By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor
After a week of speculation, hope, disappointment, and hope again, the Wolverines finally found out on Sunday afternoon what bowl game they were going to. The University of Michigan will play the South Carolina Gamecocks of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on New Year’s Day in Tampa, Florida.
The Outback Bowl is a matchup of two good teams, No. 19 Michigan and No. 11 South Carolina, in one of five B1G 10 bowl games on New Year’s Day.
Michigan was originally projected to go to the Capital One Bowl, also on New Year’s Day, as Nebraska was projected to pick a part a weak Wisconsin Badger team in the B1G 10 Championship game on Saturday.
It was the exact opposite as the Nebraska defense looked like something out of the Tecmo Bowl video game on Nintendo, losing 70-31.
Because Nebraska had lost, it was looking like Northwestern would hop over the Cornhuskers for the Capital One Bowl, which would make Michigan ineligible for the Outback Bowl (more losses than Nebraska), and push them down the ladder to the Gator Bowl.
That didn’t happen, as Nebraska was still picked for the Capital One Bowl despite the blowout. It was Northwestern and Michigan going head-to-head in the Outback Bowl war room, and the deciding factor was the win Michigan had over Northwestern this year that propelled them to win the bid.
The opponent for Michigan is the Gamecocks, and they finished with a 10-2 record, despite losing it’s top running back, Marcus Lattimore to a gruesome leg injury. Their best win on the season came against No. 14 Clemson in the season finale.
Michigan will travel to Tampa for the first time since 2002. They have played in three other Outback Bowls; 1997 against Alabama (lost 17-14), 1994 against North Carolina State (won 42-7), and 1988 against Alabama (won 28-24).
The Wolverines will be allotted 11,000-12,000 tickets for the game. The bowl game is Florida is very appealing for the Wolverines, especially start senior quarterback/running back, etc., Denard Robinson, as he is from Florida.
To read the original article that appeared in the eleventh edition of The Michigan Journal, on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org