Sunday, December 26, 2010

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2010: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

The Where and When:
December 26th, 8:30 p.m. est, Ford Field, DETROIT, MI ESPN/ESPN3.

The Who:
Florida International Golden Panthers (6-6, 6-2 Sun Belt) vs Toledo Rockets (8-4, 7-1 MAC)

The Why:
FIU joined the FBS just nine years ago. They won the Sun Belt and are heading to their first bowl game in school history.

Toledo had a solid season finishing 3rd in the MAC. Toledo is making it's MAC-leading 11th bowl game appearance and first since 2005.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
FIU had a pretty tough schedule to start but finished well. Statistically they are as average as their record. Ranked 44th in total offense, 52nd in scoring and 68th in passing. They rush the ball pretty effectively at 28th nationally. On defense it's pretty much the same. They are 56th in total D, 64th scoring defense, 69 against the run and 39th against the pass.

It's more of the same for the Rockets. Coming in at 78th in total offense, they are 59th rushing and 73rd passing. They are putting up 27 ppg good for 53rd nationally. On defense they are 62nd in total defense, 71st scoring defense and 93rd against the pass. They do a nice job against the run though at 28th.

FIU was just 1-3 against winning teams, where Toledo got all but one victory against non-winning teams at 7-1. They were about equal against non-AQ teams at 6-2 and 7-3. And both were 4-1 to close the season.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
The Rockets vs The Golden Panthers. Please! No contest. I mean GOLDEN Panthers. Not only are panthers way, way cool, but now they are golden? Too awesome. Go Golden Panthers.

Vegas Edge
The line for the game opened with Toledo a 5 point favorite. Since then the line has swung towards FIU and sits at Toledo -1.5. This is essentially a home game for Toledo and they are 3-2 ATS as the home favorite. FIU is just 6-6 ATS on the season with the Rockets going 7-5.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
Congrats to the Panthers on their first bowl game. I wish it were under better conditions, but hey it's the post season. Unfortunately I just don't see them pulling this one out. Toledo fans will have to drive 45 minutes to the game, essentially make this a home game. It'll be close and I wouldn't condemn anyone for taking FIU, but I think Toledo takes home the victory and covers.

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