December 31st, 2012 09:00 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Alabama, Big East, ESPN, Ole Miss, SEC
With the SEC kicking off its bowl schedule today, we wanted to get you up to speed with the television listings, latest lines, keys to victory and our own predictions for each of the league’s first eight contests.
Naturally, next week’s BCS Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame will get its own breakdown a bit later.
But without further ado, here’s your holiday gridiron primer for all the SEC action this week…
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN)
Vanderbilt (8-4) vs NC State (7-5)
12:00pm ET, Today on ESPN
Opening Line: VU -5
Current Line: VU -7.5
Sidenotes: Vanderbilt has the SEC’s longest win streak at six games and it’s won those six games by an average of 24 points, scoring more than 40 points in four of those six contests. NCSU lost three of its last five games allowing 43 to North Carolina, 33 to Virginia, and 62 to Clemson in those defeats.
Key for Vanderbilt: Own the air. NC State had the ACC’s second-best passing attack this season, but Vanderbilt had the third-best pass defense in the SEC. In the all-important opponent’s passer rating statistic, Vandy actually placed second in the league. While Commodore QB Jordan Rodgers didn’t match the numbers of Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon, Rodgers protected the football — just five INTs all season — against superior defenses. NCSU’s pass defense ranked just ninth in the ACC.
Pick: Vanderbilt 27, NC State 17
Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, GA)
LSU (10-2) vs Clemson (10-2)
7:30pm ET, Tonight on ESPN
Opening Line: LSU -3
Current Line: LSU -6
Sidenotes: Clemson had the best offense in the ACC rolling up 518 yards per game. But in a 27-17 loss to South Carolina to end the season, the Tigers put up just 328 yards of offense (145 rushing, 183 passing). LSU ranked just ahead of Carolina in total defense in the SEC this year.
Key for LSU: Show up. The Tigers aren’t thrilled to be heading to Atlanta when slots in more prestigious bowls were available. The last time a Top 10 SEC team moaned so much about landing in Atlanta, #6 Tennessee was whipped 27-14 by unranked Clemson in 2004. LSU has the superior defense and the superior team. But if the Bayou Bengals aren’t fired up for this one, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd will surprise.
Pick: Clemson 24, LSU 23
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