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Bowl Season College Football Previews

The first week of the bowl season is in the books, which means it is time for the major bowl games and the playoff semifinal games, which begin on December 31. The winners of the semifinal games will meet in the national championship game, on Monday, January 12. These are some of the games to look out for this week.

#7 Mississippi State (10-2) vs. #12 Georgia Tech (10-3), Orange Bowl, Wednesday, December 31, 8 PM. ET. ESPN.

Mississippi State was in the playoff picture for most of the season, because they played good defense for most of the season. They have had a few weeks to lick their wounds after their loss to Ole Miss, and will need to play very well defensively, if they want to defeat the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech will continue to follow the formula that has worked so well for them for some time now, which is running the ball. They have had a lot of success running the ball this year, and they are the 3rd best rushing team in the country, which also allows them to control the clock, and keep opposing defenses on the field for long periods of time.

Game Line: The Bulldogs are favored to win this game by 7 points, the Over/Under is 61.5 points.

Personal Pick: This will be a very close game, but the Yellow Jackets will find a way to get the win.

#9 Ole Miss (9-3) vs. #6 TCU (11-1), Peach Bowl, Wednesday, December 31, 12:30 PM. ET. ESPN.

The SEC teams got the benefit of the doubt over Big 12 teams this year, mostly because of their past successes, but the Big 12 teams have a lot to prove, after being left out of the playoffs. Ole Miss was one of the teams that was in the top 4, before losing three out of their final four games, while still remaining in the top 10, while TCU lost only one game, but couldn't stay in the playoff picture.

The Horned Frogs will be trying to prove that the Big 12 does belong in the national conversation, and will be a difficult opponent for the Rebels, because they have one of the best offenses and defenses in the country. This will be a very exciting game for football fans, because it pits one of the very best offenses in the country against the best defense in the country.

Game Line: TCU is favored to win this game by 3 points, the Over/Under is 56.5 points.

Personal Pick: TCU will make their point by defeating the Rebels handily.

#8 Michigan State (10-2) vs. #5 Baylor (11-1), Cotton Bowl Classic, Thursday, January 1, 12:30 PM. ET. ESPN.

Michigan State will face a very tough challenge in their bowl game against Baylor, who has the best offense in the country. Earlier in the season, the Spartans fell to the Oregon Ducks, who have a great offense, and will face a similar challenge against Baylor.

The Bears are still bitter about having to share the Big 12 title with TCU, despite defeating them earlier in the season, and will try to win this game convincingly, but they will have to stay sharp to do so, and not play down to their competition, as they have done in the past. 

Game Line: The Bears are favored to win this game by 2.5 points, the Over/Under is 71.5 points.

Personal Pick: This will be a statement game for the Bears, who will win it big.

The Playoff Semifinals

#2 Oregon (12-1) vs. #3 Florida State (13-0), Rose Bowl, Thursday, January 1, 5 PM. ET. ESPN.

The Ducks and their high flying offense will be in for a very good game against a Florida State team that always finds ways to win games. The Ducks will try to establish the run in this game, because Florida State has struggled to defend the run, especially when facing a mobile quarterback like Marcus Mariota.

Florida State has to take better care of the ball than they have recently, if they want to win this game, because it will be very hard for them to try and come back against a team as good as Oregon.

Game Line: The Ducks are favored to win the game by 9 points, the Over/Under is 72 points.

Personal Pick: The Seminoles will attempt another late game rally, but will fall short against the Ducks.

#1 Alabama (12-1) vs. #4 Ohio State (12-1), Sugar Bowl, Thursday, January 1, 8:30 PM. ET. ESPN.

Nick Saban will be trying to lead his Crimson Tide to their third national championship in four years, but he has to lead them past a confident Ohio State team first. Blake Sims will be leading one of the most talented Crimson Tide teams in years against an inexperienced Buckeye team.

The Buckeyes felt they deserved a chance to be in the playoffs, but are probably wishing they didn't have to go against Alabama, especially since they are currently down to their third string quarterback. Urban Meyer feels that despite his team's youth, they are capable of defeating any team, which should make this a very interesting game.

Game Line: The Crimson Tide is favored to win this game by 9 points, the Over/Under is 58.5 points.

Personal Pick: Ohio State will pull off a big upset, and defeat Alabama.