Bowl Game Blow Out: Part One

WRITTEN BY STAFF
PHOTOSHOP FUN BY MAX

Welcome to Part 1 of our giant Bowl Game Blow Out.  We’ve compiled some stats and given you our predictions so that you can be all the you can be and get an edge on life while you are gambling.  Don’t be reserved.  Bet the house!

Also, thanks to Eric from Stunt Granny for contributing his picks.  Go check out their website!  It’s a pro wrestling extravaganza

Just a couple of notes.

1. I figured out turnovers not by taking each turnover and each takeaway and counting the total sum, but I took only the ones that mattered.  For example, if Team A had three turnovers and three takeaways, it was a zero sum game.  If they had four turnovers and two takeaways, they had a gross score of -2 for that game.  If they lost more than they took, it’s a negative score.  If they won more than they lost, it’s positive.  It’s also broken down by wins and losses.

2. 3rd down % is figured in wins and losses, respectively.

3. All of our picks are against the spread.

4. The stats we didn’t figure out ourselves are from ESPN.com

Let’s get right to it.

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL
Dec. 17 – 2 PM – ESPN – Albuquerque, NM
Line:  Temple by 6.5
O/U: 47.5

The Violent Owls combat the Cowboys of Wyoming.

Quick Analysis: The beauty of our stats is that they show how each team stacks up against the other in things that matter, especially final score.  Wyoming gives up more points per game on both sides of the outcome.  Wyoming is the more balanced team, however.

Max: I have no idea in this one.  I think Temple can pull this one out.  I’ll take Temple to cover.  I’ll take the over.  Final score 42-35.  I mean, I have to go with the pissed off owl, not the sparkly vampire handle-barred cowboy, right?

Greg: Temple has been a tough running team, which benefits the Owls in two ways.  One, it shortens the game and limits the overall effectiveness of what Wyoming wants to do on offense by not giving them the ball.  Two, they are pretty good at it and the Cowboys are not.  But their 117th ranked pass offense will be a liability should Temple fall behind early.  Their 3rd ranked defense (in points allowed per game) should help immensely. 

I’ll take Temple in this one to cover, but take the under.

Eric: Gildan, this bowl game’s sponsor, makes comfy T-shirts in both cotton and 50/50 cotton/poly blend. My prediction is predicated on the idea that, as a first-year, ambitious sponsor, Gildan will mistakenly offer every player a cotton/poly undershirt, a blend that doesn’t breathe very well, especially under the hot New Mexico sun, and as a result most players will pass out from heat exhaustion. Temple covers, but take the under. Final score: 10-3 with a minute to go in the first quarter.

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Dec. 17 – 5:30 PM – ESPN – Boise, ID
Line: Utah State by 2.5
O/U 57.5


The Apollo Creed and Macho Man of college mascots.

Quick Analysis: Ohio finished at 9-4 and didn’t really have any big indicators one way or the other on their stats to define a place they need improvement to beat Utah State.  Utah State is favorite but we aren’t sure why.  They played similar schedules, and both have inexplicable losses to teams with worse records.  The biggest thing about Utah State is that they had more turnovers in wins than in losses.  That wasn’t due to a fluke, either.  They rarely take it away, and they rarely hold on to it.  One thing Utah does well is run the ball.  Can Ohio stop them?

Max: My boy Greg will probably be taking Ohio.  They are his dandy from NCAA football on the PS3.  I am going to take Utah State.  They can mash upfront, and it doesn’t matter if they hold on to the ball.  All that matters is they keep it on the ground.  I fully expect Utah to cover.  Taking the over, as well. They put up points. Utah State wins it 47-27.  I would like to add, I love the piss out of this Photoshop, and I’m considering getting it blown up and put it on my wall at home.

Greg:  Neither team has a real advantage schedule-wise, due to both being 2nd class citizens of a 2nd class conferences.  The Aggies had an impressive showing at Auburn to open the year and rush the ball extremely well.  Ohio has a more balanced offensive attack however and lost their 4 games by a combined 19 points with an upper quartile defense.  I’ll take Ohio to win outright but take the over.

Eric: What potato is more famous than the Idaho potato? None, you silly goose! So much like the saying “When in Rome,” when in Boise, the football players will do as the Boiseans do and carb up with heaping helpings of delicious Idaho potatoes before the game. This will result in a fast-paced first half but a sluggish second half, as the potatoes that essentially move through the large intestines intact begin to make their way out. Utah State does not cover the spread but pulls out a win with an over. Final score: 33-31, all scored in the first 30 minutes.

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Dec. 17 – 9 PM – ESPN – New Orleans
Line: San Diego State by 4.5
O/U: 59

Quick Analysis: San Diego State likes to get by by about 20 by top ten teams.  Otherwise, they take care of business.  They force a lot of turnovers and they are balanced.  The Ragin’ Cajuns haven’t faced near the competition and while they have some nice wins and had a good season, they give up a lot of points to teams that are not very good, or just out right bad. They also get real lopsided when they fall behind, with almost a 200 yard difference between rushing and passing compared to a 75 yard difference in wins.

Max: I don’t see how SDSU can lose.  They have played tougher competition better, and they tend to stick with the game plan no matter the score.  It is almost a home game for the Cajuns.  But who cares, I say.  LA Tech sucks and so does SDSU.  I think SDSU wins but doesn’t cover.  I’ll also take the under.  I think the score will be around 31-24.

Greg: The Ragin’ Cajuns (love the nickname) play in the weakest of Division I conferences, the Sun Belt, although they did make a good showing of it, going 6-2 and finishing 3rd, losing to the top 2 teams in the conference.  The Aztecs have a top-flight runner to pound the ball and are a little less atrocious on defense.  Give me SDSU to cover and take the under.

Eric: Did you know former WWF Champion Bob Backlund went to South Dakota State University? Yep, with my seventh-grade English teacher, Diane Flaherty. These two were the bane of my existence in 1993. Ohhhh, this is SAN DIEGO State. Well, that changes everything. They win, they cover, but take the under. Final score: 24-21.

BEEF ‘O’ BRADYS BOWL ST. PETERSBURG
Dec. 20 – 8 PM – ESPN – St. Petersburg, FL
Line: Marshall by 4
O/U: 49

I'm not sure what is going on here....

Quick Analysis: Marshall played the tougher schedule by far.  Their only loss to a non-bowl team was University of Central Florida, who FIU actually beat.  On paper it seems like FIU would be the better team, with the better record, but they two teams match up pretty well together. One thing Marshall does way better is convert on 3rd down.  That’s huge when you are in a lot of close games and every drive counts.

Max: Marshall is one of my favorite teams.  I’ve liked them forever.  So I have to go with them.  I think they have a fair shot at covering this spread.  I’m going to say the final score will be 22-17.  That’s also taking the under.  Also, I hate all Florida teams.  So eat it, Florida.  USA! USA!

Greg:  While it pains me to select a Sun Belt team to win a bowl game (and not a good one), I will take Florida International to topple Marshall.  Conference USAwasn’t anything to sneeze at this year, what with Houston, Southern Miss, and Tulsa all having great years, but Marshall finished a distant 2nd in their division behind Brett Favre’s alma mater.  Their putrid offense (ranked 98th in points scored) will not be able to get it done.  FIU wins outright and take the over.

On a tangent, this is my favorite bowl name.  Beef O’Brady sounds like a gigantic, smelly, hulking Irish offensive lineman.  Who else would compose the ultimate Irish O-Line?  Porky Sullivan?  Mutton Mulroney?  Chops O’Hara?  Hambone O’Malley?

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Porky O’Sullivan

Eric: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, huh? Take a minute and go to their website, http://www.beefobradys.com/default.aspx. Go ahead, I’ll still be here when you get back. Do you see that poor Photoshop job on their home page? They make Max look like god damn Jackson Pollock. I’d rather eat off the floor at Moe’s Family Feed Bag. Marshall covers the spread; take the over. Final score: 37-34.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL
Dec 21 – 8 PM – ESPN – San Diego, CA
Line: TCU by 10.5
O/U: 55.5

The Hindenburg made everyone sad...well, except Kim, who loves disasters.

Quick Analysis: TCU had another great season.  Their only two losses were to a great Baylor team and a letdown game against SMU.  (SMU had only one good win all year, TCU.)  They beat Boise State again. Their telling stat is that they blow about everyone out, but the worst loss was in OT by seven.  Louisiana Tech, on the other hand, has one nice win against Utah State.

Max: This is an insult to TCU.  If they don’t win by 17 or more I will be shocked.  I’m going to say TCU takes it 49 – 24.  Take the over.  It still pisses me off they beat Boise, though.  Can you imagine Boise-LSU?  Boy, I can, and it’s way more exciting than dumb old Alabama.

Greg: This could be disastrous on epic proportions that would make the Hindenburg explosion look like an episode of The Smurfs.  TCU has a winner’s pedigree, and while not led by The Ginger this year, they have taken down Boise State (at Boise) and nearly beat Baylor.  The 18th ranked Horned Frogs ought to roll over Karl Malone University, spreads be damned.  Take the under though.

Eric: The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl instantly needs three more sponsors. I recommend my band with Max, Hold For Swank. I also would like to see Dinty Moore get into the “beef” aspects of bowl sponsorship. Finally, how about a nice automotive sponsor like the Reinvented 2012 Toyota Camry? I think this has a ring to it. So in the First Annual Hold For Swank Dinty Moore Reinvented 2012 Toyota Camry San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – where the trophy is a family hovering over a bushel of corn – the winner is easy to choose: TCU covering the spread with lots of points. Final score: 44-13.

MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS
Dec. 22 – 8 PM – ESPN – Las Vegas, NV
Line: Boise by 14
O/U: 66

What does a gay horse eat?

Quick Analysis: Boise State is really, really good and should be playing for the title, or at the very least, a BCS game.  Arizona State is average at best.  They were also way better at the beginning of the season than at the end, meanwhile, BSU lost one game to an underranked team on an extra point.  This one could get ugly, and it should.

Max: What the hell is going on in the NCAA?  How can you possibly tell me that one of the best teams in the last six years doesn’t even make it to a BCS game when they go 11-1?  That, my friends is garbage.  That 14 point spread is an insult, too.  Boise takes this early and often, winning 52-17.  Take the over.

Greg: Make no mistake, Boise State has the chops to be in a BCS game and had it not been for a 1 point loss at home to TCU, may have been playing for it all against LSU.  With that said, Arizona State has a tall chore in front of them with a fired head coach and limping in the losers of 4 straight.  Boise wins and covers.  Taking the over.

Eric: The over-under is seriously 66? What the hell is this, the WNBA? Boise State wins, covers, take the over. Final score: 41-31.

SHERATON HAWAII BOWL
Dec 24 – 8 PM – ESPN – Honolulu, HA
Line: Southern Miss by 6
O/U: 61

Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

Quick Analysis: Some teams, like Nevada, are easy to judge on paper.  Across the board, they are a better team in games they won.  Southern Miss, on the other hand, had a really nice season, capped off by winning the conference, yet they played worse on paper in wins than in losses.  (Not that much worse, though.)  Southern Miss was also in every game they lost, losing by a combined total of 9 points.  They were diving for the go-ahead score against Marshall, but threw a pick, and they were a chop block away from beating UAB, and still almost pulled it off with laterals on the final play of the game.

Max: I really thought Houston was going to roll over Southern Miss, but when I watched the game, it wasn’t like Houston was playing badly, Southern Miss was legitimately handling them.  They were two breaks away from running the table.  I think they go into this game the same way they went into the CUSA Championship game – with confidence.  Southern Miss rolls, 54-38.  That’s the over, friends.  Take it.

Greg: I really like Southern Miss in this one.  They played outstanding football at Houston in the C-USA title game in all facets of the game.  Nevada does have a very good rushing attack out of the Pistol, but Southern Miss is the more complete team.  USM wins and covers, but taking the under.

Eric: I love a nice Southern Miss. In fact, my band with Max, Hold For Swank, has seen its music used in the background of MTV’s “True Life: I’m a Southern Belle.” So you’ll understand my affinity for this team. Southern Miss wins handily and covers the spread, but be wary of a 61-point over-under in the beautiful, relaxing tropics of Hawaii. Final score: 31-13.

ADVOCARE V100 INDEPENDENCE BOWL
Dec 26 – 5 PM – ESPN2 – Shreveport, LA
Line: Missouri by 5
O/U: 52.5

The Tiger Buggerers vs. Satan's Spawn

Quick Analysis: This is a great bowl game.  These two teams match up really, really well.  North Carolina is a gutsy, opportunistic team that converts 3rd downs and creates turnovers.  Missouri has a great defense and pounds the ball.  This game will come down to time and number of possessions.  If Missouri can control the clock and eat up time and yards, they will have no trouble winning.  If the Tar Heels create some opportunities, it could get interesting.

Max: My head says Missouri but my heart says North Carolina.  Plus, I have a theory about Missouri and that is, they try to get too cute when things are going well.  For example, last year against Iowa, the 10 yard out was there on every play.  But they would throw two or three of those and then try to go deep.  Stupid.  If a team is going to give you a 10 yard gift on every single play and not adjust to it, you take it until they do.  Instead, Missouri, who was probably the better team on paper, got whipped.  There is something to be said about sticking to a game plan and something to be said for tweaking on the fly.  Missouri may win, but I don’t think they cover.  I’m taking North Carolina and the points.  Final score, Missouri wins 28-27.  That’s the over.

Greg: A fired head coach (UNC) and a drunk one (Mizzou) square off in what has to be a let-down for both schools, particularly the Tigers.  They defected from the SEC and land in the Independence Bowl?  Good luck with LSU next year.  I find it hard to see UNC winning this game, and Mizzou comes in the winners of 3 straight.  Go with the Tigers, but not to cover and take the under.

Eric: Dude, Advocare actually works. I personally know people who have lost a lot of weight, put on some muscle, stayed healthy doing it, and even made a little money along the way. Final score: Those people are the true winners.

LITTLE CEASARS BOWL
Dec 27 – 4:30 PM – ESPN – Detroit, MI
Line: Purdue by 2.5
O/U: 60

They should change this to the Scarface Bowl...

Quick Analysis: Western Michigan is a team that won games they should have won and lost games they should have lost.  They got beat in one shootout against Toledo that could have gone either way, so if you discount that, it makes them pretty even in all categories.  So if you discount that game and they played about the same in every game, then it just came down to talent.  Purdue will either beat you or lose to you by 17.  They also have the creepiest mascot so far.

Max: These are two teams I don’t care about, but I hate Purdue so I’m going to go with Western Michigan in the upset.  I think this will be a terrible game.  I think the final score will be like 13 to 10.  Western Michigan maybe scores another one late to get to 20-10.  That’s way under the 60 points called for in this game.

Greg: Purdue was a tough out in the Big 10 this year and probably will be too much for Western Michigan to hang with.  But I see a game where the Boilermakers aren’t up for and the Broncos sneak out a victory in their home state and win the Pizza Pizza Bowl.  Under.

Eric: And then there are the people who eat Little Caesars instead of Advocare products. The best part of this game is Max’s illustration. I wouldn’t have gone with Western Michigan even when former WWE wrestler Colt Cabana (@coltcabana) was playing for them. Take Purdue to cover the spread, but not with that kind of over-under. Final score: 24-14.

BELK BOWL
Dec 27 – 8 PM – ESPN – Charlotte, NC
Line: NC State by 3
O/U: 45

Not sure what's going on here, but Erin's going to be pissed that Pitino is creepin'.

Quick Analysis: In the bowls we have covered, North Carolina State is by far the most opportunistic.  They have an amazing 18 takeaways in wins.  Meanwhile, Louisville gets really lopsided when they are losing.  This gives NC State more chances to take it away.  It’s a pretty good match up, but the paper game definitely goes in NC State’s favor.

Max: NC State is a pretty good team, they have some nice wins.  Also, when I was compiling all the stats, it seemed like L-Ville lost to every team in the bowl picture.  I think NC State easily covers this one, winning it 32-17.  Taking the over.  Also, isn’t it weird that one of the girls in the picture looks like someone I would stalk and try to film in their hotel room and one of them looks like Barney, and they are essentially wearing the same outfit?  That’s weird.  I also think the wolf reminds me President Obama.  And if this was a fairy tale, and Barney Alley was Little Red Riding Hood, wouldn’t that wolf just eat for days?

Greg: Erin Andrews is hot.  I mean, really hot.  Oh, a pick?  For no reason, give me Louisville and the over.  And:  Roses are red, violets are blue, Kirstie Alley, Jabba Joe Doo.

Eric: Belk. Sounds like something you drink *and* something you say when you throw up. “Dude, you look sick, what did you drink?” “BELK.” Louisville totally takes this one. Final score: 27-17.

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~ by maxaverage on December 14, 2011.

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