With the college football regular season wrapping up last Saturday, attention is now turned toward the national title and bowl season. Now, the matchups haven’t been determined yet for what teams are playing what bowls, but many projections can be made and we have a list of some of the notable potential bowl matchups.
There are two lines out for potential Cotton Bowl matchups:
Memphis vs Alabama and Memphis vs Florida.
The Tigers put together a fantastic 11-1 regular season, finishing first in the AAC and knocked off 10-2 Cincinnati in Week 14. The two will meet again this weekend in the AAC Championship Game with the Tigers being favored by 10.5-points. In the look-ahead lines, Memphis is a dog to both Alabama (+15.5) and Florida (+10.5). Both those two SEC squads finished with 10-2 records with the Crimson Tide falling to then-No. 2 LSU and then-No. 15 Auburn both by fewer than a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Gators fell to the two teams that are competing in the SEC Championship Game, the LSU Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs. No surprise to see an AAC teams, albeit a good one, coming in as an underdog against top teams in the SEC.
Similar to the Cotton Bowl, there are two look-ahead lines for potential Orange Bowl matchups. ACC squad Virginia can be found in both matchups with, once again, Florida and Alabama being matched up as the potential opponent.
The Cavaliers had their ups and downs this season, finishing with a 9-3 record, going 6-2 in ACC play. They are coming off a 39-30 triumph over No. 24 Virginia Tech to close out the season which earned their spot in the ACC Championship Game across from the No. 3 Clemson Tigers. Virginia is a 19.5-point underdog in a potential matchup with Alabama but is a 14-point favorite against Florida, which I think is a mistake, if not, hammer the Gators.
The Penn State Nittany Lions appear to be the Big Ten representative for the Rose Bowl with either Oregon or Utah opposing them.
Penn State dropped two of its last four games of the regular season, finishing with a 10-2 record, including 7-2 in the Big Ten. It’s two losses came against then-No. 2 Ohio State and then-No. 17 Minnesota. The defense was there all season for the Lions, allowing the seventh-fewest ppg in the nation at 14.1, but their offense struggled against top-end talent, averaging 22 ppg against ranked opponents. Penn State is a slight 3.5-point favorite over Oregon but is a 1.5-point underdog to Utah.
The Pac-12 side of things is still undetermined with Oregon and Utah meeting in the Pac-12 Championship Game this weekend. Very similar teams this season with a defense-first mentality, but still had the ability of putting points on the board offensively. The Ducks only allowed five opponents to score more than 10 points against them all season. Similarly, the Utes had just six foes rack up more than 10 points against them, finishing third in the nation in fewest ppg allowed.
Defense heavy approach for the potential teams in the Rose Bowl, perhaps an UNDER is the way to go.
Many believe it will be Georgia taking on Baylor in the Sugar Bowl as that’s the only look-ahead line available at this time. Of course, Georgia is meeting LSU in the SEC Championship Game and Baylor is looking for revenge against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game.
The Bulldogs have had just one defeat this year and it came against unranked South Carolina in Week 7 in double overtime. Georgia allowed the second-fewest ppg in the nation this season at 10.4, just 0.3 ppg more than first-placed Clemson. Offensively, the Bulldogs scored more than 30 points just four times all season, three of which came outside of conference play.
As for the Bears, they had just one defeat this season, falling at home to then-No. 10 Oklahoma 34-31. That was also the only ranked opponent Baylor had this year and it was leading that game 31-10 at the half but was outscored 24-0 in the second half. Baylor finished in the top-15 offensively and defensively in the nation.
Georgia is a 9.5-point favorite for this potential matchup which we think is a little hefty because its offense has struggled and to win by 10 in what could be a low-scoring affair may be difficult.
Here’s a look at the potential bowl look-ahead lines:
|Memphis vs Alabama||+15.5/-15.5||-115/-115|
|Memphis vs Florida||+9.5/-9.5||-115/-115|
Odds as of December 2
|Virginia vs Alabama||+19.5/-19.5||-115/-115|
|Virginia vs Florida||-14/+14||-115/-115|
Odds as of December 2
|Penn State vs Oregon||-3.5/+3.5||-115/-115|
|Penn State vs Utah||+1.5/-1.5||-115/-115|
Odds as of December 2
|Georgia vs Baylor||-9.5/+9.5||-115/-115|