It’s Orange Bowl week, Dawg Nation! We all can’t wait for the game against Michigan, but if you are like me, you are in a bowl pool and have your eye on the other bowl games, especially ones involving SEC teams.
As we get into the heart of bowl week, let’s take a look around the conference and see who is making headlines ahead of the final games of the season.
- One team that has already (mercifully) played its final game of the season is Florida. The Gators lost to UCF to finish the season 6-7, however, they received some semi-positive news postgame when quarterback Emory Jones left the door open to the possibility of returning to Florida after previously indicating he would enter the transfer portal. The Florida quarterback situation will be interesting to watch all offseason.
- Alabama’s Will Anderson is prepping for the Cotton Bowl as a two-touchdown favorite against Cincinnati, but apparently Anderson and the rest of the Tide haven’t heard what Vegas thinks about the game. Asked about the Cotton Bowl, Anderson stated, “I feel like we’re the underdog in this game.” I’m fully expecting an Alabama player to pull the same “underdog” card for the 2022 opener at home against the Aggies… the Utah State Aggies.
- Mike Leach will get a chance to take on his former team, Texas Tech, when his Mississippi State Bulldogs take the field in the Liberty Bowl. This is a change for Leach, who has vowed to fight Texas Tech “forever” regarding owed money stemming from his firing.
- Texas A&M almost had their bowl game canceled due to COVID-19 concerns with Wake Forest. Luckily, Rutgers stepped up to fill-in for the Demon Deacons in the Gator Bowl. With a huge recruiting class coming into College Station in 2022, this game could be a springboard for Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies heading into next season.
- Arkansas received some good news ahead of their bowl game against Penn State when Nittany Lion star wide receiver Jahan Dotson announced he would opt out of the game to prepare for the NFL Draft. The Razorbacks will look to cap off a surprising season with an Outback Bowl victory to move them to 9-4.
- Missouri lost to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl on a field goal as time expired. After the game, starting quarterback Connor Bazelak, the SEC Co-Freshman of the Year in 2020, announced he would enter the transfer portal. Bazelak did not appear in the Armed Forces Bowl for what Missouri said was a leg injury, though one has to wonder if this decision didn’t influence Eli Drinkwitz’s decision to start redshirt freshman Brady Cook.
Good luck in everyone’s bowl pools, and most importantly, GO DAWGS!!!
This post is one of a series previewing the Georgia/Michigan Orange Bowl brought to you by the folks at DraftKings. Odds/lines are subject to change. Terms & conditions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.