Monday, December 20, 2010

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2010: Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

I had no idea what Beef 'O' Brady's was. So there you go. On with the business at had.

The Where and When:
December 21st, 8:00 p.m. est, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL ESPN/ESPN3.

The Who:
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (8-4, 5-3 CUSA) vs. Louisville Cardinals (6-6, 3-4 Big East)

The Why:
So Miss finished 4th in Conference USA to earn it's 9th straight bowl appearance.

Louisville had a successful first season under head coach Charlie Strong, finishing 6th in the Big East and earning it's first bowl bid since 2006.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
What do The Golden Eagles do well: Offense. The 14th ranked total offense will hit you both on the ground (21st) or through the air (31st). And after they rack up crazy yards, they'll score. Ranked 15th overall in scoring offense they are putting up about 37 ppg. Defensively, well, not so much. They are average at 53rd in total defense and good against the run (13th), which I think has more to do with the fact that they are putrid against the pass at 103rd. They also don't really shut you down, offering up 29 ppg for 80th in scoring defense.

On the other end of the spectrum is Louisville. The Cardinals are less proficient with the ball, ranking 65th in total offense and just 71st in scoring offense. They will run the ball with some success, which is good for 30th nationally. Passing is a more of a change of pace to the run as they go for just 195 yds/g for 79th. But getting 26 ppg is usually enough because Louisville plays D. The 12th ranked total defense gives up just 18 ppg (15th). They are better against the pass (9th) than the run (52nd) which is plenty to win ball games.

So Miss was 6-2 against non-winning teams and an even 1-1 against AQ schools. They finished the season winning 3 of 5. Louisville struggled against winning teams at 2-3 and finished the season with the same record. But they were 2-0 against non-AQ schools.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
I just have to say out of the gate that I don't like birds. They are dirty and creepy. And since this is a battle of birds and Eagles are bigger than cardinals. Plus they are golden, which puts them high on the list. I choose the Gold Eagles!

Vegas Edge
Southern Miss opened as 2.5 favorites, but the line quickly shifted to Louisville -2.5. ATS these teams are about the same. Both are 6-5 ATS. Both are 4-4 on grass ATS. On the road as a dog, So Miss is 1-2, where Louisville is 2-0 as the favorite.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
Well the New Orleans bowl made me look dumb with my whole defense wins championships business. And as former conference foes the Golden Eagles lead the series 18-9-1. But there is something about Charlie Strong and what he's done to this team. Given the time he'll figure out how to stop the Eagles. I like Louisville to win and cover.

*B-A-T update: I'm currently 2-1

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