SEC will struggle in bowl games

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2005

A well known southern author once penned the book &#8220Elvis is dead and I don't feel so good myself.”

For those of you who are too young or have just joined us on the planet Earth, that author was Lewis Grizzard.

I'm feeling about as good as Elvis and Lewis right now after getting a look at my pick-em sheet of the latest college football bowl games that have come and gone.

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I decided to buy into one of the millions of college football pools that circulated to show all the guys around town my vast ignorance of college football.

Needless to say, I'm 40 lengths behind, and Secretariat is headed down the home stretch.

But since it is the end of the year, I thought I would try to recover by sharing some of my insight of a few of the bowl games coming up this weekend leading up to the granddaddy of them all - the Rose Bowl.

It seems like this year the Southeastern Conference will show its true colors during the bowl games coming up.

It looks like the SEC may come away with a 3-3 record at best.

The Ole Ballcoach and the South Carolina Gamecocks will face off against a vanilla Missouri team at best in the Independence Bowl.

Look for South Carolina to crush the Tigers and leave Gamecocks fans drooling over the season ahead.

LSU quarterback and Mobile native Jamarcus Russell will be watching this year's Peach Bowl in his living room instead of playing or even watching from the Georgia Dome turf.

It seems that Russell has more things to worry about than getting a win over Miami. It sounds like his academic career at LSU may be on the skids.

Even if the Bayou Bengals did have Russell's services against the Hurricanes, it would not affect the outcome.

Miami's defense is twice as fast as any of the better defenses in the SEC.

Miami also has discovered that it has an effective offense to complement its dominant defense. Look for Miami to roll and set the stage for a possible national championship run next season.

You only have to remember back to last year when Iowa pulled off the miracle upset of LSU in the Outback Bowl. Can Iowa make it 2-for-2 in Tampa?

The answer is yes against a Florida team that is still searching for an identity on offense.

Urban &#8220natural disaster” Meyer may have Chris Leak under center for the last time. Look for Tim Tebow to take Leak's job when the 2006 season kicks off.

In the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia looks poised to come away with a big win over an overlooked an possibly an overrated West Virginia team.

This game is likely to have quite a few offensive fireworks, but Georgia's defense is just a touch better.

Alabama makes its first trip to the Cotton Bowl since Jan. 1, 1982, when it lost to Texas 14-12.

Alabama's offensive line has been the talk of area sports talkshows every day since it gave up 11 quarterback sacks in the Tide's 28-18 loss to Auburn.

Alabama won't face a Texas Tech front four that is quite as fast as Auburn, but it does play an offense that may be better than Auburn's.

Alabama's defense has been called upon to win games for the Tide, but Texas Tech has just too much firepower to stop.

Auburn returns to the Capital One Bowl as arguably the best team in the SEC. The Tigers lead the SEC in total points scored and total offense, while it's defense isn't too shabby, either.

Auburn faces a Wisconsin team that will try to use the retirement of coach Barry Alvarez as a motivational tool. It may work for a quarter or two, but the Tigers' offense is clicking on all cylinders. Look for Auburn to win big in this game.

Now take my predictions with a grain of salt. I've been known to be wrong in the past.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail