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Outback Bowl 2011: Georgia-Michigan State Pairs Elite Defenses

The Georgia Bulldogs, SEC Championship Game losers, will face the Michigan St. Spartans, Big Ten Championship Game losers, in a January bowl. The winner will finish the year ranked in the top 15.

The game will be widely be viewed as another referendum on the Big Ten's competitive viability with the SEC. Sparty got rolled last year by the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Georgia's 2011 defense is just a notch behind what Bama's was last year. Then again, MSU has a very good defense of its own. So this game will be like 37-34.

Two of the nation's top five defenses, making for the only game outside of the BCS National Championship Game to match such highly ranked Ds. Georgia's offense ranks No. 39, while MSU's ranks No. 60.

For more on this game, visit Georgia blog Dawg Sports and Michigan State blog The Only Colors, plus SB Nation Detroit.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.