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Predictions 101 — Outback Bowl

South Carolina v Clemson Getty Images

No. 11 South Carolina vs. No. 19 Michigan
Jan. 1 – 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Tampa, Fla. – Raymond James Stadium

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier (207-77-2 career) is one of the game’s legends. But he is just 8-10 in bowl games, so this one is meaningful.

Especially against Michigan.

Spurrier, one of the traditionalists, was waxing about what it meant to play Michigan, one of college football’s iconic programs, the winged helmets, “Hail to the Victors,’’ all of that. Even though South Carolina’s year (10-2) imploded with back-to-back defeats against LSU and Florida – not to mention the season-ending loss of RB Marcus Lattimore – beating the Wolverines would finish things on a high note.

Michigan (8-4) had designs on so much more. Wolverine fans were talking national championship – yes, unrealistically. The losses were against the national-championship opponents (Alabama, Notre Dame), a Big Ten division titlist (Nebraska) and an unbeaten rival (Ohio State).

This matchup features two of the game’s most electrifying talents – South Carolina sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney, basically unblockable, and Michigan QB/RB/WR Denard Robinson, who could line up anywhere.

Opening point spread: South Carolina by 4 1/2

The pick: South Carolina 27, Michigan 17

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6 Responses to “Predictions 101 — Outback Bowl”
  1. polegojim says: Dec 6, 2012 9:39 AM

    Can’t argue with the pick, but will be good game.

    My Wolverines aren’t there yet.

    Go BLUE!

  2. southernpatriots says: Dec 6, 2012 10:24 AM

    Joey: Clowney is “basically unblockable.” That is true. That makes what Josh left tackle from LSU did to Clowney all night (shut him down) even more remarkable, doesn’t it?

    Spurrier is in a category by himself. He gives the Gamecocks an intrinsic that is hard to equal.

    Michigan can rise up and play a game beyond themselves. Maybe somehow Denard can play within himself and not become his own (and his team’s) worst enemy. With 9 TDs and 9 Int, you almost wonder which Denard will come to the game. When Denard is good, he is really good. When he is not…well you know. Because of that uncertainly, this game is hard to call as far as score goes.

    South Carolina still has an offense even without Lattimore. And they have a defense. It that Gamecock defense comes to play, the Gamecocks will win because they will be able to capitalize on what could be a few errant passes by Denard or get him out of the pocket and chase him down. Clowney is a huge weapon and if he reaches Denard just a few times it will put the fear of something into Denard. I think South Carolina will win, but this could go the other way with a few bounces of the ball.

  3. joshuavkidd says: Dec 6, 2012 10:29 AM

    this is kind of ignoring a very real possibility and that is that Denard may not, probably will not, play QB exclusively. With Denard and Devin both in the backfield, that could be an issue on the edges for SC. Also, without Lattimore, I think the Michigan defense can keep SC under that 27 line. The only team they allowed 27 or more points to was Alabama and NW in overtime.

  4. floridacock says: Dec 6, 2012 12:31 PM

    With Carolina’s defense Michigan better try to keep them under 10

  5. cometkazie says: Dec 6, 2012 2:14 PM

    One of the more interesting games, IMHO.

  6. nickynick04 says: Dec 8, 2012 8:30 PM

    South Carolina is a very good football team. J D Clowney is a BEAST.! COULD win the Heisman next year….Yes, yes he could.
    South Carolina is a feel good story,,great recruits going there ” Brenden Nosivitch out of Pennslyvania, a MAXWELL Trophy winner” and a lot more…..BUT what bothers me is this…The Gamecocks Football graduation rate in 2011 was 57%….in my opinion,,,they should be banned from any Conference Championship and/or BCS or any other Bowl game.
    Not just picking on the Gamecocks….but the whole SEC football graduation rates are pittifull for instutions of higher learning.
    The NCAA should require a 70% graduation rate, or you are banned from title games and Bowl games.
    The SEC is a football factory conference…” Sorry Education Conference ” NOT a conference of schools of higher learning athletes…
    But since no one cares…..Go Cocks !

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