Monday, December 11th, 2017

Outback Bowl

Published on January 2, 2012 by   ·   1 Comment

outback-bowl-logoThe Outback Bowl is an annual New Year’s Day bowl game that features one of the three matchups between the Big 10 and SEC conferences. The Outback bowl has been contested every year since 1986, when the NCAA awarded a bowl game to the Tampa Bay area. It was originally called the Hall of Fame Bowl and the name was changed in 1996 when Outback Steakhouse signed on as the title sponsor.

This year’s matchup will feature the Michigan State Spartans (10-3) against the Georgia Bulldogs (10-3). Kickoff for this matchup will be at 1:00PM ET on New Year’s Day. The game is played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. You can watch this game on ABC and listen to it live on ESPN Radio.

For Michigan State, this is a make or break bowl game for them. They were hammered last year by Alabama when they were snubbed from a BCS bowl game. They lost a heart-breaker to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game on the strength of a running into the kicker call that gave Wisconsin the win.


The Spartans have a senior quarterback and a veteran team that has not won a bowl game since coach Dantonio took over. If Sparty ever wants the rest of the country to take them seriously as a program, they will have to compete and win in a bowl game.

In some ways, they are lucky that they aren’t going to the Rose Bowl. At least they will have a chance against the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia started off the season very slowly, losing their first 2 games. They were then blessed with a relatively easy SEC schedule with all of the tough games coming at home. They were able to avoid Alabama and Arkansas and didn’t play LSU until the championship game.

Coach Richt finally got off the snide against Florida in the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”. If he did not have the 10 game winning streak and make the SEC championship game, he was probably going to have to find another job.

Points For/GameMichigan State: 30.8; Georgia: 32.2
Points Against/GameMichigan State: 17.5; Georgia: 19.6
Offensive Yards/GameMichigan State: 390.5; Georgia: 414

These two teams are very evenly matched, not only by record and strength of wins, but also statistically as well. Both of these teams are in the top 10 in defense while both teams possess a potent offense.


Georgia is currently a 3 point favorite to win. I think that this will be a very closely contested game. I have Michigan State getting off the snide with a 34-30 victory.

2010 Outback Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

This has been a very even matchup between the two conferences over the years with the SEC holding a 10-7 lead. Last year, Northwestern almost shocked the world when they took Auburn to overtime only to lose by a field goal 38-35.

Penn State is 3-0 in the Outback bowl, while Florida has a record of 1-2 in the game.


Penn State (11-1) won their bowl game, the Capital One bowl, last year against the LSU Tigers (9-3) 19-17 on the strength of a last minute field goal. They have a phenomenal bowl record of 27-13-2 all-time.

Florida (12-1) defeated Cincinnati (12-0) in the 2010 Sugar Bowl in a rout 51-24. Tim Tebow was the MVP by far with a total of 533 yards of offense.

Outback Bowl Breakdown

RecordsPenn State: 7-5; Florida: 7-5
All Time Bowl RecordPenn State: 27-13-2; Florida: 18-19
Key WinsPenn State: Michigan 41-31, Northwestern 35-21; Florida: Tennessee 31-17, Kentucky 48-14, South Florida 38-14
Key LossesPenn State: Alabama 24-3, Iowa 24-3, Illinois 33-13, Ohio State 38-14; Florida: Alabama 31-6, South Carolina 36-14, Florida State 31-7

Florida is not having a very good year, but they have beaten quality opponents and have done so in convincing fashion. That’s something that I cannot say for the offensively challenged Nittany Lions. Of their 7 wins, only two of them have come against teams with winning records and both of those games were at home.

Since this game is Tampa, Florida will pretty much be playing in front of a home crowd. This isn’t a guarantee for Florida as they have struggled at home losing 3 out of 5 conference games and one of the wins came against struggling Georgia in overtime.

The common opponent, Alabama, beat up both of these teams handily as neither team could score a TD.

Points For/GamePenn State: 24.6; Florida: 29.3
Points Against/GamePenn State: 22.6; Florida: 21.1
Offensive Yards/GamePenn State: 374; Florida: 357

Penn State’s liability is on the offensive side of the football. They have struggled against all of the good defenses that they have faced this year and Florida is in the quarter of the teams in the nation defensively.

Florida has also struggled to put points up on the board this year, but they have shown some spark against some of the middle of the road SEC teams.


I envision this game being a defensive struggle with neither offense moving the football down the field often. Big 10 teams almost always show up for New Year’s Day bowl games, but I’m going to give the edge to Florida 24-14.

Bowl Game Results

Penn State put up a good fight, but lays down late with an interception return for a TD. Not looking good for the Big Ten today. Florida wins 37-24.

2010 Bowl Record – 13-11

Previous Outback Bowl Highlights

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  1. […] put up a good fight against Auburn last year in the Outback bowl, but Auburn came away with the win 38-35 in overtime. The Wildcats have only won 1 bowl game in […]

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