Gator Bowl
On the plus side, Kentucky got the win. Don’t ask any questions how, but just take it, end the rough season on a high note, and don’t worry about what happened.
The running game was great, the team dominated the time of possession battle, and it was + 3 in turnover margin. What was the problem? Ten penalties were rough, and it was way too close late considering UK created most of its own breaks.
Mississippi State Bowl Grade: B
Line: Tulsa -2.5, o/u: 46
Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Tulsa 20
Final Score: Mississippi State 28, Tulsa 26
– 10 Thoughts on the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
The offense didn’t work, it was a struggle to put the game away, and the fight at the end was horrific. But other than that …
In normal times, Mississippi State beating Tulsa would be just another day and just another yawner of a win. But after struggling so much over the season, and considering it was the 10thish best SEC team going against the second-best American Athletic Conference team – and a Tulsa squad that pushed Cincinnati in a loss on a walk-off field goal – take the win, don’t ask questions, and move on to 2021.
Ole Miss Bowl Grade: A
Line: Indiana -7.5, o/u: 65
Prediction: Indiana 40, Ole Miss 34
Final Score: Ole Miss 26, Indiana 20
– 5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Outback Bowl
This is how a bowl win can totally make a season. The horrible defense that got lit up by everyone all year allowed just two field goals before the fourth quarter and held on when it had to late. The receiving corps was missing Elijah Moore, but the passing game roasted the Big Ten’s second-highest ranked team for 346 passing yards as Lane Kiffin ended his first year with a win in a restaurant quality bowl game.
Texas A&M Bowl Grade: B+
Line: Texas A&M -7.5, o/u: 66.5
Prediction: Texas A&M 34, North Carolina 20
Final Score: Texas A&M 41, North Carolina 27
– 5 Thoughts Reaction, Analysis: Orange Bowl
It wasn’t exactly the performance the team needed to make everyone jump on the “Texas A&M deserved the fourth spot” train in the after-the-fact College Football Playoff debate. North Carolina was missing way too many key parts for this to have been as close as it was, and it took an Orange Bowl record 24 fourth quarter points to put it away, but A&M rolled how A&M rolls – it methodically kept pushing its way to a double-digit New Year’s Six bowl win.