Don't look now, but, after slogging through approximately 9,000 crappy bowl match-ups, things are starting to get interesting. We're planning on watching each of these five bowls, either because the match-up is reasonably intriguing or because we're desperately seeking schadenfreude. We might be able to see through our own personal biases to ascertain the outcome of each of these contests against the spread, but Don't Bet On It!
Outback Bowl (1/1)
No. 10 South Carolina (-6) v. No. 18 Michigan
Did you know that the Ole Ball Coach is only 8-10 in bowl games? As a Georgia fan, this is almost incomprehensible to me. What makes more sense is that Carolina's rushing offense collapsed when Marcus Lattimore went down. (For the record, I wish Mr. Lattimore all the luck in his pro career. He is one heck of an athlete and by all accounts a class act.) But as much as I would like to pick against Spurrier here, I just don't know how Michigan is going to score any points. Offensive coordinator Al Borges has squandered Denard Robinson's considerable talents by first trying to turn him into a precision pocket passer and then by taking his job away altogether. I don't know exactly how the Gamecocks will cover here, but I'm morally certain that they will.
Rose Bowl (1/1)
Wisconsin v. No. 6 Stanford (-6.5)
Want to know how I know the B1G sucks? Its most consistently successful coach just left for the 8th or 9th best job in the SEC. Anyway, Stanford is built to stop the run -- they give up less than three yards per carry and just 87.69 yards per game. This should worry Badger fans because their offense ground out 56 or fewer yards in 3 of their 5 losses. The Cardinal win comfortably.
Orange Bowl (1/1)
No. 15 Northern Illinois v. No. 12 Florida State (-13.5)
Legendary Seminole head man Bobby Bowden once famously said that college football was more about Jimmies and Joes than Xs and Os. If he was right -- and I'm pretty sure he was absent a huge difference in coaching ability -- the Seminoles should cover easily. Barring some sort of extraordinary second redshirt year, the oldest player on each team would have been recruited in 2008. From 2008 to 2012, Florida State's average recruiting class was ranked 6th or 7th nationally with an average of 3.56 stars per player. During the same period, Northern Illionois's average recruiting class was ranked 93rd with an average of 2.17 stars per player. If this isn't a rout, Jimbo Fisher should start polishing his resume.
Sugar Bowl (1/2)
No. 21 Louisville v. No. 3 Florida (-14)
This is going to be a beatdown of Biblical proportions. I like Charlie Strong and all, but the Cardinals lost to Syracuse and Connecticut! Florida wins by 30+ to secure a preseason top 3 ranking for the 2013 season. This will make it that much sweeter when we win our third consecutive cocktail party.
Fiesta Bowl (1/3)
No. 4 Oregon v. No. 5 Kansas State (+9)
The Fiesta Bowl is probably the most intriguing match-up of the post-season. One or both of these teams might be playing in the national championship game if they hadn't each lost on November 17th. Oregon's offense usually wins the day, but Stanford figured out how to shut them down. I'm not sure that Kansas State can slow Oregon's offense as well as the Cardinal did because the Wildcats allow nearly 1 additional yard per carry. However, they're scoring more than 12 more points per game than Stanford. Optimus Klein is probably also the most talented offensive player the Ducks have seen since they faced Marqise Lee, who caught 12 passed for 157 yards and 2 TDs against them. This is going to be a shoot-out, and we'll always take more than a TD (K State) under those circumstances. Plus, Chip Kelly is probably already preparing to take over one of the many NFL teams who are searching for a head coach. This is as predictable as it is sad for college football fans.