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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