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What the 'numbers' project for the SEC bowl season

The following scores are based on scoring averages and scoring margins against BCS opponents only. I take the scoring averages of both teams and compare to the opponent’s scoring margins, which gives me two possible scores to the game.

01) Arkansas over Kansas State, 39-31 (Arkansas, 33-30 and Arkansas, 45-32)

Kansas State faced the 16th most difficult schedule and Arkansas faced the 31st. Both scores favor Arkansas by 3-13 points.

02) Alabama over LSU, 14-13 (Alabama, 13-12 and Alabama, 15-13)

LSU faced the most difficult schedule in 2011 and Alabama is not too far behind at No. 8. Both scores favor Alabama by 1-2 points, which means another tight ball game. I believe we actually see an offensive touchdown in the rematch but I expect both teams to score under 20 points.

03) Ohio State over Florida, 21-20 (Ohio State, 23-16 and Florida, 23-19)

This appears to be a great match up, with the comparison projecting an Ohio State victory by 7-points and a Florida victory by 4 points. The Gators faced the more difficult schedule this season, ranked No. 32 and the Buckeyes ranked No. 64. The difference in strength of schedule could mean a Florida victory despite the projected Ohio State victory.

04) Michigan State over Georgia, 23-22 (Michigan State, 23-19 and Georgia, 25-22)

Another great match up based on the above scores. Michigan State is projected to win by 4-points and Georgia by 3-points. Once again, strength of schedule swings this game in favor of the Bulldogs, with UGA facing the 18th most difficult schedule and the Spartans ranked No. 36. Georgia has the better defense, which will likely be the difference in the game.

05) Vanderbilt vs. Cincinnati, 23-23 (Vanderbilt, 25-22 and Cincinnati, 24-21)

This one is so close it could overtime, which would be fitting to Vanderbilt’s season. They have fought through numerous close games in 2011 and their bowl game will likely end in the same fashion.

06) South Carolina over Nebraska, 26-18 (USC, 28-17 and USC, 23-19)

The scoring margins and averages project a victory from 4-11 points. The Gamecock defense was stellar this season and should be plenty enough to dispatch the Cornhusker offense. I thought Coach Spurrier did a great job of overcoming the dismissal of his starting quarterback and the loss of Marcus Lattimore to an injury.

07) Virginia over Auburn, 24-22 (Virginia, 26-18 and Auburn, 25-22)

Another solid match up with the numbers indicating a close Auburn victory by 3-points or a Cavalier victory by 8-points. The overall number comparison favors Virginia but it’s important to consider the strength of schedule. Auburn faced the 4th most difficult schedule in the country and Virginia competed against the 88th most difficult schedule. If it goes down to the wire, Auburn is 11-3 under Gene Chizik in games decided by 7-points or less.

08) Wake Forest over Miss State, 22-21 (Wake Forest, 24-19 and MSU, 23-19)

The scoring margins and averages indicate another close game with Wake Forest favored by 5 in one comparison and the Bulldogs favored by 4 in the other comparison. Strength of schedule and defense gives the edge to the Bulldogs, despite what the scoring comparison projects.

Save your money and don't count on the above to win you the bowl game lottery. :big:

I do see the SEC bowl games as very good match ups based on scoring averages and scoring margins.

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