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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Picking the Chick-fil-A, Music City bowls


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

It's what you've been waiting for, my first two picks of the bowl season. I was 73-23 during the regular season (.760), and yes, I did get Florida's 31-20 win over Alabama right in the SEC Championship Game. My score was pretty close, too. I picked Florida to win 34-24. That said, I don't see any no-brainers in the eight bowl games involving SEC teams. I'd take a 5-3 record right now and go to the house. We'll start with Boston College vs. Vanderbilt in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl and Georgia Tech vs. LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, both games being played on Dec. 31. My picks for the other six bowl games involving SEC teams will come out on Dec. 31:

Georgia Tech 31, LSU 27: What happened to the LSU defense from a year ago? The Tigers couldn't stop anybody when it counted this season. They struggled more against the pass than the run, and run is pretty much all the Yellow Jackets do. It's a chance for LSU freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson to gain some momentum heading into next season. Georgia Tech ought to have home-field advantage unless its fans get caught in Atlanta traffic. Of course, there's always MARTA. In the final analysis, it's been a while since LSU genuinely looked like a solid football team. There was the second half in the road win at South Carolina on Oct. 18, and there were stretches to be proud of in the overtime loss to Alabama on Nov. 8. The Tigers played in stretches this season, and that won't be good enough to beat a confident Georgia Tech team that's playing its best football.

Boston College 21, Vanderbilt 14: First, a public service announcement. No matter what happens in this game or despite the fact that Vanderbilt limped into a bowl game after losing six of its last seven games, it's still been a marvelous coaching job by Bobby Johnson and his staff to get the Commodores to this point. This is a team that lost its entire offensive line and virtually its entire front seven on defense last year. Now that we've given the Commodores their props, they haven't given anybody much reason the last two months to think that they're going to all of a sudden have an offensive awakening against a Boston College team that's been pretty salty on defense all season. The Eagles' forte is stopping the run and forcing turnovers, and we've seen what the Commodores look like on offense when they're forced to pass.