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USC’s Jeffery Should Be “Full Go” For Bowl

From a numbers perspective, 2011 had to be a disappointment for South Carolina wideout Alshon Jeffery.  Perhaps the most hyped SEC receiver coming into the year, Jeffery tallied 45 catches, 614 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns over the course of the season… good for sixth, seventh and fourth in the SEC in those categories, respectively.

Stephen Garcia’s struggles, his eventual dismissal, and the transition to Connor Shaw certainly didn’t make life easy on Jeffery.  Neither did the fact that opposing defenses focused on shutting him down over the top.

Still, he managed about 20 catches and 300 yards more than Carolina’s second-leading receiver, Ace Sanders.  So it’s good news for the Gamecocks that Jeffery’s surgically-repaired left hand “feels fine” and is “starting to get better.”

Asked if he’ll be ready to face Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on January 2nd, the junior said, “I definitely feel good about that.”

Indeed, Steve Spurrier says his top offensive playmaker looks to be healing right on schedule.

“The docs say in another week or so, he should be full go.”

Jeffery broke a bone in his hand in Carolina’s season-ending 34-13 win over Clemson.

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Spurrier Relishing Carolina’s “Wonderful Year”

Taking part in a Capital One Bowl event yesterday, Steve Spurrier was asked if his team’s 10-2 season — with wins over Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee — has been satisfying.  The coach made no bones about it:

 

“Yeah, we’ve had a wonderful year. We lost one close one we had a chance to win, but we won about four others that we could’ve lost. We have won our share of close games this year. That’s why we’re 10-2. Our field goal kicker has made some nice ones. We’ve won a couple of games by a field goal. Our defense and our offense have made plays at the right time to win the game. I think everyone knows if we’re fortunate enough to win 11 games, that would be a first in the history of our school. So we’re playing for history in the Capital One Bowl. We really have a lot to play for.”

 

Carolina has lost three bowl games in a row under Spurrier and they are 0-3 lifetime against Nebraska.  Indeed they do have a lot to play for on January 2nd.

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MrSEC.com’s Official Bowl Projections

So where will your favorite team go bowling?  We at MrSEC have our own thoughts on that matter and you can find them below.

But first, let’s establish a couple of ground rules.  First, we’re going to go with the favorite in tomorrow’s SEC Championship Game.  So all of the predictions below are based on the assumption that LSU will avoid an upset at the hands of Georgia.  Also, we’ll assume that Alabama will not be jumped in the BCS standings by Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, or anyone else come Sunday afternoon.

Now, on with the predictions…

 

BCS Championship Game:  #1 LSU vs #2 Alabama

Capital One Bowl:  Arkansas (SEC 2nd) vs Nebraska (Big Ten 2nd)

Outback Bowl:  South Carolina (SEC 3rd/4th) vs Michigan State (Big Ten 3rd)

Cotton Bowl:  Georgia (SEC 3rd/4th) vs Oklahoma (Big 12 2nd)

Chick-fil-A Bowl:  Auburn (SEC 5th) vs Florida State (ACC 2nd)

Gator Bowl:  Florida (SEC 6th) vs Ohio State (Big Ten 5th)

Music City Bowl:  Mississippi State (SEC 7th) vs Wake Forest (ACC 6th)

Liberty Bowl:  Vanderbilt (SEC 8th) vs Cincinnati (UPDATE — through a series of loopholes the Big East can force a team into the Liberty Bowl in place of a C-USA team.)

 

Comments:

* The SEC will not have a representative in the Sugar Bowl as both LSU and Alabama will land in the BCS title game.

* The SEC does not have enough bowl eligible teams to fill its slot in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

* The toughest call of the above games is the Capital One Bowl.  It’s our belief that the majority of Arkansas fans would prefer the closer trip to Dallas — despite the weather advantages offered by Central Florida.  Also, the Capital One committee might feel that either Georgia (closer) or South Carolina (a program that last played in the Orlando bowl in 1975 and currently has an excited fanbase) will travel better and fill more hotels and restaurants.  In the end, we believe they’ll go with the higher-rated Razorbacks and hope for a good turnout, but we won’t be surprised at all if Carolina or Georgia landing that slot.  In fact, the more we type, the more we’re leaning toward a switch to the Gamecocks…

* The only other game up for real debate is the Music City Bowl which has a choice to make between 6-6 Mississippi State and 6-6 Vanderbilt.  Mississippi State would bring more fans into the Nashville area and fill more hotel rooms than the hometown Commodores.  But it’s also possible some political pressure could come into play which would push the Music City committee to take the re-energized local team.  Ultimately, we think State will get the invite to Nashville with the spin being that Vanderbilt’s players deserve an opportunity to go bowling outside of their own fair city… which means VU will spend New Year’s Eve in Memphis.

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SEC Bowl Game Headlines 1/1/2011

Liberty Bowl

1. Central Florida 10 – Georgia 6.  Bulldogs finish at 6-7, first losing record for Georgia since 1996.

2. David Ching: “This was an uninspired effort from everyone involved.”

3. Georgia kicker Blair Walsh: “Our attitude needs to change.”

4. A.J. Green will wait a few days before making a decision on the NFL.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl

5. Florida State 26 – South Carolina 17.  Steve Spurrier now 1-4 in bowl games at South Carolina.

6. Backup QB burns the Gamecocks.

7. Spurrier: “We didn’t give ourselves much of a chance to win the game.”

Outback Bowl

8. Last hurrah for Urban Meyer and Florida’ seniors.

9. A new life awaits Meyer while a new assistant coach is coming to Florida.  Will Muschamp is targeting Charlie Weis as the next offfensive coordinator for the Gators.

10.  Is this the last game in a Florida uniform for QB John Brantley?

Capital One Bowl

11. Sunshine State or a state of disappointment for the Tide?

12. SEC vs. the Big 10 in bowl games the last 10 years – 14-12 with four more this year, including three today.

13. Jon Solomon: “The pressure is on the Big Ten.”

14. Nick Saban on the two conferences: “If there’s any difference at all, it’s probably the passion of the fans.”

Gator Bowl

15. It’s Chris Relf’s time to shine.

16. Dan Mullen: You watch Denard Robinson and the first thing that does not come to mind is slow.”

17.  With Tate Forcier sent home, the options behind Robinson at QB for Michigan are slim.

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Alabama to Play Michigan State in Capital One Bowl

The 15th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will face the 7th-ranked Michigan State Spartans in the 2011 Capital One Bowl on Saturday, January 1, 2011, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The game will be televised by ESPN and will kick off at 12 p.m. (CST).
(more)

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SEC Headlines – 11/29/10

1.  Alabama is waiting for word on bowl possibilities.

2.  History is on Auburn’s side in the SEC Championship Game.

3.  Saturday’s unlikely title game pairing all boils down to Auburn and Carolina landing Cam Newton and Marcus Lattimore, respectively.

4.  Arkansas will need for Auburn to win if the Hogs are to land a BCS bowl bid.

5.  Here’s a look at the Razorbacks’ other bowl possibilities.

6.  LSU might be heading back to Orlando for another Capital One Bowl.

7.  The Tigers went 10-2 this season but this writer says the season was “good, not great.”  What does that say about our expectations these days?

8.  Houston Nutt says staff changes are “hard, but that’s where you have to separate that and do what’s best for Ole Miss.”

9.  Running back Rodney Scott will not return to the Rebels because he feels he’s better than Jeff Scott who got more carries.

10.  Mississippi State is in need of pass-catchers heading into its bowl game.

11.  Urban Meyer believes step on in Florida’s rebuild is to “recruit our butt off.”

12.  Losing Dan McCarney could hurt on that front.

13.  Meyer also wants the Gators to be tougher.

14.  This writer has the prescription to fix what ails Georgia.

15.  UGA’s basketball team salvaged its trip to the Old Spice Classic with a win over Manhattan yesterday.

16.  Joker Phillips needs to focus on recruiting because Kentucky has some holes to fill.

17.  South Carolina is closing strong on its way to Atlanta.

18.  Even when he’s not gaining yards, Marcus Lattimore helps USC’s offense.

19.  Tennessee’s players “trusted the process” and were rewarded in November.

20.  Bruce Pearl told Vol fans today that he “brought embarrassment to our university and I’m humiliated and embarrassed by it.”

21.  This past weekend was a rare good one for Tennessee fans.

22.  Vandy is yet again searching for a new coach.

23.  Finally, we here at MrSEC.com send our condolences to Kentucky’s John Calipari whose mother passed away today after a battle with cancer.

24.  Calipari will coach UK tomorrow night against Boston University.

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